Happy Fall Y’all! If you are a basic bitch like myself and not afraid to admit it, then you are rejoicing in all things fall. At the top of that list for me, is fall desserts — with the main ingredient being pumpkin. How perfect for National Dessert Day?!

Here are the top pumpkin dessert recipes (IMO) you must try if you haven’t already. You can thank me later for the pumpkin coma you’ll slowly slip into after.


1. Pumpkin Bars

There is nothing like the first bite of an ooey-gooey pumpkin bar topped with cream cheese frosting. These are the perfect pumpkin dessert to bring to fall gatherings. The recipe makes a ton, and the pumpkin taste isn’t too overwhelming for those weird friends who don’t obsess over the flavor as they should.

Pumpkin Bars

Bar Ingredients:
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 eggs
2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Frosting Ingredients:
4 oz cream cheese
3 tbsp butter,softened
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions for bars:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, ground ginger, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cloves and cinnamon. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the eggs, vanilla, oil and pumpkin on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir gently, just until combined.
4. Pour into a pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
5. When completely cooled, frost.
6. When frosting has completely settled, cut into any size you like.

Frosting Instructions:
1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
2. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again.
Note, you may need to add a little milk to make it spreadable if your butter wasn’t soft enough.

The other great part about this recipe, is the ability to customize it.
Feel free to add more or less pumpkin, cinnamon or vanilla depending on your tastes.


2. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Another easy and crowd pleasing pumpkin dessert, especially for those dessert fanatics that need their chocolate fix.


1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
3. Pour mixture into an 8×11 cake pan (or a round 18 inch baking pan) and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.


3. Pumpkin Spice Blossoms

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

This pumpkin dessert recipe can be a little more difficult to make, as it is not always easy to find the Pumpkin Spice Hersey Kisses. I’ve had the best luck with large superstore chains, they usually sell them from the end of October through Thanksgiving. Or you can make it even easier on yourself and order them on Amazon.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1-3 tablespoons milk, if dough is crumbly
1 package Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses
1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling cookies in

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Unwrap pumpkin spice Kisses and place them in a small bowl in the freezer until ready to use. Place 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a bowl for rolling cookies in; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Gradually add in small batches to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined. If dough is crumbly and not coming together, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until dough forms.
5. Scoop dough into 1 tablespoon-sized balls, roll in sugar, and place on baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until done.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool three minutes. Gently push a frozen pumpkin spice kiss into the center. The Kisses will get shiny and start to melt after a few minutes.
7. Put the whole baking sheet into the freezer until the chocolate sets to make it easier for packing. Unless you choose to eat the whole batch right then and there – I don’t judge.


4. Pumpkin Spice Dip

Ok, it doesn’t get much easier than this recipe. Even the most beginning baker can pull off this delicious pumpkin dip!


1 1/4 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
1 (16 ounce) container Topping, frozen whipped
1 (5 ounce) package Vanilla pudding mix, instant
1 (15 ounce) can Solid pack pumpkin

1. Mix pumpkin, pudding mix, cool whip, and pumpkin pie spice together (by hand) in a large bowl.
2. Chill for several hours before serving.
3. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve with fresh apples slices, vanilla wafers or ginger snaps. I’ve also found animal crackers to be a great option. Get creative!

For those more intermediate bakers, try stepping it up a notch: serve the dip our of a carved mini-pumpkin!


5. Classic Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll

While the most difficult recipe on the list, it’s a pumpkin dessert classic that everyone should try to master.

Cake Ingredients:
3-4 tablespoons powdered sugar
3/4 cup (115g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1 cup (225g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (175g) canned pumpkin

Frosting/filling Ingredients:
1 package (8oz/227g) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (125g) powdered sugar
6 tablespoons (84g) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
More powdered sugar for garnish, if desired

Cake Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 15×10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with parchment paper.
2. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with the 3-4 tablespoons of powdered sugar.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in small bowl.
4. Beat eggs and sugar in larger mixer bowl until thick and pale yellow in color.
5. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
6. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.
7. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

Filling Directions:
1. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in small mixer bowl until smooth.
2. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake.
3. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.
4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.


6. Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Pumpkin Gingerbread trifle

The perfect recipe to transition your love for pumpkin from one holiday to the next.
Not to mention an easy, but beautiful pumpkin dessert to bring to any holiday party.

2 packages (14-1/2 ounces each) gingerbread cake/cookie mix
1 package (4.6 ounces) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 can (29 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. Prepare and bake gingerbread mixes according to package directions for cake. Cool completely on wire racks.
2. Meanwhile, prepare pudding mix according to package directions. Stir in brown sugar and pumpkin; cool completely.
3. Crumble half of the gingerbread into a 4-qt. glass bowl; press down gently.
4. Layer gingerbread with half of the pudding mixture and half of the whipped topping; repeat layers.
5. Refrigerate, covered, overnight before serving.


Ali Hughes is a twenty-something living in northern California with her handsome husband. Born and raised in Ohio, Ali is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan and nostalgic for changing weather seasons. Most days you can find her practicing yoga, hiking or baking. Follow: @MrsAliHughes

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