This Pumpkin Spice Layered Lush recipe is a seasonal spin off of a popular layered dessert that’s been circulating through Southern kitchens for a very long time. Made in a variety of flavors it usually comes with a whimsical name, too. This seasonal variation starts with a graham cracker crust embellished with pecans. It’s topped with a sweetened whipped cream cheese layer, pumpkin spice pudding layer and finished with whipped cream, of course.
I’ve heard it called Chocolate Mud Slide, Lemon Lush among other names depending on the flavor, but, the concept is all the same. My best friends Mom used to make this with a chocolate layer and is the first layered lush I ever tasted. The original layered dessert starts with a pecan shortbread crust, then a sweet cream cheese layer. You can then add a layer of pudding in any flavor you like. I’ve had chocolate, lemon, butterscotch, coconut and even pistachio. This dessert is flexible, so you can prepare it using whatever flavor pudding you enjoy, they’re all delicious! For my pumpkin version, I replaced the shortbread crust with a nutty cinnamon laced graham cracker crust, and I added a sprinkle of English toffee bits for a little surprise crunch in the middle.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Pumpkin Spice Layered Lush Dessert
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans divided
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 [8 oz] softened cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 [3.4 oz] boxes pumpkin spice instant pudding mix
- 2 cups cold milk
- 16 oz frozen whipped topping thawed
- 1/2 cup English toffee bits divided
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- First layer: Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup pecans, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Mix well. Press firmly onto the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden and set. set aside to cool completely.
- Second layer: Cream together 8 ounces of cream cheese and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Fold in one third of the thawed whipped topping by hand. Spread over the crust and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of toffee bits.
- Third layer: Whip together both boxes of pumpkin spice pudding mix with 2 cups of cold milk for 3-4 minutes until thickened. Spread over the cream cheese layer.
- Fourth layer: Frost the top with the remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with a reserved pecans and toffee bits.
- Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Cut into squares for serving.