Ina's Pumpkin Mousse

Still need something for Thanksgiving dessert?

Well you might want to mull this one over. Ina Garten has a bunch of pumpkin mousse recipes in her repertoire. Some have a banana in it, some dark rum, some are made with a graham cracker crust. I prefer the one with dark rum. Quelle surprise.

You make it a day (or two) before Thanksgiving and stick it in the fridge. And flavorful? Oh yes. No last minute fussing on Thanksgiving day either. You just stick a whole gingersnap in the top and serve. Only takes about 15 minutes to make too. Can't beat that. And you can really play around with nice glasses to serve it in. I like the wine glass best (although I filled it too full). I've also made it in small ice tea glasses, highball glasses and once in some pretty glass bowls. Ya gotta have glass so you can see the layers.

If you can't use it this year, copy it and save it for next year. I have a whole file like that!
Pumpkin Mousse
(Adapted from Barefoot Contessa At Home)
1/4 cup dark rum
1 packet (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin powder
1  15 ounce can pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
2 extra-large egg yolks
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 chopped gingersnaps
8-10 whole gingersnaps

1 1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped and sweetened lightly


Place the rum in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Set aside for 10 minutes or so.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Melt the gelatin over hot water until it is clear. Immediately whisk the gelatin into the pumpkin mixture.
Whip the heavy cream with the vanilla until soft peaks form. Mix into the pumpkin mixture.
In another bowl, whip the last 1 1/2 cups whipping cream and sweeten it with sugar slightly.

To assemble: spoon some of the pumpkin mixture into glasses. Add a layer of whipped cream, some broken gingersnaps and repeat the layers, ending with a layer of pumpkin. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
To serve, place a whole gingersnap into whipped cream.
Serves 8-10 depending on glass size.


  1. Ina's standards are that of perfection in my opinion, and this Barbara would have her very pleased !....it looks AMAZING !

  2. Love it! It's so beautiful, I think I'm lost for words. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Berlin but that doesn't mean I can't indulge with a dessert like this.

  3. I love Ina's recipes! This is really lovely, and I bet it would also be fantastic with some dark chocolate shavings on top!

  4. Channon: Me too!

    Nat: I love her recipes. Very with it and classy.

    Vanessa: I agree- any time, any place this would be really good!

    Faith: Absolutely! Also crystalized ginger.

  5. Absolutely stunning! Definitely goes into my "must make" file. The gingersnaps are such a great idea for textural contrast with the mousse.

  6. PRINTING! This looks fabulous Barbara! Thank you for sharing this wonderful treat!

    Have a great weekend!

    Love and hugs,

  7. A fabulous dessert! I love the run and gingersnaps here!

  8. Looks and sounds just wonderful, Barbara! Gingersnaps go so well with anything pumpkin flavored. I just love them. Very, very nice blog you have here!

  9. Wow, this looks amazing!

  10. Hungry Dog: Of course they soften somewhat after sitting in the fridge.

    Karyn: You're welcome!

    Natasha: That dark rum is delicious with the pumpkin!

    Jane: Thank you!

    Emily and Sophie: It is! Thanks.

  11. Looks and sounds great! Elegant, as it were...

  12. Barbara, this is the perfect dessert to finish the perfect feast! Your presentation is spectacular.

  13. Mmm...thanks for sharing this! I've been wondering about using a pumpkin mousse this holiday to fill a dessert shell instead of making traditional pies. Sounds fabulous!

  14. Dont you just love Ina???? Jeffery is such a lucky hubby! This is a beautiful desert. Anybody going to your place for Thanksgiving is lucky indeed. Have a wonderful weekend. *kisses* HH

  15. I love Ina!!! I have made almost all her desserts except this one! I will be adding this to the dessert list for thanksgiving!!

  16. I have wanted to make this and just never got around to it??? But now you have motivated me to try. Not only does it sound delicious but it is so elegant!!
    I noticed in your sidebar one the cookbooks you like is the one from Boca, I have had that cookbook for years. We have a condo in the area and I stumbled across it at the Christmas Tree show in Delray years ago...it is a fantastic cookbook. I was so excited to see it mentioned somewhere :)

  17. Barbara,
    Thank you for your kind comments, I love your blog too!
    I am making the BC's outrageous brownies right now, they are a hit where ever I take them, and so easy..... good for the chocoholic!!!!
    Margaret B

  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  19. Anonymous said...
    Buffalodick: Elegant and boozy. Good combination.

    George: Thanks!

    Kellypea: I get tired of the pies, too!

    HH: Ina and Jeffrey must lead an interesting life. I do love her recipes. Big hug back!

    Sarah: Me too.

    Bunny: I live in Boca and three of my recipes are in that book! One of the local JL members is doing a Julie/Julia thing with it.

    Margaret: I never met a recipe of Ina's I didn't like!

  20. Looks fantastic! You can never go wrong with an Ina recipe!

  21. I love this recipe. Thank for reminding me how great it is.

  22. look at that divine dessert! who wouldn't love that, gorgeous!

  23. This Mousse look absolutely divine and wonderful I love mousse, thanks by sharing, gloria

  24. Dishes Done: I agree!

    Jan: Easy and really good!

    Teresa and Gloria: Thank you for your kind words!

  25. fancy shmancy presentation, barbara--i like it! gingersnaps are the perfect filler for this treat, and i'm most excited about that sneaky orange zest!

  26. All of the wonderful flavors of pumpkin pie and without the soggy crust. Perfect!

  27. I just want to dig in with a big spoon! Love your photos!

  28. Definitely need to save this one. I'm bringing dessert to my mom's house (among lots of other things) so can't do something in separate glasses this year. Just too much to bring and I don't think it would be quite as beautiful as one.

  29. I love your idea of using wine glasses for dessert. I've been using some margarita glasses for that, but I will explore more glass options!

  30. Grace: I love to use glasses for desserts....it makes an ordinary mousse look elegant and worthy of a holiday table.

    Mimi: So true. Your comment made me grin.

    Fig Tree: Thanks!

    Jessica: Yes, the presentation would lose something if put in a large dish.

    Francesca: I use margartia glasses for a lot of things too. Love the shape.

  31. It sounds as though Ina really loves pumpkin mousse. I can see why since it is so versatile and you can make it ahead. You can then concentrate on the rest of the celebrations.

  32. Oh yum, that looks absolutely delicious and what a beautiful presentation!

  33. A fabulous dessert! Very original and delightfully seasonal!



  34. I love Ina! Wow! That dessert looks fantastic!

  35. I've already got my Thanksgiving dessert covered, but there's no reason why this wouldn't make an excellent weekend-after-Thanksgiving recipe. Or the week after that. Or after that.

    This looks fantastic, rum and pumpkin sound like they would make an excellent pair!

  36. Valli: I really like to concentrate on my guests and Thanksgiving is such a cooking-intensive holiday that any shortcuts help!

    Simply Life and Rosa: Thanks!

    Erica: I love Ina too!

    Joanne: I'm with you. I love pumpkin and would eat it any time of the year.

  37. Simply delicious, love anything that can turn in into mouse.

  38. You've certainly done justice to this recipe! It looks beautiful and sounds delicious! I will have to print! Thanks for sharing. Pam

  39. Interesting. The idea of pumpkin as a mousse...is strange to me but pumpkin cooking and baking is new to me. Looks nice

  40. oooooooh, looks and sounds great! thank you for sharing this recipe.

  41. Yum, that looks delish! I've been looking for more "seasonal" recipes. I'm in S.Florida too and this darn heat makes it hard for me to get in the spirit of the season. Baking helps though. :)

  42. Pumpkin mousse! Lovely... I am drooling now.

  43. Love the layers - and even better that it can be prepared ahead of time (I love those recipes).

  44. Those layers look so luscious. I've never really tried a "western" style pumpkin dessert except for pumpkin pie, but this mousse sounds incredible.

  45. Oh yum! I love this. And there is no such thing as a wine glass too full! ;-)

  46. Wow, what a nice dessert...with rum...looks absolutely gorgeous :-)

    By the way, I have a little surprise for you, please visit my site at Breakfast with Meat Sauce.

  47. Elra and Pam: It is delicious!

    Butterfly: You should give it a try.

    Janeen: You're welcome!

    Tricia: I know- hard to do holiday baking when it's 85°! At least you don't have to bake this one.

    Ellie: I love the recipe.

    Anita: I try to do as much ahead as possible so I can spend time with family and guests!

    Shaz: It's really good...try it!

    Natashya! How true!

    Juliana: Glad you like the recipe. I'll visit your site now.

    Duck: Tell me about it!

  48. I...have no words...for how tasty this looks. Oh my God YUM!!

    And I apologize for the lack of commentary on your blog -- sometimes your posts don't show up on my server!! But I think I found a way around that so I'm back to leaving oodles of comments on your posts :)

  49. Yep, the dark rum would convince me of this recipe too! Looks lovely in the glass too.

  50. Hi Barbara,

    Just wanted to pop over and thank you for your visit and comment. I know so many people are struggling right now and I hate the thought that a parent has to see their child go without over the holidays.

    God bless you for making a difference. Happy Thanksgiving to you my sweet friend.

    P.S. Finally got you added to my blog roll...I'll be stalking you now! ha!!

  51. Beautiful presentation! And what do you mean, "too full?" You can never have enough pumpkin, especially when it's got rum in it! :)

  52. What a pretty dessert! And I pretty much love anything Ina does.

  53. I'm all about the make ahead recipes!! I wonder if the stubborn traditionalists in the group would go for this one (I made the mistake of making pumpkin cheesecake one year INSTEAD of pumpkin pie and boy did I hear it on that one)!

    Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving Barbara!!

    :) T

  54. I am under strict orders to make traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving but I'm saving this recipe for Christmas. The pumpkin-gingersnap combo sounds perfect!

  55. Oh wow! This looks great! Wonderful flavor combo. I will definitely make this....probably soon! I won't be able to wait!

  56. Wow...I like neither rum nor pumpkin, but the presentation is so beautiful that my mouth is watering anyway. I'm a sucker for the pretty.

  57. I absolutely love layered desserts like this one - beautiful, Barbara!

  58. Oh I want 2 portions of that right now! Looks SO great!

  59. This looks fabulous, and the presentation is second to none.

  60. Does this ever look delicious! My mom is a huge gingersnap and pumpkind fan. I have got to make this for her! Beautiful prestentation.

  61. Thats just downright clever that is. I am forever amazed how North Americans manage to make pumpkin everything. I saw a recipe for a pumpkin spice latte the other day.

    Anyway it looks gorgeous & I love the ginger cookie on the top.

  62. looking a lot like tiramisu!
    haha but a more interesting combination.
    got to love the picture :)

  63. this looks so good... i want it for breakfast... opps not off to a good start am if i am craving this and your fab shrimp remoulade... thanks for virtually feeding me~

    i fear my reality will be such a dissapointment...

  64. That sounds amazing! I adore pumpkin pie so it sounds just right up my alley! :D

  65. My!!! this looks just amazing!You are soooo talented!



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