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Four Layer Delight Recipe

Immerse your tastebuds in the rich, delightful world of our Four Layer Delight recipe. You’ll enjoy mouth-watering layers of creamy chocolate pudding and luscious cream cheese atop a buttery shortbread crust with crunchy pecans. It’s a perfect dessert that will win hearts and become the talk of your next gathering!

❤️ Why You’ll Love Four Layer Delight

Get ready to indulge in a slice of heaven with the Four Layer Delight!

Each layer is a symphony of flavors, starting with that buttery shortbread crust at the base.

It’s like the comforting hug you didn’t know you needed.

Then, we dance through the fluffy cream cheese filling that’s just so light and airy that you’ll think you’re biting into a cloud.

A thick, luscious layer of chocolate pudding comes next, bringing the rich, decadent notes that chocolate lovers dream of.

And then we’ll top it off with a soft, dreamy blanket of Cool Whip that adds just the right amount of sweet, creamy perfection.

a beautiful slice of four layer delight dessert lasagna with a fork reading to eat

🔑 Key to Success #1 – A Buttery Shortbread Crust

The foundation of my go-to, crowd-pleasing dessert is this amazingly tender shortbread crust that I simply can’t get enough of.

When I talk about making this crust, I’m mixing together real butter (yes, it has to be real butter, not margarine), flour, and pecans.

It’s the use of real butter that ensures the crust comes out incredibly tender every single time.

I also make a point to finely chop the pecans.

It’s a game-changer as it helps the crust hold together perfectly.

To save time and effort, I always reach for my small electronic chopper to get those pecans just right.

Trust me, it’s a real time-saver.

a finished pan of four layer delight ready for serving

🔑 Key to Success #2 – The Rich and Tangy Cream Cheese Layer

One of my absolute favorite parts about whipping up any version of the layered “delight” desserts I share here is hands-down the cream cheese layer.

Oh, talk about bringing a ton of richness and creaminess to the table—you’re gonna love it!

For this magical layer, what you’ll need is a block of cream cheese, a cup of powdered sugar, and Cool Whip.

Now, getting the cream cheese ready is super important. I always let my cream cheese soften up by just leaving it out on the counter for 1-2 hours.

It’s the easiest trick in the book.

But hey, if time is of the essence and you’re in a bit of a rush, just pop the cream cheese (unwrapped, of course) into a microwave-safe bowl and give it a quick zap on high for about 20 seconds. You want it softened, not melted.

After that, grab your electric hand mixer and blend the cream cheese with the powdered sugar until it’s just dreamily smooth.

Then, gently fold in the Cool Whip until it’s all nicely mixed together.

This creamy layer is the real dessert MVP!

a thick slice of 4-layer delight, you can see layers of cream cheese, and chocolate pudding

🔑 Key to Success #3 – A Creamy Chocolate Pudding Layer

The third layer of my to-die-for Chocolate Delight dessert is all about that thick, indulgent chocolate pudding.

I use two small boxes of instant chocolate pudding mix and only 3 cups of milk.

Now, the usual deal is to use two cups of milk per box, right? That would typically mean four cups for two boxes.

But here’s where I switch things up—I only use three cups of milk because I want that pudding thick and rich, even richer than what the box suggests.

And oh, do I have a nifty trick for you! I pour my milk and the pudding mix into a plastic storage container, make sure that lid is on tight, and then give it a good shake for about 2-3 minutes until it starts to thicken up.

I often do this step over the sink, just in case, but honestly, leaks are a rarity as long as you’re using a container that seals well.

chocolate delight on a serving plate with chopped pecans decorating the top

🔑 Key to Success #4 – A Fluffy Cloud of Cool Whip

The crowning glory of my Chocolate Delight dessert is a smooth and creamy layer of Cool Whip whipped topping that just takes it over the edge.

Now, I’ve got a super simple tip that’ll help you get that Cool Whip on perfectly without turning the luxurious chocolate pudding layer underneath into a whirlwind of mess.

What I do is spoon dollops of Cool Whip all over the chocolate pudding layer, then, with the back of a spoon, gently spread it out to cover the entire surface.

This way, there’s minimal movement across the pudding, keeping it pristine and perfect underneath.

Trust me, this little trick is a total game-changer!

single serving of four layer delight

🕐 When to Serve 4 Layer Delight

This layered dessert is so versatile that it fits in just about any dinner menu!

Light up your holiday meals, from Easter to Christmas, with this crowd-pleaser.

Special events, Mother’s Day lunches, or even a cozy family dinner get an upgrade with this dessert on the table.

Planning a romantic date night?

The Four Layer Delight whispers sweet nothings better than any box of chocolates.

four layer delight topped with chopped pecans for a crunchy texture

🌟 Want to dress it up and make it even fancier?

It’s all in the toppings, my friend.

Drizzle it with homemade salted caramel or rich chocolate sauce for that extra wow factor.

Sprinkle on some toasted nuts or chocolate shavings for a crunch that pairs beautifully with the soft layers.

And for those festive occasions, decorate it with fresh berries or a dusting of cocoa powder to make it not just a dessert, but a centerpiece that steals the show.

Enjoy unleashing your creativity and watching your guests’ eyes light up with every bite!

a thick slice of 4-layer delight, you can see layers of cream cheese, and chocolate pudding

Four Layer Delight

Featuring a heavenly combination of rich chocolate pudding, cream cheese, and shortbread crust, this dessert is perfect for all occasions.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 361kcal
Author: Jennifer



Layer 1

  • 1 cup flour, 1 stick butter (melted), 1/2 cup nuts, chopped, Press into greased 9×13-inch pan. Bake 325 degrees for 25 minutes.

Layer 2

  • 8 oz cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 large bowl whipped topping. Mix and pour into cooled crust.

Layer 3

  • 2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding, 3 cups milk. Mix together and chill.

Layer 4

  • Top with remaining whipped topping. Garnish with nuts or a sprinkling of cocoa powder if desired. Chill before serving.


Use real butter, not margarine, for the flakiest crust. 
  • You can substitute different flavors of pudding to change up this easy dessert. We love to use butterscotch pudding. Pistachio pudding is also good.
  • Substitute lite Cool Whip, low-fat cream cheese, and fat free milk to lighten up your Four Layer Delight.
  • This recipe is sometimes called Chocolate Lasagna.


Serving: 100grams | Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 721IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 1mg
Join the Conversation: Share Your Experience! Your comments are incredibly valuable because they guide me as I develop recipes for you. Please share your thoughts with me in the comments section below!

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Recipe Rating


Sunday 7th of April 2024

Recipe does not give the size of pan to use.


Sunday 7th of April 2024

Hi Denise, this recipe is for a 9x13-inch pan. I will get the recipe card updated.