Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits

photo 1

For the past year or so, I have been making changes to live a much healthier lifestyle. I know, I know, TOTALLY contradicts what my site is all about, but I love to bake! And life is about balance right? So, you might sometimes see recipes on here that include ingredient substitutions. Example: “Light” or “low fat” in place of full fat ingredients, Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, coconut oil in place of vegetable oil, low fat cream cheese in place of regular cream cheese, TruWhip in place of CoolWhip, etc.

With that being said, I changed this recipe from a full fat to a low-fat version. You can find the original, more natural and better portioned recipe here.

What I like about this recipe, is that it’s not overly sweet, it’s light, yet rich in flavor. You can control the layers of fluffy goodness and the portions. This can also be dangerous, being I doubled the recipe, made two generous parfaits, and let’s just say that was dinner for Ben and I. Hey… I didn’t say finding balance was easy!  😉

This is a great, quick no-bake recipe you can whip up within 15 minutes.

photo1The line up of ingredients. Now if I was real good, I would have used low-fat graham crackers.

image2Crush up the graham crackers in a food processor and set aside. OR… if you’re having a bad day, put the graham crackers in a ziplock bag, and pound them on the counter with your fist or a rolling pin 😉

photoaBeat the cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer. It is important that the cream cheese has time to soften on the counter prior to beating it. You do not want any chunks, so it needs to be very soft to achieve the creamy and smooth texture.

image3Add the pumpkin, vanilla, brown sugar, and spices to the bowl with the cream cheese. Beat until combined and creamy.

photo pUsing a spatula, fold in 1-1/4 cups (10oz.) of the whipped topping until no more streaks appear. I used CoolWhip Lite. Make sure the CoolWhip is thawed and not frozen prior to mixing. You do not want frozen chunks in your creamy mixture.

image6image5image4Build your layers! You can put your pumpkin mixture in a ziplock bag, snip a hole in the corner, and pipe it in your dish, or use a round piping tip with piping bag. I started the parfait with a good amount of graham crackers, then CoolWhip, then the pumpkin mixture. Repeat. Build your layers however you like!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfait - bakeforcoffee.comPlace in refrigerator about an hour to chill. THEN… dinner is served! No but really, had I portioned this a little better, it would have been dessert for the next three nights. Now all I have are pictures to remember it by.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfait-1 - bakeforcoffee.comEnjoy! And remember, it’s all about balance.

Recipe:

6 whole graham crackers

8 oz. 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened

1 cup pure pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

16 oz. light whipped topping (I used CoolWhip Lite)

Directions:

-Crush graham crackers in a food processor, set aside.

-In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.

-Add pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, dark brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and cinnamon to the bowl with the cream cheese. Beat until combined and creamy.

-Using a spatula, fold 1-1/4 cups (10 oz.) of the whipped topping into the pumpkin mixture until no streaks appear.

-Place the pumpkin mixture in a piping bag with large round tip, or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off.

-Pipe your layers in whatever order you choose, in the dishes of your choice.

-Place in refrigerator to cool until ready to serve. I would give it about an hour.

Serve chilled. Enjoy!

*Makes 2-1/2 – 3 measuring cups.

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