Jazz Up Your Fall with These 15 Pumpkin Desserts

It’s that time of year! Pumpkin, a leading ingredient in classic fall desserts, can be found in these breads, bars, cakes, cookies, and more!

Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin desserts are the surest sign that we’re entering the fall season. Even those who don’t consider themselves lovers of pumpkin spice lattes can still get behind a seasonal pumpkin dessert. 

Pumpkin is a winter squash that lends itself well to desserts because you can match its natural sweetness with brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, nuts, and warm baking spices. Seasonal baking spices like allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg boost the pumpkin’s mellow flavor. You can add the spices individually or mix up a batch of Pumpkin Spice Blend to have on hand for all of your fall baking needs.

Canned pumpkin provides an easy way to make your dessert, but you can also roast fresh pumpkin yourself and create the purée needed for these recipes.

Many people were first introduced to pumpkin desserts through the traditional pumpkin pie, but pumpkin can be used in a surprising number of sweet treats. Pumpkin bread, cake, cheesecake, cookies, and ice cream are just a few of the creative ways pumpkin can be used in desserts. 

Also, because pumpkin is a squash and naturally gluten-free, it can easily be incorporated into gluten-free, vegan, and many other desserts that fit all types of eating styles and allergy restrictions. We’ve included a list of all our favorites right here.

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake

    pumpkin cheesecake slice with whipped cream

    Elise Bauer

    This New York-style cheesecake not only has a generous dose of pumpkin and seasonal spices, it also has a touch of bourbon. You can serve it topped with a smooth caramel sauce

  • Pumpkin Bread

    Pumpkin Bread
    Elise Bauer

    This tender spiced pumpkin bread has an optional orange glaze that complements the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and molasses in the batter. The recipe provides thoughtful substitutions for sweeteners, oils, and eggs so you can modify it to meet your needs. 

  • Pumpkin Pie Bars with Candied Ginger Whipped Cream

    Sliced Pumpkin Pie Squares topped with whipped cream.
    Sarah Fritsche

    If you are looking for an alternative to pumpkin pie that is easy to make for a big group, these bars have you covered. The squares can be eaten while mingling with guests, no plate and utensils required.

  • Vegan Pumpkin Bread

    A loaf of Moist Pumpkin Bread cooling on a rack with a second loaf in the pan behind it.
    Sara Bir

    Pumpkin is a versatile ingredient that can be used to create all types of desserts. This vegan pumpkin bread is dairy-free and egg-free with plenty of ideas for mix-ins. It’s the kind of dessert to serve when you want to make sure everyone feels welcome at the table. 

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  • Chiffon Pumpkin Pie

    Chiffon Pumpkin Pie
    Elise Bauer

    If you need a break from classic pumpkin pie, but don’t want to veer too far from traditional flavors, this pie is a top pick. Its creamy, pudding-like pumpkin filling is infused with rum and spices, then topped with fresh whipped cream.

  • Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

    Slice of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
    Cindy Rahe

    This recipe will show you that pumpkin and chocolate are a pair that were meant to be together. Each slice of this pumpkin bread is studded with mini chocolate chips, ensuring you get to enjoy the combination with each and every bite. 

  • Pumpkin Biscotti

    Pumpkin Biscotti
    Elise Bauer

    When you need a dipper for your after-dinner coffee, this recipe is a go-to and a unique way to serve up some pumpkin. It also makes a dessert that is easy to package and gift to others in celebration of the season.

  • Pumpkin Gingerbread

    Pumpkin Gingerbread
    Elise Bauer

    This recipe makes a simple fall dessert enjoyable throughout the entire holiday season. Sweet and rich molasses and brown sugar along with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg merge pumpkin and gingerbread into an unforgettable treat. 

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  • Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    Pumpkin Snack Cake frosted with cream cheese is set on a table with two plates with pieces of cake to the right.
    Marta Rivera

    When pie isn’t your thing, cake is always the answer. Squares of this pleasantly spiced pumpkin cake are draped in a pillowy cream cheese frosting. A 12-serving dessert, this cake is an ideal option when you need to feed a crowd. 

  • Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake

    Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake
    Coco Morante

    Proving yet again that there is little that the Instant Pot can’t do, this recipe makes supplying the dessert at your next gathering easy. With just a few simple steps, the pressure cooker does all the work. It’s ideal for anyone with a pumpkin cheesecake craving, but this recipe is especially handy for those without ovens or when the space in your oven is taken up by other things.

  • Pumpkin Cookies

    pumpkin cookies
    Elise Bauer

    Pumpkin cookies are the way to go when you need to make your dessert ahead of time with plans to store and share them. These soft cookies also have crunchy pumpkin seeds and sweet dried currants tucked inside, giving them a little something extra.

  • No-Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

    No-Churn Pumpkin Spiced Ice Cream
    Lisa Lin

    Fill your cone, create a sundae, or spread some between two of your favorite cookies (maybe the Pumpkin Cookies recipe right above). This pumpkin ice cream is full of fall flavors and best of all, it doesn’t require an ice cream maker. 

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  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

    Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping
    Megan Keno

    A make-ahead dessert is a huge time saver when you have a full day of cooking ahead. These cheesecake bars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days and they can also be frozen. The streusel topping turns these bars into a dessert that is like a combination of cheesecake and a pumpkin crumble. 

  • Gluten-free Pumpkin Cupcakes

    Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes
    Elise Bauer

    The only thing missing from these sweet pumpkin cupcakes is the gluten. Those eating a gluten-free diet will be happy to find all the familiar pumpkin spice flavors as well as a tangy cream cheese frosting.

  • Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

    Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
    Elise Bauer

    It’s a beloved classic, so it can’t be excluded from this list. If you’re using store-bought pie crust, which we whole-heartedly advocate, this recipe makes enough filling for two of them.