Creamy Chocolate Delight is a favorite dessert for a reason – a pecan shortbread crust, cream cheese layer, chocolate pudding, and sweet whipped cream all combined into an unforgettable treat! It’s easy to make, but no one will ever guess.
THE PERFECT 4 LAYER DESSERT
This chocolate pudding dessert recipe has been one of my very favorite desserts since I was a little girl. It is a guaranteed hit at any potluck or party. You will always come home with an empty dish!
Here’s what makes it the best:
- A buttery shortbread crust. I’ve tried other versions with graham cracker and oreo crust, and they tend to get soggy faster. In my opinion, they also make the dessert overly sweet.
- Pecans in the crust. They add such a wonderful crunch and flavor, especially if you toast them first. The balance of creamy and crunchy makes every bite a dream.
- It sets up better than other recipes. Reducing the amount of milk makes it set up better so that your dessert doesn’t fall apart when you slice it.
- Fresh whipped cream! Yes, Cool Whip is faster, but it’s loaded with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Nothing beats the real deal! Plus, you can control how the sweetness by adjusting the amount of powdered sugar you add.
Honestly, I can’t make this chocolate layered dessert very often because I absolutely cannot stay away from it. It is sinfully delicious with the buttery crisp crust, the creamy layers, and of course the chocolate. So darn addicting!!
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE DELIGHT
- all purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- butter (I use regular salted butter in all my baking.)
- finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
- cream cheese (Full fat works best. Light cream cheese is acceptable, but it doesn’t set up as firmly.)
- cream (You can use either heavy cream or whipping cream.)
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
- instant chocolate pudding mix
- milk (I use 2%, but any kind should work.)
- CRUST: First you are going to make a simple nutty shortbread crust by mixing the four ingredients together and pressing them in the bottom of a 9×13″ pan. No need to spray the pan with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees until light brown. COOL COMPLETELY.
- CREAM CHEESE LAYER: Whip the cream till soft peaks form. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Set aside half of the sweetened whipped cream for the topping! (Cover and chill it.)
In another bowl, beat the cream cheese till smooth. Fold in half of the whipped cream and spread over the cooled crust.
- PUDDING LAYER: Beat the pudding mix and milk with a hand mixer for about a minute. Pour over the cream cheese layer. Cover and chill for about an hour, or till set.
- TOPPING: Spread the reserved sweetened whipped cream over the chocolate layer. Garnish with chocolate curls or chopped pecans if desired.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER CHOCOLATE PUDDING DESSERT
- Any leftovers need to be stored in the refrigerator. It will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge if covered tightly. The crust will soften up, and the whipped cream will deflate a bit, but it’s still mighty tasty.
- As the whipped cream layer deflates, the chocolate pudding layer tends to show through the top. If you want to make this dessert in advance, I recommend adding the top layer within a few hours of serving.
CHOCOLATE DELIGHT PRO TIPS:
- Make sure your cream cheese is completely softened to room temperature before you start. If it has cold portions, you are likely to end up with lumps.
- Don’t follow the directions on the box of pudding! You are using less milk so that your dessert will set up firmly and be easier to cut.
- For best results beating cream, place the bowl (glass or metal), the beaters, and the cream in the freezer for 5 minutes. Cream beats better and quicker when it is very cold.
- For picture perfect slices, wipe your knife off with a wet paper towel in between each cut.
CHOCOLATE DELIGHT VARIATIONS:
- You can use an 8oz container of Cool Whip in place of the sweetened whipped cream. I just like cream better because it tastes more fresh and isn’t as sweet.
- Feel free to substitute chopped walnuts for the pecans.
- Try it with mint extract added to the chocolate pudding and finely crushed peppermint candies sprinkled on top.
- Honestly, you can use any flavor of pudding you like. We’ve tried coconut, butterscotch, and pistachio and all of them were spectacular!
MORE CREAMY DESSERTS:
- Easy Chocolate Mousse
- Butterscotch Pudding
- Banana Trifle
- Nutella Pudding
- Caramel Cream Pie
- Stovetop Rice Pudding
- Peaches and Cream Recipe
LOVE CHOCOLATE? TRY THESE RECIPES:
- German Chocolate Pie
- Symphony Brownies
- Hot Fudge Cake
- Chocolate Kiss Cookies
- Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe
- Homemade Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Cookies with Powdered Sugar
CHOCOLATE DELIGHT RECIPE
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (like walnuts or pecans)
- 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened (I used light)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup cream, whipped (Save half for the top layer)
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar (more or less)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 3 oz boxes of instant chocolate pudding mix
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- Whipped cream leftover from filling
- Chocolate curls (optional)
- For crust: Mix all ingredients together well and press into the bottom of a glass 9x13" pan. Bake at 375 for about 12-15 minutes or till very lightly browned. Let cool completely.
- Layer 1: Whip the 1 cup of cream till it holds soft peaks. Add sugar and vanilla to taste. (I don't like it really sweet.) Set it aside.
- Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar till smooth and creamy. Fold in only about half of the whipped cream. Spread on top of cooled crust. Cover the bowl of remaining whipped cream and place it in the refrigerator.
- Layer 2: Beat the pudding and milk for about 1 minute. Quickly pour over the cream cheese layer. Cover with plastic wrap and chill till pudding is set, about 1 hour.
- Layer 3: Carefully spread the remaining whipped cream over the pudding layer. Top with chocolate curls if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 366Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 219mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 6g
(originally published 10/10/2009, updated January 2021)
Chocolate Delight is a great dessert to serve company because it looks like you spent a lot of time, but really it is pretty easy. If it isn’t already a favorite at your house, it will be soon!