21 Delicious Desserts That Start with a Can of Pumpkin
Once fall rolls around, it can seem like all good things must start with canned pumpkin. Not only is canned pumpkin pantry-stable and super easy to use, it's also a great base for building an array of different autumnal desserts. You can bring the flavor of the iconic PSL home with Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles and Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes, or try some fresh twists on classic pumpkin desserts with Easy Pumpkin Pie Squares, Pumpkin-Praline Pie, and Chocolate Marble-Pumpkin Spice Bread. Welcome crisp autumn weather (and look forward to Halloween) with our collection of decadent pumpkin desserts that celebrate the best of fall's favorite edible gourd.
Easy Pumpkin Pie Squares
Pumpkin pie, meet dump cake. These pumpkin bars are reminiscent of pumpkin pie, but with a sweeter, slightly crunchier crust. They’re just rich enough to satisfy a sweet tooth without being too filling, making these bars the perfect dessert bite after a big meal. Best of all, they’re way easier to make than pie, and their bite-sized nature suites them perfectly to a large crowd or party.
Pecan, Apple, and Pumpkin Pie
This pecan, apple, and pumpkin—pepumpkle, if you will—pie combines the best of three worlds. The tartness of the apple helps balance out the sweetness of the other two fillings while adding a caramel taste to the mix. However, the pecan and pumpkin keep their distinctive flavors. Cook the apples first to reduce the amount of liquid that gets released into the pie; reserve that liquid for a buttery caramel to drizzle on at the end. If it makes it to the next day, any leftover pie would be great with a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or blended into a milkshake.
Pumpkin-Spice Magic Cake
If you can't get enough pumpkin spice during fall, we have one more recipe you must try out. For our Pumpkin Spice Cake recipe, we combined silky flan with moist pumpkin spice cake and buttery caramel sauce in one incredible confection. We were inspired by a Mexican dessert called “impossible flan”. While it is not at all difficult to make, our Test Kitchen recommends using a light-colored Bundt pan for the best results. A dark-colored pan may get too hot and overbake the cake.
Chocolate Marble-Pumpkin Spice Bread
A chocolate swirl adds a decadent twist to your usual loaf of pumpkin bread. These marbled loaves start with one basic batter that is flavored two different ways. Use a stand mixer to make the basic batter, then divide it into two bowls, and hand stir in the pumpkin and chocolate components to each bowl. This delicious recipe can be divided into eight 5 3⁄4- x 3 1⁄4-inch mini loaf pans. Bake the loaves as directed, but start testing for doneness after 25 minutes in the oven.
Pumpkin Mousse Pie
This light and fluffy pumpkin mousse pie features canned pumpkin blended with a homemade egg custard and homemade whipped cream, then flavored with vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. A frozen pie crust keeps prep quick and easy. Chill for at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day.
Perfect Pumpkin Roll
A classic pumpkin roll is a work of art. Rich buttercream perfectly complements the earthy-sweet pumpkin in this ideal autumnal treat—add a PSL and you're set.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
Loaded with toasty fall flavors, a batch of these easy PSL cupcakes will have you in sweater weather mode faster than hitting the Starbucks drive-thru.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Spice Candied Walnuts
Yet another way to enjoy pumpkin spice this season. Gift these to friends as a festive treat, or enjoy them yourself with an autumnal beer. Make sure to use pure maple syrup, as pancake syrup will taste artificial and will likely overwhelm the spiced flavor.
Pumpkin Spice Fudge
We turned the classic pumpkin pie (and the trendiest of fall spice blends) into a tasty confection. Fudge doesn't require the tempering, rolling, and shaping of other made-from-scratch candies. If you don't have a candy thermometer, do the cold water test: Drop a small amount of the cooked sugar mixture in cold water. If it forms a soft ball, the mixture is ready for pouring into the prepared pan.
Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles
Perfectly crispy on the outside, while light and fluffy on the inside, these festive, fall treats are your new favorite cookie. Rolled in a chai-spiced sugar mixture, these cookies are basically all of your favorite latte flavors mixed up into one perfect cookie. Best served after a dunk in coffee, if we do say so ourselves.
Pumpkin-Spice Bundt with Brown Sugar Icing and Candied Pecans
Candied pecans and a rich, buttery icing turn a simple pumpkin Bundt cake into a grand finale dessert. For the smoothest texture and most impressive presentation, make sure the icing is still warm when you spoon it over the cake.
Can't decide between pumpkin or pecan? This pie has a taste of both.
Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Coffee Glaze
Full of warming fall flavors, these easy Pumpkin Spice Cookies are just about the perfect after-dinner treat to pair with a cup of coffee. After all, they’re basically everyone’s favorite seasonal latte delivered in cookie form. If you plan to share these pumpkin spice cookies at any sort of fall potluck and nut allergies are a concern, you can certainly leave the ground pecans out of the batter—simply replace them with 1/3 cup more all-purpose flour.
If you’d rather skip the booze in the coffee glaze, try replacing it with 2-3 tablespoons of cold coffee. Or you can opt for a different glaze altogether; the maple glaze used here or this toasty tahini glaze would both work great for these pumpkin cookies.
Hungry for more? Check out our 25 Best Pumpkin Spice Recipes next.
Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze
With a rich, gooey pumpkin spice filling, buttery pecan streusel topping, and maple glaze, this fluffy and moist pumpkin coffee cake is sure to impress. Perfect for any occasion, from your next fall brunch to a Halloween party, this coffee cake is easy to make and full of toasty fall flavors. You can prepare the brown sugar-pecan streusel, the filling, and even the maple glaze in advance to make pulling this cake together even more of a breeze once you’re ready to bake. Simply prepare each element in a bowl, tightly wrap each with plastic wrap, and stash them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. Just be sure to take the glaze out of the refrigerator as soon as you’re ready to start making the pumpkin coffee cake so that it has enough time to return to room temperature, and give it a few stirs to loosen it back up if need be.
Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Tahini Glaze
What better fall-inspired dessert to make than this tahini-glazed pumpkin bundt cake. A medley of fragrant, ground spices enhance the rich sweetness of this incredibly moist bundt cake. Topped with a toasty, perfectly bittersweet tahini glaze, this easy to make and comforting fall dessert is the perfect centerpiece for your next dinner party, Halloween gathering, or special occasion.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter
Brown butter takes these rich, seasonal pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to the next level, adding a nutty, fragrant flavor that is absolutely perfect for fall. Canned pumpkin puree lends moisture to these fluffy, cake-like treats while warm chocolate chips fill every bite. Make these for a Halloween party or a fall dinner party, and be sure to store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Salted Caramel Gingerbread Poke Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
The flavors of gingerbread, salted caramel filling, and pumpkin cream cheese frosting marry to become the ultimate fall and holiday poke cake. This cake is a great snack cake or dessert and it's pretty enough to serve to guests. One taste and you're sure to bring this cake to potlucks all season long.
Pumpkin Cake Pops
These adorable pumpkin pops are the perfect sweet addition to any fall festivity. Not to mention, they're a great interactive food craft to tackle with the kids. Once you've given your pops their orange candy coating, use decorative icings and sprinkles to add extra autumnal flair--such as jack-o'-lantern faces and pumpkin vines. Keep in mind that the candy melt coating will harden quickly, so if you do want to hit your cake pops with some sprinkle action, do so immediately after dipping each pop so that the sprinkles will stick. Look for lollipop sticks at your local craft store.
Tiramisù never tasted so good. This indulgent autumn-inspired dessert features espresso-soaked ladyfingers surrounding layers of light and fluffy pumpkin-cream cheese filling. To make ahead, loosely wrap baked and cooled tiramisù in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Ginger-Pumpkin Trifle with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream
Layers of pumpkin, mascarpone, crushed cookies, and a coffee mixture create this show-stopping holiday trifle.
Pumpkin-Lemon Cream Cheese Chess Pie
Layer a rich homemade pumpkin pie filling with an equally decadent lemon cream cheese filling, then swirl the two together for an eye-catching and delicious pie. The bright citrus flavors from the lemon zest pair perfectly with the earthy, spicy pumpkin.