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!

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  1. Seriously, these are FABULOUS. With allergies to eggs, whey, wheat, and peanuts, my choices of holiday goodies have been greatly reduced. I made these for myself for Thanksgiving along with your recipe for vegan whipped topping (using the full-fat can of coconut milk) and they were divine – taste just like pumpkin pie, rich and creamy. Thank you for brightening my holidays! :)

  2. The mousse is divine on its own! Just made this for my family and it’s currently setting in the fridge. Minor tweaks were hemp instead of coconut milk, 1 scoop vanilla SunWarrior powder and 1 tbs lukuma powder (instead of two scoops protein), and a mix of stevia, yacon syrup and agave for the sweeteners !!! Yum. Thanks for sharing, miss!

  3. Is there anything I can sub for the unflavored protein powder? It’s the only ingredient I don’t have. Maybe psyllium husk powder?

    • Hi Becky – rice flour may work, perhaps half of what is called for in the recipe. I hope that helps!

  4. Hi Leanne! What could I use instead of the unflavoured protein powder? I only have Nutribiotic Brown Rice Vanilla protein powder and know from experience that it definitely puts its taste into EVERYTHING. Could I use some kind of flour perhaps? Coconut? More almond?


    • Ah yes, I’ve tried that stuff before! I think you could get away with using 1 tablespoon or so of brown rice flour if you have it!

  5. OMG I don’t normally do pumpkin pie but fancied trying this ,it is sooooo good
    I will never make it any other way plus it’s healthy …
    You are so brilliant Leanne.
    Love it ,keep up the amazing work!

  6. I have a confession to make. I am not pumpkin’s biggest fan. However, my family is and I had a TON of it leftover from our CSA and decided to make this. I may not be a fan of pumpkin, but after dishing anything out to my family, I am a fan of scraping everything I can off the bottom of the pan (those calories don’t count) and this dish was no different. But I accidentally got some of the pumpkin topping on the fork too…and then 2 servings of it ended up going into my mouth as well! What the…?!?! But I don’t like pumpkin?!?! I guess I can’t exactly say that anymore. :) Amazing recipe!!!

    • Ha, you were tricked into trying it. I love it! Also, you’re right… the calories at the bottom of the mixing bowls, pans, pots, and mixing utensils do not count in the least :P

  7. I love your outlook! I just moved from Ohio to California, and I feel your pain. I was SO sad my first couple days here, and now that I have been here a week, I am finally not crying every other minute. I wish you well on your journey, thank you for sharing.

  8. This looks absolutely delicious, but I’m allergic to nuts! What can you sub for the almond flour? I don’t bake a lot so I don’t know any substitutions. Please let me know. Thanks!!!

    • Hi Megan – You could probably use any gluten-free shortbread recipe with a bit extra oil to make sure it holds together really well. I hope that helps!

  9. These squares look so tasty. I’m coming to Montreal!

    Change is super hard for me, so I totally understand what you’re going through. When we first moved to Australia, I was seriously depressed and wanted to leave immediately. But obviously with time we settled in and loved it so much that it sucked when we had to move back home!!