Chocolate Delight from Scratch
This rich and creamy Chocolate Delight has a nutty pecan shortbread crust, a decadent cream cheese layer, homemade chocolate pudding, and luscious whipped cream!
This Chocolate Pudding Dessert is typically made with instant pudding and Cool Whip. My homemade version of this layered dessert nixed the boxed pudding and fake whipped cream and is pure bliss.
Why You’ll Love this Layered Dessert
- It’s made totally from scratch so no artificial flavorings or chemicals!
- If you like creamy desserts, this will rock your world!
- The pecan crust is a delicious base with a texture that complements the luscious toppings.
How to Make
- Make, bake and cool the crust.
- While the crust is cooling, make the homemade chocolate pudding, cover it with plastic wrap, and chill.
- When the pudding is cool, make the cream cheese layer.
- Layer the cream cheese mixture over the crust, then the pudding, then sweetened whipped cream.
- Chill before serving. Slice into squares and garnish with raspberries and mint or chocolate curls or shavings.
- Most recipes for this dessert call for instant pudding and Cool Whip. You can substitute the top two layers with these shortcuts, but my homemade version will taste better.
- Pull your cream cheese out of the refrigerator at least an hour before using it to soften at room temperature.
- Placing a layer of plastic wrap directly on the pudding’s surface while it chills will prevent a skin from forming on top.
- Use an offset spatula to spread the layers. It will assist in making smoother, more level surfaces.
- Garnish with grated chocolate, chocolate curls or berries, and a sprig of mint if serving to company. Check out this Triple Chocolate Cheesecake recipe to learn how to make chocolate curls.
- Chill your dessert well before slicing. Even better is to put it in the freezer for about an hour to help the layers firm up. Make sure to wipe off your knife between each slice for the nicest appearance.
How to Make Perfect Chocolate Curls
To make the chocolate curls, I melted 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon of shortening. I spread this out on the back of a sheet pan….nearly covering the whole surface. The layer should be thin, but not translucent. I popped it in the freezer for 2-3 minutes. My chocolate was a little too hard when I pulled it out, but it was curling consistency after a minute or so at room temperature.
I took my bench scraper (but you could use a metal spatula with a very straight/sharped-edged scooping end), to scrape off chocolate curls. Not every piece was perfect, but the leftover shards could still be used for garnishing. I found this technique on Pioneer Woman’s blog. This technique is much more successful than my former method with a vegetable peeler.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chocolate Delight is a fluffy layered dessert made with layers of pudding, Cool Whip, and a cream cheese mixture on a pecan crust. It’s also known as Better Than Sex Cake, Better Than Best Cake, Next Best Thing to Robert Redford, and Robert Redford Dessert.
You can revert back to the retro recipe and use instant pudding. Try two boxes of chocolate pudding or one box of chocolate and one box of vanilla. A graham cracker crust is a yummy alternative to the pecan crust, especially nice if serving to someone with a nut allergy.
Plus, you can shake up how you garnish the slices to serve. Berries and mint are always an eye-catching option, but I’ve also made chocolate curls or chocolate shavings.
You May Also Like:
- Black Bottom Chocolate Mousse Pie
- Chocolate Pudding
- Frozen Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Easy Chocolate Mousse Bars
- More of my Best Dessert Recipes
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For the crust:
- 3 ounces pecans (toasted)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the pudding layer:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate (coarsely chopped)
- 1-ounce milk chocolate (coarsely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
For the cream cheese layer:
- 1 pound cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the whipped cream topping:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Chocolate shavings or curls and berries (for garnish, if desired)
To make the crust:
1. Place the pecans and sugar in a food processor and pulse together till pecans are finely chopped.
2. Add butter and vanilla and pulse till combined, then add the flour and salt and pulse until just mixed.
3. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a 9 x 9-inch pan with non-stick foil.
5. Press the chilled dough into the baking dish.
6. Prick the dough with a fork and bake for 10 minutes or till lightly golden.
7. Cool the crust while preparing the remaining layers.
To make the pudding layer:
1. Heat the cream for the pudding in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
2. Stir together the sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl.
3. When the cream just starts to simmer, slowly add about half the hot cream into the egg mixture while whisking vigorously.
4. Then stir the egg mixture back into the cream.
5. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
6. Place chocolates in a mixing bowl with butter, vanilla, and salt.
7. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate and butter are melted.
8. Pour the pudding into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
9. Pop pudding in the refrigerator to cool while preparing the other layers..
To make the cream cheese layer:
1. In a small mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and 1/2 cup powdered sugar together until smooth.
To make the whipped cream topping:
1. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and vanilla and whip, until stiff peaks form.
1. Spread the cream cheese over the cooled shortbread crust, top with the pudding, and then spread on the whipped cream.
2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
3. Garnish with chocolate curls and berries if desired.
If you're short on time, you can revert back to the semi-homemade version by using instant chocolate pudding and Cool Whip.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 715Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 422mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 3gSugar: 20gProtein: 8g
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