Rich, creamy, sweet and spicy, my pumpkin parfaits are a terrific way to enjoy all the beloved flavors of pumpkin pie, made easy in a glass! Made with a layer of mousse-like pumpkin cream, sweetened graham cracker crumbles and Chantilly cream, this pumpkin parfait recipe is a sweet little taste of heaven in each cool and delicious spoonful!
Pumpkin Pie in a Glass
Friends, I must confess that have a thing for dessert parfaits.
Though I thoroughly adore preparing homemade, from-scratch baked goodies, there are simply occasions when I like to keep things a little less involved, especially when it comes to dessert.
Since the holidays can already be a little hectic, with the oven pretty much already in full use, it often makes perfect sense to whip up rich, cool and creamy dessert parfaits as a special sweet treat to indulge in after a festive meal.
And while I typically love to prep and serve these pumpkin parfaits for the Thanksgiving holiday, they're actually fun and easy enough to prepare any time during the fall season, when something sweet and loaded with pumpkin flavor is what we crave!
A fun little twist on my classic homemade pumpkin pie, these parfaits are filled with those same sweet, spicy and creamy flavors, only with a slightly more mousse-like consistency—so cool, spoonable, and scrumptious, and the perfect autumn dessert in a glass!
My Recipe for Pumpkin Parfaits
What I love about these pumpkin parfaits is the layers of texture and sweet flavor, which makes each spoonful taste like a fluffy, mousse-style pumpkin pie, loaded up with spices.
To recreate those pumpkin pie feels, I like to prepare a Chantilly cream as a layer—a French-style whipped cream which is sweetened and flavored with vanilla—and also use that to fold into good quality, canned pumpkin pie filling (with a few bells and whistles added) to lighten it up and give it that mousse-like texture.
Because I love the flavor of a graham cracker crust with pumpkin pie, I make a simple, sweet graham cracker crumble for these pumpkin parfaits, to help create that layer of “crust”, and offer some yummy texture.
Then, it's all about layering it all up in a few glasses, and keeping these parfaits nice and cool in the fridge until ready to serve!
Here's a sneak peek at my pumpkin parfaits recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I prepare my Chantilly cream, keeping it cold in the fridge until I'm ready for it.
- Then, I prepare my pumpkin cream filling using some of the Chantilly cream, and also keep that cold until ready to assemble my parfaits.
- Next, I mix together my graham cracker crumble.
- Then, when ready to assemble the parfaits, I layer the crumble into the bottom of each 8 ounce glass.
- Next, I pipe in some of the pumpkin cream filling, followed by the Chantilly cream. I do one more layer of graham cracker crumble, pumpkin cream filling, then finish off with a dollop of the Chantilly cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I keep the parfaits nice and cool until ready to enjoy!
by Ingrid Beer
These pumpkin parfaits have all the rich, creamy and sweet-spicy flavor of pumpkin pie, with a delicious mousse-like texture in each spoonful!
Yield: Serves 4 (in 8 ounce glasses)
Nutrition Info: 779 calories per parfait
Prep Time: 40 minutes (does not include 1 hour chill time)
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Pumpkin Parfait Ingredients:
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup pumpkin pie filling (not pumpkin puree)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon super-fine sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dark rum (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 20 whole graham crackers, finely processed in food processor (or about 2 ½ cups crumbs)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons apple sauce
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, plus for sprinkling as garnish
- Pinch salt
Chantilly Cream Ingredients:
- 16 fluid ounces heavy whipping cream, cold
- 2 ½ tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your Chantilly cream ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To make you Chantilly cream, add the cold whipping cream to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and begin whipping the cream on medium-high speed.
- Once the cream begins to thicken slightly, add in the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract, and finish whipping until stiff peaks form. Reserve about 1 heaping cup worth of the Chantilly cream, place it into a small bowl and cover with plastic, and set aside in the fridge for a moment to keep cold.
- Take the remainder of the Chantilly cream and spoon it into either a piping bag or a large ziplock bag (cut the corner off the ziplock bag when you're ready to pipe the cream into the glassed), and place into the fridge to keep cold until ready to use.
- Next, gather and prep all of the pumpkin parfait ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To make the pumpkin cream filling, add the room temperature mascarpone cheese to a large bowl, and with a spatula, gently stir it to smooth and fluff a little bit. Next, add in the 1 cup of pumpkin pie filling, and gently fold/blend that into the mascarpone cheese.
- Then, add in the super-fine sugar and the brown sugar, the rum and the pumpkin pie spice, and blend those in well. Finally, fold in the reserved 1 cup of Chantilly Cream, blending it in gently, but thoroughly.
- Spoon the pumpkin cream filling into a piping bag or large ziplock bag (cut the corner off of the ziplock bag when you're ready to pipe the cream into the glasses), and place into the fridge to keep cold until ready to use.
- To prepare your graham cracker crumble, place the finely processed graham crackers into a medium-sized bowl, and add in the honey, apple sauce, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Using your fingers or a spoon, combine the ingredients together until they become moist and form a graham cracker “crumble”.
- Cover with plastic to keep from drying out, and set aside until ready to assemble the parfaits.
- When ready to assemble the pumpkin parfaits, place 4, 8 ounce glasses in front of you, in a row. Add about 4 tablespoons worth of the graham cracker crumble into the bottom of each glass.
- Next, pipe in about 4 tablespoons worth of the pumpkin cream filling over the crumble, and then, pipe in about 3 to 4 tablespoons worth of the Chantilly cream over that.
- Repeat the layering process once again by adding another layer of the graham cracker crumble, then the pumpkin cream filling, and finally, a generously piped dollop of the Chantilly cream in the center of the top of the parfait.
- Finish each pumpkin parfait with an extra sprinkling of cinnamon over top, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
Tips & Tidbits for my Pumpkin Parfaits recipe:
- Good quality, canned pumpkin pie filling: Most of the time when I'm preparing a pumpkin dessert, I always make sure to tell folks to use pure pumpkin, not the pumpkin pie filling. But for these, you do actually need a good quality (preferably organic) pumpkin pie filling, because we do need those extra ingredients which pie filling already comes with. So for these, do use the pumpkin pie filling!
- Homemade Chantilly cream, or good quality store bought whipped cream: Nothing compares to homemade Chantilly cream, whipped up nice and fresh. It has only three ingredients, and so easy to make! But you can use store bought whipped cream, just make sure to get enough to add when making the pumpkin cream component (about 1 cup worth), plus more to layer into the parfaits.
- Make this pumpkin parfait recipe ahead: You can easily make either just the components of these parfaits a couple of days ahead of when you'd like to serve them, then layer them in glasses just beforehand. Or, you can go so far as to actually layer up the parfaits in their glasses, and keep them covered and cold in the fridge until ready to serve.
Craving more cozy, sweet and delicious parfait desserts? Check out these Lemon Curd Parfaits, these Cranberry and Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Parfaits, these “Midnight Kiss” Amaretto Parfaits, these Boozy “Party in a Glass" Parfaits, or these Rich, Chocolatey Cookies and Cream Parfaits!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2012, and has been updated with even more love!