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This pumpkin pudding is a simple, sweet and cozy-spiced fall dessert! Serve it in glasses with crushed gingersnaps and whipped cream.

Pumpkin Pudding

Here’s a fun treat for the season: try pumpkin pudding! The sweet custard is made like a traditional homemade pudding, with added pumpkin puree and cozy spices. To serve, add crushed gingersnaps or graham crackers and top with whipped cream! It’s like pumpkin pie filling in a glass: but a mini version with all the fun and none of the fuss. Here’s how to make it!

What you need for this pumpkin pudding recipe

Have you ever made a homemade pudding, the kind without the store-bought package? Traditional homemade American pudding is made from dairy (milk or cream) and thickening agents like cornstarch or egg yolks. It’s almost like the base for an ice cream!

The ingredients are whisked together on the stovetop, then chilled in the refrigerator until firm. You’ll do the same thing for pumpkin pudding, adding pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pantry: Pumpkin puree, sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, turmeric, salt, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar
  • Dairy: 2% or whole milk, butter, heavy cream (for whipped cream)
  • Special ingredients: Gingersnap cookies, graham crackers or pecans
  • Other: Small glasses or bowls, for serving
  • Time: 10 minutes for prep, 2 hours for chilling, 5 to 10 minutes for presentation
Pumpkin Pudding Recipe

A trick for color

This pumpkin pudding looks great as is, but the color can look rather brown depending on the canned pumpkin puree you use. Want to boost the color? Add ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric. It adds a bit of yellow color without adding anything flavor-wise.

Refrigerating makes it fully thick

You’ll simply whisk together the ingredients for the pudding over medium heat until thickened, then transfer to bowls to set in the refrigerator. It will thicken to pudding-like consistency after refrigerating for about 2 hours. Here’s what to know about this process:

  • Plan in advance for the refrigeration step! The hands on portion of this recipe takes only about 10 minutes. But the refrigerating takes a few hours. You may want to make this the day before you plan to serve and store in the fridge.
  • No need to press plastic wrap or wax paper onto the surface. You can place all the glasses on a tray and cover loosely in plastic, but no need to press the wrap into the surface. (This is required with some pudding recipes so that a skin doesn’t form on top.)
  • Refrigerating in small glasses or bowls speeds up the process. It’s easiest to chill the way you’ll serve it: it not only speeds up the process but saves time when it comes to serving.
Pumpkin Pudding

Ways to serve pumpkin pudding

This pumpkin pudding tastes great on its own, but it’s even better topped with whipped cream and showered in crushed cookies or chopped nuts! We like it best with gingersnap cookies, but there are lots of other ideas. Here are a few ways to serve this pumpkin pudding recipe:

Keep in mind, this recipe makes enough for six ½ cup servings. It’s best to serve them in small glasses so that the glass looks full enough. However if you prefer, you can make it into a larger dessert as 4 servings.

Substitute for cornstarch

Don’t have cornstarch or don’t want to use it? Arrowroot powder is a popular substitute for cornstarch. It’s used for thickening sauces, both savory and sweet. Arrowroot powder should work well as a substitute for cornstarch in this pudding. Or, here are a few other substitutes for cornstarch.

Pumpkin Pudding

More pumpkin desserts

This pumpkin pudding is one of our favorite pumpkin desserts, ideal for for Thanksgiving as an alternative to pumpkin pie, or even Christmas. Here are a few more pumpkin desserts we love:

This pumpkin pudding recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Pumpkin Pudding

Pumpkin Pudding

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Chill Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes (plus chill time)
  • Yield: 6 (½ cup each) 1x


This pumpkin pudding is a simple, sweet and cozy-spiced fall dessert! Serve it in glasses with crushed gingersnaps and whipped cream.


  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional, for color)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 2 cups 2% or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • For serving: ½ recipe Homemade Whipped Cream, chopped pecans or crushed ginger cookies or Graham crackers


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, turmeric, salt, and milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently.
  2. Once it just starts to bubble on the edges, reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 2 minutes (make sure to stir into the edges of the pan so it doesn’t stick). The pudding will continue to thicken and set as it cools, so it doesn’t need to be fully thick at this point.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar, stirring until the butter is fully melted.
  4. Transfer to small glasses, using ½ cup per serving. Cover the glasses loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours until cold and set. Keeps for 1 week in the refrigerator.
  5. Before serving, top the puddings with crushed gingersnap cookies, homemade whipped cream, and more crushed gingersnaps (don’t add cookies until right before serving or they become soggy in the refrigerator).
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Pumpkin pudding, pumpkin pudding recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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