Four delicious layers come together to make this amazing Pumpkin Lush dessert!! With a crunchy gingersnap crust, cream cheese, pumpkin spice pudding and whipped topping, it's a fall dessert that captures the essence of the season in every layer!Jump to Recipe
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If you're looking for a Thanksgiving dinner dessert that's different than the traditional pumpkin pie, this is IT! My family (even those who aren't big pumpkin lovers) couldn't get enough of this dessert!
What is a "Lush" Dessert?
A "lush" is a type of layered dessert, typically with a crust, cream cheese layer, pudding layer and topped with whipped cream. Growing up, my mom often made the chocolate lush with a buttery pecan crust, but there are SO many different versions out there!! This one is big on pumpkin flavor and absolutely perfect for fall!
Pumpkin Lush Ingredients (Amounts in the Recipe Card below)
- Gingersnap Cookies - Feel free to use regular graham crackers, cinnamon graham crackers, vanilla wafers or Biscoff cookies instead.
- Butter - I like to use salted butter to balance out the sweetness of the dessert.
- Cream Cheese - You can use regular or light cream cheese (I don't recommend using the fat free cream cheese)
- Vanilla Extract
- Whipped Topping (aka Cool Whip) - You can either get two 8 ounce tubs or one of the large 16 ounce tubs.
- Instant Pudding Mix - You'll need two boxes. I like using one of each vanilla and butterscotch, but you can use two of the same flavor if you'd like.
- Cold Milk - Any milk (dairy or other) will work fine.
- Pumpkin Puree - Be sure to purchase pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix).
- Pumpkin Pie Spice - You can use a store-bought blend or easily make a batch of your own! You'll need ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
How to Make Pumpkin Lush
Make the Gingersnap Cookie Crust
Preheat the oven to 350F. Add the cookies to a food processor and blend until the cookies are crushed into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and mix until combined.
Press the buttery cookie crumbs into the bottom of the pan. I like to use a glass pan with a lid so it's easy to transport!
Bake the crust for 10 minutes then let cool completely. NOTE: Baking the crust isn't essential (feel free to skip if you want a completely no bake dessert), but I like the crunch that it adds to the dessert!!
Make the Creamy Cheesecake Layer
Add the softened cream cheese and vanilla to a medium bowl. I find it easiest to do this part with a stand mixer. Add the whipped cream and mix until well-combined, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl at least once to make sure it all gets incorporated.
Spread the cream cheese mixture carefully over the crust and set aside.
Make the Creamy Pumpkin Layer
To make this layer (it tastes like pumpkin pie filling!), you'll start by combining the milk and pudding mixes. Once well-mixed, add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the cream cheese layer.
Refrigerate for 4 hours before topping.
Topping the Dessert
The fourth and final layer of this delicious pumpkin dessert is the whipped cream! Spread it over the pudding layer and garnish as desired!
How to Garnish a Pumpkin Dessert
Though this layered dessert is beautiful on its own, a little garnish never hurt! Try sprinkling one or more of the following over the whipped cream:
- Additional Cookie Crumbs (Gingersnap, Graham Cracker, etc.)
- Chopped Pecans
- Toffee Bits
- Pumpkin Pie Spice or Cinnamon
- Miniature Chocolate Chips (some people love the chocolate + pumpkin combo!)
- Fall-Inspired Sprinkles
Cover and keep it refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Yes! Try using graham crackers, vanilla wafers, Biscoff cookies, etc! These all go great with the pumpkin flavors.
Absolutely. Simply skip the baking of the crust. It'll taste the same, but won't have the crunch it would if baked.