Festive Sparkling Apple Cider Parfaits are a great way to ring in the New Year with a loved one! This small batch dessert features homemade sparkling apple cider jello topped with a creamy apple cider mousse – for a velvety dessert that celebrates the flavors of the holidays.
Sparkling Apple Cider Parfaits
The holidays aren’t over yet – we still have New Year’s to celebrate! And celebrate I will this coming New Year. We all know what 2020 was like. So I’m not going to belabor that …
To celebrate the close of the year, it was a toss up between straight up jello shots to relive my college days. Or something a little more fancy. I opted for fancy. And it should be noted that these Sparkling Apple Cider Parfaits are non-alcoholic.
I am a big fan of Martinelli’s during the holiday’s and I wanted to make it into a dessert. Enter the jello part of these parfaits. And another seasonal favorite is apple cider. Which makes up the mousse in this dessert. Each layer complements the other by bringing in flavors of apple cider, and the light gelatin sparkling cider is a fun texture with the creamy mousse.
Festive Dessert for Two
The great thing about a parfait dessert is you can dress it up for any occasion. For example:
- Holiday – Cranberry Granita Parfaits
- Fall – Chocolate and Butterscotch Pudding Parfaits
- Halloween – Candy Corn Pudding Parfaits
- Summer – No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits
And what I love about parfait desserts is they make the perfect dessert for just two people. And even though we may be ringing in the new year with a few less people this year, that doesn’t mean the dessert can’t sparkle!
Ok – so maybe there aren’t any actual sparklers with this dessert, but you can top it with some sparkly sprinkles to make it festive.
What You Need To Make Sparkling Apple Cider Parfaits
There are two components to this dessert: the sparkling cider jello and the apple cider mousse. And, there is some required chill time as both need time in the refrigerator to set up. Trust me – it is a pretty simple dessert to make. Not to mention, we don’t need to turn on the oven for this one!
Sparkling Cider Jello
- Sparkling apple cider – And yes, you can use champagne if you prefer. I used Martinelli’s cider.
- Unflavored gelatin powder – I have only used the powder and not the gelatin sheets. If you are using the powder (like the one in the link), you will need two packets. And you will have some leftover. I just fold up the little packet and place it in a ziploc baggie.
- Small bowl – To bloom and heat the gelatin.
- Liquid measuring cup
Apple Cider Mousse
- Apple cider – There are usually jugs of apple cider in the produce section this time of year.
- Heavy cream
- Unflavored gelatin powder – See commentary above
- Powdered sugar – To lightly sweeten the whipped cream
- Small saucepan
- Small and medium mixing bowl
- Hand held mixer
Tips For Making Sparkling Parfaits
- Chill time required – Given the time this dessert needs in the refrigerator, I would make the parfaits a day ahead.
- Unflavored gelatin – I talked about this above, but you will need 2 packets of gelatin powder if you are using this kind. See above about the leftovers.
- Make it adult – Use your favorite champagne or sparkling wine if you prefer. No recipe adjustments needed.
- Bubbles – The sparkling cider (and likely champagne) will lose their bubbles when transformed into jello. You may taste the slightest hint of effervescence, but it won’t be like drinking it from a glass.
- When to make the mousse – Make the mousse when the sparkling cider jello feels mostly firm to the touch. We don’t it to still be liquid when we put the mousse on top of it.
- Liquidy mousse – The mousse mixture will be loose when you first make it. The texture is similar to a custard yogurt. The gelatin will make it set up firmer.
- Serving glasses/vessels – I like using glasses so you can see the parfait layers. The glasses in the photos hold about 10 ounces of liquid. Any serving glass/vessel will work.
- Make it festive – Top the parfaits with sparkles or more whipped cream before serving!
Here’s to a great 2021!
More Festive Dessert Recipes
- Cranberry Granita Pudding Parfaits
- No-Bake Cranberry Mousse Cheesecake
- Holiday Cranberry Granita
- Peppermint Mocha Layer Mini Cake
- Snow Day Cake (Almond Cardamom and Coconut)
Sparkling Cider Parfaits
- 2 – Serving Glasses
Sparkling Cider Jello
Sparkling Cider Jello
- In a small bowl, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of gelatin powder over 2 teaspoons of water. Allow the gelatin to bloom and soak up the water – about 3-5 minutes.
- Measure the sparkling cider into a liquid measuring cup.
- Microwave the bloomed gelatin for only 7-10 seconds – until it melts. Allow it to cool slightly for a few seconds, then stirring constantly (with a fork or small whisk), pour a 1/4 cup of the room temperature sparkling cider into the melted gelatin – this will temper the gelatin.
- Pour the tempered gelatin into the measuring cup with the remainder of the sparkling cider – stirring constantly. Stir for 15-30 seconds to ensure the gelatin is mixed into the cider.
- Pour the sparkling cider equally into the Parfait glasses (or any serving glass/vessel you prefer), and refrigerate until the gelatin sets – about 2-4 hours.
Apple Cider Mousse
- Once you feel the sparkling cider jello has start to set (and can support the weight of mousse without mixing with the jello) – make the apple cider mousse.
- In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of apple cider to a low boil. Continue to heat until the cider reduces to 1/2 a cup (this may take 20-30 minutes).
- Once the apple cider has reduced, pour a 1/2 cup of heavy cream into the saucepan with the cider. Heat over medium heat until it starts to simmer, and continue to simmer on low while you prepare the second batch of gelatin.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the other 1 teaspoon of gelatin powder over 2 teaspoons of water. Allow the gelatin to bloom and soak up the water – about 3-5 minutes.
- One the gelatin has bloomed, scrape it into the saucepan with the cider and cream. Whisk until the gelatin dissolves – about 1-2 minutes.
- Bring the cider liquid to room temperature – Pour the cider liquid into a mixing bowl that is set on top of another bowl filled halfway with ice. Whisk the cider liquid for about 3-5 minutes to cool it and bring it to room temperature.
- Make whipped cream – Once the cider has cooled, place it in the freezer while you make the whipped cream.
- In a medium mixing bowl (you can use the bowl that was holding the ice to the make the whipped cream) add the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream and powdered sugar. Using a hand held mixer, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Note – I do not use a lot of powdered sugar because the apple cider is sweet.
- Remove the cider liquid from the freezer. Scoop about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cider liquid. Use a spatula to mix it in thoroughly – until there are no whipped cream lumps. The mix will be runny, but as you add the whipped cream it will start to thicken slightly. Add the remaining 2/3 of the whipped cream and fold it into the mixture until no lumps remain. The mousse will be loose at this point (like a custard yogurt), but will set as it chills.
- Spoon the mousse equally over the top of the sparkling cider jello. Cover the parfaits loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 more hours. Making the parfaits the night before is ideal – so the jello and mousse have time to set.
- Optional – Top with another dollop of whipped cream and some festive sprinkles. Enjoy!
- This recipe calls for a lot of refrigeration time. The sparkling cider jello and mousse need time to chill so they can set firm. I recommend making the dessert a day ahead of time.
- Unflavored gelatin powder – I use gelatin powder in the packets. You will need two packets. I fold up the pouch with the leftovers and store it in a ziploc in the pantry.
- Reduce apple cider to 1/2 a cup – I start with 2 cups of cider. Reducing the cider makes the flavor more robust. Though, if you wanted to skip this step, that works too.
- Room temperature sparkling cider – Adding melted gelatin to cold sparkling cider will cause the gelatin to seize and clump. The sparkling cider should be at room temp.
- Sparkling cider vs. Champagne – Your choice, or any sparkling cider flavor you prefer. Instructions do not change. If you do Champagne Jello, you could just do a whipped cream to top it.
- Sparkling Jello – You may taste a hint of effervescence in the jello. A lot of the bubbly is lost when made into jello – and it will not be the same as drinking it straight.
- Serving vessels – I like the festive look of glass parfait/drinking glasses. Though any glass or dish will work. The glasses I used in the photos hold about 10 ounces of liquid.
about the author ...
I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!
I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!