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Pumpkin Delight Dessert

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Pumpkin Delight, with layers of sweetened cream cheese and creamy pumpkin pie pudding on top of a cookie crust, is crowned with Cool Whip and crunchy Heath bits.

Also known as Pumpkin Lush, this luscious pumpkin dessert is light, creamy, and always irresistible!

The bottom layer is a cookie crust that only takes about 10 minutes in the oven, so this isn’t exactly no-bake pumpkin dessert.

Even so, a yellow cake mix for the crust makes putting together Pumpkin Delight quick and easy. It’s the perfect fall, Thanksgiving, or anytime dessert!

a slice of pumpkin delight on a plate on a wooden table

Pumpkin Delight Dessert

If you love pumpkin pie flavor, cheesecake, or creamy puddings, then you’ve got to try today’s Pumpkin Delight recipe!

Lush desserts have been popular for many years. Way back when, a pumpkin delight (or lemon or chocolate) almost always made an appearance at church potluck dinners and was always the first to disappear!

So creamy and so delicious, this Cool Whip pumpkin dessert is for sure a crowd pleaser!

Making a layered dessert may sound complicated, but really it’s super simple and only takes about 30 minutes to put together.

ingredients for each layer of Pumpkin Delight on a table

I love my Pampered Chef large batter bowl and the Mix and Scraper spatula for mixing up desserts. The batter bowl has a handy lid for storage, too! (As a Pampered Chef consultant, I make a small commission from your purchases which helps fund this website and free recipes.)

Ingredients

  • Yellow cake mix — for the cookie crust. Similar recipes use a graham cracker crust. I like the cookie crust that you get with the cake mix. You can also stir in a half cup of finely chopped pecans if you like.
  • Butter — 1 stick or 8 tablespoons melted
  • Egg — to bind the crust together
  • Cream cheese — softened
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Cool Whip — will be used in the cream cheese layer as well as spread on top of the dessert
  • Pumpkin puree — be sure to use solid pack pumpkin, not the pumpkin pie filling
  • Instant cheesecake pudding
  • Milk
  • Pumpkin pie spice — a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
  • Health bits — add a bit of crunch on top. You can also use mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped pecans, or a miix of both.
mixing together crust ingredients for Pumpkin Delight

Even with all those layers, this recipe is so, so simple to make. Empty the dry cake mix into a large bowl and add the melted butter and egg.

Use a rubber spatula to stir everything together until all the dry cake mix is incorporated. Spread the dough into the bottom of a glass baking dish and press down until you have formed a crust.

Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookie is lightly browned. Let this first layer cool for 15 to 30 minutes before building the rest of the dessert.

spreading a layer of whipped topping and pumpkin pudding on Pumpkin Delight

Layered desserts are the best!

Once the cookie crust cools, it’s time to mix up the next two layers. If your cream cheese is softened, you won’t even need a mixer to make this layer.

Instead, use a rubber spatula to stir together the cream cheese, a cup of Cool Whip and confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Spread it on top of the cookie layer.

You will need an electric mixer for the pumpkin layer. Empty the cheesecake pudding mix and very cold milk into a bowl and mix until it is thickened.

Then use a rubber spatula to fold in the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Carefully spread the pumpkin layer on top of the cream cheese layer, and top with the rest of the Cool Whip and Heath bits.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours to chill thoroughly before serving.

Pumpkin Delight in a glass dish on a table

Recipe variations

  • Lemon Delight — In place of the pumpkin layer use two (3-oz.) boxes boxes of lemon pudding and double the milk.
  • Butterscotch Delight — In place of the pumpkin layer use two (3-oz.) boxes of butterscotch pudding and double the milk.
  • Chocolate Delight — Make the cookie crust with a dry chocolate cake mix, then in place of the pumpkin layer use two (3-oz.) boxes of chocolate pudding and double the milk.
a slice of pumpkin delight on a plate on a wooden table

Let’s cook!

Pumpkin Delight is best after it has completely chilled, so I like to make it a day ahead of time and put it in the fridge overnight. Sprinkle Heath bits on top just before you plan to serve, otherwise the sugars in the candy will bleed on the Cool Whip.

Be sure to use a glass baking dish so the yummy layers show through.

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Yield: 12 servings

Pumpkin Delight Dessert Bars

a slice of pumpkin delight on a plate on a wooden table

Yummy layers of sweetened cream cheese and pumpkin pie pudding on top of a cookie crust crowned with Cool Whip and crunchy Heath bits. 

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

Bottom Layer

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg

Layer 2:

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 (12-oz.) container of Cool Whip (use 1 cup for this layer)

Layer 3:

  • 1 (5-oz.) pkg. cheesecake instant pudding mix
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Layer 4

  • Remaining Cool Whip
  • 1/4 cup Heath bits

Instructions

Bottom Layer:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9x11 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix, melted butter, and egg until combined. Evenly press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before topping with the next layer.

Layer 2:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and 1 cup of the Cool Whip until smooth. Spread on top of the cooled bottom crust. Refrigerate while mixing up the next layer.

Layer 3:

  1. To a large bowl, add the pudding mix and milk. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  2. Fold in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Spread on top of the cream cheese layer.

Layer 4:

  1. Spread the remaining Cool Whip on top of the pumpkin layer. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Sprinkle Heath bits on top just before you plan to serve, then cut into bars.

Notes

Sprinkle Heath bits on top just before you plan to serve, otherwise the sugars in the candy will bleed on the Cool Whip.

You may substitute mini chocolate chips or chopped pecans for the Heath bits.

Keeps well in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 502mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 2gSugar: 34gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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ABOUT SHEILA
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTubePinterestInstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

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