Autumn is here, and that means you’re seeing pumpkins everywhere. Whether you’re crazy for all things pumpkin spice, or you love the natural creaminess that roasted pumpkin lends to savory dishes, we’ve got a recipe for you. Read on to discover our favorite ways to use the bright orange winter squash.


A glazed pumpkin pound cake on a plate--a pumpkin Bundt cake with a milk-sugar poured glaze.
Alexandra Grablewski
1 of 8

Glazed Pumpkin Pound Cake

This glazed pumpkin pound cake has a moist, dense crumb that’s not too sweet and aromatic with autumnal spices including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. The glaze makes an already amazing cake even more over the top.

Downright delicious! This is the best pumpkin cake I have ever made. The spices are the perfect combination and measurements to give each bite a pop of flavor. The icing was delicious and not overpowering.–April

Four pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars on a white surface.
Sarah Kieffer
2 of 8

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars

These pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars combine the best of pumpkin pie and cheesecake in a convenient form of a bar that you can either snitch and run or sit and linger over at the table. You’re welcome.

Pumpkin FAQs

What’s the difference between sugar pumpkins and regular pumpkins?

You are likely familiar with the large pumpkins that appear in your local grocery stores every October. These are often quite big and ideal for carving jack-o-lanterns. They tend to be very fibrous and stringy inside, and though their seeds are excellent when spiced and roasted, they aren’t ideal for cooking and baking.

Sugar pumpkins are smaller and sweeter, and their flesh tends to be firmer and less fibrous than regular pumpkins. These are ideal for cooking and baking. They are also often referred to as pie pumpkins.

What’s the difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling?

Pumpkin puree is simply pumpkin flesh that has been roasted or steamed and pureed. Pumpkin pie filling is made with pureed pumpkin, but it also has sugar and spices added to it. While ideal for making pumpkin pies, it is not interchangeable with pumpkin puree.

Can you freeze pumpkin puree?

Yes, you can. Recipes that call for pumpkin puree don’t always require a full can, but any extra pumpkin puree can be frozen in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw before using.

If you want the convenience of preportioned amounts in your freezer, divvy the puree between 1/2 cup muffin tin wells or into ice cube trays for 1 tablespoon portions.

A cast-iron skillet filled with pumpkin macaroni and cheese.
David Leite
3 of 8

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

This pumpkin macaroni and cheese is easy and creamy and rich. What else would you expect from a skillet full of pasta, Cheddar, pumpkin, bacon, and sage? Comfort food at its most indulgent with a smidgen of conscience-appeasing healthfulness.
A muffin tin filled with pumpkin muffins in paper liners.
Erin Scott
4 of 8

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

These helathy whole wheat muffins are perfectly spiced, not too sweet, and easy to make. You just may find yourself making these all year long as well as on Thanksgiving morning.

These pumpkin muffins are delicious and easy to make. Ground pepitas–BRILLIANT idea. I substituted golden monk fruit sweetener for the brown sugar to cut back on the sugar content a bit. Honey adds both sweetness and moisture, but I wonder if I could substitute monk fruit sweetener for some of it. Might try that next time. I’ll be making these again, many times.–Russ

A layer of toasted, spiced pumpkin seeds.
5 of 8

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Spiced pumpkin seeds are a spicy snack made with pepitas and chili powder and not a lot of effort. Simple and satisfying and curiously addictive.
Pumpkin pie babka in two loaf pans beside a rolling pin and a bowl of pumpkin pie spice.
Amie MacGregor
6 of 8

Pumpkin Pie Babka

Pumpkin pie babka combines two traditional baked goods—babka and pumpkin pie—and makes them into one phenomenal food. Soft, fluffy bread is layered and twisted with pumpkin pie filling, then topped with a crisp streusel.
Pumpkin spice cookies stacked on a wooden cutting board.
Averie Sunshine
7 of 8

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These lovely spiced pumpkin cookies are spiced perfectly, easy, and pumpkin-pie-delightful. Delicately flavored, with a soft center and crisp edges, they're the autumn treat you've been craving.

Pumpkin pie spice ANYTHING—sign me up! These pumpkin spice cookies exceeded my expectations. The rest of my family loved them, too, including my beagles. The dogs went crazy over them.–Mike P.

A pumpkin cake with maple-cream cheese frosting on a cake stand.
David Leite
8 of 8

Pumpkin Cake With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

This pumpkin cake with maple cream cheese frosting is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. All the essential pumpkin spice flavors tempered with the creamy coolness of cream cheese frosting. One of my most popular cakes.

Originally published October 1, 2022

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Our 8 Best Skewer Recipes

Let’s not mince words here—food on sticks is awesome. We all know it, so grab some skewers and start lining up stuff to grill, roast, toast, and otherwise enjoy.

3 hrs 30 mins

6 Grilled Chicken Thigh Recipes

When you fire up the grill this summer, put these chicken thigh recipes at the top of your must-make list. You’ll be glad that you did.

1 hr 15 mins

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I love pumpkin as an ingredient. It all started in my daughter’s kindergarten class where they mixed up a dry soup kit and came home with instructions to prepare it and bake it in a small hollowed out pumpkin, scraping the soft cooked flesh into the soup as we ate it. It turned out to be really good and I’ve amassed dozens and dozens of recipes since.

    Glad you included some savory ones too.

    We’ll be having this browned butter and pumpkin risotto over the weekend. It’s a new one for me so I can only share and not endorse it but I think it will make a great side with pork chops.

    I do endorse the idea of fried herbs though. The first time I saw it in a recipe I thought it was silly preciousness but it turned out to be a simple way to concentrate those flavors and add texture and a bit of panache at the same time.