Pineapple Dream Dessert is an iconic potluck dessert. It’s right up there with Strawberry Pretzel Salad and No-bake Cherry Cheesecake. There’s just something about a no-bake dessert or almost no-bake dessert that screams summer potluck. This Pineapple Dream Dessert actually has a little bit of baking involved…technically, you could skip the quick baking step if you wanted to, but the crust on the bottom will hold up a lot better if you bake it for 7 minutes before adding the creamy pineapple layer.
I’ve been craving this dessert for a while now and had it on the agenda of things I wanted to make this summer. I looked up a few recipes and then decided to give it a shot. I was surprised that the recipes I found online have directions to put the butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese layer down first and then mix the pineapple with the Cool Whip and put that layer on top.
In my memory, the Pineapple Dream Dessert I’ve had in the past seemed like a uniform filling that was similar to the center of a no-bake cheesecake but with crushed pineapple in it. I guess that’s why I didn’t expect the traditional recipe to have two different layers. We all know I’m all about a shortcut, or making things easier…..so if you think I decided to just mix everything together and only have one layer of filling, you’d be right! I gotta say, folks. It tastes like what I remember, and everyone who tried it (we had a family over for dinner and then a friend stopped by and had a piece, too) said they loved it. And BOY does that homemade graham cracker crust and sprinkle on top SIIINNNGGG in this recipe!
Gimme all the Graham Cracker Crusts:
- Strawberry Lemonade Pie
- Magnolia Bakery Blueberry Jamboree
- No-Bake Fresh Peach Cheesecake Dessert
- Fresh Raspberry Lemon Tart Bars (Ugly picture but, trust me, they are delish.)
- Key Lime Pie
- Easy Cheesecake Squares with Berry Sauce
How to Make Pineapple Dream Dessert
What You Need to Know About Making Pineapple Dream Dessert:
How many people will this serve?
That really depends on how big you decide to cut the pieces. The recipe is prepared in an 8×8 glass baking dish, so if you want a nice big substantial piece it will make 9 servings. If you want a more regular-sized piece it will make 12 servings and if you really want to you could get 15 or 16 out of it, they will just be pretty small.
Can Pineapple Dream Dessert be made ahead?
Yes. This recipe stays good for 3-4 days in the fridge. You could definitely make it ahead and as long as it is in a tightly covered dish it will stay very fresh in the fridge.
Can I use heavy whipping cream in place of Cool Whip for this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely substitute homemade whipping cream (Made from heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla) in place of Cool Whip. The only catch is that homemade whipping cream breaks down and gets watery if it has not been stabilized. Stabilizing it is simple you just need to have the right ingredient, Knox Gelatin. You can usually find it in the Jello aisle of your local grocery store. Our Best Bites has a great post on how to stabilize whipped cream.
Do I have to put some of the Graham crackers on top?
No, if you want to you could use them all on the bottom, but I think it looks a little nicer to have something sprinkles on top. It also adds a nice texture to the dessert.
Do I need to drain the pineapple?
Yes, definitely. If you don’t drain it, the dessert will be very runny and it will ruin it.
Do I have to use that much butter in the filling?
The recipe calls for a cube of butter in the filling. It gives the dessert a very silky texture but if you want to substitute 2 ounces of cream cheese in place of a fourth cup of the butter in the filling, it will still taste very similar. If you really hate the idea of butter in the filling you could substitute the whole cube (1/2 cup of butter) for 4 ounces of cream cheese, but it will be a much more dense cheesecake type filling.
- Homemade Graham Cracker Crust:
- 12 regular-sized graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (approx 2½ cup graham cracker crumbs)
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- Cream Cheese Pineapple Filling:
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 (20 ounce) can of crushed pineapple, drained really well
- 1 (8 ounce) tub of Cool Whip
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- For the crust: Combine the crushed graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar and melted butter. (I do this in a large ziploc bag since that is usually how I crush my graham crackers and it keeps me from getting another bowl dirty.)
- Mix the ingredients together until well combined. Pour all but ½ cup of the prepared crumbs into a 8x8 glass baking dish and press down evenly to cover the bottom of the dish. Set the extra ½ cup of prepared crumbs aside.
- Bake crust in the 350-degree oven for 7 minutes. Let cool completely.
- For the filling: With a hand mixer or in your stand mixer, beat the softened butter and cream cheese together until smooth, add the powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
- Add the well-drained crushed pineapple and Cool Whip. Beat until combined.
- Spread filling mixture evenly over the cooled graham cracker crust. Sprinkle the ½ cup of reserved graham cracker mixture over the top of the filling. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours before serving.
Easy Peasy Summer Dinner Ideas