tom selleck dessert recipeI cannot tell you why this dessert is called Tom Selleck. I can take a few guesses though. The first things that come to mind when eating it are: smooth, creamy, sexy. Just like the real thing. I have to admit, that I have a giant crush on Tom Selleck. There is a noticeable age difference between us, but that’s okay, right? I really cannot think of a time when he was not good looking. Magnum P.I. (he could rock a corduroy short, couldn’t he?), Las Vegas, Friends (my personal favorite time), Blue Bloods. Doesn’t he look like a guy that would give a great hug? He’s a big guy. It seems like he would be warm and cuddly, and smell really good. This is just getting weird now isn’t it? I love that he is an avocado farmer. He seems like an all-around good guy, worthy of a delicious dessert.

I got this recipe from my best friend in the world Kathy. This dessert is her husband’s favorite dessert. It is what he requests on his birthday. The original recipe (I posted Kathy’s recipe on on Tasty Kitchen ages ago) is great, it calls for Cool-Whip and instant pudding. There is nothing wrong with this, but I always wondered if it would be better with homemade pudding and whipped cream. You know what? If you want to take the time to make everything from scratch, go ahead, but both versions are equally amazing. This dessert always seems to make an appearance at my house for Valentine’s Day, and this year is no different.

tom selleck dessert recipe1 1/2 sticks butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
8-ounce package cream cheese at room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
whipped cream
chocolate pudding

tom selleck dessert recipeStart by making the crust.  Mix together butter, sugar, and flour until it is combined.

tom selleck dessert recipePress the crumbs into the bottom of a sprayed 9×13 pan.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Cool completely.

tom selleck dessert recipeWhile the crust is cooling, whip 2 cups of heavy cream according to this recipe.  I add Whip-it to mine, but you don’t have to.  Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together.  Fold in one third of the whipped cream.

tom selleck dessert recipeSpread the cream cheese layer over the cooled crust.

tom selleck dessert recipeSpread the chocolate pudding on top.

tom selleck dessert recipe

Cover the top with the remaining whipped cream.  Chill for a few hours or overnight.

tom selleck dessert recipeAdd some sprinkles if you like.  I found these cute, little, colorful hearts at Target the other day.  I cannot help myself when it comes to sprinkles.  I have problems.

tom selleck dessert recipe

Tom Selleck


  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • whipped cream
  • chocolate pudding
  • sprinkles


  1. Start by making the crust. Mix together butter, sugar, and flour until it is combined.
  2. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a sprayed 9×13 pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. While the crust is cooling, whip 2 cups of heavy cream according to this recipe. I add Whip-it to mine, but you don’t have to. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Fold in one third of the whipped cream.
  4. Spread the cream cheese layer over the cooled crust.
  5. Spread the chocolate pudding on top.
  6. Cover the top with the remaining whipped cream. Chill for a few hours or overnight.
  7. Add some sprinkles if you like.

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84 Responses to Tom Selleck

  1. Haha….this is great! I love a smooth, creamy, and sexy dessert! 😉 I love the conversation that this dessert probably brings too! Looks delicious Bree!

  2. Jessica says:

    The mere mention of Tom Selleck made me want to make this dessert. I’ve had a crush on him since I was 4 years old – I thought he was just dreamy. He still is! At the risk of getting weird I’ll just say that I agree with you – he does look like he’d give wonderful hugs and smell fantastic.

    So then I actually took a look at the recipe and it looks fantastic – and rainbow sprinkles do make everything taste that much better. I want to make this for my best friend’s little girl – she’s a super picky eater but loves pudding and whippy-cream-type-things, so I think she’d dig this. Thanks for the great post!

  3. Rebecca M. says:

    We make this same thing with brownies on the bottom. Yummy!

  4. Good morning, Bree!
    This looks AMAZING! I love how it has a crust at the bottom with the creamy goodness on top! 😉 Your sprinkles are so pretty! I can’t wait to try this soon! :) Thanks for sharing!


  5. What a fantastic recipe! I never heard of it before but if its called Tom Selleck you got to love it, right! I’m anxious to give this a try!

  6. aprila says:

    I’ve made this before but over here we called it lush.. no idea why.. but wow… it is good!
    btw… love your blog!!

  7. Deanna says:

    I feel like the brown layer looks like a mustache of epic proportions. I can’t wait to try it, especially now that it doesn’t involve cool whip.

  8. Food Junkie says:

    In the south, we call this Mississippi Mudd. I add pecans to the crust and toasted pecans and cherries to the top as garnish. Delicious! Definitely a family favorite.

  9. Deborah says:

    I just heart about this recipe not very long ago, and have been wanting to try it. Love your version!!

  10. Michelle Ramos says:

    My mother in law makes something pretty similar (or it could be exactly the same – who knows!), but they call it “Robert Redford”! It’s ridiculously good

  11. Bryanna says:

    I grew up eating a similar dessert only the crust had pecans in it as well – our version was called Robert Redford. Can’t wait to give this one a try.

  12. Donna D. says:

    My mom has like 5 versions of this recipe each with their own unique name, the two I can remember are Sin Pie and Light and Dreamy…I think we could mash-up those names to equal Tom Selleck :)

  13. Toni says:

    Oh, I love this dessert! Though oddly enough, around here it is called Robert Redford. I’ll take either one!

  14. Carol says:

    This used to be served in my sorority on special occasions, but with the name “Better than Robert Redford.” I wonder if it’s called Tom Selleck for a similar reason… In any case, it’s delicious (although I think I’d skip the dessert if I REALLY could have RR!)

  15. Kristina says:

    I love Tom Selleck, in dessert and actor form! Thanks for the reminder – I need to make this!

  16. This looks so perfectly creamy and delicious. Pudding is always a plus in my book :)

  17. Linda says:

    I’ve had this dessert before and around here it’s called Sex in a pan. I believe it was called that because it’s as good as, well you know!

  18. Courtney says:

    Yum! This is one of my very favourite desserts :) Around my parts, we call it Sex-in-a-Pan!
    Love the sprinkles :)

  19. Courtney says:

    Yum! This is one of my very favourite desserts :) Around my parts, we call it Sex-in-a-Pan!
    Love the sprinkles :) Pretty photos too.

  20. Maureen, Milwaukee says:

    This recipe is one I’ve been using since the 80’s, and it’s gone through many heartthrob names! I first knew it as the Robert Redford, loooooong before he became the grizzled Sundance director he is today. The version I like best adds chopped walnuts to the shortbread-like crust, and uses pistachio pudding rather than chocolate. You top the final layer with chopped walnuts or pistachios. This is always a huge hit at work-related potlucks – creamy, sweet, crunchy, and a little salty all at once. I agree that stabilized whipped cream makes it a much better dessert than the Cool Whip version. Thanks for bringing back the memories!

  21. Jessica says:

    Looks so yummy! I need a reason to make it…wait, it looks yummy. That’s reason enough. Oh and I always imagined Tom Selleck smelling good too. No worries 😉

  22. Melissa Axmann says:
    Perhaps the creator is familiar with this image?

  23. Jennifer says:

    Based on name alone…I’m sold. Gonna have to ZipList this one!

  24. Bree: I love you, but it is impossible to match the lusciousness of Tom Selleck.

    The, End.

    I fear you have taken his name in vain.

    Besides, there’s not enough chocolate. 😀

  25. My grandmother had this exact recipe. Her name for it was not nearly as evocative as yours. Her name? “Delicious Dessert.” She sprinkled ground nuts on top.

  26. Kelly Mc says:

    It is a funny thing. I have been making this for many years and it was always called “The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford.” I changed the name to “The Next Best Thing to Tom Sellect” at least ten years ago and told my friends it was because I liked Tom Sellect better. It is funny that someone else called it by his name as well when the original recipe to my knowledge was “Robert Redford”.

  27. Haha! I love the name of this desert! Looks super super good.:)

  28. Bri says:

    My mom has always made something similar to this but she crushes walnuts and uses them in the crust as well as on top instead of sprinkles. I’ve been known to switch the custard flavor to pistachio from time to time- or a more recent favorite of whiskey-chocolate pudding!

  29. oh this looks wonderful, and I’m not a huge cool whip person, so now you’ve made this a MUST make item :) thanks

  30. Why have I never heard of this!? I LOVE TOM SELLECK!! (faint)

  31. Jamie says:

    I was given a folder full of family recipes from my step-cousin for my wedding and included the “Better Than Sex” cake. Very similar to this except, there are pecans in the crust and the first whipped cream layer in yours is vanilla pudding, with a layer of whipped cream between it and the chocolate. :) YUMMY!

  32. Oh boy, does this look good… and I think the name only helps its case! Yum!

  33. Kim says:

    My mom has made this for as long as I can remember except she used lemon pudding (my dads favorite) and called it Lemon Lush. Regardless, it’s a favorite in our family!

  34. Lannie says:

    i couldn’t resist checking this out for the name, and this sounds like a great and fast treat to pull together. YUM!

  35. Paula says:

    I have seen this dessert called Sex-in-a-Pan … now that you have made it homemade, I will make it. I don’t like Cool Whip or instant pudding at all. I love that it’s called Tom Selleck or Robert Redford too! I’m with you on Tom Selleck … Monica was an idiot on Friends! Really – Chandler?? Over Tom Selleck???

  36. Karen says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a little while and love seeing what you make. It all looks so delicious! I think I’ll have to try this one, if for no other reason than that I too have always had a crush on Tom Selleck. Who knows why, but it’s true. Just last night I fed my crush with a little Three Men and A Little Lady….I think Tom Selleck just might make it onto this weekend’s menu :-)

  37. Ashley says:

    I think it is called Tom Selleck’s “Better than Sex” cake? Or I’ve heard it called that before…

  38. Trish says:

    I have had the most ridiculous dreams about Tom for almost forty years now. Every one has been he and I shopping. Martha’s Vineyard, Hilton Head, Vale … the most recent just a few weeks ago. I don’t know why (well, yes I do) but he must have an incredible credit limit! Maybe next we’ll go to Publix and pick up the things to make this …

  39. What a great idea! This looks easy and delicious. Love the sprinkles too!

  40. jo says:

    make a pan of this and watch Tom Selleck in the Jessie Stone Series.

  41. Shandi Alegre says:

    I make something VERY similar to this all the time called Ediths special the only difference is the crust is made from walnuts and flour and butter and its amazing we love it for all occasions!! :)

  42. Sean says:

    Wow, that looks delicious!

  43. Megan says:

    My Mom makes this recipes and it is actually called “Sex in a Pan” lol.

  44. Linda says:

    I have this recipe and it’s called “The next best thing to Robert Redford. It’s delish.

  45. Jayne Sieg Minium says:

    The dessert looks delicious. My Mom used to make something very similar, but I don’t recall the name. I just wanted to say thanks for the giggle– I think it must be a hoot when your friend’s hubby requests Tom Selleck for his birthday! :)

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