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Nov 4, 2011 11:06 PM

Pumpkin Dessert for Thanksgiving -- what's new and different?

I'm beginning my menu plan for Thanksgiving. For dessert we'll have apple pie and ice cream. Then I'm planning to bake this layer cake

I need a pumpkin dessert and I don't like pumpkin pie very much. In the past I've done ice cream, cheesecake, a layered pie filling with chocolate and a sour cream layers in addition to pumpkin. I've done pumpkin bread pudding and pumpkin creme brulees.

What haven't I explored yet? A filled and rolled cake? Brownies? Some decadent mousse creation? What interesting thing is there to combine pumpkin with? I'd love your favorite tried-and-true pumpkin desserts. Bonus points for things or parts that can be done in advance.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. This gingerbread pumpkin trifle is a big hit with our family:

    2 Replies
    1. re: Terrie H.

      Interesting! What do you use for "mild" molasses?

      1. re: rainey

        Just regular Grandma's brand. This is really a delicious trifle.

    2. Pumpkin Crack! Also referred to as a dump cake. You will never want pumpkin pie again once you have had this addictive indulgence.

      1. Did you do "pumpkin bread" pudding or pumpkin "bread pudding"? I like both but the former more. A filled and rolled pumpkin cake is good but no different from a pumpkin cake w/ cream cheese frosting (which I also like) and if you're already doing a layer cake, I'd skip that (I've had that cake on my list of things to bake so I'd love to hear about it after you make it). I do pumpkin custard but, imo, that's just pumpkin pie w/out the crust.

        What about pumpkin cookies? I like this recipe but fool around w/ the icing.

        3 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          Cookies sound like a great, lighter (relative to Thanksgiving) option. I'll check out your recipe but we also have a family favorite with a lemon icing that could be perfect.

          For Pumpkin Bread Pudding I use bread made with pumpkin:

          Pumpkin Ginger Braid
          makes 2 loaves

          • 4 1/2 cup bread flour
          • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
          • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
          • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
          • 1/3 cup candied ginger, minced
          • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
          • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
          • 1 3/4 cup pumpkin purée, NOT pie filling
          • 1/4 cup butter
          • 1/2 cup golden raisins

          1. Place all of the ingredients except the raisins into the pan of your bread machine, program for the "Dough" cycle and press "Start". This dough may initially be a bit heavy for some machines; if necessary, use a spatula to help it get going. About 10 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle, adjust the consistency of the dough with additional water or flour as needed. The dough should be smooth and soft. About 4-5 minutes before the end of the kneading cycle, add the raisins. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.

          2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, divide it in half and then divide each half into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a 10" log.

          3. Working with 3 logs at a time, place them on a lightly greased work surface and braid them together. Be sure to pinch the ends together well and tuck them under. Repeat with remaining logs. Set the braids aside, covered with lightly greased plastic wrap to rise for 1 hour. The risen loaves should look puffy but not necessarily doubled.

          4. Bake the bread in a preheated 375˚ oven for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned and about 195˚ internal temperature. Remove the loaves from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Serve them warm or at room temperature.

          5. Use leftover bread to make Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

          1. re: rainey

            Sounds good--a pumpkin "bread pudding." I like pumpkin bread made into a bread pudding, using a lower fat pumpkin bread so it absorbs the custard better. I've never done a pumpkin bread pudding with a pumpkin bread and a pumpkin custard. I might give that a try.

          2. re: chowser

            Those cookies are very much like a Libby's recipe I've been using since the 80s. Mine have raisins and the icing is tart with lemon zest and juice.

            They're fabulous and I bet these are too. Thanks for the suggestion.

          3. I love this bread pudding stuffed pumpkins using small pumpkins. They can be completely done ahead and baked while you eat dinner.
            The raisin bread really works,though I had my doubts. Limoncello in the sauce is a crowd pleaser.

            3 Replies
            1. re: magiesmom

              Lemon sauce for pumpkin bread pudding is wonderful! Also for gingerbread.

              1. re: magiesmom

                I always do my pies ahead and put them in the cooling oven when the turkey comes out. With the oven off they warm to just about a perfect eating temperature in the time it takes for us to have dinner and a bit of a breather before dessert.

                Love limoncello as a flavoring. I sometimes substitute 3 parts of limoncello for 1 part of vanilla in cake and quickbread recipes.

                Our family favorite pumpkin cookie has a lemon icing. Lemon really brightens the mix.

                1. re: rainey

                  I sometimes put lemon icing on pumpkin quick bread/muffins, and it is indeed very complementary.

              2. These look good:


                or pumpkin scones?

                Both nice with coffee (and white bread turkey sandwiches!) on Thanksgiving night, several hours after dinner.
                Baked brie with pumpkin chutney?

                1 Reply
                1. re: blue room

                  Pumpkin biscotti is definitely something I have to try. It's also more sophisticated than the family cookie recipe I had in mind. Lower in fat too and something to do *well* ahead!

                  I think I'll add some toasted hazelnuts and maybe crystalized ginger to the batter and I could put out the lemon icing from my family favorite recipe for optional dunking.

                  Thanks! I think we have a winner!