I grew up surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and we always got together at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for holiday meals. Everyone had their specialty dishes that they’d bring every year, and with a big family like ours that meant a TON of delicious food. Each dish became an important part of our holiday tradition, and we noticed each time that a favorite recipe was missing. Note: affiliate links included within this post.
I have continued to make our traditional holiday“Wonderful” for the last 20+ years, and the chocolate version is an all-time favorite dessert in our house. This year, I thought I’d try giving our Thanksgiving classic dessert a pumpkin twist, and I cannot begin to describe how delicious it was.
Pumpkin Wonderful: a Layered Dessert Recipe for Thanksgiving
“Wonderful” starts out with a basic shortbread-type crust baked in a 9×13 pan (I added finely crushed pecans to the pumpkin version because pumpkins + pecans = perfection). On top of the crust is a cream cheese-powdered sugar-Cool Whip layer. Once that has chilled for a little while, you add a layer of pumpkin spice pudding (a seasonal treat that can be found near the regular puddings…but don’t fret if you can’t find any. You can substitute any pudding (the small 3.4 oz. boxes) for the pumpkin. Top the layers off with the rest of the Cool Whip and a sprinkling of some additional crumbled pecans.
The only question is whether I like the chocolate version or the pumpkin version better…
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) butter or margarine, melted
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 of an 8-oz package Cool Whip (ie, 4 ounces)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 3.4 oz boxes of pumpkin spice Jello instant pudding, prepared according to packages (ie, whisk in 4 cups of cold milk)
- 1/2 of an 8-oz package Cool Whip (ie, 4 ounces)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans if desired
- Mix together crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a 9x13" pan. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes and then let cool.
- Layer 1: Meanwhile, mix ingredients for layer one. Spread over cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Layer 2: When layer one has chilled, mix 2 boxes of pumpkin instant pudding according to package directions and spread over layer one.
- Layer 3: Spread the rest of the cool whip on top of the pudding and garnish with chopped nuts, if desired. Keep in the refrigerator.
Pumpkin Instant Pudding is a seasonal treat made by Jello, and can be found in October and November next to the rest of the pudding boxes. If you can't find pumpkin pudding, or if pumpkin isn't your thing, then you can substitute your favorite pudding flavor!
Also, it's totally fine to leave the nuts out.
Be sure to keep your eyes open for more Thanksgiving recipes – and if you have favorite dishes that you make for Thanksgiving, please add them to this week’s Fresh Flavors Swap linky party – Thanksgiving theme!
© 2015, Food Fun Family. All rights reserved.
This has been my favorite Fall recipe for years! It’s SO good! In the Spring, a lemon version is wonderful, as well.
Sandi Magle says
Gosh, this looks darn NUMMY! Thanks for sharing, from SYS
I can’t wait to try this. We love no bake desserts with a cool whip and pudding mix. I can’t wait to try the pumpkin spice, I’ll be on the lookout for it. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday! Pinning to try!
Heidi Robbins says
I’m loving all the great pumpkin recipes! this one looks so delicious!
Looks yummy. Thank you for sharing with us at #HomeMattersParty.See you again next week.
This looks amazing! Thanks for linkin’ up with What’s Cooking Wednesday!
Lisa @ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air says
Hi there, nice to meet you, visiting from little farmstead……This recipe looks yummy cant wait to try it! Thanks for sharing Lisa@ Sweet Tea N’ Salty Air
Sara Syrett says
Yum! I love to make this recipe with pistachio pudding! Pumpkin would be so good. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!
This sounds so yummy!! I am a sucker for anything pumpkin.
Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com says
This looks so delicious! I’m totally putting it on my Thanksgiving menu! Thanks so much for sharing at our party… featuring you on Sunday!
Janet Vinyard says
Hi Lolli, This dessert looks scrumptious! Shortbread makes such a tasty base, too. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Pinned! Blessings, Janet
My original recipe uses chocolate pudding, but we really loved this pumpkin variety! :)
I love how creamy it looks.
Amazing flavors too!
Thanks for the recipe!
Judy Brundage says
We make ours with lemon pudding….everything else is the same. Very delicious and refreshing!
This looks fabulous! Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Pinned! Have a great week!
This is making my mouth water! What an awesome Thanksgiving dessert recipe idea!
Yes! The Cool Whip is perfect with the pumpkin pudding layer! Thanks :)
Malia@Small Town Girl Blog says
This sounds lovely. I like the lightness of the cool whip. A perfect complement to the pumpkin layer! Pinned and sharing!
Julie Wood says
This looks so delicious and a really good recipe to make over the Holidays. I would love to take this dish to my pot luck I go to every month. Thanks for a delicious recipe to try out.
Karen Glatt says
This recipe looks so delicious and I want to make this recipe for Thanksgiving and take it to my Sister’s house and have it as a dessert. It looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing.