Pumpkin

30 Best Pumpkin Dessert Recipes to Bake Immediately

So many pumpkin desserts, so little time.

October 11, 2022
Photo by Julia Gartland

It’s pumpkin szn, baby! Light up a white pumpkin candle from Bath & Body Works! Arrange velvet pumpkins on your bookshelves! Tell yourself that this is the year you’re going to leaf-peep across Vermont and then never do it! Watch Gilmore Girls on repeat until your eyes and ears bleed! Wear flannel!

We’re celebrating fall every witch way, beginning with our best pumpkin dessert recipes. You’ll find a line-up of classics like pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and a pumpkin roll, as well as scary-good hybrids (pumpkin snickerdoodles, anyone?). There’s a curated list of pumpkin spice–inspired desserts, but not too many because not everyone’s on board with the craze, and we’re not monsters (or are we?).


Our Best Pumpkin Dessert Recipes

1. Pumpkin Cream Pie

I promise we’ll get to a traditional pumpkin pie recipe, but first, we need to talk about Emma Laperruque’s extra-creamy creation. A ginger-graham cracker crust and a sour cream whipped topping offset any of the typical sweetness that you’d expect from this pillowy pie.

2. Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are relevant 365 days a year, but they needed an autumnal spin. Leave it to Jessie Sheehan to create our new favorite version. They’re fluffy and cakey without being too fluffy or too cakey like some snicks.

3. Pumpkin Tiramisu

Yes, yes, and yes is all I can say about this tiramisu. Spin pumpkin purée into the mascarpone filling, which not only amps up the fall flavor, but also gives each slice a mesmerizing orange hue.

4. Pumpkin Chocolate Bread Pudding

Sensing a theme here? Our favorite desserts ever are getting pumpkin-ified, including this chocolatey bread pudding made with brioche or challah bread.

5. Pumpkin Bundt Cake

We asked and Riley Wofford delivered a super moist, perfectly seasonal Bundt cake topped with a thick cream cheese–based glaze. Cut a slice and cozy up under your chunkiest throw blanket.

6. Pumpkin Banana Bread With Toasty Pecans

Confession: I only eat breakfast if there are baked goods—pancakes, donuts, buttery pastries, and quick breads. (I hope my doctor isn’t reading this). I’m adding this dreamy pumpkin–banana bread recipe to the rotation of “sweets that get me out of bed.”

7. Pumpkin-Mascarpone Pie With Chocolatey Cookie Crust

We couldn’t possibly serve you just one pumpkin-chocolate dessert. Next up is this seriously easy pie made with a press-in chocolate cookie crumb crust and an ultra-creamy pumpkin filling.

8. Pumpkin Cotton Cheesecake

This isn’t a New York–style cheesecake made with sour cream and ricotta and topped with a sticky-sweet strawberry jam. Instead, it’s a version of a Japanese soufflé cheesecake, which marries the airiness of angel food cake with the luscious, creamy texture of American cheesecake. In this recipe, it has a sneaky affair with a pumpkin pie for what may become your new favorite fall dessert.

9. Pumpkin Butter Cups

We’re not saying you need to ditch the usual chocolate–peanut butter cups for this recipe. They just might need to share the spotlight this season. The filling for these tiny treats is homemade pumpkin butter made with pumpkin purée, brown sugar, the zest and juice of an orange, and warm spices.

10. Pumpkin Spice Latte Caramels

Love it or hate it, the PSL will always make an appearance as soon as the temperature drops below 70℉. But instead of always consuming it in the form of a hot latte from one of the big coffee chains, make homemade caramels with all the yummy flavors of fall’s signature beverage.

11. Apple Cider Pumpkin Pie

Can’t decide between making an apple or pumpkin pie? Now you don’t have to, with this two-for-one recipe. The filling is a classic—sliced apples—while the creamy pumpkin topping is unexpectedly delicious (but we shouldn’t be surprised, really!)

12. Pumpkin Sugar Pie With Cookie Crust

Sugar pies can be tricky to get right, but Erin Jeanne McDowell (unsurprisingly) nails it with this pumpkin version that includes a simple press-in cookie crust.

13. Brown Butter Pumpkin Bars With Brown Sugar–Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting is notoriously extremely sweet, but this one isn’t, thanks to browned salted butter, which cuts the rich flavor and introduces warm, nutty notes. The frosting pairs brilliantly with these cakey bars.

14. Our Best Pumpkin Roll

When I hear “cake roll,” my mind immediately jumps to a Christmas Bûche de Noël. But this showstopping dessert has a life outside of the holiday season. Instead of oil or sour cream to give this cake its moisture, it gets it all from pumpkin purée.

15. Classic Pumpkin Pie

We promised a classic pumpkin pie, and here it is: The bestselling cookbook author shared her recipe for the fall must-have. You can absolutely use canned pumpkin purée, but she also included instructions for how to make your own caramelized pumpkin filling.

16. Our Best Pumpkin Pudding

Love pumpkin but hate the pie? This recipe is for you. It ditches the crust so what you’re left with is the only thing anyone really wants—the spiced custardy filling.

17. Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Icing & Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds

This is the chunky turtleneck sweater of the dessert world, which is to say it’s cozy, a little stylish, and dependable.

18. Vermont Spice Pumpkin Cake

It’s a standard pumpkin spice cake…until it’s not. This recipe calls for evaporated milk, which recipe developer Posie (Harwood) Brien says gives the cake a delicate crumb.

19. Pumpkin Pie Cobbler

Quicker, easier, and dare-I-say more delicious than traditional pumpkin pie, this pumpkin pie “cobbler” is the cover girl of fall.

20. Pumpkin Sugar Pie

Erin Jeanne McDowell promises that this pie will never crack, and we’re trusting her with our life—or, um, this year’s Thanksgiving dessert.

21. Pumpkin Pie With Gingersnap Crust & Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Here’s why we love this pie—because for once, the crust (gingersnap! cinnamon!) comes front and center rather than merely playing a supporting role.

22. Pumpkin Cheesecake

Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger (both ground and crystallized), and cloves enhance the flavor of pumpkin purée for this luscious cheesecake.

23. No-Churn Pumpkin Ice Cream

I refuse to believe that ice cream is for summer only. I’ll eat this fall-forward, purely pumpkin recipe even when the temperature dips into the 50s.

24. Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

“Anything* goes well with chocolate, but it’s especially good with pumpkin. These cakey cookies get their moisture from pumpkin purée, canola oil, and just one egg.

25. Pumpkin Pavlova with Pecan Brittle

When I picture pavlova, I picture an angelic white dessert piled high with whipped cream and fresh berries. But in reality, they go way beyond that, with fun, seasonal spins like this one—spiced meringue layered with pumpkin-maple whipped cream and topped with crunchy pecan brittle.

26. Pumpkin & Tahini Pie With Chocolate Pie Crust

I told you, everyone loves chocolate and pumpkin together! Introduce tahini, and the crowd will go wild.

27. Gluten-Free Pumpkin & Coconut Cream Tart

Nailing the perfect gluten-free pie crust seemed like an impossible task—until now. This crust is just as flaky and buttery as a traditional crust, and the sweet, subtly spiced filling is just so delicious.

28. No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Everything you love about cheesecake but easier! More hands-off! More delicious!

29. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies With Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

Are you on the chocolate-pumpkin train yet? If not, this recipe is your final chance on board.

30. Pumpkin Bread

“Instead of a meager cup or so of pumpkin puree, we used an entire can. This means intense squashy flavor, bright orange color, and increased moistness,” writes recipe developer and Big Little Recipes author Emma Laperruque. A spiced-sugar crust takes it over the edge.

What’s your favorite way to bake with pumpkin? Let us know in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Amy L. West
    Amy L. West
  • Patricia Provencio
    Patricia Provencio

2 Comments

Amy L. October 17, 2022
I want to make every one of these pumpkin recipes! However, I don’t eat gluten. I will try to use gf flour and cross my fingers. Thank you!
 
Patricia P. October 16, 2022
I can’t wait to work my way through each of these!!