I love tradition. Which is why I couldn’t ever imagine having anything other than pumpkin pie (with copious amounts of whipped cream) on Thanksgiving.
That is until I made Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse. You see, it only takes a single delicious bite of this light and airy dessert for me to instantly be 100%, a-OK changing up the holiday tradition.
And count me in when it’s an easy, no-bake recipe. Right? The day is stressful enough between lack of oven space, counter space, and stomach space.
You can easily prep the cups of no-bake pumpkin mousse a day or so in advance and enjoy mid-food-come on turkey day. I wouldn’t recommend making them too far in advance though, because I’m all about the fresh of the fresh. Ahem, traditionalist and perfectionist? I digress…
How to Make Pumpkin Mousse
I am stoked to tell you that it is SO EASY. All you need is an electric mixer. And guess what? You could even make it in ONE BOWL. *gasp*
Did you even think it was possible? A no-bake, one bowl, light, and airy and sweet, and irresistible Thanksgiving (or fall, or anytime) dessert?!
I know, I didn’t either. But I like to be the bearer of amazing life-changing news. You’re welcome.
So if you’re going to go the one bowl route (recommended, because ain’t nobody got time for extra dishes), then you want to start by making the whipped cream.
Yes – homemade whipped cream is a MUST. All real ingredients, all the flavor, and no weirdness.
Homemade Whipped Cream Tips
- Start with a cold bowl. And cold heavy cream.
- Basically make sure everything is cold. This helps the cream to whip more quickly.
- Beat the heavy whipping cream (and a bit of sugar if desired) until it starts to thicken.
- Continue beating just until peaks form. You don’t want to beat too much or you’ll end up with butter.
Voila! Store in the fridge, and if it’s been sitting a while, just whisk it up again to bring it back to fluffy life!
Now for the Pumpkin Cheesecake Part
Ok, so you have the whipped cream. Transfer it to a whipped cream bowl (which, ok, that’s two bowls that you technically use, but I’m thinking storage doesn’t count, ok?).
Using your electric mixer again, you’ll beat together the cream cheese, pumpkin pie spices, sugar, and of course, the pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin – not pumpkin pie filling). Once it’s all settled together, gently fold in the whipped cream.
Folding the whipped cream delivers the light and airy texture we’re going for. Paired with the creamy and tangy cheesecake part. Hea-ven.
Assemble the Jars
You can use jars (anyone recognize the little Oui yogurt jars here?!) or ramekins. Really, anything that is scoopable and small-ish will work (or large, I won’t judge).
Layer in the graham cracker crust (hey, gingerbread snap crust is excellent here too – just sub out the amount!).
Add in the pumpkin mousse filling. Then top off with a heavy hand of whipped cream. Have the spoons closeby because you’ll want to dig in ASAP (and you can! remember, they’re no-bake).
So go ahead, chill them or dig in, either way, you’ll be coming back for seconds, guaranteed.
The best part? You can make them anytime for dessert, it doesn’t have to be a fall holiday! WIN!
Love Fall Desserts? Check these out!
- Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Easy Apple Crisp Without Oats
- Apple Cider Cupcakes
- Caramel Apple Cake
Get the Recipe Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse
- In a food processor, pulse graham crackers into a fine crumb. Stir 1 cup of the crumbs together with the melted butter, 2T sugar, and salt. Scoop approximately 2 TBSP crust into 8 6-ounce ramekins and press down to create the crust. Set aside.
- In a chilled mixing bowl (from a stand mixer works best), combine heavy cream and sugar. Begin to beat the cream on medium speed until it thickens, approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove once soft peaks have formed and the whipped cream can hold its shape. Transfer to a bowl for storage.
- In the same mixing bowl, cream together the room temperature cream cheese and sugar until combined. Add vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree. Beat on low until combined. Reserve approximately 1/2 cup whipped cream for topping and fold the remaining whipped cream gently into the pumpkin cream cheese mixture.
- Either pipe or gently scoop the pumpkin mousse filing into the ramekins. Top with fresh whipped cream and serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve.