Are you ready for a delicious Thanksgiving dessert? Get ready for Maple Pumpkin Pudding!

I think individual desserts are so special, so it’s nice to be able to take the flavors in a pumpkin pie and present them in a creamy, light, individual serving.

My caramel pumpkin mousse makes another great Thanksgiving dessert.

For ease of browsing, here are all of my custard and pudding recipes in one place. Now let’s get to it.

A brown ramekin of pumpkin pudding topped with spiced whipped cream and a maple-glazed pecan.

Pumpkin Pudding, At a Glance

✔️Skill Level: Beginner
✔️Skills: Making stirred custard (linked), straining
✔️Type: Individual dessert custard
✔️Number of Ingredients: 11 for the pudding, 5 for the glazed nuts
✔️Prep Time: 15 minutes
✔️Cook Time: 15 minutes for the pudding, 15 for the nuts
✔️Yield: 4 puddings (easily doubled)

Related Recipes: How to Whip Cream by Hand, Spiced Nuts
Jump Straight to the Recipe

Why Make This Recipe?

A bite of pumpkin pudding and whipped cream on a small wooden spoon resting on a small ramekin of pudding.

I love my version of pumpkin pudding, and I think you will too.

Here’s what I like:

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  • It is completely sweetened with maple syrup, one sweet, earthy flavor layered on top of pumpkin, which is another sweet, earthy flavor
  • There’s enough salt in it to bring out the flavor. Unseasoned, pumpkin is exceedingly bland, so it requires a good amount of salt to bring out the flavors in both the pumpkin and the spices
  • It uses the typical spices for pumpkin desserts, at least here in the US, but with restraint so the spices enhance the pumpkin flavor without overshadowing and muddying it
  • A little lemon juice added at the end brings a lovely bit of brightness to the pudding

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How to Make This Recipe

In these sections, I’ll go over the ingredients, supply some substitution ideas where it makes sense, and go through the procedure, step by step.

If you don’t need that information, feel free to skip down to the recipe. Otherwise, let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need:

All the ingredients needed to make maple pumpkin pudding: butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract, whole milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, egg yolks (2), cinnamon, pumpkin spice, cornstarch (or flour), and kosher salt.
  • butter: This is the only fat (aside from the small amount in the milk), and it’s there for a touch of richness and to help carry flavor
  • lemon juice: Added after cooking, a little lemon juice adds a hint of brightness to the finished pudding
  • vanilla extract: Adds some floral and woody notes and helps to round out all the flavors
  • whole milk: The liquid for the custard. I use whole milk. You may substitute 2%, 1%, or any plant-based milk that won’t curdle when boiled
  • pumpkin puree: homemade or canned. You could also substitute cooked and pureed butternut squash or acorn squash in place of the pumpkin
  • maple syrup: Provides earthy sweetness and contributes some liquid to the pudding
  • egg yolks: Helps the custard thicken. The emulsifiers in the eggs keep the pudding smooth with a creamy mouthfeel. You may omit them if you want a vegan pudding.
  • cinnamon: This is the main flavoring in the pudding. You can use more or less to taste, but adding it judiciously allows the sweetness of the pumpkin to shine through
  • pumpkin spice: I call for 1/4 teaspoon, just enough so you know it’s there. It’s a familiar flavor profile for pumpkin, but it’s restrained so the maple-pumpkin combo is really the star
  • cornstarch: Helps the pudding to thicken. You may substitute flour or your favorite thickener
  • kosher salt: Brings out all the flavor in the pumpkin, maple syrup, and spices. Please don’t leave it out.

Procedure

If you’ve ever made stove-top pudding, you will have no issue making this recipe. You can go ahead and skip to the recipe if you’d like.

For those of you who haven’t made pudding before, know this technique applies to pretty much any pudding you want to make:

Once you gather all your pudding ingredients, put them all in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Heat them over medium-high heat, whisking the whole time.

Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium, and boil for 2 minutes, still whisking the whole time.

Then strain your pudding through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl with your flavorings (vanilla and lemon juice) and butter.

Here are a few collages so you can see the steps in action.

A collage of 4 images: A pan with milk and pumpkin puree, a small dish with egg y oolks, and another small dish with maple syrup, kosher salt, and spices in it. 2)Whisking all the ingredients together in a saucepan. 3)Continuing to whisk as the pudding thickens. 4)Whisking as the pudding boils and steams.

Jenni Says: You don’t have to put your ingredients in separate little dishes like I did for the first photo above. All the pudding ingredients except the vanilla, lemon juice, and butter can go in the pan together. Fewer dishes to wash that way!

Once the pudding is thick and has boiled for 2 minutes, pour it straight through the strainer and into the waiting butter and flavorings.

Note that a lot of pumpkin pudding will cling to the back of the strainer, so make sure to use a spatula to scrape all of that off and into the bowl.

Whisk to melt the butter and combine everything, then pour into containers.

You can serve this warm or chilled.

A collage of 4 images showing how to finish the pudding. 1)Butter, lemon juice, and vanilla in a glass bowl. 2)The pudding pouring from the pot through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl with butter and flavorings. 3)A shot of the back of the strainer showing all the pudding clinging to it. 4)3 small dishes of pumpkin pudding.

To Make the Optional Candied Nuts

A ramekin of pumpkin pudding topped with whipped cream and chopped pecans.

You can certainly just toast and chop some pecans to use as garnish. You could also make some other version of candied nuts.

I’m adding this short section for those of you who want to carry the maple and spice flavor through into the garnish.

Making the nuts is pretty easy.

  1. Bring maple syrup, butter, pumpkin spice, and salt to a boil.
  2. Add nuts and stir and stir.
  3. The maple syrup mixture will thicken and eventually caramelize (after about 5 minutes).
  4. Once thick and shiny, spread the nuts out on Silpat to cool until hard.

Option: As soon as you spread them out, sprinkle a little finishing salt over the nuts.

A collage of 4 images. 1)Maple syrup and butter in a pan starting to boil. 2)Stirring pecans into the boiling syrup. 3)The maple mixture thickening and boiling with the nuts in the pan. 4)The finished nuts, all shiny with maple glaze with specks of finishing salt on top, spread on a silicone mat to cool and harden.

Pro Tip

As the nuts cook, occasionally swipe a bit of the maple mixture onto a silicone baking mat to check to see if it’s hardening into hard candy. If it remains sticky, you need to cook it a bit longer. Total cooking time should be around 5-6 minutes.

More Tasty Pudding Recipes

If you’re a fan of stirred custards as much as I am, you will want to check out my easy chocolate pudding, which has a rich, deep chocolate flavor and doesn’t contain any eggs.

And old-fashioned butterscotch pudding might be one of the most delicious puddings on earth. You should try it and let me know what you think!

Questions?

A Note About Measurements

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This pudding is very easy to make, and it comes together quickly. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

5 golden stars for rating recipes
A bite of pumpkin pudding and whipped cream on a small wooden spoon resting on a small ramekin of pudding.

Maple Pumpkin Pudding Recipe

Jennifer Field
Feel free to double this maple pumpkin pudding recipe if you'd like to feed more people or if you just want larger portions. As is, this recipe yields 4- 1/2 cup servings.
4.80 from 5 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Custard and Pudding Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 216 kcal

Ingredients

For the Maple Spiced Pecans (which are optional)

  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup 85 grams
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice or your preferred “baking spice” blend
  • 0.75 ounce unsalted butter 21 grams or 1 1/2 Tablespoons
  • 3 oz cup pecan halves 85 grams or 3/4 cup

For the Maple Pumpkin Pudding

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon maple extract optional
  • 0.75 ounces butter 21 grams or 1 1/2 Tablespoons
  • 10 oz whole milk 284 grams or 1 1/4 cups
  • 6 oz pumpkin puree (homemade or canned–not pie filling) 170 grams or generous 2/3 cup
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch or flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt I use Morton's
  • 4 oz pure maple syrup 113 grams about 1/3 cup
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions
 

For the Nuts

  • Put the maple syrup, butter, salt and spice/s in a heavy-bottomed skillet or saucepan.
  • Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted.
  • Add the nuts, stirring to coat.
  • Stir the nuts in the syrup until the syrup hardens into a candy when you spread a bit on a Silpat. This will take about 5-7 minutes of almost constant stirring.
  • Spread the nuts in a single layer on Silpat to cool (you can also use a lightly oiled cookie sheet).
  • Once cool, chop some and leave some whole. You’ll have more than you need for garnishing the pudding, so you’ll have some for snacking.

For the Pudding

  • Put the lemon juice, vanilla, optional maple extract and butter in a medium bowl. Set a fine metal strainer over the bowl, and keep convenient to the stove.
  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, pumpkin puree, cornstarch/flour, yolks, salt, maple syrup and spices.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
  • Turn the heat down a bit and let the pudding boil for 30 seconds if you used flour or 2 minutes if you used cornstarch, stirring the whole time.
  • Pour into the strainer, scraping the pan well.
  • Press the pudding through the strainer to catch any egg bits or errant strings from the pumpkin.
  • Stir well to combine the pudding with the butter and flavorings.
  • Pour into individual serving cups or pre-baked mini tart shells.
  • Let cool and then refrigerate until cold, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Serve with whipped cream sweetened with a little maple syrup and flavored with some pumpkin pie spice, a pinch of salt, and vanilla.
  • Garnish with the chopped and/or whole nuts.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

Nutrition label is calculated based on 4 servings and does not include any garnish.

Storing

Store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Nutrition

Serving: 4ozCalories: 216kcalCarbohydrates: 30.1gProtein: 4.2gFat: 9.1gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 507mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 22.3g
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

Thank you so much for spending some time here today. Enjoy the pumpkin pudding, and have a lovely day.

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22 Comments

  1. It’s so funny to think that your love of pumpkin came about just recently because your Maple Pumpkin Pudding looks like it was developed by a life long pumpkin lover. Then again, that may be another one of the fabulous things about you, Jenni…your ability to acquire a new taste for something and turn that into a gorgeous and delicious dish that belie the years it took to develop.

  2. Jenni, the pending change of season has escaped me, but this lovely post seems to hasten it now. You’re right—cookery this time of year can reflect the foliage. I share your thoughts regarding pumpkin to a T, it’s as if you read my mind, but please don’t get me started on FG. Excuse me please, for I must dash off to pin this pudding. Cheers!

  3. Oh my goodness! I made this today for a special dessert for a special couple at Church. I was on dinner duty today and this rounded out the meal. The gentleman has a sugar house and I still had some of his syrup from February, so it was fun to make it for him and his wife using the syrup he produced. I used fat free milk (because that’s what I drink) and while I didn’t have apple pie spice, I did have pumpkin pie spice (interchangeable?). I also had, by chance, maple flavoring that I just received from KAF! I also whipped up 4 tablespoons of heavy cream to top each serving – by hand, just as I’ve seen you do! It came out perfect and I even got to have a serving all to myself. I would definitely make this again.

    1. Oh, wow–with all that serendipity, I’d have been surprised if you didn’t make them! So glad everyone was happy!

      There’s a slight difference in the spice blend and ratios of spices between AP and PP spice, but I like such light spicing for stuff like that that I pretty much use it interchangeably. How fun that you got to use the guy’s syrup in the pudding, Jo-Anne!

  4. Oh my goodness! I made this today for a special dessert for a special couple at Church. I was on dinner duty today and this rounded out the meal. The gentleman has a sugar house and I still had some of his syrup from February, so it was fun to make it for him and his wife using the syrup he produced. I used fat free milk (because that’s what I drink) and while I didn’t have apple pie spice, I did have pumpkin pie spice (interchangeable?). I also had, by chance, maple flavoring that I just received from KAF! I also whipped up 4 tablespoons of heavy cream to top each serving – by hand, just as I’ve seen you do! It came out perfect and I even got to have a serving all to myself. I would definitely make this again.

  5. I rather feel as you did about pumpkin pie. When my choice is pumpkin or pecan (the usual suspects in my family) I have to go with sticky pecan every time. That pudding, on the other hand, looks delightfully more-ish! What a gorgeous color and I love the way you’ve added cream and pecans. I’d have probably added another drizzle of maple syrup on top but I never do know when to stop with these things. Foodgawker is a jerk.

    1. Thank you for confirming my Foodgawker Suspicions, Stacy! lol

      A wee drop of maple syrup would be lovely on top. It really is good stuff. I’m kind of glad I only made 4, otherwise I’d have been in trouble! =)

  6. You could always cut back a bit on the pumpkin part and sort of ease them into it, Dionne! lol

    I’m glad you like the photos! Currently, I am Miffed with foodgawker for rejecting them and saying “awkward angle.” Poo. =)

  7. 5 stars
    I love the haiku! I’ll have to remember that one. I do like pumpkin but I’m pretty much the only one in my house that can tolerate it. There is a good chance if I try one of your recipes and serve it up everyone will be a little more open when I tell them, “This is one of Jenni’s recipes! She’s a real pastry chef!” It’s all in the presentation…

    Speaking of presentation, gorgeous photos! The first one with the beautiful serving tray makes me think of trying to refrain from diving into the pudding in an un-ladylike manner. 🙂 I don’t want to get your tray dirty!

  8. Bravo for writing haiku =) Very much appreciate your yummy maple pumpkin pudding recipe, too, Jen. Now I’m ready for crisp temps and leaves – even tho’ it’s not quite as colorful and cool as yours in NC =)

    1. Still, we take what we can get, right? When I lived in FL, I was happy when it was below 85! lol

      I’m in a facebook group called Monday Morning Haiku Club–you should join if you’re on fb. Fun!

  9. I am right there with you on thinking that Fall may be my favorite time of the year. And I am a huge pumpkin fan, but have never made pumpkin pudding! I like the spiced nuts as a topping – great texture!

    1. It was actually just an experiment, and it turned out so much better than I’d anticipated (and I thought it would at least be *good.*) Pretty sure there is no reason not to make it!

      It’s going to be 91F here today. I guess the weather didn’t read my post. Sigh.

4.80 from 5 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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