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True to its name, this pumpkin delight is a delightfully lush dessert filled with rich pumpkin flavor. Made from layers of sweet cream cheese, smooth pumpkin, and whipped cream set in a crunchy cookie crust.

Craving more luscious desserts? Try this silky chocolate tres leches cake, too!

A small serving of pumpkin lush is being lifted from the baking dish,
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Just look at those dreamy layers! This pumpkin delight recipe starts with a buttery cookie crust, topped with sweet vanilla-scented cream cheese, decadent pumpkin, fluffy whipped cream, and, finally, a sprinkle of nuts for crunch. Are you drooling yet? (It’s no wonder why this dessert also goes by the name “Pumpkin Sex in a Pan”). This easy 4-layered pumpkin lush has all the right fixings for a Thanksgiving dessert that everyone wants a slice of.

Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Delight Recipe

  • Easy. This layered dessert couldn’t be easier to make. I wish I could call it a no-bake recipe, but technically you’ll need to preheat the oven to bake the crust. Afterward, assembling and chilling the luscious layers is a breeze.
  • Perfect for holidays. On a day like Thanksgiving or Christmas, when your oven is tied up with roast turkey and sweet potato casserole.
  • Quick to make. The prep time for this pumpkin lush is only about half an hour. The hardest part about this recipe is waiting while it chills in the fridge before slicing.

If you love desserts like this classic pumpkin roll, creamy maple pumpkin cheesecake bars, and pumpkin cinnamon rolls, wait until you taste this pumpkin delight!

Crushed pecans are sprinkled across the top of whipped cream in a baking dish.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here you’ll find a short overview with notes on the ingredients for the layers. Remember to scroll to the recipe card below the post for a printable ingredients list and recipe instructions.

  • Graham crackers – Try to use plain ones.
  • Biscoff cookies – Generic brands will also work, but I prefer using real Biscoff for the best flavor.
  • Pecans – Raw, chopped pecans work best.
  • Brown sugar – I use light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar will also work.
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter – Unsalted butter is best, melted in the microwave before you start.

For the Cream Cheese Layer

  • Cream cheese – Let your cream cheese come to room temperature so that it’s easy to mix. Full-fat cream cheese (the blocks, not the spreadable kind) yields the best results.
  • Powdered sugar – Also called confectioner’s sugar. Don’t substitute this with anything else.
  • Vanilla – If you can help it, use real vanilla extract and not imitation for the best flavor.
  • Cinnamon
  • Whipped topping – Like Cool Whip or similar. One thawed tub is all you need.

For the Pumpkin Layer

  • Pumpkin puree – Make sure that you’re using 100% pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. They aren’t the same (see below).
  • Sugar – Plain white granulated sugar is just fine.
  • Spice – I use my homemade pumpkin pie spice.
  • Evaporated milk – Make sure its unsweetened. Sweetened condensed milk makes this dessert far too sweet.
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix – Any brand should do the trick.
  • Whipped topping
  • Nuts – Use any nut that you’d like for the topping. I use extra pecans leftover from making the crust. Also, during the holidays, there is an abundance of all things pecan.

Is pumpkin pie filling the same as puree?

No, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling are not the same thing. Pumpkin pie filling is already flavored and sweetened. In this recipe, it would add way too much sugar, and the whole delight would be far too sweet. Avoid that by using pumpkin puree, which adds real pumpkin flavor that’s enhanced by the other ingredients.

Two plates contain servings of pumpkin delight.

How to Make Pumpkin Delight

This dessert requires some chilling time in the fridge, but the assembly part is super quick. I promise that the wait is worth it! Once all the layers have had time to settle, this pumpkin delight is almost too good to be true. Here’s how to make it:

  • Make the crust. Crush up graham crackers, Biscoff cookies, and pecans into a fine crumb. Afterward, mix in brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a lined 9×13-inch baking pan and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the vanilla cream cheese layer. While the crust cools to room temperature, beat cream cheese in a large bowl. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, and finally, fold in the whipped topping. Spread the mixture evenly over the cooled crust.
  • Make the pumpkin layer. In a bowl, stir together pumpkin puree with sugar and pumpkin spice, followed by the evaporated milk and pudding mix. Keep stirring as the mixture thickens, and then add the sweet pumpkin over top of the cream cheese layer.
  • Add the toppings. Lastly, spread over the remaining whipped topping and give the top a sprinkle with crunchy chopped pecans.
  • Chill. Pop the finished dessert into the fridge for at least 4 hours before slicing and serving.

Can I Use Fresh Pumpkin?

Ambitious! But if you prefer homemade pumpkin puree, it’s definitely possible with this dessert. You’ll need to halve and deseed a pumpkin, and chop it into chunks. Add the pumpkin to boiling water, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Afterward, drain and cool the cooked pumpkin before removing it from the peels and mashing it into puree. Consider straining your homemade pumpkin through a mesh sieve to remove any excess water, which can make the pumpkin layer runny.

A layered slice of pumpkin delight is presented on a white plate.

Recipe Tips

The following are some tips that I picked up while creating this pumpkin delight recipe:

  • Don’t prepare the vanilla pudding. You can go ahead and add the powdered mix straight into the batter for the pumpkin layer. Make sure it’s instant vanilla pudding mix.
  • Chill the dessert for long enough. Make sure that you budget enough time for the 4 hours this dessert takes to chill in the fridge after it’s assembled.
  • Prepare the crust ahead. You can prepare and bake the cookie crust ahead of time, let it cool, and leave it covered on the counter a day or two ahead of time. I don’t recommend longer than that, however, as you don’t want it to get stale.
  • Enjoy immediately. I don’t recommend making the entire pumpkin delight more than 24 hours in advance. The soft layers on top tend to make the crust soggy over time.

Easy Variations

There are a few different ways that you can adapt this recipe depending on your preferences:

  • Use another size pan. You can make this dessert in an 8×8-inch pan if that’s what you have on hand, however, the layers will be thicker so just keep that in mind.
  • Customize the crust. In place of graham crackers in the crust, try crushed gingersnap cookies or crushed pretzels. For a black-and-orange, Halloween twist, borrow the Oreo crust from my Oreo Pie.
  • Make it nut-free. Leave the pecans out of the crust and topping if you’d prefer to make this pumpkin delight as a nut-free dessert. You can also replace the pecans with toffee bits.
  • Drizzle with caramel. I love drizzling this pumpkin delight with homemade salted caramel sauce or dulce de leche for a finishing touch.
A cookie crust is on the bottom of several creamy layers.

How to Store Pumpkin Delight

  • To store. This lush is best enjoyed on the day it’s made, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days, though the crust starts to soften after a while.
  • Freeze. I don’t suggest freezing pumpkin delight. The crust becomes soggy due to the condensation from thawing.

More Pumpkin Desserts to Try

5 from 1 vote

Pumpkin Delight

This pumpkin delight is a lush fall dessert filled with rich pumpkin flavor. Made with sweet cream cheese, smooth pumpkin, and whipped cream layers with a crunchy cookie crust.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 9 bars


For the crust:

  • 9 graham crackers
  • 5 Biscoff cookies
  • ½ cup (55 g) chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup (55 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, melted

For the first layer:

  • 8 ounces (227 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 ounce (227 g) tub whipped topping, thawed

For the pumpkin layer:

  • 15 ounce (425 g) pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 12 ounce (340 ml) can evaporated milk
  • 10.2 ounces (289 g) instant vanilla pudding mix, two 5.1 packages

For the top layer:

  • 8 ounce (227 g) tub whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 cup (109 g) chopped pecans
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  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F (177 °C) and line a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside for later.
  • Add the graham crackers, Biscoff cookies and pecans to a large food processor and process until a fine grain forms.
  • Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and butter and pulse just until it starts to come together.
  • Scrape down the sides of the food processor and process for another 30 seconds.
  • Press the crust into the prepared pan in an even layer and bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
  • In the meantime, make the first layer by beating the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and mix until completely smooth.
  • Stir in the whip topping using a rubber spatula until smooth then spread the mixture out onto the cooled crust.
  • Next, make the pumpkin layer by stirring together the pumpkin puree, sugar and pumpkin pie spice in another large bowl.
  • Stir in the evaporated milk then pour in the pudding mix and stir once again for about 2 minutes or until it has thickened, and it is difficult to stir.
  • Dollop the mixture over the first layer and spread it out.
  • Top it off with the remaining container of whip topping and spread in an even layer then sprinkle on the chopped pecans.
  • Refrigerate for at least four hours before slicing and serving.


  • This pumpkin delight can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Serving: 1bar, Calories: 784kcal, Carbohydrates: 95g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 43g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 460mg, Potassium: 420mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 78g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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