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Strawberry Delight is a layered dessert much like a strawberry cream cheese pie, but feeds a crowd. With a graham cracker pecan crust, no bake cheesecake filling, and fresh strawberries in jello. Serve it with sweetened whipped cream on top for a light and fruity dessert.
Layered desserts are fun to make and delicious to eat. This strawberry delight dessert is light, fruity, and can be made completely no bake.
WHAT IS STRAWBERRY DELIGHT?
According to Wikipedia, Strawberry delight is “a dessert salad found in the United States, especially in the South and more rural areas of Minnesota. Strawberry delight is made from milk, whipped topping, cream cheese, strawberries and strawberry gelatin over a graham cracker crust.”
I’ve never lived in the South or Minnesota, but we love the layers in this dessert. It’s very similar to strawberry pretzel salad, which has… you guessed it, a pretzel crust.
THE STRAWBERRY DESSERT WITH MANY NAMES
Other names for this strawberry delight dessert include: strawberry lush, strawberry yumyum, strawberry dream, and strawberry bliss.
I think those names say it all. Basically this dessert is so good it’s been named not once, not twice, but FIVE times! Maybe even more!
I’ve even made a blueberry lush variation that uses canned pie filling, but I wanted to use fresh berries for this strawberry delight.
If you’re interested, these strawberry cream cheese crumble bars are very similar, but use canned pie filling, and a buttery shortbread mixture that doubles for the crust and topping. Also really delicious!
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
I used a graham cracker and pecan crust for this strawberry delight. It’s quick and easy. All you need is graham crackers, pecans, granulated sugar, and butter.
- Blend the graham crackers, pecans and sugar together in a food processor until fine crumbs.
- Melt butter and mix with crumbs. Press into the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Bake at 350˚F for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.
CRUST ALTERNATIVES AND TIPS
- Use pecan shortbread cookies in place of the graham crackers and nuts like in this no bake peach dessert.
- Swap the nuts for extra graham crackers to make a nut-free dessert.
- Freeze the crust for 30 minutes to make this recipe completely no-bake. Keep in mind, the crust is more sturdy if baked for a quick 8-10 minutes in the oven.
- Use a buttery shortbread crust like in this lemon curd dessert.
NO BAKE CHEESECAKE FILLING
After the crust is baked and cooled or frozen sufficiently, you will make the no bake cheesecake filling for this strawberry delight.
You will need cream cheese, powdered sugar, and whipped topping (aka Cool Whip) or whipped cream.
- Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Then fold in the whipped topping.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust.
The final layer in this strawberry delight dessert is the strawberries. I like to dice them because they are easier to cut into with a fork, instead of using strawberry slices or quartered strawberries.
- Hull and dice one pound of fresh strawberries.
- Sprinkle strawberries evenly over the cream cheese layer.
Instead of making a glaze or strawberry pie filling, I opted to throw a layer of strawberry gelatin over the fresh strawberries.
This keeps the strawberry delight looking vibrant and helps hold the dessert together for perfect slices.
- Whisk together granulated sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan.
- Add water and heat until simmering, whisking constantly.
- Add strawberry jello.
- Turn off heat and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool.
Once the strawberry jello mixture has cooled to lukewarm and thickened slightly, pour it over the fresh strawberries.
CHILLING AND SERVING STRAWBERRY DELIGHT
After the strawberry delight has been assembled, refrigerate the dessert for 2+ hours to allow it to chill and set up.
- Rinse a knife with hot water, wipe it dry and cut into the dessert.
- Repeat rinsing and drying the knife between each cut.
- Then use a serving spatula to scoop the slices and put them onto plates.
PRO TIP: Use parchment paper to lift the dessert out of the pan for easy cutting.
Top each slice with extra whipped topping — or whip 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar to stiff peaks.
I used a Wilton 2D tip to pipe the whipped cream on top.
CAN I FREEZE THIS STRAWBERRY DESSERT?
You can only freeze the first two layers in this dessert, because unfortunately, jello doesn’t freeze well. (It will break down and separate after thawing and be unpleasant to eat.)
Store this dessert covered in the refrigerator up to 5-7 days.
MORE STRAWBERRY DESSERTS
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- 1 sleeve graham crackers (9 crackers)
- 1 cup pecans
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 (8oz) tub whipped topping (Cool Whip*), thawed
- 1lb strawberries, hulled and diced (about 3 1/2 to 4 cups)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 1 small (3oz) box strawberry gelatin (Jell-o)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- FOR THE CRUST: Blend graham crackers, pecans, and sugar in a food processor or blender until fine crumbs. Add melted butter and stir to coat. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake at 350˚F for 8-10 minutes, until butter has absorbed and crust no longer looks wet. Cool completely.
- FOR THE FILLING: Using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Fold in the whipped topping, until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust.
- FOR THE STRAWBERRY LAYER: Sprinkle fresh diced strawberries over the cream cheese filling. Refrigerate until jello is made.
- In a saucepan, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add water and heat to a simmer, whisking constantly. Mixture will thicken slightly. Remove from heat and add gelatin powder, whisk to combine. Allow jello to cool until lukewarm to the touch. Stir occasionally so gelatin doesn’t set up. Pour gelatin over the strawberries.
- Cover and CHILL the strawberry delight for 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- TO SERVE: Rinse a knife with hot water, wipe it dry and cut into the dessert. Repeat rinsing and drying the knife between each cut. Then use a serving spatula to scoop the slices and put onto plates.
- FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM: Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar to stiff peaks with an electric mixer. Pipe or scoop a dollop of whipped cream on top of each slice. Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5-7 days.
- NO-BAKE: Chill un-baked crust in the fridge for 1 hour or freezer for 30 minutes before topping — OR — Chill the complete dessert for at least 4 hours before serving.
- ALL GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST (NO NUTS): Use 2 cups of crushed graham crackers (about 15 crackers), 5 Tbsp of granulated sugar, and 6 Tbsp of melted butter.
- *COOL WHIP SUBSTITUTION: Double the whipped cream and use half of it to substitute the whipped topping (Cool Whip) in the filling.
- I used Neufchatel cream cheese and light Cool Whip, for less calories and fat.
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Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 236Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 59mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 3g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix, and is an estimation only.
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