Chef Brad Farmerie calls his mother's Thanksgiving Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake recipe a "home run"—try it as a decadent alternative to pumpkin pie.



For the Cheesecake
For the Pumpkin Mousse
For the Crust
For the Whipped Cream Topping


Instructions Checklist
  • Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside.

  • In a large bowl, combine melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar; stir until well combined. Press graham cracker mixture into bottom of prepared baking dish in an even layer; set aside.

  • Make the cheesecake: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together cream cheese, eggs, and sugar until fluffy. Spread cheesecake mixture over crust in baking dish. Transfer to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

  • Make the mousse: Fill a small bowl or liquid measuring cup with 1/4 cup water; sprinkle gelatin over top and let soften. In a large heatproof bowl, mix together pumpkin, egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, milk, salt, and cinnamon. Set bowl over (but not touching) simmering water; whisk pumpkin mixture until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in gelatin mixture. Let cool to room temperature.

  • In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue whisking until medium peaks form. Fold into cooled pumpkin mixture. Spread pumpkin mixture over cheesecake; Cover and transfer to refrigerator until set, at least 8 hours and up to overnight.

  • Make the whipped cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread over cake or serve cheesecake with a dollop on the side.

Cook's Notes

Note: Raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, babies, young children, or anyone whose health is compromised.

Reviews (8)

264 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 78
  • 4 star values: 96
  • 3 star values: 50
  • 2 star values: 26
  • 1 star values: 14
Rating: 5 stars
Loved This! I made it low carb and no sugar added. Instead of gram cracker crust I substituted Almond Flour. Instead of sugar I substituted Splenda
Rating: 3 stars
The flavor and the texture is delicious especially with the buttery graham cracker crust but I had some problems. Mainly the mousse was way to airy and not firm. Looking at the video, the pumpkin mousse part holds together perfectly but mine came out way to soft despite cooking it over 10 minutes, perhaps it needs 20(?) and I let it sit in the fridge overnight. Mr. Farmerie also said this recipe could be used in a round or square/rectangle pan. I used a springform which if you do that, don't make the same mistake I did and NOT run a knife on the parameter of the cake which resulted in though tasty, not an instagram worthy picture.
Rating: 4 stars
In respect to Mr. Farmerie's mother's recipe, this was an excellent base that could be played with. I made my own puree for it; adding other pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, ginger, clove) to the mousse; also, didn't need to be whisked for a whole 8-10 minutes on double boiler to thicken ( I think this is a "raw egg disclaimer" timing). I also sprinkled a little pecan dust on mousse before topping with cream -- next time I might add fine-chopped pecan to the crust; a bit of vanilla or other seasonal extract (almond or chocolate) added to the cream is an idea as well. Potential!
Rating: Unrated
I made this last night and it turned out great. The only thing I think I will do differently next time is add the cinnamon after it is cooked. Adding it while it was cooking, to me, it almost had a bitter taste to it.
Rating: Unrated
The taste was delicious but a few things went wrong. My mousse still seems runny after I refrigerated overnight. Also my cheesecake mixture was very lumpy on the bottom portion of the batter (looked like cottage cheese- which I sieved out). I read somewhere that over mixing cheesecake batter is not good and it causes curdling, but in the recipe he says to mix until frothy..suggestions? I put this in a springform pan, hoping the mousse will hold! Any tips for the future?
Rating: Unrated
PERFECTION!!! I'll never make another pumpkin pie again!!
Rating: 5 stars
We traded in our traditional pumpkin pie this year for pumpkin mousse cheesecake. This was so easy to prepare and very delish!! I followed the instructions exactly. I used a springform pan and found I needed to increase the cooking time just a bit. You must use real butter and real cream cheese, not low fat. We will probably make again for Christrmas!
Rating: 5 stars
I have been making this delicious recipe for years and it always gets rave reviews. Now it's all anyone wants for Thanksgiving dessert! Well worth the effort!