Nine Delicious Sweet Pumpkin Recipes for Thanksgiving

11/14/2019 08:00:00 AM

9 Delicious Sweet Pumpkin Recipes for Thanksgiving

Hello hello! If you can't tell, I've been going absolutely nuts for sweet pumpkin recipes lately! I love the bright colour and earthy flavour that pumpkin brings to baked goods, and pumpkin spice just smells so good and comforting. Seeing that Thanksgiving is coming up in exactly two weeks, I thought it was a good time to share some sweet pumpkin recipes with you. Some of these are my recipes; some are recipes from other sources that I've cooked and loved. Obviously Thanksgiving isn't an Australian holiday, but I have been getting swept up in North American seasonal pumpkin fever!

I think many of these would make a great dessert at a Thanksgiving feast or Thanksgiving-adjacent get-together (ooh, Thanksgiving brunch, anyone?), or would be a nice contribution if you've been invited to a Thanksgiving dinner and have been asked to bring a dish. Or if you just bloody love pumpkin and want to bake something delicious and warmly-spiced just for yourself. I've got you covered and there's no judgement here.


1. Pumpkin Crème Caramel

Pumpkin Crème Caramel
Pumpkin Crème Caramel

I think these are quite an elegant dessert, but are reasonably simple to make. These are just a baked custard with some pumpkin purée stirred through the mixture, giving it a bright colour and lovely flavour. I also added a cloud of whipped cream on top, and candied pumpkin seeds for a fantastic contrasting crunch. I kept this one restrained and didn't put any pumpkin spice in the custard itself, but couldn't help myself and added just a hint of spices to the candied pumpkin seeds. The recipe makes four crème caramels and they do need to be made at least a few hours in advance (or overnight), so I think they'd make a good dessert if you were having, say, a small Thanksgiving dinner party around the big day, and wanted to serve something that's seasonally appropriate, but not OTT pumpkin spice.

Click here for the Pumpkin Crème Caramel recipe. 


2. Pumpkin Chocolate Babka

Pumpkin chocolate babka
Pumpkin Chocolate Babka

This bright braided bread, inspired by the pumpkin and pistachio babka from Parisian bakery Le Petit Grain, is a mash-up of Stella Parks' soft and fluffy yeasted pumpkin bread dough and Ottolenghi's Internet-breaking chocolate babka, with a good dose of pecans, pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin spice added. For such an impressive-looking bake it's surprisingly easy. The dough take just a few minutes in a processor, and it's a simple two-log braid. Breakfast, brunch, dessert, general snacking. This babka does it all.

Click here for the Pumpkin Chocolate Babka recipe.


3. Cardamom Tahini Pumpkin pie

Cardamom-Tahini Pumpkin Pie
Cardamom-Tahini Pumpkin Pie

Perhaps the most traditionally "Thanksgivingy" recipe in this list, which would make an excellent dessert for the proper Thanksgiving feast. This pie has a flaky buttery crust, and a creamy-smooth cardamom-infused pumpkin layer. The real kicker though is the surprise layer of fudgy black tahini underneath the pumpkin. Absolutely incredible. Serve it fridge cold with copious amounts of whipped cream.

Click here for the Cardamom-Tahini Pumpkin Pie recipe.


4. Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze

Pumpkin bread with cream cheese glaze
Pumpkin bread with cream cheese glaze

I got the recipe for the pumpkin bread from an American friend, whose mom used to make it for sleepovers. It's a total winner. A big round of moist pumpkin bread, full of chocolate chips and rich spices. (A whole teaspoon of ground cloves, dooooo it). My addition to to this masterpiece was a rich and thick coating of cream cheese glaze. Gild the lily, and then eat it.

Click here for the Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze recipe.


5. Pumpkin and Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin and pecan cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
Pumpkin and pecan cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

When I first made these pumpkin and pecan cinnamon rolls last year, I literally thought they were one of the most delicious things I'd ever baked, and I stand by that. It's Stella Parks' fantastic yeasted pumpkin bread dough again, this time coiled around a buttery-spicy-pecan mixture, baked until golden, and slathered in sticky cream cheese icing while still warm. They are toooooo good!

Get the recipe for Pumpkin and Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting here.


6. Nigella's Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin scones
Nigella's pumpkin scones

These pumpkin scones are quite a bit simpler than the previous recipes. They come from Nigella's wonderful book, Kitchen, where she suggests them as an accompaniment to a garlicky chicken soup. I've made the recipe exactly as written, but I've also tried them with feta and chives added. Both versions were excellent. They've lovely as quick-bread accompaniment to a meal (soup, stew etc.), or just as they are with lots of butter.

The recipe for these pumpkin scones can be found here, or in the book Kitchen by Nigella Lawson.


7. Pumpkin Pancakes with Sticky Maple Pecans

Nigella's pumpkin pancakes with sticky maple pecans
Nigella's Pumpkin pancakes with maple pecans

Pumpkin pancakes! Another Nigella winner, this time from Nigella Christmas (and originally from her old New York Times column). These are a super-plush and tender pancake, full of bright orange pumpkin purée and buttermilk. Don't skip the sticky maple pecans - they're crunchy and moreish and just so good! I love the idea of a big stack of these pancakes for a holiday breakfast.

The recipe for these pumpkin pancakes can be found here, or in the book Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson.


8. Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread
Once Upon a Chef's Pumpkin Bread

When I re-started pumpkin baking for the year, I wanted to start with a nice simple pumpkin bread, and this one from Once Upon a Chef fit the bill perfectly. It's moist and tender with a lovely crunch around the edges. I added pumpkin seeds on the top for extra crunch, and halved the recipe and baked it in a petite 8 x 4 inch (20 x 10cm or 1 litre capacity) loaf pan. The bread (well, cake) was truly excellent topped with lashings of salted butter. I froze half the loaf in slices and slowly ate it for breakfasts over a few weeks. The frozen slices were just as delicious defrosted in the microwave as the fresh ones were. (I usually popped the slices in the toaster after microwaving them as well because I LOVE crunchy edges). I can definitely recommend this recipe!

Get the recipe for Once Upon a Chef's Pumpkin Bread here.


9. Pumpkin Spice Streusel Muffins

Bravetart's Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
Stella Parks' Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Amazing Stella Parks, yet again! These pumpkin muffins were tender and cakey and tasty and had just the right amount of spice. Stella uses a method for muffins that I hadn't tried before - rather than mixing wet ingredients into dry, she instructs you to rub butter into flour before folding in the remaining wet ingredients. Full disclosure - I found these muffins slightly annoying at first, because there was a LOT of streusel mixture and lots of it came off the muffins and all over my kitchen bench. However, that aside, I loved the muffins. They were wonderful fresh and froze incredibly well. Emergency stash of muffins in the freezer for treaty breakfasts or afternoon teas! Yessss!

Get the recipe for Stella Parks' Pumpkin Spice Streusel Muffins here.


That's it! Do you like baking with pumpkin? Do you have any favourite recipes that I must try? Please hit me up in the comments!

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  1. Hehe I was on the same wavelength and I made some pumpkin cookies this week. I can't get enough pumpkin! :D

    1. Ooh pumpkin cookies! They sound intriguing - must try!



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