Apple Delight is a decadent dessert with layers of buttery graham cracker crust, rich cream cheese, cool whip, chunky apple pie filling, and crunchy pecans. This dessert is packed with flavor and very easy to make.
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Why Apple Delight Works
Apple Delight is one of my favorite desserts as late summer turns into fall. It’s a layered dessert with a lot of flavors and textures.
If you’re still not convinced, here are a few more reasons you will love this recipe:
- No-bake dessert. This Apple Delight is perfect for hot late summer days when you don’t want to turn on your oven or when you don’t want to spend hours slogging away in a kitchen. The best part? It tastes just as delicious as any baked dessert.
- Very low-effort. With only 20 minutes of hands-on effort, you only have to layer things in a baking dish. Then let it sit in the fridge while you go about your day.
- Great for beginners. If you’re new to making desserts, this is a great recipe to start with. It’s simple and doesn’t require any baking or cooking at all. So there is no room for failure.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – This forms the classic graham cracker crust base, but you could also swap them out for Golden Oreo cookies for a sweeter crust.
- Cinnamon – This is my secret ingredient to add that nice and warm signature apple pie flavor to the crust.
- Unsalted Butter – Unsalted butter helps control the salt in your dessert. Also, melted butter helps combine the crust faster.
- Cream cheese – Use room-temperature cream cheese. It’s way softer and easier to mix. Also, do not use the variety in a tub. Use the blocks of cream cheese since they’re richer and smoother.
- Vanilla Extract – Make sure you use pure vanilla extract, not imitation, or you can try my homemade vanilla extract recipe.
- Cool Whip – Store-bought cool whip works just fine. But you can try my homemade cool whip if you want to avoid the store-bought one.
- Apple Pie Filling – It packs a lot of flavor, and is a big time saver compared to cleaning, cutting, and prepping whole apples. Our fried apples would work great as the filling too!
- Pecans – You can also chop up and sprinkle any other nuts you like. For best flavor, be sure to toast the pecans using our easy tips and tricks.
Make the crust.
- Mix all the ingredients properly.
- Press the crust into the prepared baking dish. Keep it in the freezer while you make the filling (optional).
Make the cream cheese layer.
- Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth, followed by half the cool whip.
- Spread this mixture over the frozen crust.
Add the remaining layers.
- Neatly spoon the apple filling over the cream cheese layer.
- Then top it with the remaining cool whip.
Tips and Tricks
- Change out the crust. Instead of a graham cracker crust, you can use gingersnaps, Golden Oreos, or vanilla wafers.
- Cut neat slices. To cut clean portions, use a sharp knife and wipe the knife with a paper towel between slices. You can also consider freezing the dessert for about an hour before slicing.
- Use room temperature ingredients. They come together quickly, and the final product turns out smoother.
- Line the baking dish. Lining it with parchment paper helps lift out the whole dessert easily and allows you to cut neat slices.
- Make your own graham cracker crumbs. Simply pulse whole Graham crackers in a food processor to form sand-like crumbs.
- Don’t skimp on the chilling time. Give this dish enough time to set in the fridge. At least four hours. Otherwise the layers won’t set properly, and the dessert will collapse when you’re slicing it.
You can store the sliced apple delight in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Yes. Store it in a freezer-safe container or cover it in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. Then you can keep it in the freezer for up to 2 months. To thaw it, keep it in the fridge overnight or at least 6 hours before serving.
First, use a food processor to combine all the ingredients. Then firmly press the crust ingredients into the baking dish. I like to pack it down with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass tightly.
Absolutely. It is best to chill the assembled dessert for at least 4 hours before serving. You can even let it set in the refrigerator overnight. So it is best made in advance.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
- Caramel Apple Cheesecakes
- Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats
- Caramel Apple Bundt Cake
- Zucchini Bread
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
- Peach Hand Pies
For the Crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
- 1 package cream cheese, softened (8 ounce)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 container Cool Whip, thawed, divided (16 ounce)
- 2 cans apple pie filling (21 ounce each)
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- For the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs with brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter until the crumbs are evenly coated. Press firmly in the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. Freeze while you make the filling.
- For the filling, combine cream cheese with sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Fold in half of the Cool Whip (8 ounces) and spread this mixture over the frozen crust.
- Spoon apple pie filling over the cream cheese layer, arranging the apple slices evenly.
- Top with the remaining Cool Whip. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Before serving, sprinkle with chopped pecans (if desired). Serve cold.
- Be sure to use room temperature cream cheese. Do not use the variety in a tub, use the blocks of cream cheese!
- Try our homemade Cool Whip if you prefer over the store bought.
- Serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce if desired.
- For a sweeter crust, try swapping out the graham crackers for Golden Oreos or vanilla wafers.
- For clean slices, use a sharp knife and wipe between slices. Or freeze dessert for an hour before slicing.
- Storage: Keep apple delight covered and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: Cover dessert with plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.
- See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks!