Pumpkin Spice Icebox Cake
If a tiramisu, a pumpkin spice latte, and an icebox pie had a baby, it would be this make-ahead dessert recipe. Some things are better from a can or a box—pumpkin purée and graham crackers are two of those things.
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise, or 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract 2 cups heavy cream Kosher salt 1¼ cups pumpkin purée ½ cup light brown sugar ⅓ cup mascarpone or sour cream, room temperature ⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon ground ginger 12 5x2-inch graham crackers 2 ounces strong coffee or espresso, room temperature Pecan brittle, pecan praline, or chocolate butter toffee bar, chopped (for topping)
Real Talk: If you REALLY don’t want to bother with the layering, serve this in small bowls, cups, or clear jars as individual parfaits (a spoonful of pumpkin mixture, a spoonful of cream, with crumbled graham crackers and candy on top). Don’t worry, we won’t comment on how lazy you are.
Scrape seeds from vanilla beans into a large bowl; reserve pods for another use. These babies are expensive! You can blend them with salt or sugar to make vanilla-infused seasonings, add them to simple syrup, or cover them in a jar with vodka to make your own vanilla extract. Sweet!
Anyway, back to the recipe. Add cream and a pinch of salt to bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat until stiff peaks form.
Whisk pumpkin pureé, brown sugar, mascarpone, condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, and ¼ tsp. salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fold 1½ cups whipped cream into pumpkin mixture until combined and no streaks of white remain.
Using a spatula or spoon, schmear a thin layer of remaining whipped cream in the center of a large serving plate (make sure it’s big enough so 3 graham crackers can cover it). Place 3 graham crackers, side by side with the long sides touching, over cream. Lightly brush tops with coffee. Spread ¾ cup pumpkin mixture evenly over crackers. Top with ½ cup whipped cream and spread evenly to edges. Repeat with remaining layers, ending with whipped cream. Make it all swirly and pretty if you’d like. Chill, uncovered, until crackers have softened, at least 3 hours and up to 6. Top with chopped brittle before serving.