Skip the pumpkin pie and try out my pumpkin delight. This is a no-bake layered pumpkin dessert. Made with a gingersnap crust, cream cheese layer, creamy pumpkin layer, whipped cream, and a dusting of ground cinnamon on top.
This is a fluffy and creamy pumpkin dessert that is sliceable and ready to serve up a crowd. You might also want to check out these other tasty pumpkin recipes. Make sure to try out this pumpkin earthquake cake, pumpkin cheesecake, and my favorite pumpkin gingersnap cookies.
What Is Pumpkin Delight?
Pumpkin Delight is a pumpkin-based dessert that has layers of flavor. You will find that this dessert is great for the fall season from birthday parties, family gatherings, or even a mid-week dessert. A sliceable treat you can serve up to your friends and family. You might also know this by the name of a pumpkin lush dessert as well.
You will find there are many ways to create this dessert with variances in the recipe. I love this pumpkin no-bake delight recipe for when you need something fit for a crowd.
Reasons You Will Love This Pumpkin Delight Recipe
- Seasonal pumpkin spice flavor in this comforting fall dessert.
- You have the crunch from the crust and a creamy sweetness from the filling layers.
- You will find that this is a fantastic dessert for sharing with friends and family at parties and family gatherings.
- Go right ahead and customize the dessert to fit the changes you might want from sweetness level to spices used, etc.
- No need to turn on the oven, a simple dessert you can make in no time.
Gingersnap Cookies – For the crust of this layered dessert I used ginger snap cookies. They are rich in ginger and warm spices.
Butter – Unsalted butter that has been melted is what you will need. Make sure it is not margarine as that creates an oily crust.
Whipped Topping – Cool Whip is what I tend to reach for. It is going to create a light and fluffy texture and the whipped cream will hold its shape well.
Cream Cheese – For the cream cheese layer you need softened cream cheese. Make sure it is room temperature so it creams well with the other ingredients.
Sugar – Granulated also known as white sugar is going to be used.
Pudding – Instant vanilla pudding is going to create that smooth and thick texture for the pumpkin layer. Make sure to buy instant pudding.
Pumpkin Puree – Canned pumpkin will be used to help give this dessert real pumpkin flavor. Make sure it is canned pumpkin puree and not pie mix.
Milk – Cold milk is a must. I recommend using whole milk as it will help richen up the dessert the best.
Pumpkin Pie Spice – You will use a few splashes of pumpkin pie spice to help give you that pumpkin spice flavor.
Heavy Cream – For the topping I used heavy cream to whip up a homemade whipped cream to spread on top.
Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar is wonderful to use when making a homemade whipped topping. It will help sweeten but also not alter the texture of the whipped topping like a classic sugar could do.
Cinnamon – The cinnamon you add on top of the whipped cream layer is optional. I love using it to add character and flavor to the dessert.
Variations to Recipe
- Use a graham cracker crust instead of a gingersnap cookie crust. Or you could even do a Golden Oreo crust.
- Drizzle the top with a caramel sauce or even chocolate sauce or hot fudge.
- Sprinkle the top with walnuts or pecans for a nice crunch factor. Or go the next step further with candied pecans. I love the sweet crunch of a candied pecan.
- In between the cream cheese layer add a swirl of Nutella on top for a sweet nutty kick.
- Sprinkle the top of the dessert with pumpkin seeds that have been deseeded. A great crunchy topping.
- Sprinkle on some coconut flakes for a tropical taste to the dessert.
- You could add a layer of fruit compote or even pie filling in between the cream cheese layer and crust or something. An apple mixture would compliment the pumpkin flavor nicely.
Tips for Success
If you are worried about the crust becoming soggy, I recommend refrigerating or placing the pan in the freezer as you prepare the other layers. I find this is a game changer in keeping the crust crisp.
Assembly Of Layers
Make sure that when you go to assemble you are gently as you spread each layer out. This is going to make sure that you get that gorgeous defined look of layers. Instead of seeing the layers becoming mixed.
Use an offset spatula or classic spatula to create even smooth layers for each different layer. It is going to ensure each bite is exactly the same, and bursting with sweet and creamy flavors.
When you go to slice the dessert, use a sharp knife that has been dipped in hot water and dried. This will help to get those stunning clean lines. Make sure to clean the knife between each slice.
Chill Before Serving
I want to make sure you understand chilling the pumpkin delight before you go to serve it up, is a must. This is going to ensure all the layers become set so when you slice the pumpkin delight holds shape.
Refrigerate the pumpkin delight in an airtight container in the fridge. This dessert will be stored for around a week. You will find it is best to eat within the first couple of days.
You can also freeze the pumpkin delight no-bake treat. Just freeze for 2-3 months, and then thaw in the fridge until you are ready to serve it up.
What kind of crust is used in Pumpkin Delight?
I used a ginger snap crust but you can use golden graham crust, vanilla wafer-style cookies, and more. Feel free to create any crunchy crust as you would like.
Can I use fresh pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin puree?
You can use fresh pumpkin puree if you would like to opt for that over canned. Just roast the pumpkin pieces, and then blend and mash it up. Strain off any extra liquid and measure the same as you would.
Can I make Pumpkin Delight ahead of time?
Yes, this dessert can be made a day ahead of when you want to serve it up. Simply whip it up and then refrigerate it in a covered dish. Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve up the no-bake pumpkin delight.
Is Pumpkin Delight the same as Pumpkin Pie?
Pumpkin Delight and pumpkin pie are both made with pumpkin puree but they are not the same. The delight is a layered dessert where pumpkin pie is a crust and pumpkin filling.
Can I make Pumpkin Delight gluten-free or dairy-free?
Yes, you can make it gluten-free or dairy-free if you will. Simply opt for gluten-free ingredients for making the crust. And reach for dairy-free items to replace the dairy items to create a dairy-free free. Plant-based products work great for replacing dairy.
More Pumpkin Recipes
- 3 cups ginger snap cookies
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
Cream Cheese Layer
- 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup whipped topping thawed
- 1 5.1 ounce package of instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 cup milk cold
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or to taste
- 1 cup whipped topping thawed
- Whipped Cream Topping
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- – Ground cinnamon
- Grease an 8×8 baking dish with butter or shortening. Set aside.
- Crust: Add the ginger snap cookies into a food processor, and blend at high speed until the cookies are finely chopped, about 30 seconds.
- Slowly pour in the melted butter while the food processor is running at low speed. The mixture is ready when the crumbs pull away from the sides of the food processor.
- Pour the crumbs into the prepared baking dish, and firmly press them into an even layer in the base. Place in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
- Cream Cheese Layer: In a large or medium mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese and sugar. Beat at medium speed with an electric hand mixer until the cream cheese is smooth, making sure there are no lumps.
- Fold in the whipped topping with a spatula until evenly distributed.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the frozen crust. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Pumpkin Layer: Add the instant vanilla pudding mix into a large bowl. Pour in the milk, and whisk until completely mixed and the pudding thickens.
- Add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice, and whisk until smooth.
- Fold in the whipped topping until well mixed, then spread over the cream cheese layer in the baking dish. Chill for another 1 hour.
- Whipped Cream Topping: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. Beat at medium-high speed with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks are formed, about 5 minutes.
- Spread the whipped cream over the pumpkin layer, cover with foil or plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve chilled.