We'd argue that the addition of pumpkin is great any time of year, but it the flavor definitely hits differently in the fall. This is especially true later in the season around Halloween and Thanksgiving. While there are a ton of great pumpkin recipes you can make for dinner — soup, anyone? — the fruit really shines when it's incorporated into a dessert. Whether that's a pie, cake, brownie, cookie, or ice cream, a good pumpkin sweet can make an ordinary night feel really special.
That's why we've rounded up a bunch of pumpkin dessert recipes you can easily DIY any day of the week. We have ideas that use pumpkin spice, while others use puree for filling. Many are made with very few ingredients that you likely already have on hand, and some are even semi-homemade and no-bake. And, of course, we've paired pumpkin and chocolate together quite a few times here because, let's face it, it's one of the best combinations ever. So whether you're making a dessert for yourself or the whole family, you can't go wrong with any of the below options.
S'Mores Pumpkin-Chip Ice Cream Cake
Two of our favorite desserts: s'mores and ice cream, come together to create the ultimate treat. This is semi-homemade thanks to the use of storebought ice cream and marshmallow fluff.
Okay, maybe not your typical dessert, but if you sprinkle this granola, which features pumpkin seeds, to ice cream or yogurt, you've got a great late-night snack.
Pumpkin Spice Cake
You'll fall for this seasonal cake that's full of zing. Spice cake mix and pumpkin purée are blended for the batter and topped with a rich frosting made with marshmallow cream and maple extract.
Swirled Pumpkin and Chocolate Cheesecake
Pumpkin gets hit with a double dose of chocolate in this cheesecake, with a chocolate wafer crust and melted bittersweet chocolate, which should be swirled on top with a knife in whatever pattern you prefer.
This pretty pumpkin pie uses a ready-made crust and can be baked up to two days in advance—a saving grace for time-crunched holiday cooks. Simply blend canned pumpkin with milk, sugar, eggs and spice, then bake until the filling sets.
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Far more flavorful than the processed versions that are popping up at fast-food chains, these bite-size treats feature not only the cinnamon and pumpkin spices you'd expect but also vanilla and ginger.
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Rich and creamy on the inside, crackly and sugar-coated on top—it's no wonder this French classic is a worldwide favorite. Adding pure pumpkin lends a modern touch that's ideal for fall.
Spiced Pumpkin Softies
As the name implies, these cookies are ultra-soft, loaded with pumpkin purée, light brown sugar and golden raisins—all topped off with a fluffy orange-cream cheese frosting.
Create a delectable dessert in no time with this recipe that amps up boxed flan mix with canned pumpkin pie filling and a cup of French vanilla coffee creamer—or 1% milk for a lower-fat treat.
Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Good vanilla makes a big difference, but it is pricey. To avoid waste, measure over a small, clean dish to catch any spillover.
Spiced Pumpkin Waffles
Night, noon, even morning, pumpkins can play a central role in your menu. We spiced our pumpkin buttermilk waffles with the flavors of fall — cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg. Served with hot maple syrup and fresh sliced pears, this morning meal gets the day off to a great start.
What You'll Need: Waffle Maker, ($18, Amazon)
Pumpkin Spice Cakes
One taste of this moist cake and creamy icing, and the traditional pumpkin pie may have to make room on the sideboard for a new holiday favorite.
Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Cake
Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Crust
Both the crust and pie can be made up to 2 days ahead of the celebration, saving you from day-of holiday stress in the kitchen.
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