recipe: vegan pumpkin mousse parfait

recipe: vegan pumpkin mousse parfait

Recipe by Chef Annette TomeiCourse: Dessert, Holiday DessertCuisine: Vegan



This is a light and fluffy vegan dessert that everyone will love! There are lots of steps, but it’s actually easier than it seems.
You’ll notice that the mousse recipe calls for 1/4 cup organic confectioners sugar three different times (salt is in there a few times too). I chose to write it this way to assure the sugar gets used in the right places. I’ve been known to mistakenly use it all at once… just saving you from my mistakes!
Another helpful hint: read the recipe all the way through before starting


  • Candied Walnuts for Garnish
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • Cranberry Compote
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, washed

  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  • 1/4 cup marsala wine or sweet vermouth (or choice of juice)

  • 1/4 cup water, more if needed

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or table salt

  • Mousse
  • 1 can organic pumpkin (14.5 ounce)

  • 1/4 cup organic confectioners (powdered) sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or table salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Aquafaba (liquid) from 1 can organic no or low-sodium (sea salt preferred) garbanzo beans, approximately 1/2 cup total, chilled

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

  • Pinch of sea salt or table salt

  • 1/4 cup organic confectioners (powdered) sugar

  • 1 can coconut whipping cream (or the cream from 2 full-fat coconut milks), chilled

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup organic confectioners (powdered) sugar

  • Pinch of sea salt or table salt


  • Candied Walnuts for Garnish
  • Have a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula nearby, as well as a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet
  • Place all the ingredients in a non-stock skillet.
  • Turn heat to medium. Do not stir until the coconut oil melts.
  • When the coconut oil starts to melt, swirl the pan or stir to heat evenly.
  • When the sugar completely melts and coats the nuts, turn off the heat and pour onto the baking sheet immediately.
  • The whole process takes about 5 minutes.
  • Allow to cool at least 15 minutes.
  • Break into bits.
  • You can store these in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
  • Cranberry Compote
  • Place all ingredients in a heavy bottom deep saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir to combine.
  • As the mixture starts to simmer and the cranberries start to burst, lower heat if necessary, to keep the mixture from scorching.
  • If you find the mixture is too dry add water a tablespoon at a time… not too much.
  • Cook until all liquid has evaporated and most of the fresh cranberries (but not all) have burst.
  • Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick.
  • Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator up to one week.
  • The compote should be cool before layering in the parfaits.
  • Mousse
  • Pumpkin Base
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, salt, vanilla, and spices. Set aside.
  • Aquafaba
  • Use a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Do not try to whip this by hand. It takes forever.
  • Wipe the mixer bowl or a large mixing bowl and whisk attachment with a few drops of lemon juice or white vinegar and a clean paper towel to assure there’s no oily or other residue… necessary to get the full volume from whipping.
  • Place the aquafaba liquid in the bowl with the lemon juice or vinegar. Start whipping on low speed until very frothy.
  • Add the sugar slowly while the beater is running.
  • After all the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high.
  • Beat for 8-10 minutes to achieve firm peaks.
  • You must use this within about 5-10 minutes. It will deflate.
  • Whipped Coconut Cream
  • In another mixing bowl (if using a stand mixer, you’ll need a second bowl OR do this first and clean the bowl and whisk thoroughly before making the aquafaba).
  • If you are using the coconut whipping cream product, you can use the whole can (or container)
  • If you are using the full-fat coconut milk, just use the firm cream that floats on the top. It’s ok if you get some of the milk in there.
  • Add the vanilla, sugar, and salt.
  • Beat on medium speed for approximately 3 minutes.
  • Reserve 1/2 of the whipped topping in the refrigerator for garnish.
  • To Finish the Mousse
  • Whisk half the whipped coconut cream into the pumpkin mixture with a large (balloon) whisk.
  • Gently whisk approximately 1/3 of the whipped aquafaba into the pumpkin mixture to lighten it up.
  • Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining aquafaba until just incorporated. Do not over mix or deflate by stirring or tapping hard on the bowl.
  • You may use lower amounts of the dried spices if you’re not a big fan of “pumpkin pie spice” – but, most people are, so this is for them.
  • To Assemble
  • Using your choice of 6-8 clear glass dessert dishes (or martini/wine/Irish coffee glasses),
  • Place a tablespoon (or two) of cranberry compote in the bottom of the glass.
  • Top with a layer of mousse (the amount depends on your glasses).
  • Add another layer of compote, and top with a final layer of mousse.
  • Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, as much as 24 hours.
  • To serve, top with a dollop of whipped coconut cream and/or a generous sprinkle of candied walnuts.
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