Vegan + Gluten-free Pumpkin Mousse Squares

I’m back in Montreal and am more grounded than I’ve been in a long time. The opportunity to go home to Alberta for a couple of days was exactly what I needed to put things into perspective and begin to move on from my life there.

I got to spend a fair deal of time with my parents, stay up insanely late with my little sister, and connect with my old coworkers for two days at the office. All of this human interaction just made me realize that it’s not so much home that I’m missing, than it is just being around like-minded individuals and having a support system around me. I realized that if I want to be happy in Montreal, I need to make an effort to:

  • make new friends
  • explore the city
  • fall in love with life here

So, instead of starting up new projects and solely focusing on my work, I’m allowing myself a bit more freedom to come and go, and just let life happen.

I was so pumped when I got back from my trip, that I had no reservations when I went into the kitchen. Before my trip, my new kitchen had been intimidating me. The new oven, small space, limited appliances, poor lighting, but I didn’t let it get to me over the weekend.

I rocked it and put all my other gluten-free pumpkin recipes to shame! Well, maybe not shame, but this is by far one of my favorites.

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Vegan + Gluten-free Pumpkin Mousse Squares
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
Crisp and rich shortbread base topped with a whipped pumpkin mousse. Betcha can't eat just one!
Gluten-free shortbread base:
Pumpkin mousse:
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
To prepare the base:
  1. Place almond flour and salt in a medium sized bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mash with a fork until combined.
  3. Knead with your hands for a couple of seconds. You'll know it's perfectly mixed when the dough holds together in a ball.
  4. Press into a 8x8 square pan and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
To prepare the pumpkin mousse:
  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of your food processor or blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into prepared base and smooth out with a spoon.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the pumpkin edges away from the sides and the top begins to crack just slightly.
  5. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for a couple of hours, until completely cooled.
  6. Cover and place in the fridge overnight to set.
  7. Afterward, cut into squares, top with pecans if desired and enjoy!
  8. Will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Do not freeze.
  9. View nutrition info
Feel free to use any type of liquid sweetener for the gluten-free shortbread base. Honey (not vegan), maple syrup, date syrup, yacon syrup, or agave should work.

Begin by whisking your dry ingredients together, then adding your wet ingredients to the mix.

Mash with a fork until everything’s combined. You could use a hand mixer, but I was too lazy!

You’ll know when the mixture is ready when it can be rolled into a ball quite easily.

Press the mixture into an 8×8 pan.

Do your best to make as flat and even as possible. Little finger indents are okay ;) Set the base in the fridge for 20 minutes or so while you prepare the dairy-free pumpkin mousse.

I think adding everything to the bowl of your processor would work better than a blender just because it’s quite dense, but use whatever you have handy.

Drop pureed mixture into your prepared baking sheet and smooth the mousse out with the back of a spoon.

Bake for time allotted in the recipe, and be sure to let it cool, then sit in the fridge overnight to set. This step is imperative or it wont work!

During my visit, my Mom shared a poem with me that she hoped would help me over the coming weeks,

May today there be peace within.

May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content known that you have been born with a purpose. Let this settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.

I’ve been reading it before I get out of bed, and the moments before I fall asleep. It’s really nice!

Have a fabulous Monday, all!

Struggling to lose weight


  1. I think your pictures in Montreal come out better than the ones in Calgary…. I love the lighting!

  2. This looks amazing!
    Yes, friends do make any place more special :) Join a yoga class! Great way to meet new people and there are a bunch of awesome places in Montreal. There’s HA Yoga that just opened near Guy-Concordia metro, I don’t know if it’s any good, but it is cheap and it’s a start :) It’s hard making the initiative to get out and meet new people, but you can do it! Good luck :) Why don’t you start a gluten-free cooking class? I know a BUNCH of people who would be interested, and it would be a great way to meet people!!! I could help :) I’m enrolled at a college downtown, I could advertise. ;)

    Always options!

    Take care!

    • Thanks Lea, I’ll keep all of those ideas in mind. I’m attending my first yoga class here this morning!

  3. Leanne, they’re gorgeous and I know with bars, that cutting them and not blending the layers and making a total mess can be quite the task and you clearly took your time with these. They are just PERFECT, both the recipe and the presentation. Bravo!

  4. I’m so glad your trip back helped you get through the rough patch. That poem is really beautiful.
    These look totally amazing, like I wish I had them right now to feast on!!!! The photos came out awesome too (as always), so the new setup is just as good, if not better than the last one!! :)

  5. Good for you and your positive outlook on returning to Montreal! This recipe looks so delish that I might have to head over to the grocery to pick some ingredients :)

  6. Yum! I’ve made gluten-free pumpkin squares, but always with coconut flour and no mousse. Excited to try these! Thanks for sharing

  7. Love that poem Leanne! Your mum sounds like a sweetie. These squares look absolutely mind-blowing! I’m not ashamed to announce that I went through nearly 2 entire cans of pumpkin this weekend… and my hands are turning their usual fall-y orange colour, just like the leaves on the trees! So glad you had a good time back home. I’m sure you’ll be able to make lots of friends in Montreal if you’ve got these squares to hand out! :)

    • Bribe potential friends with squares… I like your style!