Baking With Pumpkin

From pies and cakes to quick breads and pastries, pumpkin is one versatile veggie for baking.

Baking with Pumpkin | Pumpkin Cake III

Pumpkin Cake III | Photo by momlovestocook

And there’s certainly no shame in using canned pumpkin. Even professional bakers do it.

But if you are baking with fresh pumpkin, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Smaller is Better

Large field pumpkins, which are bred for jack-o’-lanterns, are too stringy for baking. Choose sugar pie pumpkins or other flavorful varieties. Small and sweet with dark orange-colored flesh, they’re perfect for pies, soups, muffins, and breads.

Baking with Pumpkin | Sugar Pumpkin

Photo by Meredith

A medium-sized (4-pound) sugar pumpkin should yield around 1½ cups of mashed pumpkin. This puree can be used in all your recipes calling for canned pumpkin.

Choose Your Method

There are three ways to transform an uncooked pumpkin into the puree used in baking:

Baking Method

  • Cut the pumpkin in half and discard the stem section and stringy pulp. Save the seeds to dry and roast.
  • In a shallow baking dish, place the two halves face down and cover with foil.
  • Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for about 1½ hours for a medium-sized sugar pumpkin, or until tender.
  • Once the baked pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the flesh and puree or mash it.
  • For silky smooth custards or soups, press the pumpkin puree through a sieve.

Boiling Method

  • Cut the pumpkin in half, discarding the stringy insides.
  • Peel the pumpkin and cut it into chunks.
  • Place in a saucepan and cover with water.
  • Bring to a boil and cook until the pumpkin chunks are tender.
  • Let the chunks cool, then purée the flesh in a food processor or mash it with a potato masher or food mill.

Microwave Method

  • Cut the pumpkin in half, discarding the stringy insides.
  • Microwave on high power for seven minutes per pound, turning pieces every few minutes to promote even cooking. Process as above.
  • You can refrigerate your fresh pumpkin purée for up to three days, or store it in the freezer up to six months, so you can enjoy fall pumpkins for months to come.
Baking with Pumpkin | Pumpkin Puree

Photo by Meredith

Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

Now that we have the pumpkin puréed, let’s get right to the recipes. Here are some 5-star favorites.

Pumpkin Breads

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Baking with Pumpkin | Pumpkin Bread

Photo by Meredith

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Wheat Honey Muffins

Pumpkin Wheat Honey Muffins

Photo by CCLoves2Bake

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Photo by CCLoves2bake

Related: How to Bake The Best Quick Breads

Pumpkin Scones

Chef John’s Pumpkin Scones

Watch Chef John make his famous pumpkin scones.

Cinnamon Rolls and Donuts

Kelsandra’s Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Kelsandra's Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Photo by CCLoves2bake

Maple Pumpkin Doughnuts

Maple Pumpkin Doughnuts

Photo by lutzflcat

Related: Pumpkin, The Breakfast Squash of Champions

Pumpkin Cakes

Grandma Carol’s Pumpkin Roll

Grandma Carol's Pumpkin Roll

Photo by KGora

Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies III

Baking with Pumpkin | Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies

Photo by Meredith

Pumpkin Pies

Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Photo by llgrotts


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