5 Fun & Easy Pumpkin-Inspired Recipes

Fall means pumpkin-inspired everything!

1. Mini Pretzel Pumpkins

INGREDIENTS

1 bag mini pretzels 
1 bag M&M’s candy, separate out the green ones 
orange food coloring (I used about 1/8th tsp of Wilton’s gel colors, can mix red and yellow for orange)
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 tbsp shortening

DIRECTIONS

First melt the chocolate: I used 10 oz of baking chocolate squares, but you can use a bag of white chocolate chips. Add about 1 TBSP shortening to thin out the chocolate prior to melting. Put chocolate in microwave for 1 minute, stirred gently, then put it in for an additional minute. Chocolate should still look solid. Add orange coloring and stir gently until it’s nice and smooth.

Once dipped, lay pretzel out on a piece of wax paper. While it’s still wet, take a green M&M and set it in the nook of the pretzel, on it’s side. Let cool, enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Butter with a Side of Bread.

2. Slow Cooker Sticky Caramel Pumpkin Cake

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
1⅓ cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 can (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin
1 jar (16 oz) caramel sauce or ice cream topping

DIRECTIONS

Coat 4½ quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray, turn to high.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in mixing bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer for about 3 minutes, until light. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add packed pumpkin, blend until well mixed. Gradually add flour mixture and beat at low speed for a minute or so until smooth.

Spread evenly in slow cooker and cover. Cook on high setting 2 hours or until center-inserted tooth pick comes out clean. Let cake stand, uncovered 10 minutes.
Invert onto wire rack, invert again onto serving plate.

Drizzle half of caramel sauce over cake. Serve warm with additional sauce, enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Platter Talk.

3. Pumpkin French Toast Soufflé  

INGREDIENTS

5 1/2 - 7 1/2 cups 1-inch bread cubes (depending on type of bread, use as much bread as it takes to fill the bottom of your dish generously, plus up about 1 to 1.5 inches)
7 large eggs
2 cups milk (any kind, I used 2%)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup pumpkin butter (or 1/2 cup pumpkin puree)*
3-4 tbsp brown sugar for topping
nuts, pecan or walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Cut any kind of bread into 1-inch cubes. Use enough slice to fill a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish quite full.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin butter and pie spice until well combined. Pour over bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it's all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with plastic wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar, additional pumpkin pie spice and nuts (optional). Bake for 35-45 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet. Serve immediately, enjoy!

[Note: I HIGHLY recommend using pumpkin butter as it has a concentrated pumpkin flavor and is much sweeter than puree. But if using puree instead of butter, it's important to compensate the flavor by adding a bit more puree, pumpkin pie spice, and a little agave nectar, brown sugar or maple syrup to the batter.]

Recipe courtesy of Minimalist Baker.

4. Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Truffles

INGREDIENTS

½ cup white chocolate chips or chocolate cubes
¼ cup canned pumpkin puree
⅔ cup crushed graham crackers, plus extra for garnish
1 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp powdered sugar
5 oz dark chocolate

DIRECTIONS

Cover large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Microwave the white chocolate until smooth. Add melted chocolate, pumpkin puree, crushed graham crackers, cream cheese and powdered sugar to a bowl and stir until dough forms (can use food processor).

Chill dough for 1 hour or until it is easy to roll balls. Roll 15 small balls and chill in freezer for another 15 minutes. Melt the dark chocolate and dip balls into chocolate.
Return the dipped balls to parchment paper and let the chocolate harden for about 10 minutes. Garnish with crushed graham cracker, enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of The 36th Avenue.

5. Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

INGREDIENTS

crust:
1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter

filling:
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup (8 oz) canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

garnish:
whipped cream
pumpkin pie spice 

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 300°F. Line a 13X9" baking pan with parchment paper leaving about 1 inch of paper hanging on the sides.

In a medium size bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter.
With your fingers press the crust on the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside while making the filling. In the mixing bowl of your stand-up mixer, add the cream cheese and sugar. With the paddle attachment on, beat on low speed until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Spoon half of the mixture over the crust and spread evenly. To the remaining cream cheese mixture add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. With a wire whisk, stir until smooth. Carefully, spoon over mixture in pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 50 minutes or until just set. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar allowing the cheesecake to slowly cool down for about 1 hour or so.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting into bars. Top each bar with whipped cream and a dust of pumpkin pie spice, enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Roxana's Home Baking.

Fashion, beauty and lifestyle editor at Livingly. Miami Hurricane obsessed, forever Miami Heat loyal, Food Network junkie. You can reach me anytime at alison.higgins@livingly.com.
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