Best recipes for pumpkin lovers this Thanksgiving season

Thanksgiving is two weeks away. Crazy right!? Where does the time go?

Your table will be filled with casseroles, a big beautiful turkey and all the fix’ns! It’s such a wonderful day. For the next two weeks, I am going to give you some recipes and ideas for your Thanksgiving table this year!

Also, stay tuned for our Thanksgiving cooking episode! Two of my favorite dishes hit the spotlight!  But, for  this week,  I am going to stick with pumpkin.

Pumpkin is another Thanksgiving holiday tradition. Whether it’s pudding, a cookie, a pie, or a cake, pumpkin knows how to do it! It gives whatever you are making that taste of fall mixed with spices. It’s the best! Here are a few of my favorite pumpkin dishes that are perfect for the Thanksgiving season. 

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, & nutmeg.
  • In a separate large bowl beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Turn the mixer down to low then beat in the egg, vanilla and pumpkin. 
  • Slowly add in the flour mixture. The dough will be very sticky. 
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate if desired, but you don’t have to.
  • When ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge.   
  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line 2 cookie trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • In a small bowl, whisked together the sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon sugar coating. 
  • Form the dough into balls of about 1.5 tablespoons in size, then roll in the cinnamon sugar coating and flatten slightly
  • Place the cookies on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. 
  • Bake for about 8-10 minutes until the tops look just set.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice


  • 3 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 – 3 tbsp milk 3 tbsp will make it runnier, 1 tbsp will make it more like frosting
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Grease a 9” pie pan with cooking spray.
  • Unroll crescent roll dough.
  • Firmly press perforations to seal, making it one big sheet.
  • Spread pumpkin evenly over the dough.
  • Evenly sprinkle brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice over the pumpkin puree.
  • Starting on the short side of the rectangle, roll the dough up into a log.
  • Cut the roll into about 8-9 pieces and place into a baking dish.
  • Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until turning lightly golden at the edges.
  • Let it cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

This cake is absolutely delicious, and it’s so simple!

  • Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the slow cooker insert
  • Two 15-ounce cans pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • One 15.25-ounce box of french vanilla or any white cake box 
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, melted 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans 

First, spray the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Gently combine the pumpkin, granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a bowl, then dump it into the slow cooker insert. Mix in sugar and spice just a bit. Sprinkle the cake mix over the pumpkin, then, as evenly as possible, pour the melted butter on top and finish with the chopped pecans. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 4 1/2 hours (the edges of the cake should be starting to brown and crisp slightly). Serve warm with a dollop Cool Whip!

Pumpkin French Toast Pudding Bake

  • 1 pound loaf day old Bread (French or Italian) cut into small pieces
    (I used a whole grain loaf from Wegmans bakery)
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Half and Half
  • 1 15-ounce can Pumpkin Puree
  • 1-1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3 tablespoon Melted Butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1/2 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Pecans
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9 by 13 dish with cooking spray and place torn pieces of bread in the dish.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, half and half, pumpkin, sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Slowly pour the batter over the bread pieces in the baking dish. Be sure to cover all the bread pieces. Press down with fork if needed.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for about 1 hour.
  • While the french toast is baking, make the glaze. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the butter, heavy cream, and brown sugar; bring to a boil. Watch close so it doesn’t boil over!
  • Reduce heat to low, and stir pecans into the cream mixture. Simmer until the sauce thickens, for about a minute or so.
  • Pour over french toast, and serve.

Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes

  • 1/2 quart of a good brand of vanilla bean ice cream (I used Turkey Hill)
  • 1 – 1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Put all ingredients in a blender, mix well until fully combined. Place in pretty glasses, then top with whipped topping, caramel and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice for garnish.

Mini Pumpkin Pies

  • 2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts OR my “Nanny’s Pies Crust” (In my cookbook on page 64!)
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 cups Crisco
  • 1 egg

Put an egg into 1 cup measuring cup. Fill the rest with lukewarm water. Mix all ingredients together. Makes a delicious flaky pie crust! You can put any extra in the freezer.


  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter
  • Jack O Lantern Face is optional:
  • 1/2 cup chocolate morsels
  • vegetable oil
  • Resealable plastic bags
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Use a cookie cutter to cut 12-15 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.

Press dough shapes into a mini muffin tray. Just make sure your stems don’t touch each other. Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.

Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.

Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Remove pies to cool and repeat with a second pie crust. Makes 25-30 pies. Keep refrigerated.

To decorate, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Add a little vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and cut the corner off. (Just at the very tip, you don’t want your hole too big so it’s easier to draw the faces on.) Draw faces on pies or drizzle chocolate over them. Whatever you choose. I’m no artist…lol.

NOTE: The cutter I used was 3 3/4 inches wide, but if you don’t have one, not to worry. Just use a round cutter around that size or slightly smaller to cut circle shapes out of the dough. Then make stems with the scraps. Press each stem over the edge and down the side of the dough before filling.


Andrea McElroy

Andrea is a stellar country living cook with a robust social media following and lots of great recipes to share.