Mini Brownie Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits with No-Bake and Gluten Free Options
Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits are mini desserts that make a big impression. Light and fluffy pumpkin mousse is layered with fudgy brownies and fresh whipped cream for the ultimate combination of pumpkin spice and chocolate. This versatile recipe can be made with your favorite homemade brownie recipe (even gluten free) or a box mix. You can even make this a no-bake treat by using storebought brownies!
Originally published on Oct 13, 2016
I’m trying, guys, I really am. I’m just an introvert. A homebody. A loner. Whatever you want to call me. But give me my jammies, socks, television or computer, and a comfy couch. You can even throw in my boys and husband too. And really, with all that, I have no reason to leave my house.
Except adult human interaction is typically something that is encouraged for overall well-being. And my preference for not going anywhere that requires the wearing of shoes hasn’t done much for making friends in the two years since we moved to Maryland.
So I’ve been putting on my (non-elastic waistband) big girl pants and accepting invitations. And even better than that, when the day of the event arrives, even though with every fiber of my being I just want to find a reason to back out, I’ve been picking up the car keys, opening the garage door, and going.
And usually, when I go I bring along a fabulous treat like these little parfaits. I mean, what better way to make friends than by sharing an irresitiably delicious, but portion-controlled sweet treat!
Brownie Pumpkin Mousse Cups
I had made some awesome Flourless Ricotta Cheesecake Swirl Brownies ages ago, we proceeded to eat half the pan, and I knew I had to put the other half in the deep freeze before I proceeded to polish off the rest. But they were perfectly good brownies, so what better to do with perfectly good brownies, versus just eating them as-is, then add more deliciousness to them, am I right?
These decadent mini pumpkin desserts accompanied me to Bunco night, and they were an absolute hit with the ladies. Everyone is as obsessed with the combination of a fluffy pumpkin mousse with rich chocolate as I am.
Which means they want to be my friend and I get invited to more ladies’ nights and then I can make more treats to share with them without eating them all myself and that means more treats to share with you!
Even if I didn’t win at Bunco, I am still totally winning at life! And you will be too if you make these mini pumpkin cheesecake mousse parfaits to share with friends at your next party.
Before you get started…
What do you need to make no-bake pumpkin mousse parfaits?
First, you need brownies. I know, you are wondering why I called this a no-bake dessert. That’s because you can definitely use storebought brownies, or, as I did, some leftover brownies from another day of baking. Homemade brownies or brownies from a box mix are fine. And you even had the opportunity to make this a gluten free dessert by using a recipe such as Flourless Nutella Cheesecake Swirl Brownies.
For the pumpkin cheesecake mousse and whipped cream to complete the parfaits, you only need six ingredients. They are made with just heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice.
How to Make No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits
- Cut the brownies into tiny squares and press one into the bottom of twenty-four mini dessert cups or shot glasses.
- Whip heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract into soft peaks.
PRO TIP: Ensure your heavy cream is very cold, and you can even place your bowl and beaters or mixer whisk attachment in the freezer for a few minutes before whipping the cream.
- Remove about a quarter of the whipped cream and store it in the refrigerator.
- Blend cream cheese, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and some additional powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
PRO TIP: Be sure the cream cheese is at room temperature so that is blends nicely.
- Take about a quarter of the remaining whipped cream and gently fold it into the pumpkin mixture to lighten it up. Then add the remaining whipped cream (NOT the portion reserved in the refrigerator), and fold in gently until no white streaks remain.
- Spoon or pipe mousse into the cups or glasses.
PRO TIP: I like to use a dessert decorating tool. It’s neater and a little fancier than spooning it in, but easier to manage than a piping bag.
- Using the reserved whipped cream, spoon or pipe a little dollop on top.
- Garnish with extra brownie pieces, mini chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, or chocolate curls.
- Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
How to serve Mini Brownie Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits:
- Little disposable dessert cups and spoons are perfect to bring to a party because they are affordable and you don’t have to track them all down after the party and try to wash the teeny little crevices.
- If that’s not an issue, you can also use shot glasses.
- Prefer to make full-size desserts? This will make 6-8 larger parfaits in glasses, bowls, or mini trifle dishes.
- Saving a few little pieces of brownie to put on top makes an adorable garnish, but you could also go with mini chocolate chips, chocolate curls, or shaved chocolate.
Here are more perfect potluck recipes:
- Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Poke Cake (with gluten free option)
- Best Baked Beans
- Strawberries and Cream Cake or Gluten Free Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
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Here are some more of the best gluten free no-bake desserts…
- Mini Banana Nutella Cheesecake Parfaits
- No-Bake Mini Creamsicle Cheesecake Parfaits
- Blueberry Maple Mini Cheesecake Parfaits
- Low Carb Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits
- Spiked Chocolate Mousse Parfaits from Beyond Frosting are boozy little bites for adults only and can be made with gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies instead of Oreos.
- White Chocolate Berry Parfaits from That Skinny Chick Can Bake look totally dreamy.
- Mocha Parfaits from The Kitchen is My Playground will give you a “buzz, and make them gluten free with those chocolate sandwich cookies or use some of the flourless brownies I recommended.
- You’ll also find some yummy one from my friends in this collection of 23 Mini Desserts that are Perfect for Parties.
If you like this recipe, try some more of the best gluten-free pumpkin recipes…
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Flourless Chocolate Roll Cake Recipe
- Individual Pumpkin Custards
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites
Mini Brownie Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits Recipe
A mini dessert that’s perfect for parties, these pumpkin parfaits are light and creamy with the rich chocolate goodness of your favorite brownies. You can make them completely from scratch or pick up some brownies from the grocery store. Either way, this indulgent treat is sure to be a hit.
I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a photo on this pin on Pinterest!
Mini Brownie Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits
For the whipped cream:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, well-chilled
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the pumpkin cheesecake mousse:
For the parfaits:
- 12 flourless brownies store bought or homemade (for gluten free options, see note below)
For the whipped cream:
- Place the bowl and whisk attachment for your stand mixer or a large metal or glass bowl and beaters for your hand mixer in the fridge or freezer until they are cold.
- Add the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the chilled bowl, and beat on medium-high to high speed until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
- Place about a quarter of the whipped cream in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the parfaits, and set the rest aside for preparing the mousse.
For the pumpkin cheesecake mousse:
- In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese, powdered sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice until smooth.
- From the whipped cream set aside in the large bowl (not the small amount put in the refrigerator), add about a quarter to the pumpkin mixture and gently fold in.
- Then add the remaining whipped cream, and gently fold in until no streaks of white remain.
For the parfaits:
- Cut the brownies into small squares so that you have enough to press into the bottom of your dessert cups or shot glasses, and one small square for the top of each. You'll need about 24 squares total
- Press brownies into the bottom of dessert cups or shot glasses
- Using a piping bag or plastic storage bag with the corner cut off, pipe the mousse on top of the brownies.
- Remove the reserved whipped cream from the fridge and top each of the parfaits, using a piping bag if desired.
- Top each with a small brownie square.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Will keep for a few days.