Incredibly Easy Pumpkin Mousse!

This recipe is from Alton Brown from Food Network (from his show “Good Eats“) and is the most failsafe, delicious holiday dessert I’ve ever made.

Here are a few of my Bob’s Kitchen suggestions though to make things a little easier:

  1. First off, if you don’t have a big mixer to make the “soft peaks whipped cream”? – replace it with a single container of defrosted cool whip or whipped cream from your grocer. (usually found in the freezer section next to pie crusts) You could also use a can of pressurized whip cream if you want to bring on the fun factor for cooking with kids.
  2. Second, spiced nuts (which he features in the recipe) isn’t everyone’s favorite and some folks are allergic. So I usually top mine (at the last minute or they go soggy) crushed gingerbread cookies and a dollup of whipped cream.
  3. The best part of this recipe – is that you can replace the pumpkin with say – Mango Puree or Chocolate – and this recipe makes a delicious dessert of many varieties. I’ve made it several different ways (see pictures below) Pumpkin Mousse, Mango Mousse, Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry Mousse. So this really is the holiday dessert recipe that keeps on giving all year long! Enjoy!

Here’s Alton’s Video – and the recipe is down below:


  • 1 cup cold heavy cream (or a single container of cool whip, defrosted)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box pumpkin spice flavored instant pudding mix (or vanilla if there was a run on pumpkin spice which can happen!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Spiced Pecans, recipe follows
  • I usually skip the pecans and top with a crunchy layer of smashed gingersnap cookies and more whipped cream, it’s up to you!


Place the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Whisk until medium peaks are formed, 1 to 2 minutes.

In a separate bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree and milk. Add the pudding mix and vanilla and whisk to combine. Fold in the whipped cream and thoroughly combine. Transfer the mousse into 6 (7-ounce) dessert bowls or ramekins. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 before serving.

Coarsely chop the Spiced Pecans and sprinkle on top of the mousse just before serving.

Spiced Pecans:


  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground orange peel
  • 1 pound pecan halves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Line a half sheet pan with parchment and set aside.

Mix the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and orange peel together in a small bowl and set aside.

Place the nuts in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and set over medium heat. Toast, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes until they just start to brown. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Once combined, add the sugars and water, stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the nuts, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet pan and separate them with a fork or spatula. Allow the nuts to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.

Yield: 1 pound pecans