Food Recipes

5-Layer Flat Belly Dessert


Think you can’t have dessert if you want to get in shape? Think again! Top Chef: Just Dessertshost Gail Simmons shares something you never thought was possible: a fabulous and decadent dessert that can actually help flatten your belly. Each layer of this 5-layer dessert has an added benefit to keep your midsection trim.



1 box devil’s food cake mix

1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1 cup water

4 cups fat-free ricotta

1 cup coconut milk, well stirred

1 cup shredded, toasted sweetened coconut

4 tablespoons agave syrup

1/2 cup toasted oats

1/2 cup ground flaxseeds or flaxseed meal

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted if desired

4 cups total of any combination of fresh well-washed berries (strawberries, hulled and halved, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, for shaving


Note: Ingredient quantities depend on size of pan. This recipe is for a 9-inch trifle dessert pan. Preheat oven to 350° F degrees.



Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray or butter and lightly flour each pan.


(Layer 1) In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the cake mix, yogurt, and water and mix well until no lumps remain. Divide batter evenly into prepared cake pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake emerges cleanly. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans.


Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, mix the ricotta, coconut milk, shredded coconut and agave. With a rubber spatula, gently fold them together to fully combine. Remove the cake from its pan and place in desired glass dish with high sides. Evenly spread half of the whipped topping mixture on top of the cake (Layer 2).


In a large resealable bag, combine the oats, flaxseeds and walnuts. Seal the bag and shake well. Sprinkle half of the mixture evenly over the ricotta (Layer 3), then top with the berries to cover the whole cake surface (Layer 4).


Repeat all 4 layers with the other half of the ingredients. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the bittersweet chocolate decoratively over the top (Layer 5). Serve dessert by scooping portions of the cake and all its layers into shallow bowls.


Recipe courtesy of Gail Simmons


2 thoughts on “5-Layer Flat Belly Dessert

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