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Chocolate Delight on a plate showing 4 layers
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5 from 4 votes

Chocolate Delight

An heirloom recipe with a buttery pecan crust, a sweet cream cheese layer and homemade chocolate pudding.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time30 mins
Chilling12 hrs
Total Time13 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, dessert
Servings: 12
Calories: 695kcal
Author: Tricia


For the bottom layer:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (196g)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (6oz or 170g) room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans (150g or about 5 ½oz)

For the second layer:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (170g)
  • 1 cup Cool Whip (80g) thawed

For the third layer:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (335g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3 cups whole milk (24oz)
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the fourth (top) layer:

  • 8 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 cup grated pecans


Prepare the homemade chocolate pudding (third layer):

  • Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • In a deep saucepan combine the sugar, salt, cornstarch, flour and cocoa. Whisk in the milk and then add the chopped chocolate. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat.
  • While whisking the yolks constantly temper the eggs by slowly drizzling in one-third of the hot chocolate mixture. Pour the tempered egg and chocolate mixture back into the saucepan and return to the stovetop. Bring to a boil (it will be very thick) and continue boiling for 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.
  • Pour the hot pudding into a large bowl. Cool slightly then press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a film from forming. Leave out at room temperature until warm but not hot, then refrigerate until needed.
  • The pudding can be prepared a day ahead before assembling the dessert.

Prepare the bottom layer:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the flour, salt, butter and pecans together and pour into a 13x9-inch pan. Gently press the mixture into an even layer using your hands or the flat bottom of a dry measuring cup. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and the pecans are fragrant. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Prepare the second layer:

  • Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until blended. Using a spatula gently fold in 1 cup of Cool Whip. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled pecan crust.

Add the third layer:

  • (Do not stir the pudding first) Scoop large dollops of cold pudding over the cream cheese layer. Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, gently spread into an even layer.

Add the fourth layer:

  • Dollop large spoonfuls of Cool Whip over the pudding. Gently spread to cover. Top with grated pecans. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before serving.


  • Prepare the homemade chocolate pudding layer first so it has time to cool before assembling. Homemade pudding can be made one day in advance and refrigerated until needed. 

  • For an easy shortcut substitute two small (3.4oz) boxes Chocolate Instant Pudding for the homemade. Beat the pudding mix with 3 cups of cold milk for 5 minutes. If using instant pudding it can be assembled immediately after spreading the second cream cheese layer.
  • Substitute walnuts or almonds for the pecans if desired
  • Top with grated nuts, mini chocolate chips, grated chocolate or chocolate curls.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. When multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.


Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 318mg | Potassium: 328mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 1102IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 3mg