Chocolate Charlotte

Taking a little break from holiday baking, I made this dessert for my sister’s birthday. For some reason, I had it in my head that I wanted to make a charlotte. I’d never made one before, and it just seemed like the thing to make for her day.

I flipped through cookbooks and searched online and narrowed it down to two recipes. This recipe that is pictured above in all its delicious glory. And another one I won’t name. The one that nearly turned me off making any kind of desserts ever again.

That “other” recipe is actually the one I started out making. I read through it several times and thought it sounded great. About two-thirds of the way through trying to prepare it, I set down my hand mixer and told Quinn I wasn’t going any further. It’s not that it was necessarily complicated. I think it’s just not a good recipe.

So, I threw out what I had made so far, except the ladyfingers which were already lining my springform pan and soaking up Kahlua. Quinn was kind enough to make a run to the grocery store to get a few things, and at 11pm I switched recipes.

This simple Chocolate Charlotte is sure to impress. It's beautiful and delicious!

In stark contrast from that “other” recipe, this one was simple and quick. It all made sense, which was a definite plus. Most importantly, it was so very good that I could hardly believe it. We all had very happy plates and had some leftovers to enjoy later. In fact, I still have a slice or two in the freezer that I must go tend to right now.

Chocolate Charlotte

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time:25 minutes


  • 24 ladyfingers
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • 2.6 ounce box whipped topping mix*
  • 1 & 1/2 cup cold milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened


  1. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise. Brush cut sides with Kahlua. Arrange in bottom and around sides of a 10-inch springform pan, placing the cut sides up. Cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Prepare whipped topping according to package directions using 1 cup milk and vanilla extract.
  3. Combine sugar and cocoa in a large bowl. Add cream cheese, and beat until well-blended using an electric mixer on medium speed. Add 1/2 cup milk and beat well.
  4. Gently fold in whipped topping. Pour into prepared pan. Cover and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.


*Dream Whip is a common brand of whipped topping mix. You can also substitute about 2 cups of frozen whipped topping, such as Cool Whip.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

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