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Transforming flavorless pumpkin cakey cookies into something new

I had a can of Libby’s pumpkin filling and I wanted to try to make cookies out of it. I went to a few sites and took the one with the most positive reviews (4.5/5 with 900+ reviews).

Unfortunately, it didn’t work. The consistency is way too cake-like, there is no flavor, and it just doesn‘t work.

Any suggestions? I made these today, so I have about three days to make something before they go from not-so-great to worse. Thanks.

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  1. Icebox cake! If puffy, slice like sandwiches. Layer with whipped cream flavored with whatever delicious liquor you have. Refrigerate overnight. The cookies will absorb excess moisture in the whipped cream and solidify into a magnificent mass.

    OR -
    Pumpkin spice trifle

    1. Depending on just how cakey they are, I might be tempted to try them in some type of fall-influenced trifle or a riff on an Eton mess, using the cookies, maybe stewed apples, whipped cream, and some candied pecans. Or you could include them as some of the breading for a pumpkin bread pudding. Just thinking of desserts that call for some kind of cookie or cake/bread, but get most of their flavor from other ingredients.

      1 Reply
      1. re: edwardspk

        Eggnog makes a great custard for bread pudding, especially if it's pumpkin or cinnamon eggnog. If using cookies or quick bread as the "bread", no added sugar is needed. Just an egg per cup of eggnog.

      2. Another idea, if they're cakey, you could cube them, dry them out, and use them as croutons in a pumpkin soup or to include in a pumpkin panzanella salad (just had a pumpkin panzanella using corn bread this weekend that was really quite good!).

        1 Reply
        1. re: edwardspk

          Another idea along these same lines:

          Last weekend I baked a cake that didn't rise very well (stale baking powder I think) so I sliced it into thick strips, re-baked in a low oven for a long time, and out came some pretty decent biscotti that I've been enjoying all week with my morning coffee.

        2. Thanks for all the quick responses.
          Thing is, they are cookies, and aren't bigger than three inches in diameter. So I think I might do something involving soaking them in liquid.

          If all else fails, I could dry them a little more and dip them in hot cocoa!

          1 Reply
          1. re: RogueFoodie

            You could make a rif on tiramisu.....?

          2. Are they plain or do they have nuts or raisins in them? I think your best bet is to crumble them up and use them in some kind of layered dessert. Maybe make a pumpkin mousse. Just found this pumpkin parfait from Ina. You could use the pumpkin cookies in place of the ginger cookies.


            1. Where these the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies from "all recipes"? That recipe does not have any traditional spices that are usually associated with pumpkin pie. It is basically a way to make a bit "healthier" version of chocolate chip cookies by substituting canned pumpkin for some of the fat, with some added cinnamon.

              It is not "spiced" pumpkin cookie recipe and is not a chocolate chip cookie recipe but somewhere in between.

              If they have chocolate chips in them, they won't really work as a cookie crumb pie crust, which is what my suggestion would be based on your description.

              Maybe try drying them some more with some added warm spices and use as a topping for ice cream or a layer in a trifle or other layered dessert.

              1. If you want to soak them in liquid, perhaps a riff on tiramisu? Or dry them out, crumble them up, and use them to make a cheesecake crust or streusel type topping.

                1. Do you think coating the cookies in butter and rolling them in a liberally spiced sugar mix would render them worth sharing?

                  1. One other thought- you might be able to find a way to use them in a pie crust.

                      1. If you frost them and let them sit overnight, the frosting will firm up and the cookies will absorb some of the moisture.

                          1. re: magiesmom

                            That was my thought. Slap some cream cheese frosting between a couple of them. Whoopie pies!

                              1. re: magiesmom

                                Yes, my thought too! Maybe beef up your frosting-filling with all the spice flavors you're missing in the cookies, like cinnamon and ginger? Or just smear them with marshmallow fluff and enjoy the sweet stickiness...mmm.

                              2. Try the frosting from this pumpkin cookie recipe. I made these cookies and they were delicious. They were cake-like but very tasty. The frosting is to die for! It works great over pumpkin bread as well.


                                1. I took half the batch and put it in the oven for some more time, because the cookies were quite moist. It almost had a 80%-cooked pancake texture.

                                  Now, I have 15 moist, textureless cookies and 15 dry-as-a-rock cookies. Perhaps I'll just lay it off... At least now I know pumpkin filling won't work for cookies!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: RogueFoodie

                                    I think you should do what eclecticsynergy said and use the hard-as-rock ones for a crumb crust, say for cheesecake. How about sprinkling the other ones liberally with some rum or bourbon and, once they dry a bit, dipping in super dark chocolate. That would make a kitchen towel taste good.

                                    1. re: ninrn

                                      I second this - maybe a crumble or something as well.

                                    1. ice cream sandwiches? Would salted caramel work well?

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: FattyDumplin

                                        I tried that yesterday! I used coffee ice cream. :) Made it better, but could be much better.

                                        1. re: RogueFoodie

                                          If you live in a Trader Joe's zone, they're selling an eggnog ice cream I'm about to get some of. I'm going to serve it on a very rich and spicy persimmon pudding for the complimentary flavors, but I think that might provide some flavor you poor cakelets are needing.

                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                            That sounds great. I actually used TJ's coffee ice cream - much better than Haagen Daz's and others in my opinion.

                                            Thanks for the festive ice cream tip. I'll try to stop by there and get a few pints.

                                            1. re: RogueFoodie

                                              egg nog ice cream sounds like a great idea.

                                      2. I'm glad to find this thread as I too have leftover canned/cooked pumpkin.
                                        I was thinking cookies also (and may even have been considering the same recipe...) but now I just may make a pumpkin soup. Generally can't go wrong with that.
                                        Sorry about your cookie disaster. :(

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: pedalfaster

                                          If your soup goes well, please let me know in this thread!
                                          For future uses, I think I will use pumpkin for bread pudding or pumpkin bread.

                                        2. Chop and put them into cheesecake.

                                          1. Another vote for a glaze or a filling--a strongly-flavored one, maybe maple or cinnamon.