Cherry delight is quickly put together using a few convenience items. The no-bake dessert takes advantage of ingredients such as canned cherry-pie filling, imitation whipped cream and pre-crushed graham-cracker crumbs. But if you're feeling ambitious, cherry delight also adapts well to some from-scratch substitutions. Assembling the dessert in a glass pan will show off its red-and-white layered charm, but the versatile dessert will also conform to a pre-made crust or cheesecake-style presentation.
Coat a baking pan with cooking spray. Make cherry delight in a small loaf pan for family dinner or in a large baking dish for potluck events. Other alternatives include a pie plate or a spring-form pan. Or opt for a packaged graham-cracker pie crust to save time, and skip to step 3.
Melt 1 part butter and combine it with 8 parts graham-cracker crumbs and 1 part confectioner's sugar. Press the moistened crumbs into the prepared dish to form the crust. Alternatively, the crust can be made by combining butter and sugar with chopped nuts, crushed ginger snaps, crushed chocolate wafers or another ingredient that will add crunch and substance.
Beat together 3 parts confectioner's sugar with 2 parts softened cream cheese. Gently mix in 2 parts whipped topping or homemade whipped cream, made by whipping together heavy cream with a small amount of sugar. Optional flavoring agents to include in your cream cheese filling mixture include almond extract, vanilla extract, maple syrup, flavored Italian syrup or lemon zest.
Open 1 to 2 cans of cherry pie filling, depending on the size of your dessert. Alternatively, use fresh cherries or another fruit to make your favorite fruit pie filling.
Spoon the filling over the crust. Then spread enough cherry pie filling, or homemade cherry mixture, over the top to completely cover the filling.
Set the cherry delight dessert in the refrigerator and chill it for at least 1 hour before serving.
To make individual cherry delight desserts, layer the crumb crust, cream cheese filling and cherry pie topping into greased muffin tins.
If you prefer to use homemade whipped cream instead of imitation dessert topping, keep it mind that the filling may be runnier, and therefore might not travel as well.