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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!
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.
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.)
- 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
- 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.
How to make the cookie crust
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.
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.
- 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.
- Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars
- Easy Pumpkin Bars with White Chocolate Chips
- German Chocolate Pumpkin Dump Cake
- Easy Pumpkin Dip
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
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.
Pumpkin Delight Dessert Bars
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 8 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 12-oz. Cool Whip (use 1 cup for this layer)
- 1 5-oz. pkg. cheesecake instant pudding mix
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- Remaining Cool Whip
- 1/4 cup Heath bits
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9×11 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
- 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.
- 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.
- To a large bowl, add the pudding mix and milk. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Fold in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Spread on top of the cream cheese layer.
- 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.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.