It’s that time of year when pumpkin spice everything starts appearing on store shelves — candles, lip balm, air fresheners, beer, and of course, the ubiquitous PSL (pumpkin spice latte). That means fall is here, and more importantly, that pumpkin should make a grand return to your kitchen! Pull out your canned pumpkin — or better yet, make your own pumpkin purée and stock your pantry with pumpkin pie spice because we have the best pumpkin recipes to bake this fall.
1) Pumpkin Swirl Cake
This Pumpkin Swirl Cake takes my breath away every time I unmold it from its intricate loaf pan. The anticipation keeps building until I slice into the pound cake-like loaf and reveal the swirled pattern inside, marbled with both vanilla and spiced pumpkin batter. (Don’t fret if you don’t have the specialty loaf pan — this can also be baked in a standard loaf pan and adorned with a simple confectioners’ sugar icing.)
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Swirl Cake
2) Fudgy-Chewy Pumpkin Cookies
When I think of pumpkin cookies, I imagine puffy, cakey cookies that resemble muffin tops or whoopie pies. But that’s not what Test Kitchen Manager Sarah Jampel set out to create when she developed this recipe. She wanted something chewy, fudgy, and pleasantly dense that was also packed with pumpkin flavor and spice. Behold, her Fudgy-Chewy Pumpkin Cookies, which deliver a texture usually reserved for the best chocolate chip cookies, but in pumpkin cookie form.
Get the recipe: Fudgy-Chewy Pumpkin Cookies
3) Pumpkin Sugar Crunch Waffles
A cousin of Belgian-style Liège waffles, these Pumpkin Sugar Crunch Waffles have caramelized edges and a pleasant chew that’s reminiscent of brioche. The yeasted batter has pumpkin in it for flavor and color, plus Swedish pearl sugar that melts into pockets of crispy sugar. The best part? The batter rests overnight, so if you prepare it the night ahead, all you have to do the next morning is scoop and cook the batter for hot, crispy waffles in just a few minutes.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Sugar Crunch Waffles
Shop the recipe: Swedish Pearl Sugar
4) Smooth and Spicy Pumpkin Pie
I used to make the same pumpkin pie recipe for years, and it always left me wanting a little more excitement. Then I found this Smooth and Spicy Pumpkin Pie and never looked back! The generously spiced filling uses nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and Vietnamese cinnamon to create a more flavorful pie than traditional versions. The secret to its silky-smooth texture? Corn syrup, which is an invert sugar and keeps the custard from becoming grainy. Substitute another invert sugar like honey or maple syrup if you like; I use maple syrup.
Get the recipe: Smooth and Spicy Pumpkin Pie
5) Harvest Pumpkin Scones
Whenever I have these tender, golden scones on hand, I look forward to getting out of bed the next morning because I know they’re waiting for me. They can be easily customized to use a range of mix-ins, depending on what you have in your pantry. My personal preference is a mix of crystallized ginger and Cinnamon Sweet Bits.
6) Savory Pumpkin Parmesan Rugelach
When I’m deep into fall baking season and surrounded by sweets, this savory snack is a breath of fresh air. While rugelach are usually filled with jam or cinnamon sugar, these rolled-up pastries can easily take a savory turn. The buttery, cream cheese-based dough pairs nicely with the salty Parmesan and aromatic garlic oil in the filling.
Get the recipe: Savory Pumpkin Parmesan Rugelach
Shop the recipe: Garlic Oil
7) The Most Pumpkin Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
Making banana bread is an almost weekly activity in my house — except during fall, when we pivot to pumpkin bread instead. This is a quick, easy bake that satisfies my craving for something pumpkin-y, and it uses a simple trick to concentrate the pumpkin flavor and ensure the loaf is perfectly textured: The pumpkin purée is reduced on the stovetop to cook off excess moisture. (The process is similar to browning butter.) As a result, the final loaf is packed with pumpkin flavor.
Get the recipe: The Most Pumpkin Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
8) Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie
This recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie keeps the peace in my family at Thanksgiving. We have family members who can’t imagine the holiday table without cheesecake and others who say it’s blasphemy to have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. Thank goodness for this recipe, which satisfies both pumpkin pie and cheesecake cravings in one slice.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie
9) Golden Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
These gorgeously golden, tightly twisted rolls will earn lots of attention when served at an autumn meal. They’re slightly sweet but pair well with savory dishes, especially when torn open and slathered with salted butter.
Get the recipe: Golden Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
10) Pumpkin Biscotti
Every fall, I end up with pumpkin left over from a recipe. When I see that lonely can of pumpkin in my refrigerator, I make this recipe for Pumpkin Biscotti. It only requires a 1/2 cup (113g) of purée, and its flavor is amplified with Pumpkin Pie Spice and cinnamon. My favorite way to finish the biscotti is with a generous shower of coarse sparkling sugar.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Biscotti
11) Pumpkin Cupcakes
These Pumpkin Cupcakes, with their piped swirl of cream cheese frosting, are the ideal way to celebrate fall birthdays. The cupcakes are super tender, thanks to the addition of cake flour and oil. Sour cream and brown sugar add tanginess and molasses-y sweetness while also preventing the cupcakes from being dry.
Bonus: For more cupcake decorating ideas, see our YouTube video: Decorate Cupcakes Better Than Ever.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Cupcakes
12) Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
My husband’s favorite fall dessert is Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, hands down. He can’t resist these subtly sweet cakes sandwiching rich cream cheese filling. This recipe has a few extra bells and whistles to take it over the top: Bread and Cake Enhancer to keep the cakes extra soft and fresh, xanthan gum in the filling to give it a smooth mouthfeel, and diced crystallized ginger for a bit of extra zing in the filling.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
13) Pumpkin Cream Cheese Danish
The next time there’s a rainy weekend, I’m taking on a project bake: our Pumpkin Cream Cheese Danish. It’s a multiday process and laminating dough is a labor of love, but the final product is worth the effort: buttery, crisp pastries filled with pumpkin and sweet cream cheese.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Danish
Shop the recipe: Baker’s Special Dry Milk
14) Sourdough Ginger Pumpkin Bread
Fall is a season of gatherings and potlucks, and the recipe I’ll bring to impress a crowd will be this Sourdough Ginger Pumpkin Bread. In addition to the complex flavor (imagine tangy sourdough + spicy ginger + slightly sweet pumpkin), this loaf has a wow factor: It’s shaped like a pumpkin! It's easier to pull off than you think: See our post, How to make sourdough bread that looks (and tastes) like a pumpkin.
Get the recipe: Sourdough Ginger Pumpkin Bread
15) Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a show-stopping dessert featuring spiced layers of cake, not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting, and a blanket of melted caramel poured over the top. Will it be slightly messy to serve? Yes. Will anyone mind? Absolutely not.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
16) Pumpkin Espresso Bundt Cake
The pumpkin spice recipe I’m most excited to bake this fall is a mash-up of greats: Part-coffee cake, part-Bundt cake, part-pumpkin bread, this Pumpkin Espresso Bundt Cake deserves a category all of its own. It has two layers of espresso swirl tucked within a moist, spiced cake. Make it in your favorite Bundt pan or serve it as a loaf if you’re more of simple-is-better person. Either way, it’s great for snacking all day long.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Espresso Bundt Cake
For more recipes that are ideal to bake as the seasons change, see our collection of Fall Favorites.
Cover photo (Sourdough Ginger Pumpkin Bread) by Kristin Teig.