Confession #129: I’ve become a layerer…Lightened-Up Strawberries and Cream Parfaits

by alexandra

Lightened-Up Strawberries and Cream Parfaits |

Layerer… is that even a word? Based on the red dots lined up underneath it as I type,  spell check is telling me it’s not…. Maybe it should be layer-er? Who knows. What I DO know is that layering food is fun, and suddenly I’m doing more of it.

Lightened-Up Strawberries and Cream Parfaits |

If you remember, there was last week’s Mississippi Mud Pie – four layers of oreo-red velvet-cream cheese awesomeness. This week we’re lightening things up a bit with Strawberries and Cream Parfaits (made with greek yogurt and less cream!). They’re what I call a breakfast/light dessert, depending on which way you want to take it. Either way, they’re fruity, creamy, and summer-perfect.

Lightened-Up Strawberries and Cream Parfaits |

Layer number one of today’s recipe is crushed graham crackers, nothing more, nothing less. Think graham cracker pie crust, but lighter and easier, because you don’t need butter holding it all together. Layer two is the “cream”: Greek yogurt plus a little cream cheese and a smidge of heavy cream, infused with vanilla extract and vanilla bean. It’s just lightly sweet and per-fect for these parfaits. Then we have layer three, the fresh strawberries, macerated with just a bit of sugar. I have a talent for making things complicated, but today, for once, things are simple and easy. It’s nice. :D

Lightened-Up Strawberries and Cream Parfaits |

I couldn’t quite decided if these parfaits reminded me more of strawberries and cream, or a light cheesecake (thank you, graham cracker crumbs), or a strawberry tart filled with pastry creme. I just decided that they were parfait (which means perfect in French, in case you didn’t get that). ;) Anndd… I’m officially done with the silly French puns. Thanks for putting up with me, guys.


Lightened-Up Strawberries and Cream Parfaits |

Strawberries and Cream Parfaits

  • Yield: 2 parfaits


These light, creamy parfaits layered with fresh strawberries are perfect for a summertime breakfast or dessert. They’re like a cross between cheesecake and strawberry tart, in parfait form!


Strawberry Layer:

  • 5 ounces (1 cup) chopped strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Cream Layer:

  • 5 ounces (5/8 cup) nonfat greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 2 ounces cream cheese*
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream**
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Graham Cracker Layer:

  • 1 1/8 ounces (5 tablespoons) graham cracker crumbs


  • 2 whole strawberries
  • graham cracker crumbs


Strawberry Layer:

  1. Place the strawberries in a small bowl and sprinkle on the sugar. Toss gently together. Let sit for about 30 minutes to macerate so that the juices are drawn out from the strawberries. Meanwhile, prepare cream and graham cracker layers.

Cream Layer:

  1. Combine the yogurt, cream cheese, heavy cream, vanilla bean seeds, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl and beat together with a whisk until smooth.

Graham Cracker Layer:

  1. Divide graham cracker crumbs between two serving glasses of choice, shaking the glasses lightly to level out the crumbs on the bottoms.

Assembly and Garnish:

  1. Strain juices from strawberries and reserve for other use.*** Place a layer of yogurt over graham cracker crumbs in each glass, followed by a layer of strawberries, then yogurt, strawberries,and finally one more layer of yogurt. Divide as evenly as possible to keep layers consistent. Top each parfait with graham cracker crumbs and a fresh strawberry. Serve immediately.


*You can use reduced-fat cream cheese to make this even lighter and healthier, although I’ve never used it, so I can’t promise that it will taste quite the same.

**You can also sub the heavy cream for regular whipping cream. Half-and-half should work, too.

***Don’t throw away the strawberry juices!! Add it to sparkling water, use them in a smoothie, or mix them with some plain yogurt; just don’t throw it away!

Thanks to Chobani for sending me some of their delicious yogurt which inspired me to make this recipe!

Disclosure: I was not asked to promote Chobani in any way, nor was I compensated for writing this post. I chose to mention them simply because I personally love their products!

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Izy July 9, 2013

ahaha I freakin’ loooove layering! it’s the BEST :) and these parfaits look ACE!

alexandra July 9, 2013

Haha thanks Izy!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) July 9, 2013

Beautiful parfaits, your layers look perfect!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted..blackberry-peach pieMy Profile

alexandra July 9, 2013

Thanks Laura! :)

Belinda @themoonblushbaker July 10, 2013

Oh yum! Now I can have this for breakfast, completely legal right? ^_^

alexandra July 11, 2013

For sure! I did. :)

Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health July 12, 2013

These look gorgeous! And nothing goes better together than strawberries and cream. Yum!
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health recently posted..Mini Salsa & White Bean LoavesMy Profile

alexandra July 12, 2013

Thanks Sarah! Gotta say, they are a pretty good match!

Shari August 9, 2013

These look absolutely delicious! I LOVE just about everything strawberry so these are making my mouth water. I even have some strawberries in the fridge waiting for me. Yum! Thanks for sharing!
Shari recently posted..Chinese Fried RiceMy Profile

alexandra August 11, 2013

No problem! Let me know if you make the parfaits! They’re easy and really good. :D

Martha April 9, 2015

wow, these were a real hit! really gave the satisfation of strawberry shortcake. Thanks.

alexandra April 9, 2015

So happy to hear that!

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