This 3rd semester of dental hygiene school has been gnarly. GNARLY. Unable to bake hardly anything at all, maybe a few boxes of pre-made pumpkin cake mix for a bake sale here and there. When I finally had a few minutes of downtime, I had a chance to open up the latest issue of Sunset magazine and they had a whole spread of three pumpkin chocolate recipes.
My goal is to make them all at some point, but this particular one stood out to me first:
I’ll admit, it was the stenciled fall leaves that got me.
But hey, this was AMAZING guys. Super easy and super delicious and tastes just like a pumpkin version of tiramisu. You just stick it in the fridge and let it do its thing. I used neufchatel cheese instead of regular cream cheese and I think it’s much more tolerable that way. It would be way too rich with regular. I also only had an 8×8 pan (not 9×9) and that worked out totally fine. My version didn’t turn out as pretty as Sunset’s–my fall leaves came out a bit indiscernible. So that’s why you get their picture instead. It’s way more inspiring.
No-Bake Pumpkin Chocolate Icebox Cake
3 packages (8 oz. each) neufchatel cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
2 tablespoons half-and-half or whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
28 chocolate graham cracker sheets (12 oz. total)
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
1. Beat cream cheese and sugars in a bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Then beat in pumpkin, half-and-half, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.
2. Lay enough graham crackers in a 9×9 in. pan to cover bottom (cut to fit if necessary). Spread a quarter of pumpkin mixture over crackers with an offset spatula. Layer 3 more times, ending with pumpkin mixture.
3. Cover; chill overnight. Set leaf cutouts (trace them on paper) on top and dust with cocoa, then remove. Cut cake into squares.