Pumpkin Lush Dessert Bars recipe – the best, layered no-bake pumpkin dessert. The crust does not crumble and the layers stay stable while you cut and serve this delightful treat!
PUMPKIN LUSH DESSERT BARS
If you are not a fan of heavy and dense pumpkin desserts, you need to try my recipe for the best no-bake layered Pumpkin Lush bars. My perfect graham cracker crust does not fall apart when you cut the dessert and the layers stay stable so you can confidently cut and serve beautiful squares of this treat for your guests.
This Pumpkin Lush Dessert is so easy to make and it will make your guests swoon! Each layer is a sweet and delicious creamy mousse. If you ever tried my Pumpkin Mousse Pie and love it, you will love this recipe as well!
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN LUSH DESSERT?
- Start by making the crust, pressing it onto the bottom of an 8″ or 9″ square pan. Bake in the oven for 7 minutes, then cool completely.
- Next, make the cheesecake layer by mixing cream cheese with powdered sugar. Add 1/2 cup of whipped topping. Spread evenly over crust.
- Now, prepare the pumpkin layer by whisking instant pudding mix with half and half.
- Next, whisk in pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Spread over cheesecake layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Chill the dessert in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Overnight chilling time provides the best results for no-bake cheesecake desserts. Garnish each slice with chopped nuts or drizzle with caramel sauce.
HOW TO MAKE PERFECT GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST?
I am a big cheesecake fan and years ago when I perfected my cheesecake recipe, I also perfected my crust recipe. A perfect crust cannot fall apart and crumble when you cut the dessert (whether it’s cheesecake, bars or a no-bake dessert). The secret here is the ratio of graham cracker crumbs and butter and to pre-bake the crust for 7 minutes in the oven. For 1 and 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, use 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted. Add one tablespoon of sugar unless you are using cinnamon sugar graham crackers. Simply mix all ingredients with a fork, sprinkle into even layer on the bottom of your baking dish (pie, square cake pan or muffin pan for mini cheesecakes) and then press down with a bottom of a glass or flat-bottomed measuring cup.
You can make the crust even a few days in advance.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST NO-BAKE LAYERED DESSERT?
My secret to stable yet mousse-like cheesecake and pumpkin layers is half and half instead of milk. Simply whisk it with the vanilla pudding mix until thick. The fat in half and half will make thick pudding mixture that you mix with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. It will prevent the layer from pouring onto a serving dish. It ensures a clean cut for each slice. The cheesecake layer is stabilized by adding 1/2 cup of whipped topping. The solid crust is the foundation for all of the layers and all together, it will result in clean-cut, beautiful slices and not puddles of mess.
MORE DELICIOUS PUMPKIN DESSERT RECIPES:
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PUMPKIN LUSH DESSERT RECIPE:
More pumpkin dessert recipes: www.crunchycreamysweet.com
- 1.5 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 8 oz. cream cheese softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup whipped topping
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix 3.4 oz
- 1.25 cup half and half see note
- 1.25 cup 100 % pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie mix
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix
- 2 cups whipped topping
- chopped nuts optional
- caramel sauce optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8" or 9" square baking pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir with a fork graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Sprinkle into an even layer onto the bottom of a prepared baking pan. With a flat-bottom glass, press the crust down. Bake in the oven for 7 minutes then cool completely.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix with a hand mixer softened cream cheese for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and mix in well. Add whipped topping and mix just until incorporated. Spread the mixture over cooled crust. Smooth out with an offset spatula.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk pudding mix with half and half until thick. Add pumpkin puree and spice and mix until well incorporated. Spread over cheesecake layer. Smooth out with an offset spatula.
Top the pumpkin layer with remaining amount of whipped topping. Place in the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Sprinkle chopped nuts over the dessert. Cut into 9 generous size squares, wiping the knife clean after each cut. You can also drizzle caramel sauce over each slice.
Half and half can be found in the dairy section in any grocery store. It's a mixture of even amounts of whole milk and light cream. I highly recommend using half and half in this recipe as it helps keep the pumpkin layer stable and the slices cut clean.