18 Best Pumpkin Recipes To Get You In The Fall Mood

When fall rolls around and there's officially a slight chill in the air, we all collectively become obsessed with one thing: pumpkins. The orange gourds are practically unavoidable in the final months of the year, and you can't even go to the grocery store without seeing something pumpkin-shaped, spiced, or themed. Now, we're not necessarily complaining about it, as pumpkins really do enhance some of the tastiest fall treats around.

Most people associate pumpkin-flavored things with pumpkin spice, though the gourd expands far beyond PSLs. You can incorporate pumpkin into just about every dessert known to man, so long gone are the days of boring autumn recipes. This fall, you can whip up all of the pumpkin desserts that your heart desires; our best pumpkin recipes will not only save you from resorting to a pumpkin pie over and over again, but they just might get you into the fall mood, too. From cookies to muffins to cakes to seeds to spice blends, there's a pumpkin treat out there for everyone, so even the biggest pumpkin nonbelievers can find something to love as the season turns.

1. 5-Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies

The only thing better than a cookie recipe is a five-ingredient cookie recipe, and even better yet when pumpkin is the star of the show. That's exactly the case with these pumpkin cookies, which feature both canned pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice to really hone in on those warm, earthy flavors.

Many cookie recipes call for chilling the batter before baking, but with this recipe, you'll go right from mixing to shaping the cookies to baking. That means that you'll have perfectly fall-themed cookies ready to go in less than 20 minutes, and thanks to the inclusion of oats, these cookies make just as good a breakfast as they do a dessert.

Recipe: 5-Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies

2. Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

There are several ingredients contributing to this recipe's fall-ness: Pumpkin, of course, along with pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and maple syrup. These delightfully sweet and warming muffins are the perfect pick-me-up on a chilly autumn morning, though alternatively, they're also the ideal wind-me-down treat after a hearty dinner.

Muffins are tasty enough on their own, but these muffins offer a buttery streusel topping that really takes them to new levels. Topped off with a simple drizzle of icing, these pumpkin streusel muffins are a surprisingly decadent treat that you'll want to make all fall long, and likely well into winter, too.

Recipe: Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

3. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Pumpkin spice is somewhat of a divisive flavor, with some people flocking for any pumpkin-spiced product that hits shelves, and others avoiding it with a fervor. Regardless of which party you fall into, there's a good chance that these pumpkin spice cupcakes are tasty enough to make even the most steadfast nonbeliever reconsider their ways; between the subtly spiced cupcakes themselves to the maple syrup-infused cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes are the perfect taste of fall without being overbearing.

Another perk to this recipe is that even beginner bakers can master it with ease. Making the cupcake batter is just a matter of mixing ingredients and then portioning them out into liners. You'll be able to tell when the cupcakes are done thanks to a toothpick test (inserting a toothpick into a baked cupcake and making sure it comes out clean), so there's no guesswork as to the doneness. As for that frosting, as long as you're using room-temperature butter and cream cheese, it should only take a couple of minutes to whip up the perfectly creamy topper to these perfectly spiced cupcakes.

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes 

4. Classic Pumpkin Cheesecake

You could incorporate nearly any flavor into a cheesecake, whether it be chocolate, fruit, or some combination of both. When fall rolls around, there really is no flavor better suited for your cheesecake than pumpkin. This classic pumpkin cheesecake recipe yields quite an impressive dessert and one that is guaranteed to please your family or friends at a dinner party.

We'd be lying if we said that cheesecake is the easiest dessert one could make from scratch, especially if you haven't made cheesecake before. And, there is a fair amount of patience required — while the cheesecake itself only needs an hour to bake, you'll need to let it chill in the fridge for upwards of eight hours. Luckily, the pumpkin-infused results will be well worth the wait, and even if your finished cheesecake does have a crack or two on top, you won't even be able to notice when you garnish the finished dish with a simple whipped cream topping.

Recipe: Classic Pumpkin Cheesecake

5. Chili-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

There are many elements to a pumpkin, though it's safe to say that the flesh is the most popular part, at least when it comes to eating. If you've ever dug into a pumpkin, however, then you know that there's a whole world of edible opportunity in the form of pumpkin seeds, and though many folks end up tossing the seeds along with the pumpkin guts, this chili-roasted pumpkin seeds recipe proves that you should hold onto them after all.

On their own, pumpkin seeds may not be the most exciting snack option, but it doesn't take much to jazz them up. This recipe calls for roasting the seeds in a seasoning blend of paprika, cumin, and chili flakes — the result is a savory little snack that also makes for a delightful salad topper.

Recipe: Chili-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

6. Pumpkin Banana Bread Recipe

Banana bread can certainly stand all on its own, but the inclusion of pumpkin not only adds some warm, earthy flavors to the mix but also makes the bread much more suited for fall mornings. This pumpkin banana bread recipe has all of the typical ingredient suspects like bananas, flour, brown sugar, and even some Greek yogurt, but it also incorporates pumpkin by way of purée and pumpkin pie spice.

Fruit breads are notoriously easy to make, and this pumpkin-ified option is no different. You'll mix dry and wet ingredients separately, then you'll simply combine the two to create a smooth batter. Optionally, you may want to add some dried cranberries or dark chocolate chips to up the ante and add a bit of textural contrast to your baked good; even if you opt for no add-ins, you won't be disappointed by the sweet goodness that this bread has to offer.

Recipe: Pumpkin Banana Bread 

7. Freshly Ground Pumpkin Pie Spice

Though pumpkin pie spice certainly sees a spike in popularity during fall, we'd argue that it's a blend that should have a spot in everyone's pantry year-round. While you can buy the blend from just about any grocery store out there, any spice tastes better when it's freshly ground. So, if you're looking to make a pumpkin pie, cookies, or really any dessert that calls for pumpkin pie spice, you may consider whipping up a fresh batch from scratch instead of opting for the store-bought stuff.

The beauty of this recipe is that it requires only five ingredients, and some of them might be in your spice repertoire already. You'll start by grinding cassia bark, whole nutmeg, allspice berries, and whole cloves into a fine powder — you're starting with whole spices to maintain as much freshness as possible. A bit of ginger will help round out the blend, and then voila, you've got the freshest pumpkin pie spice in town, and with very little effort at that.

Recipe: Freshly Ground Pumpkin Pie Spice

8. DIY Classic Pumpkin Spice Latte

Whether you love it or you hate it, there's no denying that pumpkin spice lattes — especially PSLs from Starbucks — absolutely dominate the fall beverage-sphere. If you enjoy the flavor of such a latte but aren't too keen on shelling out big bucks for one at a coffee shop, then perhaps this DIY version is more up to your speed. Combining classic latte elements like espresso and milk alongside a sweet-and-spiced homemade pumpkin syrup, this latte is just as tasty, if not better than Starbucks' ever-popular version.

If you're worried that you can't make this latte at home because you don't have an espresso machine with a steaming wand, fear not — a humble French press will get the job done. After you heat up the milk, you'll put it in a French press and "plunge" it for a few minutes; the result is perfectly-frothed milk that pairs oh-so-well with the espresso and pumpkin mixture.

Recipe: DIY Classic Pumpkin Spice Latte 

9. Classic Pumpkin Pie

While we strive to advocate for pumpkin desserts of all shapes and sizes, we can't deny that pumpkin pie reigns supreme in the dessert world — its place on a Thanksgiving table is almost as guaranteed as the turkey's place. So, even if you're trying to get more creative with your pumpkin creations, it's always a good idea to have a classic pumpkin pie recipe in your back pocket, and this one won't let you down.

Somewhat surprisingly, there really aren't too many ingredients that go into a pumpkin pie. This recipe calls for a mere six ingredients, and the clever use of a premade pie crust certainly helps keep things nice and simple. The only tricky part of making a pumpkin pie really comes down to baking it until it's still slightly jiggly in the middle but not runny; luckily, if you follow this recipe to a T, then you'll end up with a foolproof pie every time.

Recipe: Classic Pumpkin Pie

10. No-Cook Pumpkin Tiramisu

Most desserts, pumpkin-flavored or otherwise, typically require some sort of cooking, but this no-cook pumpkin tiramisu is one of the few exceptions. This tasty dessert incorporates everything that we know and love about classic tiramisu, from the ladyfinger cookies to the espresso to the mascarpone filling. Of course, it wouldn't be a pumpkin tiramisu without the inclusion of the orange squash, but other not-so-typical inclusions like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg really hone in on the autumnal nature of this dessert.

While you don't have to worry about turning on an oven and cooking this tiramisu, you will have to let it spend some time in the refrigerator. Luckily, you can chill the tiramisu for as little as two hours before slicing and serving — whip up this dessert in the late afternoon and it will be ready to come fall evening.

Recipe: No-Cook Pumpkin Tiramisu

11. Pumpkin Spice Cake Pops

These pumpkin-spiced cake pops are something of a double whammy — not only do they taste like pumpkin, but they also look like little gourds thanks to the clever use of orange frosting and pretzels as the stems. Whether you're looking to whip up a fresh batch of cake to use solely for cake pops or you need to use up trimmed cake scraps, this fun and festive recipe yields little pumpkins on a stick that almost look too good to eat.

Despite such impressive results, these cake pops are quite easy to make. To get that pumpkin shape, you'll form a spherical cake pop as you would a regular one, and then you'll use a lollipop stick or skewer to make indents around the cake pop, giving it that classic gourd shape. And, no two pumpkins look exactly alike in real life, so even if your pumpkin cake pops don't look perfect, those imperfections will only add to the rustic charm.

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cake Pops

12. Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

When the word "gooey" is built into a dessert's name, then it's almost guaranteed to be a good one. Gooey butter cake is the perfect example of such decadence, and if you're looking to fall-ify the classic dessert, then adding pumpkin is a pretty sure-fire route to success.

This pumpkin gooey butter cake is the type of dessert to whip up for a post-family dinner treat or as something to bring to a potluck. The use of boxed cake mix makes this a simple, shortcut recipe, and the addition of pumpkin makes it extra special without having to try too hard.

Recipe: Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

13. Vegan Pumpkin Bars

It's not always easy to find vegan desserts, with nearly any baked good out there requiring butter, milk, or possibly even yogurt to make the magic happen. Luckily, with a few clever ingredient swaps, you can transform nearly any dessert into a vegan one — take, for example, these pumpkin bars, which are completely plant-based.

Cashews are the secret weapon in making this dessert vegan; you'll start by soaking raw cashews in boiling water, which will soften them. Then, you'll blend them up with pumpkin puree and an assortment of fall-themed spices, which will make for a rich, custardy bar batter.

Recipe: Vegan Pumpkin Bars 

14. Pumpkin Spice Babka

Fans of babka — the sweet, layered bread often found at just about any Jewish bakery — will no doubt love this pumpkin spice version, which incorporates pumpkin purée and a plethora of warming spices into those lovely layers. If you frequently make babka at home, then this recipe will help liven up your go-to recipe with a fall twist perfectly suited for cooler months.

As for when to enjoy this pumpkin spice babka, that part is up to you. While babka is technically a bread, it's more like a dessert than anything else, so this sweet, fall-themed version bodes well with a cup of coffee after dinner.

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Babka

15. Pumpkin and Pecan Pancakes

Who says that pumpkin should be limited to dessert recipes? This pumpkin and pecan pancake recipe proves that you can incorporate the orange squash into breakfast fare as well and with delightfully warm and sweet results at that.

If you've ever made plain pancakes from scratch, then this recipe is quite similar to any old flapjack recipe, with the addition of pumpkin, of course. Pumpkin doesn't stand alone here, however, and the inclusion of ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves help amp up those fall flavors. Top off your fluffy stack with some pecans and maple syrup to really drive the autumnal theme home.

Recipe: Pumpkin and Pecan Pancakes

16. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Doughnuts

Gluten-free folks often have to miss out on the dessert fun, but this gluten-free pumpkin doughnut recipe makes sure that just about everyone gets a taste of fall fun. While doughnuts are typically fried, this recipe calls for baking the pastries — something that makes this a much simpler and safer recipe to attempt in your own kitchen.

The clever usage of both rice flour and almond flour contributes to the gluten-free nature of these doughnuts, and the inclusion of pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice adds that autumnal twist, along with a buttery, maple syrup glaze. Naturally, doughnuts make for the perfect sweet breakfast treat, but you might find yourself enjoying these baked delights as a snack or for dessert.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Doughnuts

17. Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

For those days when a pumpkin spice latte just isn't enough, perhaps this pumpkin spice liqueur will help take the edge off. Yes, pumpkin spice has now found a place in the alcohol realm, but we're certainly not complaining — and, after enjoying some of this smooth, spiced liqueur over ice, we don't think you'll be complaining, either.

This recipe is a rather simple one, as you're essentially infusing vodka with an assortment of pumpkin spice-esque spices (sadly, there's no actual pumpkin involved). With a bit of patience, you'll have some seriously spiced vodka that is just begging to upgrade your favorite cocktails — pumpkin spice White Russian, anyone?

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

18. Pumpkin Salad

Pumpkin certainly works well in sweet contexts, but that doesn't mean that it's limited to it. This pumpkin salad, which also comes with kale, radishes, and whipped goat cheese, leans more into the squash's savory side, making for the ideal fall appetizer or side dish.

You'll kick off this recipe by roasting the pumpkin, then you'll whip the goat cheese with heavy cream to make a light and fluffy garnish. Finally, you'll toss the kale and sliced radishes in olive oil and lemon juice, then you'll combine all of the elements to make a bright and beautiful salad that pairs wonderfully with a hearty meal on a chilly fall evening.

Recipe: Pumpkin Salad with Whipped Goat Cheese, Kale, and Radishes