This maple pumpkin mousse is made in the traditional way - with whipped cream & egg whites - a wonderfully festive dessert for the holidays!
Originally posted October 1, 2021, updated 9/16/22.
It’s about only a few weeks away for those of us in Canada, with the American version just over a month later.
Between that, and the weather finally changing, fall - and holiday - foods have definitely been on our minds here.
How could they not be, with the bounty of local apples showing up at the farmers markets, displays of pumpkins and other festive-looking gourds everywhere, etc?
This pumpkin pie mousse is done in the traditional style, which I prefer - it’s a more airy dessert.
It’s a relatively easy recipe that turns out a fluffy mousse worthy of being served at any of the seasonal holidays and special occasions.
Don’t let the fact that it’s traditional vs “easy” fool you, traditional style is literally less than 5 minutes of extra work, over what the easy style is - beating egg whites is really all of the extra work!
Maple Pumpkin Spiced Mousse
It differs slightly in two ways - the sweetener used, and the fact that spice is added.
I used maple syrup instead of granulated sugar when developing this recipe.
As the BIGGEST stereotype of Canadians, I will literally do shots of maple syrup. Of course I’m going to use it in recipes when I have even the slightest excuse to!
I even add some to my Maple Pumpkin Mead, even though it's got honey as the base, by definition.
Just a really great flavor combination with pumpkin, IMHO.
Anyway, with the added pumpkin pie spice, this light, fluffy pumpkin mousse tastes a lot like traditional pumpkin pie.
Traditional vs Easy Mousse
When it comes to dessert mousse, there are two main styles - “Easy” and “Traditional”.
What is Easy Pumpkin Mousse?
“Easy” style mousse is basically pumpkin flavoured whipped cream that’s been stabilized with gelatin - sometimes cream cheese and/or sour cream are also incorporated.
You can start from scratch - beating heavy whipping cream until it’s ... whipped cream - or you can start with a product like Cool Whip.
Either way, you add your flavoring - liqueur, fruit, chocolate, extract, whatever - and some gelatin that you’ve bloomed and melted.
Whisk it all together, put it in cups, chill it a couple of hours, and you have easy mousse.
What is Traditional Pumpkin Mousse?
Traditional mousse is the same kind of fluffy dessert, just made with raw eggs - raw egg yolks and/or egg whites. (I tend to use just the whites in mine)
Traditional mousse generally comes together in 3 parts:
- Flavour base (Fruit, etc), usually mixed with sugar and the bloomed and melted gelatin
- Whipped cream. When I’m doing a chocolate mousse, the chocolate is usually in with the whipped cream.
- The egg whites.
While traditional mousse is perfectly safe for the vast majority of the population, pregnant women, the elderly, and immune-compromised individuals may want to opt for the easy version, which does not contain any raw eggs.
Which Mousse is Better?
If you don’t have any health considerations that rule out the use of the egg whites - and are willing to invest the extra 5 minutes?
Honestly, the traditional mousse is 100% worth the effort - but that’s my personal preference.
Easy mousse is like flavoured whipped cream. It’s a tasty flavoured whipped cream, but the texture isn’t the same as the real thing.
The whipped egg whites produce tiny bubbles, and give the whole thing a fine ... foam... texture. It’s lighter and fluffier than easy mousse, and way more fun to eat, IMHO.
If you’re making it for a mixed crowd, and you’re not sure if there are any health issues?
Using pasteurized eggs will make this a safe option for the whole family.
This recipe uses simple ingredients that should be available in most grocery stores. A few notes:
Be sure to use pumpkin puree, rather than pumpkin pie filling.
You want just straight pumpkin, without all the added ingredients that come in pie filling.
“Heavy Cream” goes by different names. You may also know it as “Heavy Whipping Cream”, “Whipping Cream” or “35% Cream”.
You need that amount of milk fat for it to whip up properly, substituting whole milk or coconut milk will NOT work.
You’ll want to use actual maple syrup, NOT pancake syrup.
For the best flavor, use the darkest you can find.
If you don’t have maple syrup, you can substitute granulated sugar or brown sugar - ⅓ cup sugar, packed if using brown.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
If you don’t have pumpkin spice, you can mix your own combination of cinnamon and other spices.
I usually do ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger, ⅛ teaspoon cloves, ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg for this.
Specifically, I tend to buy the Great Lakes Unflavoured Beef Gelatin.
Pumpkin Mousse Variations
I love this recipe as is, but there are definitely ways that you can tweak it to suit your tastes. A few ideas:
Customizing this recipe can be as easy as adding your favorite toppings!
Try crushed graham crackers or gingersnap cookies - with or without some Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream! - on top of this mousse.
You can crush them by hand, or run them through a food processor for finer crumbs.
No Bake Pumpkin Mousse Pie
Turning this recipe into a bake pumpkin pie is super easy!
Double the gelatin, and increase the water to ½ cup. Once the mousse is mixed, use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it into a pre-made (and baked, if necessary! ) crust of your choice.
I like to use a graham cracker crust - or a Biscoff cookie crust - for this.
Cover and chill for several hours, until set.
Keto Pumpkin Mousse
This can easily be converted into a low-carb pumpkin mousse recipe - simply swap the maple syrup out for ⅓ cup Swerve Brown Sugar Substitute.
This brings the recipe down to 5 net carbs per serving!
How to Make Pumpkin Mousse
The full recipe follows in the printable recipe card at the end , but here’s a pictorial overview with step-by-step photos:
Combine pumpkin puree, maple syrup, spice, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl, set aside.
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
Transfer gelatin bowl to microwave, heat in 10-second increments until gelatin melts.
In a separate bowl, whip egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. You can do this in a stand mixer, or in a medium bowl with an electric mixer / hand mixer.
Carefully fold whipped egg whites into pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined.
Whip cream until stiff peaks form, then carefully fold into the pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of cinnamon!
Note: If you’re not serving them the same day, cover with plastic wrap to prevent the surface from drying out.
Serve within 3 days or so.
More Holiday Recipes
Looking for more inspiration for your holiday spread? Whether Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any of the other holidays, here's a few ideas for you!
Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brandied Apple Upside Down Cake
Chicken Based Potato Sausage Recipe - Potatiskorv
Egg Nog Sticky Buns
Gouda Mashed Potatoes
Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Noelles - Holiday Cookies
Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
Savoury Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing
Southern Comfort Glazed Ham
Southern Comfort Pecan Pie
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Traditional Pumpkin Mousse
- 1 cup Canned pumpkin puree*
- ⅓ cup Maple syrup
- ¾ teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 3 teaspoon Unflavored gelatin powder
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 Large egg whites
- 1 cup Heavy cream
- Combine pumpkin puree, maple syrup, spice, vanilla, and salt together in a large mixing bowl, set aside.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
- Transfer gelatin bowl to microwave, heat in 10-second increments until gelatin melts.
- Pour melted gelatin into pumpkin puree mixture, stir until well incorporated, then set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- In a separate bowl (stand mixer, ideally!), whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined.
- Whip cream until stiff peaks form, then carefully fold into the pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined.
- Pour into 4-6 serving glasses, chill until set, about 2 hours.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of cinnamon!
More Delicious Pumpkin Recipes
When fall is here, is there anything better than indulging in some pumpkin goodies? We’re down for all things pumpkin, whether for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or a random Tuesday!
Here are our favourite ways to use the gourd!
Baked Pumpkin Custard
Copycat Pumpkin Spice Latte
Easy Maple Pumpkin Spiced Muffins
Easy Pumpkin Martini
Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes
How to Carve a Pumpkin Like a Pro
How to Make Pumpkin Mead
Maple Pumpkin Spice Bagels
Maple Walnut Spiced Pumpkin Buns
Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
... and from my other blogs:
Gluten Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Gluten-free Pumpkin Bread
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Mini Doughnuts
Gluten-Free Sopaipillas Pasadas
Keto Pumpkin Fat Bombs
Keto Pumpkin Bars
Homemade Pumpkin Chai Latte
Pumpkin Chia Pudding