Frozen Pumpkin Mousse with Walnut Toffee Crunch

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse with Walnut Toffee Crunch
Photo: BonAppetit
Thanksgiving was only a few days away but I'm still in a pumpkin mood. I understand that pumpkin, in all its forms, can be polarizing. My mom, for example, can't handle the "mealy" texture of pumpkin pie but loves the rich flavor of velvety, pumpkin soup. I'm not sure how it happened, but I fell far, far away from the anti-pumpkin tree. On the contrary, pumpkin season is my favorite time of the year. From the moment Starbucks announces their Spiced Pumpkin Latte in September to when that last slice of pumpkin pie has been devoured after Thanksgiving dinner, I'm in.

That said, whenever I'm making a pumpkin recipe I try to find one that will be appetizing to everyone at my dinner table. Which is exactly why I love this Frozen Pumpkin Mousse with Walnut Toffee Crunch*. I mean, just the name alone sounds incredible, doesn't it? Forget the fact that when you make it, your house will start to smell like toasted walnuts bubbling away in warm, salted toffee. Who wouldn't want that?

*A word to the wise: This perfect fall parfait requires some patience. Make it a day ahead or serving to give it time to really set up in the refrigerator. Your guests will thank you.

Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

Walnut Toffee Crunch:
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup walnut pieces (about 4 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup toffee bits (such as Skor; about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Frozen Pumpkin Mousse:
  • 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pure pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

For the Crunch: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil; brush generously with vegetable oil. Toss nuts, toffee bits, sugar, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add butter and toss to coat. Place mixture in center of prepared sheet; pat to single layer. Bake until toffee bits are soft (but retain shape), about 15 minutes. Cool crunch completely on sheet. Transfer to work surface; chop coarsely.

For the Mousse: Whisk 3/4 cup whipping cream, sugar, and egg yolks in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Stir over medium-low heat until thickened to pudding consistency, about 10 minutes (do not boil). Transfer mixture to large bowl. Mix in pumpkin, rum, vanilla, ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and allspice. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream in another large bowl until cream holds peaks. Transfer 1/2 cup whipped cream to medium bowl for garnish; cover and chill. Fold remaining whipped cream into pumpkin mixture. Cover and refrigerate mousse at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

In each of 4 medium (10-ounce) goblets, layer 1/3 cup mousse and generous tablespoon crunch. Repeat 2 more times (some crunch may be left). If necessary, whisk reserved 1/2 cup whipped cream to soft peaks. Pipe or drop dollop of cream onto mousse in each goblet. Cover; freeze overnight. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep frozen. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.


  1. I am ready for pumpkin again myself. This looks wonderful!

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  2. Yummy this sounds so delicious, and quite easy to make. Thanks for sharing this recipe.


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  5. I absolutely loved this recipe! The Frozen Pumpkin Mousse with Walnut Crust is a delightful treat that's perfect for the fall season.

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