Category Archives: Pumpkin

Little Pumpkin Pie Jars

Little Pumpkin Pie JarsI questioned my sanity while making these Little Pumpkin Pie Jars earlier this week—do we need a third pie post before what is inevitably going to be the strangest Thanksgiving of our lives so far? Probably not.Little Pumpkin Pie JarsThat said, we might need eight pies, but little ones in mason jars that require no baking—perfect for a Thanksgiving with all the trimmings and all the COVID precautions. Little Pumpkin Pie Jars are just the ticket.Little Pumpkin Pie JarsThis recipe is nearly a carbon copy of the Little Lemon Pie Jars I made over the summer, except where those are bright and tangy, these are all sorts of pumpkin spicy. They’re rich and creamy and no-bake, which is ideal if you’re as burnt out from 2020 as I am right now.Little Pumpkin Pie JarsLittle Pumpkin Pie JarsLittle Pumpkin Pie Jars get their autumnal flavor from the Pumpkin Spice Spread I posted at the beginning of fall. Simply mix 2/3 cup of the spread in with some cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, salt and vanilla, then lighten it with some whipped cream. Spoon the filling on top of some barely-cohesive graham cracker crusts, wrap your pie jars in plastic and refrigerate for a couple of hours or a couple of days. Then finish them off with a festive dollop of whipped cream and a pinch of cinnamon before digging in, and maybe—just maybe–counting the list of things you’re thankful for this pandemic.Little Pumpkin Pie Jars

Little Pumpkin Pie Jars
makes 8 4-ounce pie jars

Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 whole graham crackers)
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
6 tablespoons heavy cream, very cold
2/3 cup Pumpkin Spice Spread
4 ounces (1/2 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Garnish:
whipped cream
ground cinnamon

Special Equipment:
8 4-ounce mason jars or ramekins

Make the crust. In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, confectioner’s sugar and salt. Add melted butter and whisk until everything is lightly moistened and resembles damp sand.

Divide mixture among 8 4-ounce mason jars (or ramekins), about 2-3 heaping tablespoons each. Tamp down the crust with the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Make the filling. Pour heavy cream into a small-medium mixing bowl, and use an electric mixer to beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together Pumpkin Spice Spread and cream cheese. Add confectioner’s sugar and salt and beat to combine. Mix in vanilla.

Use a silicone spatula to stir half the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture. Gently fold in the second half of the whipped cream. Spoon filling into mason jars, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or press plastic wrap to the surfaces and chill up to 2 days. If you are short on time, these may be frozen for an hour.

To serve, top with whipped cream and a pinch of cinnamon.Little Pumpkin Pie JarsLittle Pumpkin Pie Jars

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}A week on Swan’s Island is never enough time. It simply isn’t. Yes, there’s relaxing and hiking and quiet, but just when you start to fully decompress, you have to get back on the ferry, drive ten hours, and return to your real life. It’s the worst.Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}We keep saying “two weeks next year” but only getting half of that. I’m putting it out to the universe now: one month next year. That way, when we only get half, it’ll be two weeks. Am I trying to con the universe in to more vacation? Sure, why not. You can’t blame me for wanting to spend time with the friends we’ve made up there (even socially distanced) instead of carrying on entire relationships via Facebook.Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}I mean, would you believe that I’ve pretty much never baked for anyone on Swan’s Island? It’s true. I’ve been going there regularly for the last six years, made some friends, and know the people who own the general store well enough that they recognized me immediately with my mask on, but I’ve never really baked for any of them. They know, of course, that I bake and blog, and I always say I’m going to make something for them, but then time gets away and suddenly I’m on the ferry back to the mainland.Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}All that said, when we booked our trip in July, I decided this year was *the* year. I tested a recipe before I left Brooklyn, brought a box of potato starch and the vegan butter I like, and it took until the second-to-last day, but I baked this Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting for my Maine people. Finally.Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}I’ve never put a sheet cake on here. It’s not because I think they’re “less than” or something—I just have occasions for other configurations of cake and frosting far more frequently than I do for this super simple slice-and-share situation. But our annual Swan’s Island trip? That’s a slice-and-share situation if I’ve ever seen one. Especially in COVID, when get-togethers with people outside my immediate germ pod aren’t a thing, it was so nice to be able to wrap up and dole out slices of this Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting without having to worry about keeping layers intact.Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}As with most of what we eat on Swan’s Island, this cake was made with my trusty co-traveler/fellow Maine enthusiast, VJ, in mind. I’ve mentioned many times that she is a gluten-free vegan, and though I am not either of those things, I greatly enjoy the challenges and rewards of baking (and cooking) that way when we are together. It’s far more fun to bake when people can eat what you make…not that I’d be particularly mad about being saddled with all 15 slices of this cake. I mean, do you see that vegan Maple Frosting???Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}The pumpkin cake is a variation on the vegan, gluten-free chocolate cake I posted last year. It relies primarily on almond flour, potato starch and cornstarch for structure, and pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice for flavor. There are other things in the batter too, of course (granulated and brown sugars, vanilla, leaveners, almond milk), and they all bake up into a moist, tender, nicely-spiced sheet of cake. Vegan and gluten-free or not, this pumpkin cake is legit.Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Believe me when I tell you that I understand wanting to eat this cake by its lonesome straight out of the oven, or with a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar…but also? Believe me when I tell you that a swoopy layer of Maple Frosting takes this seasonal dessert from very good to fabulous. For real.Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting is very good the day it’s made, but as with many pumpkin spice things, it’s actually more delicious the next day, after the flavors have melded. But with a cake this good around, I can’t blame anyone for not waiting to dig in. I mean, I certainly didn’t.Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes a single layer 9×13-inch sheet cake

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
~1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup pure pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
3/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

For finishing:
Vegan Maple Frosting (recipe below)
sprinkle of ground cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13-inch cake pan. Line with parchment and grease again. Set aside.

Pour apple cider vinegar into a liquid measuring cup. Add almond milk until liquid reaches the 1 1/4 cup mark. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until curdled. Stir in pumpkin purée and vanilla. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together blanched almond flour, potato starch, cornstarch, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add liquid ingredients in two installments, whisking until combined.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth to the edges with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Tap pan on the counter 5 times to release any large air bubbles. Transfer to the oven and bake 32-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out with only a few crumbs.

Let cake cool completely in its pan on a cooling rack. Run a thin knife along the edges of the pan before inverting to release onto a platter (alternatively, you may keep it in the pan and serve from there). Frost as desired with Vegan Maple Frosting (recipe below). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Frosted cake will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days and refrigerated for up to 4. Unfrosted cake may be triple-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before frosting.

Vegan Maple Frosting
makes enough for the top of one sheet cake

4 ounces (1/2 cup) vegan butter, room temperature (I like Miyoko’s)
2 ounces (1/4 cup) shortening, room temperature (I like Nutiva)
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat vegan butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Mix in confectioners sugar in two installments, mixing until combined and fluffy. Mix in salt, followed by vanilla and maple syrup.

Use to frost the top of the sheet cake.

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal

Easy Pumpkin OatmealHello from Swan’s Island, Maine! I’m here with friends, enjoying the ocean views and crunchy leaves and I would never like to leave, thank you very much. We’ve been keeping busy doing as much or as little as we want—hiking, going to the beach, thrifting, watching TikTok, playing with my ring light, crafting…Easy Pumpkin OatmealAs usual, I have kind of taken over the kitchen. It’s just what I do, I suppose. I’ve made a couple of blog recipes (Everyday Cassoulet, Oatmeal Blender Pancakes) and still have one planned to make while I’m here. Today’s Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal, however, was improvised. It was thrown together on the fly on a lazy Monday morning with perfect light and a harbor bell ringing in the background–in a perfect world, it’s the way all my breakfasts would materialize.Easy Pumpkin OatmealEasy Pumpkin OatmealEasy Pumpkin OatmealEasy Pumpkin OatmealEasy Pumpkin Oatmeal takes ten whole minutes and is hardly even a recipe. Just toast some oats and then add some water and milk (I used almond). Bring it to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for about five minutes or until creamy. Finish it off with some pure pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar and butter (the vegan stuff). Easy peasy pumpkin…squeezy?Easy Pumpkin OatmealI dished this up with cinnamon apples, vegan butter and maple syrup. I highly recommend eating it in your pajamas in a living room overlooking a lobstering wharf on a fall morning, but if you’re not currently situated on an island in Maine, any dining table will do.Easy Pumpkin OatmealHeads up that I’m going to take this Friday off of posting so I can enjoy my vacation, but I’m posting all our Maine meals over on Instagram, and I’ll have a full report and new recipes up next week!Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal

Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal
makes 4-6 servings

3 tablespoons butter (regular or vegan), divided
3 cups old-fashioned oats
3 cups water
3 cups milk of choice (I used almond)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup pure pumpkin purée
1/3-1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed (depending on preference)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

For serving (optional):
cinnamon apples (the filling in this, basically)
toasted chopped nuts
maple syrup
cream
butter (regular or vegan)

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add oats and toast, stirring constantly, until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add water, milk and salt, and turn heat up to medium-high. Stir frequently until it comes to a simmer, then stir constantly for 5 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar. Cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Serve immediately with desired toppings.

Easy Pumpkin OatmealEasy Pumpkin Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints

Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsIf you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been counting down the seconds leading up to my annual trip to Swan’s Island, Maine. I’ve been crossing things off of an elaborate to-do list:

obtain more overalls
get an absurd amount of coffee from Sahadi’s
finalize our grocery list
pack four bags or less
pick up rental car
somehow find time to work
tell you about these Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints
go to MainePumpkin Pie ThumbprintsYep, this is the last thing I have to do before I hit the road today! I mean, it would be super rude of me to leave without telling you about these Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints, now wouldn’t it? They’re teeny, tiny two-bite pumpkin pies nestled in sugar cookies—you *need* to know about these. You need to bake these.Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsPumpkin Pie ThumbprintsPumpkin Pie ThumbprintsPumpkin Pie ThumbprintsThe secret to these thumbprints? Pumpkin Spice Spread! I posted this super-easy, super-versatile recipe last week, and here it is again. This time, it’s piped into little wells in the middles of sugar cookies and baked until puffy and perfect. You’ll only need about half the batch to make these cookies, but trust me, you won’t have any trouble finding uses for the rest. *hint hint* Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsWhile pumpkin pie is traditionally finished off with whipped cream, that doesn’t make much sense in a cookie. I went with a simple icing drizzle as the final flourish, and I regret nothing. Aren’t they cute?! Almost as cute as they are delicious—what could be bad about buttery cookies with squidgy pumpkin centers?Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsOkay, there it is—you know about Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints. That’s one more thing off the list. I guess all there is to do is road trip north. Can’t wait to get to Swan’s and show you what we’re cooking up six miles out to sea.Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints

Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints
makes about 3.5 dozen cookies

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 oz (1/2 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Filling:
~1 cup Pumpkin Spice Spread

Icing:
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
3-4 teaspoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Cream in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by the egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in 3 installments, combining completely after each. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Place the narrow end of a a piping bag (or the corner of a ziptop bag) in a tall cup and stretch the wide end over the edge. Fill with pumpkin spice spread (you may not be aboe to use it all at once). Twist to close. Set aside.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll each int a ball. Place dough balls at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Use the back of a very small spoon (like a 1/2 teaspoon) to slowly press a well into each dough ball. They may crack a bit—just smooth them with your fingers. If dough gets too warm and sticky, freeze for 10 minutes.

If necessary, snip a the narrow end of your piping bag.

Bake cookies 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven, then carefully press the back of a rounded 1 teaspoon measuring spoon into the centers again. Pipe pumpkin spice spread into each well. Carefully tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to release large air bubbles. Bake cookies another 10 minutes, until pumpkin spice spread is set.

Let cookies cool on the pans for 10 minutes before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling and baking process with all remaining dough, letting the cookie sheets come back to room temperature between batches.

Serve cookies room temperature or chilled. Leftovers may be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints

Pumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’mores

Pumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresIt’s fall, y’all! And not a minute too soon. I have been obsessed with these Pumpkin Pie S’mores for weeks and am so excited that I finally get to share them on here today!Pumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresYou read that right: Pumpkin Pie S’mores! As in graham cracker, toasted marshmallow and a little puddle of pumpkin pie all stacked together in one perfect bite. These are absolutely magical, if I do say so myself. And, I do, since I’ve been eating one around midnight pretty much everyday since Labor Day.Pumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresThe key to this whole operation is a homemade Pumpkin Spice Spread. It’s basically a soft-set pumpkin pie filling that can be used anywhere you could use a little pumpkin spice flourish. Toast, biscuits, scones, cookies, swirled through no-churn ice cream, spread on a waffle, used as a fruit dip, or—you know it—stacked into seasonal s’mores! If you’re into pumpkin, this is a total game changer.Pumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresPumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresFor those of you wondering if you can bypass the homemade spread by using pumpkin butter or mixing together some canned pumpkin, spices and brown sugar for your s’mores, the answer is “sure…but it won’t be the same.” While those options both work in a pinch, neither is as rich and decadent as Pumpkin Spice Spread. It’s made with sweetened condensed milk and has some body from egg yolks, so it’s every bit as luxurious as its pastry-wrapped counterpart and far more versatile. You’ll be seeing a lot of this stuff on here this season!Pumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresPumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresPumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresPumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresThe whole Pumpkin Spice Spread process takes 25 minutes, fifteen of which are hands-off. The most “involved” step is caramelizing the pumpkin, and that’s no trouble at all. It’s literally pushing a cup of pumpkin purée around a dry sauté pan for ten minutes until some of its liquid evaporates and it darkens ever so slightly. This is to ensure that your Pumpkin Spice Spread is nice and thick and never one-note. If you’re pinched for time, you could probably get away without this step, but it really makes a difference in the end product.

The second and final step is to whisk the pumpkin together with the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, a spoonful of pumpkin pie spice and some salt. Set the whole bowl over simmering water for fifteen minutes, stirring when you remember, and…that’s it. I mean, you should definitely let it cool, but…that’s it.Pumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresWell, except for the part where you dig it out of the fridge every night and sandwich some with graham crackers and a toasted marshmallow. Oh yeah, that’s it.Pumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’mores

Pumpkin Spice Spread
makes about 2 cups

1 cup pure pumpkin purée (I use Libby’s)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Place pumpkin in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until slightly drier and a tiny bit darker in color. Remove from heat.

Fill a small pot with 1-2 inches of water. Set a heatproof bowl over the top, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove bowl and bring water to a simmer.

In the heatproof bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Whisk in pumpkin purée. Place bowl over simmering water, creating a double boiler. Let cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes (it will thicken further as it cools). Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minute before transferring to a heatproof container. Press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface. Let cool completely at room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Pie S’mores
makes 4 s’mores

4 whole sheets honey graham crackers
2 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Spread
4 large marshmallows

Carefully break each graham cracker sheet in half to produce 2 squares (8 squares total). Place bottom-side-up on a surface.

Top 4 of the graham squares with 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) each of the Pumpkin Spice Spread.

Toast the marshmallows. Place each marshmallow on a skewer. Turn a gas stove flame (or other heat source) to medium-low. Carefully toast marshmallow over the top before transferring it onto Pumpkin Spice Spread. Repeat with other marshmallows. Turn off stove. If you’d like to toast your marshmallows with another at-home method, see here.

Top marshmallows with the remaining graham squares, top-side-up. Serve immediately.Pumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresPumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’moresPumpkin Spice Spread & Pumpkin Pie S’mores