Cherry Delight Dessert

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Cherry delight dessert is a no bake dessert recipe perfect for bringing to a potluck party. Layers of graham cracker crust, cream cheese filling, and cherry pie filling on top. YUM.

A layered cherry delight dessert slice on a white plate. You can see layers of graham cracker crust, cream cheese filling, and cherry pie filling on top with a dollop of whipped cream.

My mom used to make a no bake cherry cheesecake that came as a kit from the baking aisle at the grocery store. I would get SO excited every time she had one in the fridge.

This cherry delight dessert has all the same elements but made so easily from scratch! AND it comes in a big potluck party friendly size as a 9x13-inch dessert.

Crispy graham cracker crust is topped with a cool and creamy cheesecake layer and topped with bright red cherry pie filling.

My little kid heart swooned at the first bite.

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Why This is the Best Recipe

Growing up in the Midwest, a layered dessert like this one with a cookie crust and layers of cream cheese and toppings is something we'd call a "torte." I can't help but think of this cherry delight dessert as a "cherry cheesecake torte." Whatever you want to call it, I think this is the best recipe because:

  1. Make Ahead Friendly: Prepping for a party? Make this the day before! It will taste even better and you'll have the work out of the way.
  2. Light and Fluffy Cream Cheese Filling: That cream cheese layer in the middle has the perfect light and airy texture.
  3. Adjust the Cherry Layer: Feelings about cherry pie filling can be mixed. If you love it, go big or go home with 2 cans of pie filling. Only want a slight slather of red sauce on top? Just use 1 can.

Ingredients

The ingredients to make a homemade cherry delight dessert are on the kitchen counter.

This easy layered dessert only needs a few simple ingredients:

  • Graham Crackers: You can buy either the pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs or crush your own from whole graham crackers.
  • Cherry Pie Filling: You could use either a can or a jarred cherry pie filling, whichever brand you love.
  • Cream Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: You'll use this to make a quick whipped cream to fold in. You could substitute 1 cup Cool Whip style topping if you prefer.
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Salt

Prep the Graham Cracker Crust

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Stir together the crushed graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter, and salt until the crumbs are coated in butter.

The mixing bowl shows the graham cracker crust about to be mixed together.

Pour the mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish and press into a crust.

Bake for 12 - 14 minutes and then let cool completely before the next step.

NOTE: Baking the crust is optional. You could also choose to chill it in the fridge for 1 hour so the butter sets the crust. Check out all my tips in tricks with this graham cracker crust recipe.

Prepare the Cream Cheese Filling

Add the softened cream cheese and sour cream to a large mixing bowl and beat them together until smooth.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat them in.

The photo collage shows step by step photos that illustrate how to beat the cream cheese with sugar and vanilla and fold in the whipped cream.

Use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer with a whisk attachment and a separate mixing bowl to whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.

Fold in half the whipped cream to the cream cheese bowl and fold it in.

Repeat with the remaining half of whipped cream. This helps keep the filling nice and light and fluffy.

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Assemble the Dessert Layers

To finish the dessert assembly, spoon the cream cheese layer over the golden brown graham cracker crust.

The step by step photo collage shows how to assemble the cherry delight dessert with cracker crust, then cream cheese layer, then cherry pie filling on top.

Spread it out evenly. I recommend then using a dampened paper towel to wipe clean the edges of the pan so you have a pretty presentation of the layers.

Spoon the cherry pie filling over the cream cheese.

NOTE: I used just one can of cherry pie filling and it does not quite spread evenly from corner to corner. I think the white border around the edge is pretty but if you want your dessert to be VERY cherry, you'll want to use two cans of pie filling.

Chill the cherry delight for at least 2 hours before serving so the layers can firm up in the fridge.

Variations

While I'm partial to this particular version of cherry delight, there are a few variations you could have fun playing with:

  1. Cherry Delight with Roasted Cherries: Skip the canned pie filling and make a batch of roasted cherries while cherries are fresh in season.
  2. Cheesecake Torte: You could use the crust and cream cheese layer as the base but then instead of cherry topping use one of these easy and delicious cheesecake topping ideas instead.
  3. Blackberry Delight: Skip the cherry pie filling and use fresh blackberries and this triple berry dessert sauce.

Make Ahead Tips

I would argue that this cherry delight recipe actually tastes even better the next day.

I love how the flavors mingle in the cream cheese layer and the moister texture of the graham cracker crust after it has had a chance to sit with the layers on top.

This recipe is a perfect make ahead dessert for a party or holiday. Simply keep it covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

You could make it ahead and freeze it, too. Simply thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Two servings of cherry delight are on white plates next to the baking pan that has the rest of the dessert.

I love those bright red squares of cherry delight dessert on a party dessert table but this sweet treat would also taste wonderful with a dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip on top.

You could make this ahead for an easy Valentine's dessert for the kids or bring it to a Christmas potluck party.

Add some blue sprinkles to the whipped cream dollop on top and it would be perfect for a 4th of July party, too!

More No Bake Desserts

Looking for more cool and creamy no bake dessert recipes? Don't miss these family favorites:

📖 Recipe

A layered cherry delight dessert slice on a white plate. You can see layers of graham cracker crust, cream cheese filling, and cherry pie filling on top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Cherry Delight Dessert

5 from 52 votes
This old fashioned cherry delight recipe is the perfect party dessert to bring to a potluck. Buttery graham cracker crust is topped with a cool and creamy cream cheese layer and topped with a pretty red cherry pie filling.
TOTAL TIME 3 hours
PREP TIME 15 minutes
CHILL TIME 2 hours 45 minutes
YIELD 12 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs from about 15 crackers
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 (8 oz) bricks of cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 - 2 (21 oz) cans of cherry pie filling use 1 can for a thinner topping with a pretty white border, use 2 cans for a thick cherry topping that easily spreads from edge to edge

Instructions

Prepare the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set out a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • Add the crushed graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir them together until well combined. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish to form the crust. You may wish to use the bottom of a measuring cup or a flat spatula to get the crust nice and even.
  • Bake the prepared crust for 12 - 14 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool completely, about 45 minutes.
  • NOTE: Baking the graham cracker crust is optional. It does give a nice flavor and texture, but you could also choose to chill it in the fridge for 1 hour before using for a truly no bake dessert.

Prepare the Cream Cheese Layer:

  • Whip the heavy cream in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sour cream together on medium speed until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat them in. Continue to mix the cream cheese until it becomes light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add half of the prepared whipped cream to the cream cheese bowl and gently fold it in. Repeat with the remaining half of whipped cream. This helps ensure your cream cheese layer is nice and airy.
  • Spoon the cream cheese over the prepared graham cracker crust. Use a spatula to spread it out evenly.
  • Top the cream cheese with the cans of cherry pie filling, spread it out evenly.
  • Cover and chill the cherry delight dessert for 2 hours or until firm. This dessert tastes even better the next day so make it the day ahead if you can!
COURSEDessert
CUISINEAmerican

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A layered cherry delight dessert slice on a white plate. You can see layers of graham cracker crust, cream cheese filling, and cherry pie filling on top with a dollop of whipped cream. On the bottom you can see the can of pie filling next to the baking pan filled with the dessert.

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