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These individual Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits are like an easy, dreamy no-bake cheesecake dessert in a cup! They are creamy and delicious with a graham cracker crust base that you'll love!
I haven't always been a fan of pumpkin desserts, but mostly that's because the texture of traditional pumpkin pie put me off trying many of them for a long time. Once I realized this, I actually find that I love all things pumpkin and pumpkin spice!
Case-in-point: these creamy, rich no-bake pumpkin mousse cups with their graham cracker crust base for an added textural element that I find irresistible! The base is essentially my no-bake cheesecake with pumpkin and spice mixed in, then portioned out for the prettiest presentation that kids and adults both love!
Why this recipe works
- It's no-bake and takes less than 15 minutes to whip up. Then you can just let it chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve! Technically you don't have to chill them at all and could dig right in, but they will set up and be more cheesecake-like the longer they have to get cold.
- It's lighter and airier than a traditional pumpkin pie, with the added texture of a graham cracker crust.
- The individual cups make for a fun and sophisticated presentation. You can use any small glasses you have on hand, like half-pint mason jars or those cute Oui yogurt jars (I'm not the only one who saves those, right?), and double or triple the recipe for serving at a large gathering.
- Pumpkin: Be sure to get plain pumpkin puree and not canned pumpkin pie filling. Or you can even use homemade pumpkin puree!
- Cream cheese: I really recommend going with full-fat brick-style cream cheese (not the spreadable kind in a tub) for this dessert for the best results, but you can also get away with using reduced fat neufchatel instead if you want to save a few calories.
- Spices: A combination of pumpkin spice and cinnamon give this pumpkin mousse that classic fall flavor. If you don't have pumpkin spice on hand, you can just sub a little nutmeg, ginger, and cloves instead!
- Graham cracker crumbs: I love the sweet flavor of graham crackers in a pie crust, but feel free to change these out for gingersnaps, biscoff cookies, or even Oreos!
How to Make This Recipe
- Make the whipped cream. In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream with half of the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Set aside in the fridge to stay cold.
- Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese in a separate bowl until smooth. This is much easier to do if the cream cheese is already softened to room temperature. Add the remaining powdered sugar, along with the pumpkin puree and spices. Beat well to combine.
- Add about ⅔ of the whipped cream, reserving enough for topping, and fold in to the cream cheese mixture with a rubber spatula until combined. Set aside in the fridge.
- Make the graham cracker crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl and mixing until evenly moistened. Divide the mixture between 6 dessert cups and tamp it down with the back of a spoon to form a crust.
- Transfer the pumpkin cheesecake mousse filling to a large piping bag and pipe into the cups, dividing it evenly. You could just spoon it in, but piping keeps the cups clean and gives a better presentation. Refrigerate for 1 hour to set up, then top with the reserved whipped cream and chopped pecans or additional graham cracker crumbs before serving.
If you prefer to just press your graham cracker crust into a pie plate and fill it with the pumpkin cheesecake mousse filling, you'll have yourself a delicious no-bake cheesecake that is perfect for your Thanksgiving dessert table.
Yes, you can use Cool Whip in place of the whipped cream in this recipe. Just use half of a 24-ounce tub of thawed Cool Whip in place of the cream that gets folded in to the mousse mixture in the recipe below and the rest of it to top the mousse cups before serving.
These are great because you can make them 4-5 days ahead and store them covered with plastic wrap in the fridge. Just add some freshly whipped cream and sprinkle with chopped pecans or more graham cracker crumbs before serving.
Yes! Like most cheesecakes, these freeze well. You can even serve them frozen, although I prefer to let them thaw overnight in the fridge first.
- If you don't have enough glass cups for everyone, you could consider getting clear disposable cups to use instead for an inexpensive solution. Party stores even have small shooter-size cups like this that would be perfect if you want mini versions.
- Be sure to soften your cream cheese so it mixes together smoothly. You don't want little clumps of cream cheese that didn't get mixed in properly running through your mousse.
- Feel free to swap out the graham cracker crust for gingersnaps, biscoff cookies, or Oreos instead!
More Pumpkin Recipes
Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup salted butter, melted
- 3 Tablespoons chopped pecans for serving (optional)
- In a bowl, beat the whipping cream, ¾ cup of powdered sugar, and the vanilla extract with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until it forms peaks. Place in the refrigerator.
- In another bowl, beat the cream cheese with the remaining powdered sugar until smooth.
- Add in the pumpkin purée, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon. Mix until combined, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Fold in about ⅔ of the whipped cream, reserving the rest for topping. Transfer the mousse to the fridge while working on the crust.
- In another bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter. Mix together with a fork until evenly moistened. Divide this mixture evenly between 8 individual serving cups or bowls.
- Spoon or pipe the mousse into the dessert cups. Transfer to the fridge for 1 hour to set up.
- Top with the reserved whipped cream and sprinkle with additional graham cracker crumbs, pumpkin spice, and/or chopped pecans before serving.
- Instead of graham cracker crumbs, try using gingersnaps or biscoff cookies instead. Even Oreo crumbs would be delicious and give it more of a Halloween look!
- Make-ahead: These are great because you can make them 4-5 days ahead and store them covered with plastic wrap in the fridge. Just add some freshly whipped cream and sprinkle with chopped pecans or more graham cracker crumbs before serving.
- Cool Whip: You can use Cool Whip in place of the whipped cream in this recipe. Just use an 8-ounce tub of thawed Cool Whip in place of the cream that gets folded in to the mousse mixture in the recipe and another for topping.
- If you prefer to just press your graham cracker crust into a pie plate and fill it with the pumpkin cheesecake mousse filling, you'll have yourself a delicious no-bake cheesecake that is perfect for your Thanksgiving dessert table.