Fall baking wouldn’t be complete without a decadent pumpkin dessert! These Salted Caramel Pumpkin Parfaits are layered with gingersnaps, pumpkin pudding, and homemade salted caramel sauce and served in cute little mason jars! This (mostly) no-bake dessert is perfect for traveling, so be sure to save this recipe for the holidays!
It’s pumpkin season ya’ll. Let’s indulge a little! I admit, I’m 100% guilty of pinning a million and one pumpkin desserts this time of year, so I figured it was necessary to share a little pumpkin treat here on the blog! But this is more than just a little treat… It’s the ULTIMATE pumpkin treat. Here’s how it came about…
Earlier this Summer I came up with one of my favorite desserts ever (okay, they’re really all my favorites, but still) … Banana Cream Pudding Parfaits. The flavors and textures turned out fabulous, and all those pretty layers stacked in a cute little mason jar was just to die for. Seriously amazing! They were such a hit that I couldn’t help but dream up other flavor combos I could use with these pudding parfaits, and wouldn’t ya know it… pumpkin was at the top of my list! I told you… pumpkin addict right now!
The main component of the parfait is an incredible pumpkin pudding made with vanilla instant pudding, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. It’s nice and thick and FULL of pumpkin flavor! Just check out how gorgeous the color is…
Then I added a layer of Cool Whip Cream Cheese Frosting to add some fluff and contrasting color against the bright orange pudding. Have you seen this stuff in stores yet? It’s in the frozen section right next to the regular Cool Whip, and I just love it! They have a few different flavors, and I thought the cream cheese would be just perfect with the pumpkin. If you can’t find the frosting in stores though, regular ol’ Cool Whip will work fine here!
And by the way, I think piping the pudding and frosting into the jars is the easiest way to go about assembling the parfaits. It helps keep the layers nice and pretty! You don’t need any fancy piping bags, just grab a zip-top bag and cut off one of the corners. Works like a charm!
I wanted to have some crunch against all the soft layers of cream and pudding, so I chopped up some gingersnaps I bought from the store and added those to the jars as well. The gingersnaps are crisp and crunchy and have a wonderful warm, spicy flavor! Pumpkin and gingersnaps are truly a match made in Heaven!
Oh, and I’ll give you fair warning… chopping up the gingersnaps with a knife tends to shoot them all across your kitchen. You should have seen my floor when I was done! I probably should have been wearing protective eyewear with how violently these little cookies were flying. If you want to avoid this mess, you can pulse the gingersnaps in a food processor a few times or just crush them up in a zip-top bag instead. I just like the little chunks of cookie you get from chopping them.
I mean, really… don’t you just want to dive into those layers right now? Go grab a spoon!
But wait! What if I added another one of my favorite Fall flavors to this dessert… Salted Caramel! Yep, I did! I checked out a from-scratch Salted Caramel recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod and created something that would change my life forever. Just look at that beautiful, deep amber, homemade caramel sauce!
Now drizzle that gorgeous salted caramel all over the top… ohhh yeah! I told you this was the ULTIMATE pumpkin dessert!
The best part about these cute little parfaits in a jar… they’re perfect for traveling! Once you assemble them, just pop the lids on and stick them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to go. Why bring a boring pie to Thanksgiving dinner when you can bring these babies?
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Parfaits
40 gingersnaps, chopped
1 – (5.1 ounce) package Jell-o vanilla instant pudding
1 – (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 cups cold milk
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
2 – (10 ounce) containers Cool Whip Cream Cheese Frosting, thawed
For the Salted Caramel:
2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1 tablespoon sea salt
First prepare the salted caramel:
Add the sugar in an even layer to a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When the sugar begins to melt, use a whisk to stir the sugar until it is completely melted. Continue cooking the sugar until it becomes deep amber in color and reaches a temperature of 350 degrees. I recommend using a thermometer! As soon as the sugar hits 350 degrees, carefully add the butter all at once, whisking until the butter is melted. Be careful, the caramel will bubble up at this point! You can switch to a wooden spoon now if the sugar is getting stuck to the whisk. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stir until the cream is incorporated into the sauce and the caramel is smooth. Add the sea salt and stir to combine. Allow the caramel to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before using.
Then assemble the parfaits:
In a large bowl, combine the instant pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, and milk, and beat with a whisk for 2 minutes. Gently fold in pumpkin puree and set aside. Layer about 2 tablespoons of the gingersnaps into the bottom of 8 half pint jars. Top the gingersnaps with a layer of the pumpkin pudding you prepared earlier. Then add a layer of the cream cheese frosting. Drizzle with a spoonful of the salted caramel sauce. Repeat the layers twice with remaining ingredients. Garnish the tops of the parfaits with extra salted caramel and gingersnaps. Refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving.
– Transfer the extra salted caramel into a large jar and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Just heat it up before serving.
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