This pumpkin mousse really has it all: it feels fancy thanks to its rich creaminess, but it couldn’t be easier to make. There’s no cooking involved, it only requires two ingredients, and it comes together in 10 minutes or less. It also feeds a small crowd.
To make two-ingredient pumpkin mousse, you’ll just need canned pumpkin pie filling and whipping cream. Prepackaged pumpkin pie filling is readily available during the autumn, and is already seasoned with warming pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, sweetener, and salt. It’s the perfect quick fix for this recipe.
This simple recipe is great for making ahead since it needs to chill for at least an hour in the fridge. It’s easy enough for a weeknight but elevated enough for a dinner party. I can imagine serving it at Thanksgiving, its lightness a welcome change after a heavy meal. And it’s so easy that kids can make it.
No Pumpkin Pie Filling? No Problem!
If you don’t have pumpkin pie filling handy, you can use plain pumpkin purée. Add 2 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice or 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground clove, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger. Also add 1 tablespoon vanilla, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, and a good pinch of salt. Stir it together until well combined and follow the rest of the recipe.
This simple mousse is perfectly sweet and spiced as-is but is also easy to tweak. Here are a few ideas:
- Add 1 tablespoon of dark rum or brandy to the mixture while folding the pumpkin filling and whipped cream together.
- Canned pumpkin pie filling is already sweetened. However, if you want to add more sweetness to the mousse, add up to 2 tablespoons of maple syrup into the mixture while folding.
- Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract for more vanilla flavor.
- An additional pinch of salt goes a long way. I also love adding sea salt flakes on top just before serving.
Make It Ahead
This is a fantastic make-ahead dessert. Prepare the mousse, transfer the mixture to your serving dish(es), cover, and place in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight. Pumpkin mousse can be made up to 24 hours in advance and the flavor is even better after it chills for several hours.
How to Serve
The mousse is excellent on its own, but a little presentation makes it look more enticing. Add more whipped cream on the top, a dusting of cinnamon, a few toasted pumpkin seeds, a sprinkle of sea salt flakes, and/or some crushed biscuits.
I love serving pumpkin mousse in a large bowl/platter and spooning it into dessert bowls when ready to eat. Alternatively, you can divide the mousse mixture into individual glasses or bowls before chilling.
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Strain the pumpkin pie filling:
Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and add the pumpkin pie filling to the strainer. Let the excess liquid drip off for 5 minutes.
Once it’s done draining, add the strained pie filling to a clean bowl.
Meanwhile, whip the cream:
Add the whipping cream to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Use an electric mixer with beater attachment(s) to whip to stiff peaks. When you remove a beater, the whipped cream should stand at a point without completely falling over. This will take a couple of minutes.
Fold the mousse together:
Add a couple of spoons of the whipped cream into the pumpkin pie filling and gently mix together until combined. This will loosen up the pumpkin mixture a bit.
Transfer the pumpkin pie filling to the whipped cream bowl and use a rubber spatula to gently fold them together just until combined. Be gentle to ensure you don’t knock the air out of the whipped cream.
Spoon the mousse into individual serving dishes or one large dish. Place one on top of a kitchen towel spread out on the counter. Tap a few times to dislodge bubbles and help smooth the top. Repeat with the other dishes. If needed, smooth the top(s) with a spoon.
Cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. If desired, top with more whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon and serve.
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