These No-Bake Nutella Squares are a fun, EASY dessert to try any time of year, and they taste just like the award-winning chocolate dessert on-board the Ruby Princess cruise ships!
So I’m having cruise-ship withdrawals.
And they now infiltrate my dreams. MY DREAMS! I lived in my last house for almost 10 years and I didn’t ever have dreams about that house – only my childhood home. But I was on-board the Ruby Princess ship in September for 1 week and I have a ship-related dream probably once a week.
No complaints, though! Because in my dreams, I’m blissfully unaware that I am currently not on the Ruby Princess. And my dreams are like, totally awesome: I’m always in the spa, in the dining room, or in the Crooner’s Bar on deck 7. Not bad dreams to have, am I right?
I had so many dreamy meals on my Alaskan cruise – from the butter-poached lobster at Curtis Stone’s SHARE restaurant, to the molten lava brownie cake at Crown Grill. But one of the best parts of the Princess Cruise was their collaboration with Norman Love, a master chocolatier who created many of the desserts on the ship. Each Norman Love-created dessert was marked with a small symbol called “Chocolate Journeys” and it was my mission to eat ALL of the Chocolate Journeys creations!
I talked about the Norman Love/Chocolate Journeys a bit in my Homemade Chocolate Sugar Scrub post (which is amazing – perfect for Christmas gifts!), and even mentioned this dessert there, too! In case you missed it, here it is in all its glory:
It’s a chocolate hazelnut bar, and it was fantastic. Even this normally-meh Nutella person LOVED IT SO MUCH. It had a wafer-like crust with a scrumptious, lusciously smooth chocolate hazelnut filling that was light, airy and creamy, topped with a rich dark chocolate bar that was equal parts luxurious, decadent, and elegant.
My version is a cross between the chocolate hazelnut bar and this tiramisu-esque mini layer cake I also had in the Michelangelo dining room:
And I fell in love!
So I was determined to recreate this fab dish for you, my precious readers! If you can’t book yourself an Alaskan cruise just yet, this is the next best thing – trust me!
To make it easier, my version has several layers of chocolate graham crackers, almost like an icebox cake – and is filled with Nutella mousse. I topped it off with some chocolate curls, but miniature chocolate chips would work just fine in a pinch! Lastly, I garnished each square with a couple of whole hazelnuts to make it pretty and to display the ingredients within the dish.
This show-stopping dessert will soon become a favorite until you can try the real deal on-board the Ruby Princess!
- 15-18 chocolate graham crackers (how many you need depends on the size of your pan)
- ½ cup chocolate milk or room-temperature coffee
- One (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- One (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
- Chocolate curls or miniature chocolate chips, for garnish
- Whole hazelnuts, for garnish
- Line an 8x8" square pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil lightly with cooking spray.
- Dip the chocolate graham crackers quickly, working one at a time into the chocolate milk. Line them up side by side in the pan, breaking some of the crackers to fit. You should have one even layer. Set aside briefly.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese, Nutella, and vanilla extract on medium speed until combined and fluffy, about 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until fully incorporated. Spoon ¼ of the Nutella mixture evenly over the graham crackers.
- Repeat layers twice more, for a total of three (3) layers. Spoon and spread the remaining Nutella mixture over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4-6 hours. Just before cutting into squares, garnish with chocolate curls or miniature chocolate chips and whole hazelnuts.
Intensely chocolaty with a luxuriously smooth mousse and lightly crisped cookie layers, these Nutella Squares are heaven on a plate!
Have a super sweet day!
In the interest of full disclosure, I am working with Princess Cruises as a brand ambassador. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep my blog alive!