‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin and I’ve got three words: Bring it on! I don’t think I ever met a cheesecake I didn’t like and these no-bake pumpkin mousse cheesecakes may be my favorite yet. Not only do they have that whole no bake thing going on making our lives nice and easy during the holidays, but even better, there’s a hidden layer of ganache along with a good dose of bourbon, creating one sweet and sassy dessert you’ll definitely want to save room for on Thanksgiving. Do I even need to mention the ridiculous amount of sprinkles on the scene?
Before we dive right into these little gems, I want to thank you all for your kind comments, emails and feedback after I posted the pumpkin spiked scones. I was truly blown away by how many of you made them and am so grateful you are enjoying them. For those of you who were asking how I cut them so evenly and glazed them, I did a step-by-step video on Instagram and it’s saved in highlights right in my profile so you can check it out and we can bake together!
Back to business! The one thing you will always find on my Thanksgiving dessert table in some shape or form is pumpkin cheesecake. I find that people can be funny when it comes to pumpkin. There are those that love it so much, they’re ready to put a ring on it, and then there are those that immediately make a face about it, like it’s never going to happen, blondie, so let’s not even go there.
And people think being a pastry chef is easy….
But I have found that pumpkin cheesecake is another story, and it’s a good one! People are much more inclined to try pumpkin if it’s wrapped up in a dessert they already know and love. This year I wanted to create a no-bake one, but you know I had to give it a little twist, right? I started out with a gingersnap crust, which I knew would be the perfect base with that zippy bite they offer. Then I started working on the filling, which I can tell you right now is so good, you’ll have a very hard time putting down the spoon. It’s filled with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, more ginger, cloves, vanilla bean, and my favorite ingredient, bourbon! You guys, it’s like a hug.
At this point it was good, but it needed a little something, which is when I set my eyes on the Callebaut white chocolate sitting pretty in the pantry. A little white chocolate ganache nestled in between the gingersnap crust and pumpkin cheesecake really sets it apart. Both the gingersnap crust and pumpkin cheesecake are cozy and full of warm spices, and the ganache offers that little pop of sweet, creating the perfect bite. I should also mention that the white chocolate ganache has the smoothest consistency and even straight from the fridge, it’s like butter, baby.
And how fun do they look layered up in the mason jars with all the cookie crumbs and sprinkles! It’s one of those desserts that instantly makes people happy when you present it and I always find that people love when they get their own little dessert, present company included.
Important info on servings: This recipe yielded three servings because I used larger mason jars (16 ounces) and really filled them! You will get four to six servings out of this recipe depending on the size parfait glasses or mason jars you use. Another great idea is to do minis in oversized shot glasses.
And let’s not forget that bourbon whipped cream parked on top, tying this whole ensemble together! You can also make the cheesecakes a day or two ahead of Thanksgiving, and then all you have to do on the big day is make the whipped cream and doll them up with as many cookie crumbs and sprinkles as your heart desires!
Happy baking! Xo
- 1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs ( about 22 store bought gingersnaps)
- Pinch of salt
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 5 ounces white chooclate
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/8 tsp. cloves
- 8 ounces pumpkin
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 Tbsp. bourbon
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 ounce (1/4 cup) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. Bourbon
- Gingersnap cookie crumbs and rainbow sprinkles for garnish
- Melt butter and mix with cookie crumbs and salt.
- Press 2 Tbsp. crumb mixture in the bottom of parfait glasses and refrigerate.
- In small saucepan, bring heavy cream up to a scald.
- Pour over chopped chocolate and whisk till smooth.
- Spoon 2 Tbsp. ganache in each parfait glass and refrigerate.
- Cream cream cheese, light brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. I used a hand mixer for this, you can also use a stand mixer on medium speed.
- Mix in pumpkin puree.
- In separate bowl, whip heavy cream, vanilla extract, bourbon and powdered sugar until stiff.
- Stir about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture to lighten it.
- Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream till everything is combined.
- Fill parfait glasses with cheesecake filling. I used a piping bag with tip #808 to fill the glasses. You can also just spoon the filling in.
- Whip heavy cream with powdered sugar, vanilla and bourbon until stiff.
- Spoon on top of parfaits when ready to serve.
- Garnish with gingersnap cookie crumbs and rainbow sprinkles.