13 Pumpkin Dessert Recipes to Make This Fall

Chocolate Pumpkin Cream Pie
Photo: John Kernick

Pumpkin is delicious whether you give it the sweet treatment or choose a savory preparation. But if your mind immediately gravitates toward pumpkin pie when fall rolls around, this recipe collection is for you. We've highlighted some of our favorite pumpkin dessert recipes, from silky Pumpkin Tiramisu to tangy-sweet and spiced Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bars — but don't worry, there are plenty of pies in here, too. The spread not only includes a Classic Pumpkin Pie, but also Pumpkin Cream Pie in a Chocolate Crust, and even Pumpkin Pie Bars. Read on for all 13 options.

01 of 13

Classic Pumpkin Pie

Classic Pumpkin Pie
© Frances Janisch

To create a crisp crust on the bottom of this pie, former Food & Wine Senior Test Kitchen Editor Grace Parisi partially bakes the pie shell before adding the creamy pumpkin filling, spiced with cinnamon and cloves. If the edge starts to darken too much, cover it with a pie shield or strips of foil.

02 of 13

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown-Butter Pears

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown-Butter Pears
© Con Poulos

Pastry chef Jane Tseng's cheesecake uses tangy, pungent, soft-ripened Robiolina and house-made gingersnaps — this version here calls for cream cheese and boxed cookies. Once made, the cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to three days.

03 of 13

Pumpkin Cream Pie in a Chocolate Crust

Chocolate Pumpkin Cream Pie
John Kernick

Cookbook author Melissa Clark likes pumpkin pie, but she especially likes making it in new and unexpected ways. Here, she bakes a silky pumpkin custard in a crispy chocolate cookie crust, then dollops the pie with a tangy crème fraîche topping.

04 of 13

Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin Cookies
© David Malosh

These soft, lightly spiced cake-like cookies are studded with minced candied ginger and topped with a buttery sugar glaze. They're made with pumpkin puree, and also include pumpkin pie spice, which adds to the autumnal vibe.

05 of 13

Candied Pumpkins with Piloncillo and Cinnamon

Candied Pumpkins with Piloncillo and Cinnamon
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Calabaza en tacha, a Mexican dessert traditionally prepared for Día de los Muertos, was the inspiration for these candied pumpkins drenched with a rich syrup made from piloncillo cones, an unrefined, molasses-laden Mexican cane sugar. Small sugar pie pumpkins have more concentrated sugars, making them perfect for this simple dessert. As the pumpkin wedges cool, they soak up the syrup, resulting in custardy bites laced with cinnamon, clove, and a hint of orange. Serve leftovers mashed in a yogurt or ice cream parfait, churned into pumpkin ice cream, or alongside gingerbread cookies with crema drizzled on top.

06 of 13

Pumpkin Tiramisu

Pumpkin Tiramisu
© John Kernick

Layers of silky pumpkin mousse and coffee-dipped ladyfingers create a spectacular tiramisu that's a terrific alternative to pumpkin pie. If you'd like to make it in advance, the tiramisu can be refrigerated for two days.

07 of 13

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Sarah Kieffer

Cookbook author Sarah Kieffer's gently spiced pumpkin bars — which are from her second book, 100 Cookies — are the perfect treats to segue into autumn. The cream cheese enhances the pumpkin filling without making everything too sweet. As Kieffer writes, "I like pumpkin pie alright, but in all honesty I will always take a slice of anything else over it, especially if cheesecake is an option. But pumpkin pie swirled into cheesecake? I will never say no."

08 of 13

Pumpkin Hand Pies

Andrew Zimmern's Pumpkin Hand Pies
© Madeleine Hill

These delicious pumpkin hand pies from chef and TV host Andrew Zimmern are easy to make and fun to eat. They're fried in peanut oil until they're deeply browned and then finished with a dusting of cinnamon sugar.

09 of 13

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Mascarpone Frosting
© Con Poulos

This classic pumpkin cake from Food & Wine's Justin Chapple is perfectly moist and delicately spiced. The simple vanilla buttercream frosting gets a lovely tang from the mascarpone that's blended in.

10 of 13

Pecan-Pumpkin Cream Pie

Joanne Chang's Pecan-Pumpkin Cream Pie
Tara Donne

This pie slices beautifully to reveal not one but two fillings: both pumpkin custard and gooey, syrupy pecan. Chef Joanne Chang's technique ensures the bottom of the pie shell is perfectly cooked and avoids sogginess. Cooling the blind-baked pie shell with weights keeps it hotter, and flatter, longer.

11 of 13

Pumpkin Parfaits

Pumpkin Parfaits
© Christina Holmes

Justin Chapple layers super-speedy pumpkin mousse with whipped mascarpone cream and crushed chocolate wafer cookies for his gorgeous, delicious parfaits. They're perfect for any fall occasion — the orange, white, and dark brown color scheme makes them a particularly fun dessert option for Halloween.

12 of 13

Pumpkin Pie Bars

original-201311-r-pumpkin-pie-bars.jpg

These bars have all of the spice and warmth of classic pumpkin pie, but they're more easily assembled with a simple press-in crust. Plus, they're portable, and can be enjoyed chilled or at room temperature.

13 of 13

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Cranberry Gelée

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Cranberry Gelée
© Anna Williams

This pumpkin-cheesecake pie started its life as a petit four at New York City's Gotham Bar and Grill, where former pastry chef Deborah Racicot tested new creations before turning them into stand-alone desserts. With its creamy pumpkin filling and ruby-red cranberry gelée topping, it clearly deserved a spot on the menu. The combination of pumpkin and cranberries makes it an ideal ending to Thanksgiving dinner.

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