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Dessert Shot Parfaits

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Dessert Shot Parfaits

Dessert Shot Parfaits Recipe Dessert Shot Parfaits Recipe

Petite parfaits (“dessert shots”) are a lovely, light way to end a festive dinner. Only a few bites big, they’re just enough to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.

Parfaits by definition include multiple layers, for pleasing contrasts in flavor and texture. Try the following elements:

*Base layer: cookie or biscotti crumbs; tiny cake cubes; brownie crumbles.

*Cream layer: flavored mousse; pastry cream; custard; pudding; whipped cream.

*Garnishes: berries; chopped nuts; shaved chocolate; coconut.

Rather than provide a recipe, here are some building-block ideas. Mix and match as you please to create what sounds best to you.

*Key lime: graham cracker crumbs and lime-flavored pudding or mousse.

*Harvest: gingerbread cookie crumbs and pumpkin mousse.

*Strawberries and cream: Vanilla shortbread crumbs with a lemon curd/whipped cream mixture.

*Black Forest: brownie crumbles with cherry pie filling, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.

*Tropical: White cake cubes with pastry cream, sliced banana, and toasted coconut.

Following is a recipe for our favorite, easy, all-purpose pastry cream.

At a glance

8 to 10 servings


  • 1 small box (about 3/4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3.4 ounces vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 8 ounces cold milk
  • 8 ounces heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3.113g vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 227g cold milk
  • 227g heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Prepare the instant pudding according to the package directions, using milk and cream instead of just milk.
  2. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
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