Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Marshmallows on top
Erin McDowell’s Pumpkin Pie from The Book On Pie with Homemade Toasted Marshmallows!

Are you like me and feel that every season is starting to creep into the last? What I mean is that every holiday season, official or unofficial, seems to be starting earlier and earlier. We’ve all seen those Christmas decorations showing up before Halloween, right? I don’t think this is a bad thing, especially when it comes to seasonal dessert flavors. A good example is pumpkin desserts. It’s a distinct flavor and one that is so distinctly tied to fall that its seasonality will always be at least somewhat baked in, but who doesn’t want to let pumpkin creep into more of their life? With that in mind, whether it’s early September or late February, here are some of my favorite pumpkin desserts to enjoy.

I know pumpkin can be a divisive flavor, even inside families. Grandma may love it. Uncle Bob may hate it. But pumpkin is sure to end up on most Thanksgiving tables. I love these bars as a pumpkin compromise because they are a great way to ease into the Thanksgiving essential, and give a loving gesture to those who adore pumpkin.
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I made this Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bundt Cake with my friend Andrew Zimmern last year. I recently made a pumpkin pie and roasted several pumpkins and squash, so I have lots of great gourd puree on hand and this is one of my all-time favorite cakes, so I wanted to share it with you.
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This is a combination of my pumpkin spice bundt cake — another Midwestern classic — and a caramelly apple crisp. It’s perfect straight from the oven with a scoop of ice cream as dessert, then served warm the next morning for breakfast.
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This pie is all the things I love in a pumpkin pie and more. The pumpkin filling is not too sweet, because of the tang of buttermilk and it’s combined with a crunchy streusel made with pepitas and buckwheat.
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A twist on basic pumpkin cake, this pumpkin spice cake is covered in beautifully torched balsamic cinnamon meringue with bittersweet ganache between the layers. This cake is made of several recipes from my book, Zoë Bakes Cakes.
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Pot de crème, which is essentially as decadent as creme brûlée, without the crack of caramel resting on top. The texture is like silk and the taste is lightly sweet, with just a slight bitter edge from the burnt sugar in the butterscotch. Check the recipe notes for a pumpkin version!
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To make the pie extra special, roast your own pumpkin. I promise it is it worth it, and not nearly as hard as it sounds. Canned is fine too, and no matter how you get your pumpkin flavor, the resulting combination of flavors in this pie is a must for your dessert table.
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All pumkin’d out? Check out my Thanksgiving Desserts collection where I share options for lots of flavor profiles.

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