Paleo, vegan pumpkin mousse cake

This recipe is perfect for bringing to a dinner party or potluck. It's also a great, healthier option so you don't feel so guilty indulging in dessert! We all know that with the holidays comes tons of sweets, candy and other goodies that taste great but may not leave you feeling the best. This is a great alternative to help you not feel guilty for grabbing a slice and it won't leave you feeling sluggish.

The recipe isn't too sweet, so feel free to add more sweetener if you like your desserts on the sweeter side. I personally think it's great without the extra sweetener and gives it more of a dark chocolate taste.

If you don't have pumpkin on hand, you could also used 2-3 mashed, very ripe bananas. You could also cut back on the sweetener a bit if you use bananas since they give the dish a natural sweetness that pumpkin does not. This recipe is very rich, so a small slice is perfect for curbing your sweet tooth without over doing it!

I decided to top the cake with a cinnamon pumpkin frosting, and some extra dark chocolate drizzle would add a great touch as well as presentation (I unfortunately had used up all my baking chocolate otherwise I would have done so). You would simply melt some good-quality dark chocolate and use a spoon ( or pasty bag if you're feeling extra ambitious) to drizzle on top.

Note that for the coconut cream, you can either buy it in a can and stick it in the fridge overnight or you can use a can of regular (not light) coconut milk and stick that in the fridge as well. With the coconut milk, you will just use the cream off the top, so you would need to use 2 cans, versus 1 can of coconut cream.

Ingredients:

For cake:

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 cup coconut butter

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, unsweetened)

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

For frosting:

1 cup coconut cream

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients for mousse cake in a food processor and combine well

2. Place ingredients for frosting in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium with a hand mixer until well combined. Cover and put in the refrigerator

3. Line a springform pan with parchment paper (I placed the springform pan on top of the parchment and drew a circle around it and then cut out the circle)

4. Pour cake mixture into pan and spread (it will seem very thin, but that's ok)

5. Freeze for a few hours until hardened

6. When you're ready to serve, defrost the cake for about 20 minutes and top with frosting

Enjoy!

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