Do you need a dessert for a potluck dinner or party? This layered chocolate delight lives up to its name, and it's always a hit! Just be prepared for recipe requests; take along copies of the recipe or share it with friends via email or Facebook.
The chocolate delight dessert is made with a graham cracker crust. It's layered with pudding, sweetened cream cheese, whipped topping, and optional chopped walnuts or pecans.
The variations on this basic recipe are endless. Make it with a pecan shortbread crust or a pretzel crust, or use butterscotch, pistachio, or banana pudding. See the many possibilities below the recipe.
- 2 cups
- graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 large tub (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed (or two 8-ounce tubs)
- 2 packages (3.9 ounces each) chocolate instant pudding, or one vanilla and one chocolate
- 3 cups cold milk
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4).
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and the melted butter; press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely before assembling the layers.
- Beat the softened cream cheese with the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Stir in half of the whipped topping until well blended and then spread the mixture over the cooled crust.
- Beat the pudding with the milk as directed on the package (using only 3 cups of milk) and spread over the cream cheese layer.
- Top the dessert with the remaining whipped topping and spread to cover.
- If desired, sprinkle with chopped pecans or walnuts.
- Chill thoroughly before serving.
- Salted Pretzel Crust - Combine 1 1/2 cups of crushed pretzels with 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Pat the mixture in the baking pan and bake at 350 F (180 C/Gas 4) for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely and proceed with the recipe.
- Nut Crust - In a bowl combine 1 cup of finely chopped pecans with 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Pat the mixture in the baking pan. Bake at 350 F (180 C/Gas 4) for about 20 minutes, or until set and lightly browned. Cool completely and proceed with the recipe.
- Shortbread Cookie Crust - Replace the graham cracker crumbs with 2 cups of finely crushed Sandies or Pecan Sandies.
- Vanilla Wafer Crust - Replace the graham cracker crumbs with 2 cups of finely crushed vanilla wafers.
- Butterscotch Delight - Use two boxes of butterscotch pudding instead of chocolate pudding and replace the pecan topping with Heath toffee chips, shaved semisweet or milk chocolate, or chopped candy bars, your choice.
- Lemon Delight - Use lemon pudding and top with toasted coconut or shredded or grated lemon zest.
- Banana Delight - Use banana pudding and top with toasted coconut.
- Pistachio Delight - Use pistachio pudding and top with chopped pistachio nuts.
- Cookies and Cream Delight - Use 1 package of instant chocolate pudding mix and 1 package of instant cookies and cream pudding. Or use white chocolate pudding and sprinkle 1 cup of crumbled Oreo cookies between the first whipped topping layer and the pudding layer.