Layered Pumpkin Delight — An EASY layered dessert with a graham cracker crust, cream cheese, pudding, PUMPKIN, whipped topping, chocolate chips, and toffee bits!! A little bit of CRUNCH with lots of fluffy CREAMINESS!!
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Best Ever Pumpkin Delight Dessert
This dessert. Oh boy. It has everything going for it.
Delight desserts (aka lush desserts) are usually made with a shortbread crust or something similar and topped with fluffy goodness in the form of pudding and whipped topping and often with some sort of fruit. My mom makes a lemon lush that’s to die for, but I digress.
No lemon here. Pumpkin instead. That’s my idea of a great trade.
It’s an almost no-bake (the crust bakes for just 10 minutes) layered dessert that begins with a slightly crunchy graham cracker crust, a sweet yet tangy layer of cream cheese, a layer of vanilla pudding that’s spiked with pumpkin, topped with whipped topping, and sprinkled with crunchy toffee bits and chocolate chips.
I love the toffee bits and chocolate chips on top for a texture wake up call. They’re a great contrast to the soft fluffiness below.
Pumpkin Delight Ingredients
To make this quick and easy recipe for pumpkin delight, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Cream cheese
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Instant vanilla pudding mix
- Pumpkin puree
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
- Toffee bits
- Mini chocolate chips
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Pumpkin Delight
This almost no-bake pumpkin delight dessert is a cinch to make! The full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post, but here’s an overview of the recipe:
- Mix together the simple graham cracker crust, then press into a foil-lined 9×9-inch baking dish.
- Bake the crust just until set, about 10 minutes.
- While the crust cools, beat together the powdered sugar and cream cheese. Turn the mixture into the cooled crust.
- To the same bowl you made the cream cheese mixture in, add the instant pudding mix and cold milk.
- Stir until thick, then add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and beat to incorporate.
- Gently fold 1/2 cup whipped topping into the pumpkin mixture. Then, spread it over the cream cheese layer.
- Top with remaining whipped topping, sprinkle with toffee bits and chocolate chips, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
This recipe for pumpkin lush couldn’t be simpler, but there are still some ways to customize the dessert.
- Use pumpkin spice pudding mix instead of vanilla pudding mix. There’s plenty of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice for a perfect fall dessert. I used vanilla pudding because I couldn’t find pumpkin pudding. If you can find pumpkin pudding and want to boost the intensity of pumpkin flavor, go for it. Just made sure to use INSTANT pumpkin spice pudding mix.
- Swap out the chocolate chips with butterscotch chips, or just use extra toffee bits.
- Use another sweet cracker or cookie rather than graham crackers.
- Use lite cream cheese rather than full-fat. Just make sure to buy the kind of cream cheese that’s sold in a brick, not the spreadable variety that comes in a tub.
Yes, you may double the ingredients and assemble the pumpkin lush dessert in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
No! You MUST use instant vanilla pudding mix. Cook and serve vanilla pudding will not work!
Yes, but homemade pumpkin puree often contains more moisture than canned puree. As such, I recommend spreading it onto a few layers of paper towels and thoroughly blotting to remove any excess moisture.
Absolutely! The pumpkin delight will last up to 5 days in the fridge, so make it as far in advance as you need.
You should be fine to assemble and free the entire pumpkin delight dessert. Thaw overnight in the fridge when ready to eat. Just note that the graham cracker base might soften once frozen.
Recipe Video Tutorial
Tips for Making This Pumpkin Lush Recipe
Pumpkin puree: Note that this recipe calls for pure pumpkin puree and NOT canned pumpkin pie filling (which is pre-sweetened and spiced).
Milk: Instant pudding mix will only set up properly if prepared with cow’s milk. Do not use a non-dairy substitute for this recipe!
Graham cracker crumbs: You can make your own by crushing graham crackers in a food processor or gently crush them in a zip-top bag using a rolling pin. Or you can make your life easy and buy pre-made graham cracker crumbs.
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- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 8 ounces brick-style cream cheese, softened (lite okay)
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- one 3.4-ounce box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 ¼ cups cold milk, use cow’s milk and not almond, soy, cashewmilk, etc. because pudding won’t thicken; the box will say 2 cups but use 1 1/4 cups
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- one 8-ounce tub whipped topping, thawed (fat-free or lite okay); divided
- ½ cup toffee bits
- ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large, microwave-safe bowl add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute.
- Add the graham crackers crumbs and toss lightly with a fork to coat crumbs evenly.
- Turn mixture out into prepared pan, forming an even, smooth, flat crust layer by tapping crumbs into place with a spatula or your fingertips.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until just set; set aside to cool for 10 minutes so you don’t melt the cream cheese in the next step.
- To a medium bowl, add the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and beat with a handheld electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and combined.
- Turn cream cheese mixture out over graham cracker crust and spread it in an even flat layer using a spatula or knife. Be gentle and careful so you don’t rip the somewhat fragile crust; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the pudding mix, milk, and beat with a handheld electric mixer on medium-high speed until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and beat to incorporate.
- Add 1/2 cup cup whipped topping and beat to incorporate.
- Turn pumpkin mixture out over cream cheese layer, using a spatula to smooth it.
- Evenly spread the remaining 1 1/2 cups whipped topping over the pumpkin layer.
- Evenly sprinkle the toffee bits, chocolate chips, cover with foil and place in fridge to cool for at least 4 hours (overnight is better) before slicing and serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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More Pumpkin Dessert Recipes:
My FAVORITE PUMPKIN RECIPES on my blog!
My cookbook, Cooking With Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie is my second cookbook and there are over 50 pumpkin recipes including sweets, savory, drinks, and a photo for nearly every recipe. I’d be super grateful if you headed over to Amazon to check it out!
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