I Am Thankful For. . . Chocolate Pumpkin Pots de Creme (Vegan, Dairy Free, Sugar Free)

[This is the final recipe I have to share from this year’s Thanksgiving feast–but what a way to end off the meal!  If you’re looking for even more Thanksgiving recipes, check out my mega roundup of 75+ Healthy, Whole Foods, Vegan & Gluten-Free recipes.]

Pumpkin Chocolate Mousse from Diet, Dessert and Dogs blog

I do seem to be on a “pumpkin and chocolate” kick these days.  I think it’s a throwback to my childhood Halloweens, when those two items always went together.  Chocolate, more chocolate, topped with a few chunks of chocolate, coated in a sheath of chocolate, served up with a side of chocolate.  Oh, and a plastic pumpkin used for collecting. . . . chocolate.

These days, my pumpkin is real and often home-roasted, and my chocolate is fair trade, organic, and unsweetened.  But hey–it’s still chocolate.

The combination of pumpkin and sepia sweetness first occurred to me as an offshoot of Ellen Abraham’s genius brownies in Simple Treats.  In that recipe, Abraham employs a smidge (isn’t that a great word?) of sweet potato purée to help bind and sweeten the brownies, and to approximate the dense fudginess of egg- and butter-based bars.  I loved them and used to bake (and eat) them all the time pre-ACD.

But times change.

While I’ve continued to use sweet potato in my own brownies, I think pumpkin is equally versatile and delicious.  And it’s popping up everywhere on blogs these days: pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin alfredo, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soufflépumpkin souppumpkin brownie tarts, pumpkin chocolate chip cookiespumpkin parfait, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cinnamon rolls and pumpkin chili. Mmmm!  I’ve used it, too, in hummus, crumble bars, bread pudding, pumpkin butter, and (just recently) pasta.  So it just made sense to combine it with my favorite food, chocolate!

This dessert is sort of like the evil twin of the mousse I posted recently: whereas that earlier version is virtuous and pure, this one is luxuriant and verging on debauchery, with a rich, velvety texture that beguiles. Tradtional pôts de crème are pillowy, light custards suffused with cream. Lighter and smoother than typical custards, they fairly float across the tongue, irresistibly. (For some enticing photos of a true pôt de crème, see this blog post).  Not quite as solid as the real thing, this silky, smooth and airy vegan version is so reminiscent that I just had to use the French term. But who cares what we call it?  This is one of the most decadent desserts you’ll ever eat.

The pumpkin and chocolate command equal roles in this mousse-like dessert, sharing the flavor spotlight much like chocolate and coffee do in mocha confections.  Enhancing the squash is a breath of cinnamon, which adds depth and warmth.  The small amount of agave softens the bitterness of the unsweetened chocolate just enough so that stevia can take over from there, resulting in a dark yet rich chocolate intensity.

Overall, the HH and I absolutely adored these.  I ended up freezing leftovers so we wouldn’t over-indulge and I plan to use them for some mighty fine ice cream once we’ve had a chance to recover from the chocolate overload.  (Okay, let’s be honest: once the HH has a chance to recover from his chocolate overload.  There is no such thing where I’m concerned. 😉 ).


Pumpkin chocolate mousse from Diet, Dessert and Dogs blog

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  1. This looks absolutely divine.

  2. The pic’s for this recipe are making my mouth water. Looks amazing Ricki! You are so creative :O)
    Can I come over for dessert??? Lol.

  3. Love pudding and this one is even better with these two star ingredients pumpkin & chocolate = bliss! YUMMMM 🙂

  4. These sound and look amazing. I love the swirl effect you got in the glasses.

  5. Holy cow! I don’t care what they’re called, they sound amazing! I’m definitely going to keep this in mind for my Thanksgiving planning.

  6. Oh my…I cannot wait to try this one, Ricki! It sounds amazing!

  7. Wow, these look awesome! Bookmarked!!

  8. Wow. This looks so delicious!!

  9. Oh yes, this sounds fantastic!

  10. Oh, these pots de creme are absolutely delicious looking! And so simple 🙂

  11. I’m crazy for pumpkin season! These sound so great and I’ve been craving pudding. I’ve got to try this one out!

  12. Wow, Ricki! You have really outdone yourself on this one.

  13. chocolate, pumpkin, coconut milk and maple syrup – I’m in – I agree that chocolate and pumpkin are a fine pairing (thanks for the link)

  14. I am as impressed with the recipe as I am with the presentation. Beautiful!!

  15. Wow~ that is absolutely mouth watering! And a lovely presentation!!

  16. I love the way the mousse looks in the glasses! What a perfect way to serve a beautiful dessert.

  17. Does this taste as good as it looks???!!!!

  18. ooh, how fabulous! and whaddya know, i just picked up some coconut milk 🙂

  19. These look amazing! And you photos are beautiful. I may just have to make these pots de dcreme for my US Thanksgiving feast. So glad to have found your blog.

  20. everything about these sounds absolutely awesome, Ricki! pumpkin, coconut milk, & chocolate – sign me up!

  21. They are so beautiful! I would have a hard time eating one because I wouldn’t want to mess up the pretty swirls! Eventually I would have to destroy it and devour it though.

    Are you still campaigning to get on the Ellen show? I am making her a little crafty turkey to send her, via snail mail, along with a letter asking her to have you on the show. A vegan can’t ignore a thankful turkey, right? She can ignore intangible emails but she can’t ignore a crafty turkey, can she? Her assistant wouldn’t just throw the crafty turkey in the trash, would they? Either way she’s getting a crafty turkey and a petition!

    • Hey River,
      YES! I am still campaigning! You are my hero, seriously. 😀 How could she possibly refuse your amazing crafty talents?? I do hope you’ll share a photo once the turkey is done! And THANK YOU so much for your unending support–you are the best! xoxo

  22. Delicious perfection! I must try this! Thanks for the mention too!

  23. Ricki these sound and look amazing! You’re a superstar. And thank you so much for linking to my pumpkin bread recipe! Can you call me when you’re making the ice cream version. I can be there in time for the first scoop! I’ll bring Ringo so he can entertain the girls. He’s crazy but lovable.

  24. looks DEELISH!!! I have to try and remember to make this one!

  25. Ricki! Your creativity astounds me. This is beautiful.

  26. Yuuum! Just wanted to let you know that I posted these fabulous looking pudding pots to My Favorite Recipes from Last week post! I’m thankful too 😉

    ~Aubree Cherie

  27. Jeanne Barnum says

    Just made this and it is truly amazing. Rich, creamy, and just enough chocolate to satisfy. I subbed 4-1/2 TB Dagoba unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 TB coconut oil for the chocolate since I was out. Also skipped the cinnamon since I’m one of those (admitedly few) who don’t like cinnamon in their chocolate. Wow! I’ll make this for a special event, put it in a GF pie shell for a cream pie, and who knows what else…

  28. Thanks for the link love! I hadn’t yet ventured into fall yet this year because it had been so warm still. Until this week with it’s rain and chill and snow in the mtns. And so I had my first craving for soup – and pumpkin corn muffins. Ahhh. So tasty. The pumpkin and pasta sounds good to me too even though I have still been finishing up with summer and the basil and tomatoes this week.

    And I now I have been thinking up another pumpkin and chocolate recipe… I just hope the real cold and snow stays away long enough to let my little pumpkins fully ripen!

    Thanks again, my dear.

  29. Ricki, your photos seriously turned out absolutely gorgeous! I hope you are submitting these to Tastespotting and FoodGawker!! This recipe sounds absolutely divine. I have all of the ingredients and I think it would be a perfect ending to my pumpkin pasta that I am making tomorrow night!
    Thank you SO much for linking to my Pumpkin pancake recipe too!! So much appreciated!
    Huge hugs!

  30. Gorgeous & guilt-free!

  31. Melinda Randall says

    Can u sub cornstarch for xanthum gum?? Or use something else for thickener?

    • Hi Melinda,
      Thanks for your comment! I’m afraid that in this recipe, the xanthan is really crucial. You could try subbing 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) ground chia seeds instead, but the texture will be different. They’ll still taste good, though. 🙂

  32. food sensitive newbie needs help says

    I love the look of this recipe. Is there an alternative to using the stevia? Would coconut sugar work?

    • I would think that coconut sugar should work. They might end up just a tad softer with the coconut sugar than with stevia, but still yummy. Let me know how they work out if you do give them a try! 🙂

  33. I’ve been thinking about this dessert since you shared the link, Ricki! So gorgeous and appealing! Pots de Crème is one of my very favorite desserts. Love this pumpkin-y version! Like Jeanne, I rarely have unsweetened chocolate on hand so I like her idea of using cocoa and coconut oil instead.


  34. This was a home run! Firmed up beautifully after chilling and lovely taste and mouth feel. Easier to make than you think. Does not taste of pumpkin to me or my tasters. Not a bad thing, just an observation. Think I will try other types of pureed vegetable in place of pumpkin just to experiment. Putting it in the blender until the color changes to light brown seemed to assure the right fluffy texture. I didn’t have stevia drops so used 1 tsp stevia powder. Next up it will try being the base to a chocolate cream pie. A special occasion dessert keeper! Well done

    • Great to hear–so glad you liked them, Sylvia! And funny you didn’t taste the pumpkin. I remember wondering if maybe I had put too much in! They’re not overly sweet, but I did love the texture. 😀

  35. I finally tried this! Been meaning to for a long time. Well, okay, I didn’t actually try it. I only tried the first half- I didn’t feel like putting it in the blender and adding Xanthan gum. So I just ate it as a pudding, after the “refrigerate” part. So good! I ate most of it over a few days, and then froze the last few servings for an “ice cream” dessert sometime. My mom liked it, too. Thanks for another great recipe!


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