This dessert. Oh boy. It has everything going for it.
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.MY OTHER RECIPES
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 wakeup call. They’re a great contrast to the soft fluffiness below. And I have a thing for graham cracker crusts because they remind me of Seven Layer Bars which also adds a touch of crunch.
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.
This dessert has everything going for it. It’s a 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 for texture. There’s plenty of pumpkin flavor for a perfect fall dessert. I used vanilla pudding but pumpkin pudding would be great.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 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 1/4 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
- 1/2 cup toffee bits
- 1/2 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. Dessert will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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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!
Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread – Pumpkin bread that’s like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!
Salted Caramel Swirled-Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with a Brown Sugar-Graham Cracker Crust – If you like pumpkin cheesecake, you’ll love these rich bars! So much faster and easier than making cheesecake!
Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake – Easy and the BEST pumpkin cake ever! Two kinds of caramel sauce, toffee bits, chocolate chips, whipped topping and more!
Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins – Easy, no mixer recipe for the softest, moistest, most adorable little muffins ever! Rich pumpkin flavor and chocolate in every bite!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins – You’ll never miss the eggs or butter! Easy, soft, fluffy and the best pumpkin muffins ever!
Mini Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins – Soft little muffins that pack a big punch of pumpkin flavor! Mini food just tastes better!
Oatmeal To-Go Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins – Like having a bowl of warm pumpkin oatmeal in portable muffin form! Fast and easy!
The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Ganache – One of my all-time favorite cakes, EVER! This is a must-make that everyone loves!
The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread – Super soft, moist, rich pumpkin flavor, and loaded with chocolate chips! Easy, no mixer recipe that’s the BEST!
Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – A thick, hearty oatmeal cookie and a soft, chewy pumpkin cookie all in one! Lots of chocolate, not at all cakey, easy, and your new favorite pumpkin cookie recipe!
Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies – No cakey cookies here! Soft, chewy, thick, loaded with chocolate and bold pumpkin flavor! Your new favorite pumpkin cookies!
Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars – Super soft and are like biting into a piece of rich pumpkin fudge! Loaded with chocolate and crazy good!