Once the first day of fall arrives, it’s all pumpkin spice all the time. We all know that lattes and pumpkin pie are the most common uses for it, but here are two delicious and unexpected pumpkin spice dessert recipes that offer some variety, and one to make your own pumpkin spice at home!
Remember that you can change any part of these recipes to better suit your taste or if you want to eliminate an ingredient due to dietary restrictions or allergies. And, if it’s your first time making them and you don’t succeed, keep trying! You will only get better in time, especially if someone is helping you with your chores.
DIY Pumpkin Spice
Let’s begin our list with the star of this show: Pumpkin spice itself! While it’s easy to just go out and buy it in a store, there’s nothing like a DIY version made to suit your own taste! It’s very simple:
- 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ ground allspice
- 1 ½ ground cloves
Ready for the extremely complicated, lengthy instructions? OK, here goes:
- Mix all the spices together in a small bowl until the color is uniform.
- Store mixture in a spice container or jar.
That’s it! Now you have a perfectly delicious and completely homemade pumpkin spice to use however you want. Try it with the following recipes.
Valerie’s Pumpkin Pudding
This rich, creamy pudding is not only a delicious treat but a very nice twist on a well-known flavor. If you want to throw guests a curveball, this pudding will do the job!
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 ½ canned pumpkin purée (not pie mix!)
- 3 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 8 - 12 ginger snap cookies
- Whisk the milk, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin spice in a mid-sized saucepan. Simmer the mixture gently over medium-low heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Once they’re well incorporated, whisk in the egg yolks and remaining cup of milk.
- Take half of the hot milk and pumpkin mixture and whisk it into the egg mixture until it’s smooth and uniform, then slowly whisk it back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat and whisk continuously until it boils. Whisk constantly while it cooks until it thickens, which should take about 4 minutes, tops. Turn off the heat, and stir the vanilla extract in.
- Time to assemble the pudding! In a small serving dish or parfait glass, layer your cookies and pudding mixture inside. You can break the cookies in half if the’re too big for your glasses. Once you finish assembling all your pudding cups, cover them with plastic and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
And there you have it. No one expects you to pull off this chilly dessert during fall, but they’ll be asking to have seconds as soon as they taste it.
Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts
Pumpkin pie is the undeniable classic dessert of autumn, but if you really want to turn some heads, try making this other American classic: Doughnuts. Specifically, these pumpkin cake doughnuts:
- ½ cup of vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups of pumpkin purée (again, not pie mix)
- 1 ½ tsp of pumpkin spice
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ baking powder
The key difference in these doughnuts is that they are baked, not fried. Making them is surprisingly easy, just follow the recipe carefully.
- Preheat your oven to 350°. While the heat builds up, grease two standard donut pans.
- Beat together oil, sugar, pumpkin purée, spices, salt, baking powder, and sugar until smooth.
- Slowly whisk in the flour, stirring lightly until the mixture is smooth again.
- Fill the molds in the donut pan ¾ of the way. Bake for about 14 to 19 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Carefully loosen each donut from its mold, then transfer to a rack to let them cool further.
- Before the donuts cool off completely (but have “set” firmly), put them in a bowl with a cinnamon-sugar mix and stir the gently so they’re covered all around.
- Serve or store at room temperature.
This recipe is also great for muffins, you just have to extend the baking time to 23 to 25 minutes. If you’re going to store them, don’t wrap them too tight or they’ll become soggy, and nobody likes a soggy doughnut. Finally, if you want a healthy pumpkin spice recipe, just cut the sugar down; it’ll make the donut less fluffy, but they will still be delicious.