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Pumpkin Lush — 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!!
Easy Lush Dessert Recipe
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.
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.
What’s in the Pumpkin Lush?
To make this lush dessert recipe, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Cream cheese
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Instant vanilla pudding
- Pumpkin puree
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
- Toffee bits
- Mini chocolate chips
How to Make Pumpkin Lush
This almost no-bake pumpkin dessert is a cinch to make! 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.
Can I Double This Recipe?
Yes, you may double the ingredients and assemble the pumpkin lush in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Tips for Making This Lush Recipe
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.
Note that this recipe calls for pure pumpkin puree and NOT canned pumpkin pie filling (which is pre-sweetened and spiced).
Likewise, you MUST use instant vanilla pudding mix. Cook and serve will not work!
- 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.
Storage: Dessert will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 533Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 209mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 2gSugar: 39gProtein: 5g
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!
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting — These super soft and moist pumpkin bars are the perfect EASY fall dessert!! Tangy cream cheese frosting is a wonderful complement to these perfectly pumpkin-spiced bars!!
Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread — Pumpkin bread that’s like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!
Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake — Easy and the BEST pumpkin cake ever! Two kinds of caramel sauce, toffee bits, chocolate chips, whipped topping and more!
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!
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