Cottage cheese pumpkin fluff is a healthier spin on a classic no-bake pumpkin dessert. By swapping out a couple of ingredients, you still get the delicious creamy texture that tastes like pumpkin pie filling, but with less sugar and more protein!
Traditional pumpkin fluff recipes will typically contain instant vanilla pudding mix and Cool Whip. My recipe swaps out those 2 ingredients for high protein cottage cheese, and unsweetened whipped cream.
Of course it still has all the wonderful fall flavors of warm earthy pumpkin spice, but with these healthier swaps, it makes it so much more than an easy dessert! Use it as a topping for pumpkin pancakes, a base for granola parfait, a high protein afternoon snack, or a simple no bake dessert.
- Why this recipe works
- Ingredients to make the healthier version of this perfect fall dessert
- Easy step-by-step directions to make this dish for pumpkin season!
- Ways to serve this easy pumpkin fluff recipe
- Tips for making the best (healthy) pumpkin fluff
- Cottage Cheese Pumpkin Fluff Recipe (high protein!)
Why this recipe works
- It’s such an easy recipe that uses simple ingredients! Ready in less than 10 minutes (plus a bit of refrigeration), no need to bake, no special culinary skills and so easy to replicate in your own kitchen!
- High in protein and healthy fats, super satiating and full of great vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D, it’s almost unfair to call this a dessert! While it certainly satisfies a sweet tooth, it also works like a yogurt or flavored cottage cheese, so absolutely no guilt eating it any time of day!
Ingredients to make the healthier version of this perfect fall dessert
- Cottage cheese – I recommend using a low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese, to keep overall fat content under control. And use a brand that is low in moisture. I love Good Culture but there are many other great brands out there, and even some that make lactose-free versions.
- Pumpkin puree – you can make your own homemade pumpkin puree in the Instant Pot or stovetop, or use canned. I really like the Whole Foods 365 store brand, as it has a low moisture content and a more intense, vibrant pumpkin flavor.
- Heavy whipping cream – I played around with this recipe and used yogurt, coconut whipped cream and heavy whipped cream, and I preferred the latter. While you can certainly use any of these 3 options, I explain below why I love heavy whipping cream the most.
- Vanilla extract and Pumpkin pie spice – to add additional pumpkin flavor and enhance all the other flavors of the pumpkin pie dip.
- Maple syrup or sweetener of choice – this is to add a bit of sweetness! Feel free to tailor the recipe quantity recommendations to your liking, but the subtle amount I used helps give this delicious dish a flavor that tastes a lot like a pumpkin cheesecake dip.
Easy step-by-step directions to make this dish for pumpkin season!
Begin by making fresh whipped cream by adding the cold heavy cream to a medium mixing bowl, and whisking till stiff peaks form. While you can certainly whisk by hand, I much prefer using my handy trusted hand-held electric mixer. If you wish, you can add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar to the whipping cream to sweeten it just a bit.
After you’ve made your whipping cream, now let’s make the fluffy pumpkin dip! In the bowl of a food processor, add the cottage cheese, pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup. Blend till nice and smooth.
Remove the lid, and add in 1 cup of whipped cream. Close the lid and pulse until the whipped cream is fully incorporated into the mixture.
Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Ways to serve this easy pumpkin fluff recipe
- As pictured here, serve as a type of custard or pudding dessert. Crush up some vanilla wafers or graham crackers and layer on the bottom of a cute cup. Spoon in the creamy pumpkin fluff dip and then top with a dollop of whipped cream. Add a graham cracker or cookie on top and serve!
- Top on pancakes or waffles for added flavor and protein. You can even spread it on a piece of pumpkin bread if you really want to enjoy all things pumpkin!
- Use as a dip and serve alongside your favorite dippers. Think fruit like strawberries or apple slices, gingersnap cookies or cinnamon graham crackers.
- Make granola parfaits by layering the pumpkin fluff, granola, nuts and berries in a bowl for a delicious fall breakfast.
Tips for making the best (healthy) pumpkin fluff
- If you swap out the whipping cream for yogurt, the flavor will become a bit more tart and the texture will be a little thinner. The whipped cream really gives this it an extra bit of fluffiness and density. Either way though, they both taste delicious, it will just taste tangier if you omit the whipped cream.
- If you want just a hint of pumpkin, reduce the pumpkin puree quantity to ¼ cup.
- If you wish to eliminate the step of making your own whipped cream, you can use store-bought whipped topping (like Cool Whip), just know that it will taste a lot sweeter! Eliminate the maple syrup and if you wish to lower the sugar content, you can use Cool Whip Lite.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. There will be a bit of excess moisture that is released, but just stir up the pumpkin fluff and it will be just fine!
- This recipe will make approximately 1.5 cups of pumpkin dip, or enough for about 4 small servings. Adjust accordingly if you wish to serve a crowd.
- Do not make pumpkin fluff in a high speed blender (like a Vitamix), as it will liquify the mixture and make it more like a smoothie.
I can’t tell you how much I love this delicious (faux) pumpkin dessert! Bring it to your next Fall party or holiday gathering and it is sure to be a big hit for those who want something sweet but not overly indulgent. And check out some of my other pumpkin recipes below!
Cottage Cheese Pumpkin Fluff Recipe (high protein!)
- 1 Food Processor
- 1 Hand blender
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- ½ cup pumpkin puree for lighter pumpkin flavor, use ¼ cup
- 8 ounces whipping cream sub ½ cup Greek yogurt to lower the fat content
- 1.5 tablespoon maple syrup adjust sweetness to your liking
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice use 2 teaspoon if you want a stronger spice flavor
- Begin by making fresh whipped cream by adding the cold heavy cream to a medium mixing bowl, and whisking till stiff peaks form.8 ounces whipping cream
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the cottage cheese, pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup. Blend till nice and smooth.1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, ½ cup pumpkin puree, 1.5 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Remove the lid, and add in 1 cup of whipped cream, saving the remaining whipped cream for a topping. Close the lid and pulse until the whipped cream is fully incorporated into the mixture.
- Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Serve as a dip, creamy dessert or a sweet topping on pancakes and baked goods.