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Pumpkin Mousse

The holiday season is officially here and Pumpkin Mousse is on our dinner menu. Pumpkin mousse is a fabulous tasting light, fluffy-as-a-cloud treat just bursting with all the pumpkin pie flavors. This dessert is the perfect ending to a great holiday dinner. It will seriously impress your guests. 

a glass filled with pumpkin mousse and whipped cream on top.

Pumpkin pie is one of the great holiday traditions but this pumpkin mousse just may become another all-time favorite.  It is easy to prepare as well as a make-in-advance creation so you can focus on the main dinner.

What goes in Pumpkin Mousse?

This great-tasting, low-stress dessert makes me happy!  There are many versions of pumpkin mousse but this recipe is a “from scratch” version without any pudding mixes, artificial whip cream or cream cheese.  Here’s the ingredient list:

  • Gelatin
  • Canned pumpkin purée
  • Egg yolks
  • Sugar
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Grated nutmeg
  • Vanilla
  • Egg whites
  • Heavy Cream
Four parfait glasses filled with pumpkin mousse.

How to make pumpkin mousse from scratch.

  1. Soften the gelatin. Combine the water and gelatin and let it sit for 5 minutes to hydrate the gelatin and get it soft. (This step is called blooming the gelatin).
  2. Cook the pumpkin base. Combine the pumpkin, egg yolks, sugar, milk, salt, and spices in a double boiler. Cook the mixture for about 10 minutes.
  3. Dissolve the gelatin. Zap the gelatin in the microwave until it liquifies then stir it into the pumpkin mixture. Set the mixture aside and let it come to room temperature.
  4. Beat the egg whites. Whip the egg whites (along with some sugar) until they reach stiff peaks.
  5. Fold the whites into the mousse. Fold just 1/3 of the egg whites into the mousse to lighten it up. Gradually fold in the other 2/3 until combined.
  6. Beat the cream. Whip the cream until it is ALMOST at the stiff peak stage.
  7. Fold the cream into the mousse. Use the same process as you did to fold in the egg whites. Only fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream at a time so the mousse stays light and airy.
  8. Divide the mousse into serving dishes. Spoon the mousse into 6 separate jars or glasses and let it chill until set.
  9. Serve the pumpkin mousse. Top the individual servings with additional whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
ingredients needed for pumpkin mousse.

Helpful tips for success

  • Before you get started, place the mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer. The cold bowl and beaters will help the cream whip lighter and fluffier.
  • A double boiler works well for this recipe. It provides a gentle heat that will prevent scrambled eggs in the mousse.
  • If you don’t have a double boiler, set a heat-proof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water. It will heat up from the steam.
  • When you heat the gelatin mixture in the microwave make sure you use short blasts of heat. Do not get the gelatin too hot or it will lose its potency. It generally only takes 7 to 10 seconds in most microwaves.

You might also like our pumpkin flan with rum caramel sauce. It is another dessert that you can make ahead of time.

process photos showing how to make pumpkin mousse.

Frequently asked questions about pumpkin mousse

Can you freeze pumpkin mousse?

Yes, you can freeze this mousse for up to 3 months. When you are ready to serve it, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Add the whipped cream topping after it thaws.

Can you make this recipe in advance?

You can make this decadent dessert up to 2 days in advance. Do not make the whipped cream topping in advance, however, as it will deflate.

How do you store this mousse?

Put the pumpkin mousse in individual jars or glasses then cover them with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. When you are ready to serve them, add the whipped cream topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Is this a gluten free recipe?

Yes, this recipe is gluten free.

Can you make this with homemade pumpkin puree?

Absolutely. Homemade pumpkin puree will most likely have more liquid in it than canned pumpkin so the texture might me a bit looser. If you strain some of the liquid out of your homemade pumpkin puree then your mousse will set up thicker.

A spoon with a scoop of pumpkin mousse.


  • Layered pumpkin cheesecake bars are perfect for casual gatherings or a delicious finale to a fine dinner.
  • Double Chocolate Icebox Cake: Our no-bake Double Chocolate Icebox Cake is deliciously decadent! Made with a rich, creamy chocolate mixture and chocolate wafers it makes a stunning dessert for the holidays or any special event.
  • Cranberry Curd Tart: This cranberry curd tart sits on top of a pecan brown sugar crust and gets topped with a light Swiss meringue. It is a show stopper to your holiday table.


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a glass filled with pumpkin mousse and whipped cream on top.

Pumpkin Mousse

Yield: 6-8 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 25 minutes

Light, fluffy as a cloud and bursting with all the pumpkin pie flavors! Pumpkin Mousse is the perfect ending to a great holiday dinner.  This is a make-ahead dessert that is simple to prepare with a can of pumpkin and a few basic ingredients.


  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 envelope gelatin (7 grams/1 tablespoon)
  • 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar (divided)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided


  1. Set a medium size bowl and beaters in the freezer to chill while preparing the mousse.
  2. Add the cold water to a small microwaveable dish and sprinkle the gelatin over the top and allow the gelatin to soften for 5 minutes. 
  3. Heat 2-inches of water in the bottom half of a double boiler set over medium-high heat.  
  4. Add the pumpkin puree, egg yolks, 3/4 cup of the sugar, milk, salt, spices and vanilla to the top portion of the double boiler, whisking to combine.  Continue whisking the mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the pan of hot water.  
  5. Place the bloomed gelatin in the microwave and zap it for 10 seconds until syrupy.  Whisk the syrupy gelatin into the hot pumpkin mixture.  
  6. Transfer the hot pumpkin mixture to a large mixing bowl and set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature.
  7. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks and slowly add in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.  Continue beating the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks. 
  8. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture.  Repeat adding/folding with 1/3 portions at a time until well combined. 
  9. Remove the bowl and beaters from the freezer and add 1/2 cup of the heavy cream.  Beat the cream until almost-stiff peaks form, not to the stiff peak stage.
  10. Gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture.  Add the remaining whipped cream and fold until the mixture is no longer streaked.

Assemble the Mousse:

  1. Pipe or spoon the mousse into 6, 8-oz. parfait or wine glasses.  Transfer the mousse to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
  2. When ready to serve the pumpkin mousse whip the remaining 1/2 cup of cream to stiff peaks and pipe on top of each serving.  Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.


  • If a double-boiler pan is not available, set a bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Do not allow the bowl to touch the water in the pan below. 
  • Chilling the bowl and beaters will give you a greater volume of whipped cream.
  • It will take 20-30 minutes for the pumpkin mixture to cool to room temperature.  To speed up the cooling, set the bowl into a larger bowl/pan of cold water and stir often.
  • Beat the heavy cream only to the medium-stiff peak stage and it is much easier to fold/blend into the pumpkin mixture without deflating the air from the whipped cream.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Wednesday 7th of October 2020

That looks airy, creamy and delicious, Pat. I love the presentation too.

Pat Nyswonger

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Thank you, Angie....This is a great pumpkin treat!

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