Layered Pumpkin Dessert
Otherwise known as pumpkin lush or pumpkin lasagna, this scrumptious Layered Pumpkin Dessert is the ultimate fall treat! Made with a pecan crust, and layers of cream cheese, pumpkin and whipped topping, this Pumpkin Delight will be your new favorite Thanksgiving dessert! If you loved my Pumpkin Caramel Cream Cheese Poke Cake, this dessert will be right up your alley!
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Pumpkin Delight – the BEST Layered Pumpkin Dessert!
If you would rather have something other than pie on Thanksgiving, then this Layered Pumpkin Dessert will be your new favorite go-to fall dessert. Layered with a pecan graham cracker crust, a creamy pudding cream cheese layer, a fluffy layer of pumpkin and spice, and topped with whipped topping and brown sugar pecans.
This Pumpkin Delight has everything – crunchy, creamy textures and the perfect flavors of fall making it the ultimate Thanksgiving dessert!
I must say that this dessert is super simple to make. The crust requires a short amount of bake time, but the rest of the desert layers are no-bake. I’ll break down each individual step, giving you the easy, no-fuss instructions to creating this delicious dessert.
Here’s you you make this delicious Layered Pumpkin Delight Dessert:
Step 1: Make your crust
Baking this crust is technically optional. However, I’ve tested this recipe by baking and not baking the crust. The results with a BAKED crust always renders evenly square pumpkin dessert bars. The crust tends to fall apart without baking the crust.
Start by lining a 9 x 9″ square pan with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick baking spray. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, add the graham crackers, pecans and cinnamon. Pulse until well ground, then while still in the food processor, add the melted butter. Pulse again a few more times just until combined. Turn out the crumbs into the lined pan, and press firmly into the bottom.
I like to use the bottom of a measuring cup, but your hands work well also. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Baking the crust helps to ensure you get uniform square slices.
Once removed from the oven, let crust cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Add the cream cheese layer
While the crust is cooling, begin mixing the cream cheese layer of the filling for your Layered Pumpkin Dessert. You begin with a room temperature package of cream cheese. It’s important that the cream cheese is room temperature, otherwise you’ll end up with a very lumpy filling (which is a little unsightly).
Using a hand or stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. In a separate bowl (I use my glass measuring cup), whisk together the vanilla pudding mix and milk, just until the pudding is dissolved into the milk. Then, with your mixer on low, gradually begin pouring the milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Occasionally stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing until the filling becomes smooth.
Tip – I like to use the whisk attachment instead of the paddle attachment for my mixer. It helps break up any lumps that might be present, and you’ll get a nice, smooth filling for your Layered Pumpkin Dessert.
Step 3: Add the pumpkin layer
For the pumpkin layer, you’ll begin with canned pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and whipped topping. The whipped topping will give the pumpkin a nice, fluffy texture. Spread evenly over the top of the cream cheese mixture.
Step 4: Add the whipped topping layer
Over the top of the pumpkin layer, you’ll then add the remainder of the whipped topping. Spread evenly all the way to the edges of the foil.
Step 5: Add the brown sugar pecans
On top of the whipped topping layer, you’ll then add chopped brown sugar pecans. FYI – these brown sugar pecans are AMAZING! Here’s how you make them:
Start by melting 2 tablespoons of butter along with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a shallow skillet over medium heat. Then, add half cup of pecan halves. Slowly stir and coat with the brown sugar & butter mixture. Reduce heat to medium low and continue stirring the pecans. The pecans will begin to toast. Once you can smell the pecans toasting, remove from the heat right away. This usually takes anywhere from 5-7 minutes, but stay close, and don’t walk away from the skillet. I’ve burned a few pecans by stepping away from my skillet just for a minute.
Once the pecans are done, transfer to a piece of waxed paper and let cool completely. The pecans will have a candied, glossy appearance once cooled. Chop and then add to the top of the layered pumpkin dessert.
Step 6: Refrigerate, Slice and Enjoy!
This pumpkin delight will need to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours prior to slicing. This will allow the layers to set up, so once you slice the dessert you’ll have more even, uniform squares.
This layered pumpkin dessert is fantastic for any fall get together, party, friends-giving or holiday dinner. When you bring this dessert to your next pot-luck be prepared to be asked for the recipe, and come home with an empty pan. No matter the occasion, this dessert will be your new favorite pumpkin treat! Enjoy!
If you loved this delicious Pumpkin Delight, be sure to check out some of my other similar recipes:
Here’s some useful tools in making these pumpkin dessert bars:
KitchenAid KSM150PSGR Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield (Amazon Affiliate Link) – My KitchenAid mixer is a staple appliance in my kitchen. It’s perfect for mixing the filling in this Layered Pumpkin Dessert!
Wilton Non-Stick 9-Inch x 9-Inch Square Baking Pan with Lid (Amazon Affiliate Link) – This recipe calls for using a 9×9″ square pan, and this Wilton Non-Stick pan is perfect. It also comes with a lid, making it the perfect pot-luck dessert pan.
Silicone Spatulas, Non-stick Rubber Spatulas with Stainless Steel Core, 4-piece set (Amazon Affiliate Link) – Silicone spatulas are super useful in this recipe. Take the filling from the mixing bowl, and spreading onto the crust, as well as keeping your layers separate is very helpful with a good spatula.
Here’s the recipe for this delicious Layered Pumpkin Delight:
- 1 cup graham crackers (approximately 8 large cracker sheets)
- 1/2 c. pecans
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 c. melted butter (1 stick)
Cream Cheese Filling Layer:
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg, cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 1 (3.4 oz) pkg., instant vanilla pudding
- 1 1/4 c. cold milk (use regular dairy milk, not plant-based milk)
Pumpkin Filling Layer:
- 1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg. whipped topping, thawed
Whipped Topping Layer:
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg. whipped topping, thawed
- 1/2 c. pecans
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9" square pan with aluminum foil, and lightly spray with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
- To a food processor, add the graham crackers, pecans and cinnamon. Process until well crushed. Add the melted butter and pulse a few more times to combine the butter and crumbs. Pour out the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Firmly and evenly press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let crust cool to room temperature.
- While the crust cools, prepare the cream cheese layer. Cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar with a hand or stand mixer. In a separate bowl, dissolve the pudding mix into the milk, and whisk together until smooth. With the mixer running on low, gradually stir the pudding mixture into the cream cheese mixer. Mix these together until smooth, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Spread mixture evenly over the cooled crust. Refrigerate.
- Next mix together the pumpkin layer by folding together the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and the first container of whipped topping. Mixture will be fluffy and smooth. Spread over the chilled cream cheese layer.
- Top the pumpkin layer with the second container of whipped topping. Evenly spread over the top of the pumpkin layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- While the dessert chills, prepare the brown sugar pecans by melting 2 tbsp. of butter with 2 tbsp. of brown sugar in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the second 1/2 cup of pecans to the melted butter and brown sugar mixture. Stir the pecans to coat. Toast the pecans for 5-7 minutes, or until you smell the pecans toasting. Remove from heat and place toasted pecans on a sheet of waxed paper to cool. Once cool, chop pecans and add to the top of the whipped topping layer.
- Slice and enjoy!
You will need a total of 2 (8 oz.) containers of frozen whipped topping, or 1 large 16 oz. container. Make sure these are thawed before making the dessert.
You will also need a total of 1 cup of pecans for the dessert. 1/2 cup will go into the crust and 1/2 cup will be for the topping.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2600Total Fat: 141gSaturated Fat: 89gCholesterol: 393mgSodium: 4992mgCarbohydrates: 290gSugar: 179gProtein: 16g