Beyond pie and bread: a baker's dozen uncommon pumpkin treats

OK, friends, it’s word association time.

I say pumpkin – you say… pie.

Or maybe bread.

But when I say pumpkin, what’s the chance of you coming back with whoopie pies, or fudge, or chocolate chip cookies, or cream-cheese-stuffed muffins? Much less likely.

Today we’re taking the road less traveled, and exploring a collection of pumpkin recipes that are uncommon. And uncommonly good.

Pumpkin scones, quickbread, baked doughnuts, and pie are perennial favorites on our recipe site. But the following baker’s dozen treats are right behind, garnering attention and enthusiastic approval from those willing to look deep into the pumpkin patch for the absolute perfect specimen. Or, in this case – recipe.

Shake off the bonds of convention! Vow to make at least one of these recipes, and I guarantee you’ll be back for more.


Inside-Out Pumpkin Muffins
Instead of being iced, these nicely spicy pumpkin muffins have a sweetened cream cheese center that bakes right along with the muffin.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Who’d ever think of taking America’s most iconic cookie and turning it orange for Halloween? One of our faithful Baking Sheet newsletter readers, Pat Parr of Shoreline, WA, that’s who. Thanks, Pat!


Whole Grain Pumpkin-Banana Bread
Everyone loves banana bread; it’s the most searched-for bread recipe online. And this time of year, everyone loves pumpkin bread, too. Put the two together, and you’ve got a moist, tender loaf with the compelling flavors of each.


Pumpkin Yeast Bread
This bright-gold loaf slices beautifully, making it lovely for toast. And sandwiches. And French toast. And bread pudding. And…

PumpkinWhoopiePies C0F

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
These soft, moist, cake-like cookies are sandwiched around cream cheese filling studded with candied ginger. Even better, they’re 100% whole wheat – but trust me, no one will ever be the wiser!


Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pancakes
For those of you eating and/or baking gluten-free, these richly flavored pancakes, made with coconut flour, are just the ticket on a chilly morning. Drizzle them with honey or maple syrup and top with toasted nuts for a special treat.


Pumpkin Spice Caramels
OK, these caramels aren’t truly pumpkin. But their flavor will transport you to your first delicious bite of pumpkin pie – and their satisfying chew is everything you loved about caramel as a kid.


Pumpkin Gingerbread with Orange Glaze
Orange glaze adds the perfect finishing touch to this pumpkin-y gingerbread. Brown sugar makes this moist bread sweet, while crystallized ginger lends it heat.


Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie
A layer of cheesecake topped by a layer of pumpkin pie filling, all nestled in a flaky, buttery crust – talk about the best of both worlds! This recipe has been a favorite of mine for years.


Microwave Pumpkin Fudge
A couple of years ago, my fellow blogger, MaryJane, came up with a tasty array of microwave fudge flavors for the holidays. Pumpkin turned out to be a real fan favorite.


Savory Pumpkin Rugelach
These little pastries are a fun alternative to their sweet counterparts, and are a great way to enjoy pumpkin in something other than pie. Filled with Parmesan, black pepper, chili, and walnuts – along with pumpkin, of course – they make a different (and tasty) appetizer.


Easy Pumpkin Mousse
Delicious as it is easy, this no-cook mousse – all you do is beat everything together, and chill – makes an elegant dessert for an autumn dinner party.


Golden Stollen
Wait a minute – isn’t stollen an almond Christmas bread? Most of the time, yes. But for fall, and pumpkin season, it morphs into a moist, dense, butter-and-sugar-and-pumpkin confection that’s every bit as beautiful as it is tasty.

But wait, there’s more!

Since we’re talking pumpkin… pump6

You might want to learn how to make your own purée…


…and then enjoy the roasted seeds.

To complete today’s pumpkin journey, please read our post on DIY pumpkin purée and roasted seeds.

Now – orange you glad you read this post?

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Bakeraunt

    I’ve made yeast bread with pumpkin before. My experience is that it will mold more quickly than bread made without. For other pumpkin goodies: I make them when the weather is not warm, or if it is, I freeze most of them to thaw and eat later. I only have one cookie recipe that uses pumpkin, and it did fine, but then there were more people in the house, so they did not last long.

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Yes, no prob, Barb. Simply leave it out; or substitute a combination of nutmeg and ginger with a pinch of clove, which give those fall-type flavors. I’d use maybe half to 3/4 as much of those as I would cinnamon, so potentially sub 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ginger, plus a pinch of cloves, for 1 teaspoon cinnamon. PJH

  2. lillabit2001

    I have to admit I haven’t tried these yet but here are some pumpkin ice cream recipes. The ice cream base is pretty similar in all three recipes.

    Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream recipe at Serious Eats:

    and Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream:

    and with chocolate!: Pumpkin Brownie Chunk:

    This one is without any eggs but would have to be done in at least two batches in the Cuisnart:

  3. mumpy

    the inside-out muffins are amazing….terrific….stupendous….awe-inspiring…..are you getting the idea that my gang liked these?…..i know my guys so i didn’t expect leftovers, but i dont think they even left any crumbs…..a MUST-try recipe!

  4. Ann

    They have done it again! Now instead of giving us 16 oz. per can there is only 15 oz. of pumpkin when most recipes call for a pound. It does affect the recipe! What is the best way to compensate? I can only think of buying an extra can, making our own pumpkin puree or maybe adding applesauce?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Buying another can may be the best option for consistency, Ann. Though you can try roasting a sweet potato until it is tender and blend that into the mix. Shouldn’t make a big difference for the taste. Jon@KAF

  5. Maureen

    I’m a little surprised there’s no mention here of pumpkin soup. I got a lovely butternut squash soup recipe from a friend and have successfully substituted pumpkin for the butternut.

    I have two VERY big pumpkins I just bought for pureeing; looking forward to trying some of these recipes. The cookies look promising, and I love the idea of pumpkin bread pudding.

  6. Leslie

    This website is THE BEST. Use it all the time. You have the BEST recipes, the BEST instructions, the BEST customer care. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT– and pumpkin, too! Yum…

  7. Michele R

    Does anything say fall, the warmth of the holidays and celebrating family and friends more than pumpkin? Thank you for sharing such an unusal and wonderful collection. Can’t wait to get started!

  8. Elizabeth Tanner


    Thanks again for your wonderful ideas.

    Don’t overlook Pumpkin Pie Ice cream…. I found the recipe/formula for the 1/5 qt. Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker I purchased from KAF (40% less than anywhere else I looked!) IT is delicious, very attractive plated at the restaurant I work for. And, sweet potato is an equal substitute in this or almost any recipes.

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Elizabeth, that sounds superb! I’d best put it on our recipe development list for next fall, eh? Thanks for the inspiration! PJH

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