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(Almost) No-Bake Pineapple Dream Dessert is a delicious summer dessert! Cream cheese, pineapple, whipped topping and graham crackers – so simple!

To celebrate summer, I thought I’d share this old school recipe made with graham crackers, crushed pineapple, cream cheese and COOL WHIP. It was pretty popular in the 70’s. It’s simple to make but it’s served chilled so it is refreshing and surprisingly does not taste heavy at all. This 8×8 dish can be cut into 12-15 pieces so it serves more than you would think. Do yourself a favor and bring back this favorite dessert and make it a 1970’s summer to remember.

You can use salted or unsalted butter, whatever you have. Just make sure that it is butter and not margarine.
Try making this with canned mandarin oranges – it tastes like an orange creamsicle!
Yes, you can make it with homemade whipped cream but the Cool Whip holds up better in this recipe.
I’ve only ever used the canned fruit for this recipe so I can’t say whether it would work with fresh cut fruit.

For the crust:
2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs divided use
½ cup butter
For the filling:

4 oz cream cheese (½ block), softened
½ cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) container frozen whipped topping (COOL WHIP), thawed
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained well
Preheat oven to 300F.

For the crust:
Crush graham crackers. Also, drain crushed pineapple.
Melt ½ cup (1 stick butter) in the microwave in a medium, microwave-safe bowl.
Add 2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs to the melted butter and stir until combined.
Measure out 2 CUPS of the crumb mixture and press it firmly into the bottom of an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square baking dish (whichever you have)
Bake crumb mixture for about 8-10 minutes and then allow to cool completely.
You’ll have some crumb mixture (½ cup) left over. Just hang onto it because you’ll need it for the topping.

For the filling:
In a stand mixer (or using an electric mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy.
If using a stand mixer, turn it down to low and add the powdered sugar slowly until it is all incorporated and smooth.
Now add in a heaping tablespoon of the drained pineapple and give it a good stir.
Next, spread the cream cheese mixture over the baked and cooled graham cracker crust.

In a separate bowl, combine the whipped topping with the remaining drained crushed pineapple.
Stir well. It will get thick and clumpy.
Spread whipped topping mixture over the cream cheese layer. I just drop it by the blob-full all over and then gently spread it using the back of my spoon.
Now, sprinkle the rest of the graham cracker crumb mixture on the top.
Cover the whole dish with plastic wrap.
Then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before slicing and serving.

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