Thanks to canned pumpkin, you can enjoy pumpkin desserts all year long—but pumpkin season officially starts when you start thinking about Halloween parties! We’ve got a complete pumpkin primer to remind you why you love it (including its nutritional value). Learn how to make pumpkin pie right here, and check out our pumpkin pie recipes for the holidays—or try one of the many pumpkin cheesecakes we’ve dreamed up. Want more classic Thanksgiving desserts? We’ve got those, too!
Pumpkin Pie Spice: Many holiday dessert recipes call for pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have any on hand, here is an easy way to make your own. For each 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice, just mix 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/8 tsp. ground allspice and 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg.
When making pumpkin pie, make sure you choose the correct canned pumpkin for your recipe. Canned pumpkin is just that – 100% canned pumpkin puree with no additional sugar or spices. Canned pumpkin pie mix contains pumpkin puree along with traditional pumpkin pie spices and sugar, so you only need to add milk and eggs. Check the can for specific instructions.
Note: Mashed cooked fresh pumpkin can have higher moisture content than canned pumpkin puree. For this reason, do not substitute canned pumpkin puree in baking recipes calling for homemade mashed pumpkin.
To bake or not to bake, that is the question. If you are limited on oven space, or are looking for a non-traditional pumpkin pie recipe that doesn’t require baking, check out these alternatives: Double-Layer Pumpkin Pie, Creamy Two-Layer Pumpkin Pie, Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie, No-Bake Pumpkin Pie or Turtle Pumpkin Pie.
Finishing touches can make all the difference. Try these techniques to take your pie from ordinary to extraordinary!
COOL WHIP Whipped Topping is the perfect addition to holiday pies, but remember that it comes frozen. Be sure to build in enough time to properly thaw it before using it as desired. The best way to thaw frozen COOL WHIP Whipped Topping is in its container in the refrigerator. Depending on the size tub you have, the thawing time varies. Recommended thawing times are: 8-oz. tub - 4 hours; 12-oz. tub - 5 hours; 16-oz. tub - 6 hours. We DO NOT recommend thawing COOL WHIP Whipped Topping in the microwave.
Be prepared. To limit kitchen time and maximize time with your guests, have all the dessert dishes stacked, with dessert forks on hand. In addition, measure ground coffee and have it ready to brew right after dinner is finished.
Get creative! After you have plated slices of pumpkin pie and topped with a dollop of thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, gently dust each plate with ground cinnamon for a festive touch. Pumpkin desserts don’t have to come in the shape of a pie. Check out these interesting pumpkin-inspired desserts that will leave your guests giving thanks: Pumpkin-Spiced Whoopie Pies with Ginger Cream, Pumpkin Pie Bars, Luscious Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Spice Roll or Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake.