Packed with creamy pumpkin puree and flavored with pumpkin pie spice, this homemade pumpkin pudding is a quick-and-easy dessert for your fall comfort food fix.
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Table of Contents
- About Pumpkin Pudding
- What’s in pumpkin pudding?
- Pumpkin puree vs pumpkin pie filling
- Can you still use pumpkin pie filling?
- Do you have to use whole milk?
- Can you make pumpkin pudding in advance?
- How long is pumpkin pudding good for?
- Can you freeze pumpkin pudding?
- Notes & tips for pumpkin pudding
- More delicious pumpkin recipes
- How to make pumpkin pudding
- Recipe Details
About Pumpkin Pudding
Classic homemade pudding gets the fall treatment with this simple, eight-ingredient pumpkin pudding that only takes 30 minutes to prepare.
Plus, this recipe is great for using up other must-make recipes during the fall season, like homemade pumpkin puree or your own mix of pumpkin pie spice.
What’s in pumpkin pudding?
To whip up a delicious batch of pumpkin pudding, you’ll need the following:
- Pumpkin puree – A must-have for any pumpkin-flavored treat. You can use storebought or homemade pumpkin puree.
- Pumpkin pie spice and vanilla – The special blend of seasonings and extracts that helps make pumpkin-flavored-anything so delicious.
- Whole milk, heavy whipping cream, and egg yolks – Classic cooking ingredients that give this pudding its creamy texture and taste.
- Sugar – Because every batch of pudding needs some sweetness.
- Cornstarch – Works as a thickening agent to turn this pumpkin-flavored mixture into rich pudding.
Pumpkin puree vs pumpkin pie filling
When it comes to holiday treats, you’re going to be faced with two types of canned pumpkin in the baking aisle:
Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling.
And while these types might seem interchangeable, there is a slight (yet significant) difference.
With pumpkin puree, the only contents are cooked and mashed pumpkin (or a variety of winter gourds), with no added flavors or spices. Pumpkin pie filling is made with cooked and mashed pumpkin, too, but it also has flavor added, typically with pumpkin pie spice.
The key difference here is convenience. If you don’t have (or don’t want to buy) pumpkin pie spice, using pumpkin pie filling can save you some time and effort; you simply add it to the recipe and skip measuring the spices. However, it does limit your ability to control the taste, and if you’re using the pumpkin pie filling with other flavors, there’s no way to guarantee how they’ll interact.
This is why you’ll see many homemade recipes use pumpkin puree (which, again, is just the gourds, no added flavor) and season and spice the recipe by hand as needed. It is a tad more work but it also gives you more control over the flavor of your fall treats.
Can you still use pumpkin pie filling?
If pumpkin pie filling is what you have to work with, then yes, you can use it in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the pumpkin pie spice when mixing the ingredients.
Do you have to use whole milk?
Whole milk gives pudding the trademark texture and taste it’s known for, and I’ve personally only tested this recipe using whole milk.
However, you should be able to safely other types of milk (2%, low fat) or milk alternatives (coconut milk, almond milk, etc) in this recipe. Just keep in mind that the flavor or texture may change when using alternatives to whole milk.
Can you make pumpkin pudding in advance?
Yes, you totally can! That’s the best part about pudding – once it’s made, it can last a few days in the refrigerator. Just make sure the pudding is stored in a sealed container (or that the top of the container remains firmly wrapped in plastic wrap.)
For best presentation, I recommend making pumpkin pudding up to 24 hours in advance.
How long is pumpkin pudding good for?
Once prepared and cooled, pumpkin pudding can be stored in a sealed or covered container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Can you freeze pumpkin pudding?
Yes, you totally can! Pudding is great for freezing.
Once prepared and cooled, pumpkin pudding can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to three months.
Notes & tips for pumpkin pudding
- When storing the pumpkin pudding in the refrigerator to cool, it helps to press a piece of plastic wrap directly along the surface of the pudding. This will prevent a film from forming as it cools.
More delicious pumpkin recipes
How to make pumpkin pudding
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – In a large saucepan, heat milk and heavy whipping cream until hot to the touch.
Step 2 – Whisk in the sugar, pumpkin puree, egg yolks, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice until all of the ingredients are dissolved or incorporated.
Step 3 – Add the cornstarch, then keep on whisking until the pudding is thick and beings to simmer.
Step 4 – Remove the saucepan from heat to cool slightly, then transfer the pudding to a serving bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Step 5 – Chill until cool!
Step 6 – Serve and enjoy!
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add milk and heavy cream. Let mixture warm up until it's slightly hot to the touch (but not boiling), about 2-4 minutes.2 cups whole milk, 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Add sugar, pumpkin puree, egg yolks, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk mixture until sugar has dissolved and all ingredients are smooth and incorporated.1 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 4 egg yolks, 1 cup pumpkin puree, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- While continuing to whisk, add cornstarch. Continue to mix until mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 4-6 minutes.5 tablespoons cornstarch
- Remove saucepan from heat and allow pumpkin pudding to cool for 5 minutes.
- Pour pudding to a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Transfer bowl to refrigerator and chill pudding for at least one hour or until completely cool.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.