The Best Pumpkin Desserts, Hold the Pie

I have kind of a shocking seasonal confession to make…I hate pumpkin pie. And for those of you out there that are gasping right now, I want you to take a look into your soul and ask yourself a hard question: do you really love pumpkin pie? Or just the piles of whipped cream on top? Be honest now, how can you like the texture of pumpkin pie? It’s all mushy and too spice-laden. Blech and double blech.

That said, I have absolutely nothing against the pumpkin. Or pumpkin spice lattes. Or jack-o-lanterns. I just think that these desserts are worthy enough to redeem the awful pumpkin pie debacle that some pilgrim dreamed up. (They wore buckles on their hats! These people cannot be trusted.)

So, without further adieu, I give you my top three pumpkin desserts for your recipe box. You can thank me with a portion of whatever you bake, mkay? Fair is fair, after all.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting from The Brown-Eyed Baker


Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Frosting from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe


Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing from Mrs. Eiman via Ashley Eiman

Pumpkin Bars:
2 C white sugar
4 eggs
1 lb can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling, I actually used a 15 oz can)
1 C oil or 2 sticks butter (super soft)
Mix ingredients until smooth.
Sift together and add:
2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Optional: Add 1 C chopped walnuts to mixture. (I don’t because walnuts are gross.)
Pour into large greased and floured–I used Baker’s Joy spray–jelly roll pan (15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1). Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Done when toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
Cool and frost.
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
3 C sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
You will also need:
A little hot water
Mix with electric mixer until smooth. Add hot water a little at a time until you reach the perfect consistency–creamy, smooth, but not runny.
Try not to eat the whole pan in one sitting. Just try it. I dare you! This recipe is great for parties and big groups because it serves a LOT. If you don’t have a jelly roll pan I’m not judging you, but I have to say that my purchase of that pan was one of the best baking decisions I ever made. It’s well worth it and I found mine at T.J. Maxx on the cheap.
Oh, and one more tip. If you’re taking it with you to a party or potluck, put parchment paper over the frosting and THEN foil. The parchment paper doesn’t stick to the frosting as much as plastic wrap or foil alone does! You still have to peel it off carefully, though.
Now, aren’t you rethinking your pumpkin pie choices in life? I thought so.

3 thoughts on “The Best Pumpkin Desserts, Hold the Pie

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