The most delicious “brown sugar” crust topped with a cream cheese layer, pumpkin pudding, whipped cream, and sweet/salty pecan crumbs – this Pumpkin Delight is going to be your favorite autumn dessert! THM S, low carb
This Pumpkin Delight is very rich and can definitely be more than 9 servings!
- 1 cup freshly ground pecan meal*
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon oat fiber
- 4 tablespoons salted butter (softened)
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- 1 1/2 teaspoons THM Super Sweet Blend
CREAM CHEESE LAYER:
- 1 ½ (8 ounce) packages reduced fat cream cheese (room temperature) – 12 ounces total
- 2 teaspoons THM Super Sweet Blend (or more, to taste)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon beef gelatin
- 1 (15 ounce) can plain pumpkin puree
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon THM Super Sweet Blend (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon glucomannan
- ½ cup freshly ground pecan meal*
- 1 teaspoon THM Super Sweet Blend
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Hearty pinch of salt (to taste)
*To make the pecan meal, grind pecan halves to a coarse meal texture in a coffee grinder (you could also use a food processor or mini chopper). Measure after grinding. It’s important to use freshly ground pecan meal because the oils released from the nuts help bind the crust together. If you don’t have a good source for pecans you could try using almond flour and some extra butter (as needed for binding) in place of the pecan meal, but I really like the pecans in this recipe.
CRUST: Mix the ingredients together. I use a fork and some elbow grease, but you can use a hand mixer if you prefer. Press the crust into a greased 8” x 8” glass pan and bake at 350*F for 10 minutes or until the crust goes a little darker around the edges. Chill completely before assembling the delight.
CREAM CHEESE LAYER: Beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth, then add the sweetener and vanilla and beat again. Add the heavy whipping cream and beat until the cream fluffs up and ridges form while beating. Taste and adjust sweetness as desired. Spread onto the chilled crust and chill again before adding the pumpkin layer.
PUMPKIN LAYER: Bloom the gelatin in the almond milk by whisking them together in a glass measuring cup and letting the mixture sit on the counter for a few minutes. Then heat the almond milk + gelatin until nearly boiling; I did this in the microwave. (It took just shy of 1 minute in my microwave.) Watch closely and remove the measuring cup from the microwave as soon as the almond milk starts bubbling around the edges of the cup and foaming up. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes so it’s not piping hot before proceeding with the recipe.
While the almond milk mixture is still warm (but not hot), add it to a blender along with the rest of the pumpkin layer ingredients. Add the glucomannan last and blend immediately so it doesn’t clump. You don’t need to blend this long at all; you don’t want to turn the cream to butter. Blend for about 10 seconds or until the mixture is smooth and gets a little lighter in color. Scrape down the sides of the blender, then blend for another couple of seconds. Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a bowl, cover, and chill to firm up.
Once the pumpkin layer is cool and fairly firm and the crust + cream cheese layer are fully chilled, gently spread the pumpkin layer on top of the cream cheese layer with an offset spatula. Cover the delight and chill in the refrigerator until completely firm – for at least several hours, and overnight is great to let the sweetness level out.
CRUMB TOPPING: Go ahead and mix the ingredients together and save in a sealed container at room temperature until ready to use. The salt rounds out the sweetness of the delight and accents all the flavors. You could probably get away with half this amount of crumbs, but I like to have plenty and leftovers are great on other stuff too – like my morning oatmeal.
Once the bottom three layers are firm, soon before serving…
WHIPPED CREAM: Add the stevia to the heavy cream in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer to thicken a bit. Add the xanthan gum while beating, then continue to beat until the cream is stiff (but not butter!).
FINAL ASSEMBLY: Spread the whipped cream onto the chilled pumpkin delight. Top with a generous sprinkling of the crumb topping. Return to the fridge to chill until serving.
This delight keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
Molasses: This is allowed on the Trim Healthy Mama plan in small amounts (1/4 teaspoon per serving) for flavor. I like Grandma’s brand molasses from Walmart or a local grocery store. Blackstrap molasses is recommended I believe, but the nutrition info isn’t that different from Grandma’s and I don’t like the taste nearly as well. Molasses IS technically a sweetener, but it’s not refined sugar and is only used in a small amount for flavor so I’m still calling this recipe sugar free. 😉 The molasses is responsible for the “brown sugar” flavor in the crust. If you don’t want to use it you could try using a bit of maple extract in its place. (I’d start with ½ teaspoon.)
Sweetener: Use your favorite low glycemic sweetener in place of the THM Super Sweet Blend and THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder (to taste) if you prefer. Always taste and adjust, even if using the same sweetener I did! Taste buds vary a lot with alternative sweeteners. A lot of people like to use more sweetener than I do.
You could use a granulated sweetener instead of the stevia in the whipped cream layer, but you’ll need to powder it in a coffee grinder first. The stevia is perfect for me – slightly sweetening the cream with no powdering necessary.
Glucomannan vs xanthan gum: I used both in this recipe. They’re generally interchangeable, but I slightly prefer one over the other in certain cases. Feel free to use either. Xanthan gum is typically available from local stores, while glucomannan can often only be found online.
Cutting down on calories: You could use just 8 ounces of cream cheese in the cream cheese layer for fewer calories, it just won’t be as thick and firm. You could also just use a squirt of Reddi-wip on top of each piece of pumpkin delight instead of doing the full whipped cream layer.
Allergy info: Gluten free (use gluten free oat fiber). Egg free.
Recipe updated 09.22.21. You can find the (mostly) original Pumpkin Delight recipe on page 368 of Necessary Food, my first cookbook. (That version was actually already tweaked a bit from the very, very original.) The recipe in this blog post has been updated with an amazing “brown sugar” pecan crust (from this Cinnamon Cheesecake recipe), simplified ingredients, better sweetness, and nutrition info.
- Prep Time: 50 mins
- Cook Time: 11 mins
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake + Mix
- Cuisine: THM S, low carb, sugar free
Keywords: trim healthy mama, thm dessert recipes, thm pumpkin recipes, low carb pumpkin dessert recipes, low carb pumpkin delight, pumpkin and cream cheese, pumpkin and pecan