Our buddies at BostInno recently reached out asking if we had a favorite holiday recipe we wanted to submit for their holiday recipe contest. We realized we actually didn’t have a favorite holiday recipe, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t make one. We started brainstorming ideas at dinner the other night, and this is how we arrived at our recipe…
Dessert >> But I don’t want to bake >> Okay, no-bake dessert >> needs cheese >> cheesecake >> deconstructed cheesecake >> pumpkin!! >> fruit component? >> oranges? >> NO >> nuts? >> YES >> How bout pecan? >> Done.
What does that give us? N0-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Mini Trifle with a layer of no-bake pumpkin cheesecake, homemade whipped cream and a crunchy graham cracker and pecan crust. It sounds way more complicated than it is. The recipe is super easy and it doubles as a great holiday gift. Just prepare the three components separately and layer them together in a vessel of your choosing: mason jar, actual trifle, stemless wine glass, container with a latch, etc. It took us about 20 minutes to prepare total, and could take you even less time if you choose not to toast your graham cracker and pecan layer. (Although it’s totally worth taking the extra 5-10 minutes to do so because toasted grahamz are way better than non-toasted ones if you ask us.)
Crunchy Pecan & Graham Cracker Crust
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup crushed pecans
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Combine Graham Cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in mixing bowl. Cover with butter, make sure it is evenly moisturized? (sorry mind blank). Crust tastes best when toasted (you can do it by stove top or baking in the oven on 350 for about 5 minutes. So, technically, this recipe is “almost” no bake.)
Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
8 oz cream cheese
1 can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
With a food processor, beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth. Then add the pumpkin, vanilla, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice, and mix it all until it’s creamy.
Whipped Cream Layer
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
1/4 cup sugar
Whip cream in mixing bowl using a whisk. Doing it by hand will give you the best results. You’ll have to whip it hard, and fast, but it’s totally worth it. It takes about 10 minutes. It works best if your whisk and bowl are cold; place them in the freezer prior to making the whipped cream. Once the consistency starts becoming whipped, stir in vanilla, pumpkin spice and sugar.
Layer components together and top with crushed graham cracker & pecan crumbs for garnish.
We got our mini-trifle glasses (which are actually meant to be dessert wine glasses) at Crate&Barrel, which turned out to be a perfect small portion of the dessert.
Gurl, yo pumpkin cheesecake be triflin’.