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.
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?
I love my version of pumpkin pudding, and I think you will too.
Here’s what I like:
- 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
If this sounds like your cup of tea, I have a favor to ask:
When you do make this recipe, it will help me and other readers if you:
✅Rate the recipes using the stars in the recipe card⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
✅Leave a review when prompted in the recipe card✍️
✅Leave a comment on the post📝
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
To Make the Optional Candied Nuts
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.
- Bring maple syrup, butter, pumpkin spice, and salt to a boil.
- Add nuts and stir and stir.
- The maple syrup mixture will thicken and eventually caramelize (after about 5 minutes).
- 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.
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!
A Note About Measurements
Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.
This pudding is very easy to make, and it comes together quickly. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
It will help me and other readers so much if you take a moment to rate and leave a review for this recipe.
You can use the stars to rate 1-5 (5 is best), and leave a review in the comments. It helps me make adjustments if any are needed, and comments help others decide whether the recipe is worth making.
Other ways to share include pinning, and/or sharing on your favorite social media platform.
Thank you so much for taking the time!
Maple Pumpkin Pudding Recipe
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
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?
StoringStore covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Thank you so much for spending some time here today. Enjoy the pumpkin pudding, and have a lovely day.
Hi, y’all! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and hopefully also learned a thing or two.
If you like my style, I invite you to sign up for my occasional newsletter, The Inbox Pastry Chef.
Expect updates on new and tasty recipes as well as a bit of behind-the-scenes action. I hope to see you there!