This easy chocolate delight recipe makes a spectacular show-stopping dessert that can easily feed a crowd.
With layers of crumbly pecans, fluffy cheesecake, silky chocolate pudding, billowy whipped cream, and more pecans on top, this dessert truly is a delight.
But even with all that, it’s still crazy-easy to make. Thank the heavens for instant pudding and Cool Whip, amirite?
One recipe makes a big batch, so it’s ideal for BBQs, parties, and potlucks. That said, expect it to disappear in a snap.
One bite, and you’ll know why this chocolate delight is my go-to summer dessert.
Chocolate Delight with Pecan Crust
Also known as chocolate lasagna and Better Than Sex Cake, you don’t even need to try it to know how heavenly it is.
This dessert has five whopping layers of sweet decadence, and they all work hand in hand to give you a most sensational experience.
It starts with a buttery shortbread crust made with pecans and butter, followed by layers of cheesecake filling, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream.
The whole thing is topped off with a generous sprinkling of chopped pecans.
It’s the kind of sweet you’ll want a second slice of!
- Pecan Crust – a buttery and nutty shortbread crust made of flour, finely chopped pecans, and butter. Margarine is fine, but I prefer the real thing.
- Cream Cheese Filling – the “cheesecake” part of the dessert. It’s a creamy combination of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and whipped topping.
- Chocolate Pudding – it’s smooth, velvety, and chocolatey. A combination of chocolate pudding and milk, think of it as a shortcut version of a silky chocolate ganache.
- Whipped Topping – While I’m all for using fresh ingredients, I prefer Cool Whip over homemade whipped cream for this dessert. Cool Whip keeps stable over time, while homemade whipped cream will start to deflate and melt after just a few hours.
- Pecans – be sure to save some extra for garnish!
How to Make Chocolate Delight
1. Prepare the crust.
Stir together flour, pecans, and softened margarine with a fork until you get a wet sand-like mixture. Press the crust firmly into your baking dish.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and set aside to cool.
2. Make the cheesecake layer.
Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Cool Whip until light and fluffy.
3. Make the chocolate pudding layer.
Whisk together the chocolate pudding mix and milk according to package instructions.
4. Assemble the layers.
Spread the cream cheese filling over the pie crust, followed by the chocolate pudding. Top with thawed Cool Whip and garnish with pecans.
Pro-tip: freeze each layer for 20 minutes before adding the next.
5. Chill for 2 hours.
This is the hardest part. Allow the layers to firm up in the fridge (or freezer if you can’t wait that long).
Tips for the Best Chocolate Delight
- To make clean slices, freeze the whole dish for 30 minutes before you cut. This will help firm up the layers and keep them from melting. Then, wipe the knife with a paper towel in between cuts.
- Freeze each layer for 20 minutes before you add the next. It’s not required, and it will take more time, but it does help every layer to firm up nicely.
- Remember to defrost the Cool Whip in the fridge the night before you plan on using it. If you don’t like Cool Whip, you can use homemade whipped cream. But keep in mind that it won’t be as stable as Cool Whip.
- To make homemade whipped cream, pour it into a cold metal bowl and beat it with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. You can sweeten it with sugar as you whip.
- Pro-tip: freeze the bowl and whisk attachments for 30 minutes to help whip the cream faster.
- Prepare the dessert up to 3 days in advance (only when you use Cool Whip). It will give the layers enough time to set and allow the flavors to marry.
How to Store Chocolate Delight
Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
I don’t recommend freezing because the layers become watery once thawed.
- More ingredients, more layers: Double the amount of cream cheese filling, chocolate pudding, and whipped topping, and assemble the dessert in a trifle glass. Repeat layering until all ingredients are used up.
- Bananas for bananas? Add a layer of thinly sliced bananas in the middle for a tropical dessert.
- Switch up the flavor by changing the pudding mix. As this recipe is called chocolate delight, I naturally went for chocolate pudding. But with this dessert, there’s room for customization. For example, butterscotch would work well with banana slices.
- Make it boozy by spiking the pudding with Bailey’s Irish cream, rum, or your favorite liqueur.
- Garnish the dessert with other chopped nuts. I love this dessert with chopped walnuts and almonds slivers!
- Make it extra chocolatey with a garnish of shaved chocolate or chocolate chips. Go for your favorite kind – white, milk, semi-sweet, or dark.
- Want a bit of saltiness to your sweets? Use crushed, salted pretzels instead of flour to make the crust.
More Easy Desserts You’ll Love
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