There’s so much more to pumpkin than pie… especially lately. The pumpkin craze has reached such a fever pitch, it seems like almost every product is introducing its pumpkin flavored variation for the season. Pumpkin spice greek yogurt, pumpkin spice bagels, pumpkin spice potato chips… I’ve officially seen it all.
All of this has left me craving a return to a more homemade – and simple – approach to our favorite fall fruit. Pumpkin parfaits seemed like the perfect answer.
Alternating layers of pumpkin mousse, fresh whipped cream, and crushed ginger snap cookies, creates such a simple preparation for something that looks lovely and tastes divine! I made a larger ‘trifle’ version which is so glamorous for parties and then a few parfait buddies that are easy to store in the fridge and have on hand for anytime.
I really wanted to call this a pumpkin trifle, but technically a trifle has cake, and this does not. It still employs the same technique of layering, but leaving out the cake kept this dish light, airy and super simple to make. I added a little cream cheese in with the pumpkin to give it that tangy element and also included some fresh orange zest. The zest gives the dish a hit of essential brightness and keeps everything from being cloyingly sweet.
So, now that you know all of my little secrets, let’s get to the recipe!
Following exactly below will make one trifle or approximately eight parfaits depending on the size glasses or jars you use.
The Perfect Pumpkin Parfaits
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract (I use Madagascar vanilla)
- 1 29-oz can 100% pumpkin
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 package gingersnap cookies, crushed
- Belgian waffles cookies for decoration, optional
- In a medium bowl, beat whipping cream and vanilla with electric mixer or stand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Set aside 1 cup of the whipped cream.
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, confectioners sugar, softened cream cheese, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Beat on medium until combined and smooth. Fold in the cup of whipped cream you set aside.
- Taste for sweetness, add more confectioners sugar to preference.
- To assemble, spoon pumpkin mixture into the bottom, followed by whipped cream and crushed cookies. Repeat and garnish as you’d like.
- Refrigerate, covered.