Most Popular Pumpkin Desserts & Recipes: Best Thanksgiving & Christmas Pumpkin Pie, Cake and Cheesecake

The holidays are right around the corner, and there’s something very comforting about pumpkin desserts. Simple pumpkin desserts such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin pound cake or roasted pumpkin seeds are quick and easy to make, whereas a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap cookie crust will take a little more thought, planning and time. Each pumpkin recipe has its place, whether in the kid’s lunches, or on the Thanksgiving table.

What’s the Difference Between Pumpkin Puree and Pumpkin Pie Filling?

Pumpkin desserts can be made with fresh pureed pumpkin or canned pumpkin. The most well known brand of caned pumpkin is Libby’s, although store brands are just as good. Make sure to read the recipe and directions before baking.

There is a difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling.

  • Pumpkin pie filling has spices and sugar in it.
  • Pumpkin puree is is pure pumpkin.

Fresh, home-cooked pumpkin puree can be used in most recipes.

  • Tip: Try to drain or squeeze as much liquid out of the cooked pumpkin before using in the recipes. Soupy or runny pumpkin could ruin the pumpkin cheesecake or pumpkin pie.

The Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Still have a Halloween pumpkin hanging around? Don’t throw it away. Scoop the seeds out, season them and roast them. The nutritional benefits of pumpkin seeds are impressive. Also known as pepitas, the seeds are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium and manganese, as well as zinc, iron, copper, vitamin K, protein and fiber. Make a big batch for snacking, and use the rest of them in baked goods such as the Pumpkin Pound Cake found below, and cookies or granola.

Sweet & Salty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

  • 4 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, coarsely ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Scoop the pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkin, rinse well, and dry on paper towels. For best results, let them dry out overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with vegetable spray.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and spreaad them on the baking sheet in an even layer.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown.
  5. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Extra Spicy Pumpkin Seeds Variation: Omit maple syrup, increase olive oil to 3 Tablespoons, and add 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground chili powder, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder to the pumpkin seeds before roasting.


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