No-Bake “Chocolate Delight” Will Have Everyone Fighting for Seconds

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Chocolate Delight Recipe

Packed with four dreamy layers of chocolate pudding, creamy cheese, fluffy whipped cream, and shaved chocolate, this no-bake dessert is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Serves12

Prep25 minutes

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Chocolate Delight on plate

Credit: Kelli Foster

I’ll cut right to the chase: Chocolate delight is the MVP of no-bake desserts. For starters, just look at those beautiful and totally impressive layers! And just wait until you dig in, because the flavor will make you swoon. Imagine rich chocolate pudding meets no-bake cheesecake, plus a thick blanket of whipped cream and a buttery graham cracker crust. It’s impossibly creamy without being too sweet or too rich, and gives off a nostalgic vibe that just might remind you of something you ate as a kid. Bonus: There’s no oven involved, and you can make it ahead of time.

What Is Chocolate Delight?

In the summer, we shared our recipe for strawberry delight, then in the fall had seasonal spins with caramel apple delight and pumpkin delight. Chocolate delight is another twist on this popular no-bake layered dessert that’s perfect all-year around. Here, there are four tall layers to be exact — five, if you count the shaved chocolate topping.

This dessert is built on a buttery graham cracker crust and topped with layers of sweetened cream cheese, rich chocolate pudding, and whipped cream. Then, just before serving, it gets sprinkled with chocolate shavings (choose your favorite milk or dark chocolate). 

Key Ingredients in Chocolate Delight

  • Graham crackers. The recipe calls for regular graham crackers, but if you want an extra-chocolatey dessert, try swapping in chocolate graham crackers instead. You can also use graham cracker crumbs as a substitute.
  • Unsalted butter. Melted butter is what holds the graham cracker crumbs together to form a sturdy base.
  • Cream cheese. Full-fat cream cheese is the best option for this dessert. It’s the star ingredient in the bottom layer, which is reminiscent of no-bake cheesecake.
  • Instant chocolate pudding. A couple of boxes of chocolate pudding get whisked with whole milk to create a thick, creamy, and super-chocolatey middle layer.
  • Heavy cream. Lightly sweetened whipped cream not only makes for a dreamy top layer, but it also lightens up the cream cheese layer.

If You’re Making Chocolate Delight, a Few Tips

  • Instant chocolate pudding is key. We speak from experience. Take a good look at the box before tossing it in your cart — you want instant pudding, not cook-and-serve chocolate pudding. The difference is that once mixed with milk, instant pudding thickens up quickly. 
  • Allow ample time to soften the cream cheese. Take the cream cheese out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to one hour before you plan to get started assembling the dessert (it might take a little longer to soften in cooler months). This is helpful for two reasons: It makes the cream cheese much easier to whip until it’s light and fluffy, and makes it easier to evenly fold in the whipped cream without totally deflating it.
  • Clean the knife between slices. The beauty of this dessert is that not only is it positively delicious, but those layers are also totally stunning. Wipe the knife between each slice to keep those lines clean for a perfect-looking dessert.

Packed with four dreamy layers of chocolate pudding, creamy cheese, fluffy whipped cream, and shaved chocolate, this no-bake dessert is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces

    cream cheese

  • 2 (about 3.9-ounce) boxes

    instant chocolate pudding

  • 3 cups

    whole milk

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 12

    whole graham cracker sheets (about 6 1/2 ounces), or 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups

    cold heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup

    powdered sugar, divided

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1 (2-ounce) piece

    dark or milk chocolate, for shaving (optional)

  1. Place 8 ounces cream cheese on the counter and let sit at room temperature until softened, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, line an 8×8-inch baking pan (about 2 inches high) with 2 sheets of parchment paper, positioning them perpendicular to each other, so that the parchment hangs about 2 inches over all 4 sides of the pan to form a sling.

  2. Place 2 (about 3.9-ounce) packages instant chocolate pudding and 3 cups whole milk in a large bowl. Whisk until dissolved and the mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Let sit to thicken while you prepare the crust and other layers.

  3. Melt 1 stick unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl in 20-second bursts until mostly melted, 40 to 60 seconds total (it will melt completely as it sits). (Alternatively, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.) Set aside to cool slightly.

  4. Break 12 whole graham cracker sheets into rough pieces and place in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Add 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Process until the crackers are the texture of sand, about 15 seconds. Add the butter and pulse to combine, 6 to 8 (1-second) pulses. (If using graham cracker crumbs, just stir 1 1/2 cups crumbs and the butter together in a medium bowl.)

  5. Transfer the mixture to the baking pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers to press the crumbs into an even layer, making sure to reach the edges and fill the corners. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

  6. Place 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream and 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Beat with the whisk attachment on high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to another bowl.

  7. Place the cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of the stand mixer (no need to wipe clean). Beat with the whisk attachment on medium speed until light and very fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula halfway through, about 3 minutes total.

  8. Transfer 1 cup of the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold together with a flexible spatula until just combined. Dollop the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish and spread into an even layer.

  9. Dollop the chocolate pudding over the cream cheese mixture and spread in an even layer. Dollop the remaining whipped cream over the chocolate layer and spread into an even layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

  10. When ready to serve, use a vegetable peeler to shave 1 (2-ounce) piece chocolate over the top if desired. Grasping the excess parchment, transfer the chocolate delight slab to a cutting board. Cut into 12 pieces, wiping the knife between each cut for cleaner cuts.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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