Southern Chocolate Delight Recipe

This chocolate delight dessert is like a dream with layers of cream cheese, crushed graham crackers, and velvety chocolate pudding. One bite will send you to chocolate heaven! This southern chocolate delight recipe is a classic comfort food that you can easily whip up at home.

easy southern chocolate delight recipe

Learn how to make the best Southern chocolate delight from scratch!

Listen, if there is one thing we Southerners know how to do, it’s comfort food. And that definitely includes desserts!

I mean, sugar, butter, chocolate…how can you go wrong?

Growing up, making desserts with my grandma is what pulled me into the kitchen. Her buttery chess pie and no-bake banana pudding were just some of my favorites. But when she made this chocolate delight recipe, there was no going back.

Layers of graham cracker crust, creamy cream cheese, smooth chocolate pudding, and whipped topping- YUM!

Now that I have mastered her technique, I am excited to share it with you so that you can enjoy this decadent treat at home too.

chocolate delight layered dessert recipe

Ingredients needed to make homemade chocolate delight

To make this delicious dessert, here are all of the ingredients you’ll need to make each layer…

First layer:

  • Graham Crackers: For the crust, I love using crushed graham cracker crumbs. They have this perfect nutty and buttery taste that pairs perfectly with the chocolate. You’ll need about 2 cups.
  • White Sugar: Mixing in white sugar with the graham crackers adds a little bit of sweetness to the crust.
  • Butter: To bind everything together, we’ll need some melted butter. It makes for a crispy and delicious crust. Since this is a sweet dessert, I like to use salted butter.

Second layer:

  • Cream Cheese: For the creamy second layer, you’ll need some softened cream cheese. It gives the filling a tangy flavor that balances out the sweetness of the other layers. Let it sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using.
  • Powdered Sugar: To sweeten up the cream cheese, we’ll add some powdered sugar. It also helps to thicken up the filling. You’ll need a cup.
  • Cool Whip: This is what makes this dessert so light and fluffy! The cool whip adds volume to the filling and gives it a nice texture. Make sure the Cool Whip is thawed out before using.

Third Layer:

  • Instant Chocolate Pudding: For the third layer, you’ll be using instant chocolate pudding. You can use any brand you like, but I prefer JELL-O. It’s always reliable and has a rich chocolate flavor. Make sure you are buying instant and not cook-and-serve pudding. You’ll need one 5.9-ounce box.
  • Milk: You’ll be using milk to make the instant chocolate pudding. I like to use whole milk for a creamier and richer taste, but you can use any type of milk you prefer. Just make sure it’s cold!
  • Vanilla Extract: Just a teaspoon of vanilla extract goes a long way in adding flavor to the chocolate pudding.

Fourth Layer:

  • Heavy Whipping Cream: This layer is where you get that rich and creamy flavor. If you can’t find heavy whipping cream, you can use regular whipped cream from a tub.
  • White Sugar: To sweeten up the whipped cream, add some sugar. It also helps to thicken it and make it hold its shape better.
  • Vanilla Extract: Just like in the third layer, adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract adds that extra boost of flavor.

Tip: If you want a recipe for a delicious homemade whipped cream, check out this recipe on the blog!

Garnish:

  • Chocolate shavings: For the perfect finishing touch, add some chocolate shavings on top of the whipped cream. You can use a vegetable peeler to create the shavings or grate a block of Hershey’s chocolate.
chocolate delight recipe ingredients

Be sure to check out the full ingredient measurements and complete recipe below.

Kitchen equipment needed

  • Stand Mixer (or hand mixer)
  • 9 x 13 Baking Dish
  • 3 Medium Mixing Bowls
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Spatula
Chocolate Delight Layers

Tips for making the best chocolate delight recipe

  • If the crust is not holding together, add another 1-2 tablespoons of butter until it becomes sticky.
  • You can also add chopped nuts to the crust for a crunchy texture.
  • Don’t have graham crackers? Use crushed Oreos or vanilla wafer cookies for the crust!
  • For a more intense chocolate flavor, add some cocoa powder to the second creamy layer.
  • You’ll know the whipped cream is ready when stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat it, or it will turn into butter!
  • Make sure to let the dessert chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. This allows all of the layers to be set and makes it easier to slice.

How to store leftovers

If you have any leftovers (which rarely happens in my house!), cover the dish with plastic wrap or foil and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. The crust may become softer, but it will still taste delicious!

Frequently asked questions about chocolate delight dessert

Whenever I share this recipe, I get some of the same questions. Here are the most popular ones that people ask!

If you have a question not listed here, please leave it in the comments, and I’ll answer it as soon as possible. Thank you!

Can I use a different type of cookie for the crust?

Yes, you can use any type of cookie or cracker that you prefer. Just make sure to adjust the amount of butter and sugar accordingly.

What other garnishes can I add?

Top the chocolate delight with chopped nuts, fresh berries, chocolate syrup, or some whipped cream rosettes. Get creative and add your own favorite toppings!

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this recipe up to 24 hours in advance. Just make sure to keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.

How can I make this dessert healthier?

You can try substituting some ingredients with healthier alternatives, such as using low-fat cream cheese and sugar-free pudding mix. You can also use Greek yogurt instead of Cool Whip for the second layer.

Can I freeze Chocolate Delight?

Yes, you can freeze it! Just make sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil before freezing. It should last in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When ready to serve, let it thaw in the fridge overnight before slicing.

layers of chocolate delight dessert

More Grandma-Approved Recipes To Try

If you enjoyed this recipe for chocolate delight dessert, take a look at some of these other yummy recipes:

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southern chocolate layer delight

Easy Southern Chocolate Delight Recipe

This chocolate delight dessert is like a dream with layers of cream cheese, crushed cookies, and velvety chocolate pudding. One bite will send you to chocolate heaven! This southern chocolate delight recipe is a classic comfort food that you can easily whip up at home.

Ingredients

Scale

First Layer:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted

Second Layer:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

Third Layer:

  • 5.9 ounce package chocolate instant pudding
  • 3 cups milk, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Fourth Layer:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Garnish

  • Hershey’s chocolate bar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well-combined. Add another 1-2 tablespoons of butter if it’s not sticking together. 
  3. Press the mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish
  4. Bake for 10 minutes on 350 degrees. Remove and cool completely when finished.
  5. While the crust is baking, beat the softened cream cheese, and powdered sugar together until smooth with a stand mixer or hand mixer.
  6. Fold in 8 ounces of frozen whipped topping until blended together well, set aside
  7. In another medium bowl, combine chocolate pudding powder, 3 cups of cold milk and vanilla
  8. Beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes until the chocolate pudding thickens, set aside
  9. In another medium bowl, combine heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup of white sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes, until stiff peaks form. 
  10. Once the crust has cooled, gently cover the crust with the cream cheese layer. 
  11. Then add the pudding layer on top of the cream cheese layer. 
  12. Finally, add the whipped cream layer on top of the pudding layer. 
  13. Make chocolate swirls with the Hershey’s bar and a vegetable peeler. Then sprinkle over the top of the dessert.
  14. Cover and chill for 2 hours in the fridge, then slice and serve. 

Notes

  • If cream cheese isn’t softened at room temperature for 1-2 hours, the second layer will be lumpy. 

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