The light, creamy, and sweetly-tangy tropical flavors of Pineapple Delight is a refreshing summertime treat. A homemade graham cracker crust, a pineapple layer, then a creamy pineapple layer topped with coconut.
Whether you’re looking to beat the heat or need dish for the family reunion, this almost no bake dessert will be will go fast. Our Cherry Limeade Pie and Melon Sherbet Cocktail are two more ways to keep your cool this summer.
What is pineapple delight?
Perhaps you know this dessert as pineapple lush. Or maybe pineapple dream. Some even call it pineapple lasagna or pineapple delight cake.
Whatever you personally call it, it’s delicious. There are many versions and variations out there. Our starts with a buttery graham cracker crust, then a layer of pineapple preserves, followed by a cream cheese layer. Finally, this heavenly pineapple delight dessert is topped off with toasted coconut.
- Coconut – you’ll need a divided amount for both the toasted topping and extra flavor in the crust.
- Graham crackers – the base of our treat. Crushed and turned into a crust.
- Pineapple preserves – the fruity middle layer, marmalade works too.
- Cream cheese – it’s best at room temperature, it will cream smoother and easier.
- Cool Whip – it will need to be thawed but cold, any brand of whipped topping will work.
- Crushed pineapple — this will need to be thoroughly drained.
- Rum extract — you can use your favorite extract if you don’t have or can’t find rum extract.
- Pantry staples — brown sugar, salted butter, and granulated sugar.
Step One — Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toast 1/2 cup of coconut on a 13×9 sheet pan for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Stir occasionally and watch carefully as the coconut will burn quickly once it’s golden brown.
Step Two — Blend the graham crackers, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon coconut flakes in a food processor.
Step Three — Once finally chopped, reduce speed to low and slowly pour in the melted butter.
Step Four — Firmly press the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of a parchment lined 8×8 pan. Place it the freezer to set while continuing on.
Step Five — Cream the cream cheese, sugar, and rum in a large bowl using either a stand mixer or electric hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Step Six — Add the thawed whipped topping and drained crushed pineapple.
Step Seven — Gently fold them into the cream cheese mixture until combined.
Step Eight — Spread an even, thin layer of the preserves over the chilled crust.
Step Nine — Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the pineapple filling.
Step Ten — Use a rubber spatula to evenly smooth and spread the cream cheese mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or until the cream cheese layer has set. Before serving, top with the toasted coconut. You can lift it out by the parchment paper and cut into 9 squares.
- Crushed vanilla wafers or golden Oreo cookies (creme removed) can be used as the crust instead of graham crackers.
- Switch the fruit. Swap out the pineapple topping or preserves for peaches, pears, mango, and strawberry are all delicious options.
- Homemade whipped cream can be used instead of Cool Whip, whip it to be slightly firm, but not forming peaks.
Absolutely, yes you can. Use your favorite recipe!
To make the crust firmer, after pressing it into the baking dish, bake it at 325°F for about 10 minutes. You must have a completely cooled crust that’s been chilled before the rest of the pineapple delight can be assembled.
You can; it will cut easier if you toss it the freezer before serving for a few minutes, but it’s not required.
If you have any left over, it will be good for about 3 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Yes, this can easily be made ahead of time, covered and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
- 9 graham crackers
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sweetened coconut flakes, divided
- 6 Tbsp. salted butter melted
- 8 oz. package of cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. rum extract
- 8 oz. container whipped topping (cool whip) thawed
- 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple drained
- 18 oz. jar pineapple preserves or marmalade
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread out 1/2 a cup of the coconut flakes across a 13×9 baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the coconut is golden brown. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t get too dark or burn.
- Line an 8×8 baking dish or pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a food processor, blend the graham crackers, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of coconut flakes until the graham crackers are finely chopped. Slowly pour in the melted butter while the food processor is running at low speed.
- Firmly press the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of the baking dish, and place in the freezer while you make the pineapple filling.
- In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, sugar, and rum extract with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until combined and smooth.
- Fold in the thawed whipped topping and crushed pineapple until evenly mixed.
- Spread an even, thin layer of pineapple preserves over the cooled graham cracker crust, then spoon the cream cheese mixture over the marmalade and spread out with a spatula.
- Cover the dessert with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until the cream cheese layer has set.
- Top with toasted coconut, cut into 9 squares and serve chilled.
- If you have any left over, it will be good for about 3 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- To make the crust firmer, after pressing it into the baking dish, bake it at 325°F for about 10 minutes. You must have a completely cooled crust that’s been chilled before the rest of the pineapple delight can be assembled.
- This can easily be made ahead of time, covered and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.