- Food and Cooking
Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies - For Fall
Autumn, Pumpkins, and Cooking
Autumn is such a fun time for cooking. The scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and spicy baked goods fill the air. Not only that, the colors are spectacular, sweeping you into a festive mood.
Pumpkins are also an autumn favorite. What would Halloween be without pumpkins? Traditional pumpkin pie is a staple of Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in the United States. Pumpkin soup might not be a staple, but it might be after you try this soup!
In this post, I share three pumpkin recipes. Spiced Pumpkin Bread is great for breakfast. Savory pumpkin soup is great for dinner and it’s done in a crock pot. For dessert? You’ll want to try delicious Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies.
Leap into fall with these appetizing recipes that have pumpkin as their main ingredient.
About Pumpkins and Pureeing
Pumpkins are so good for the eyes and full of antioxidants.
If you use pumpkins as decorations but you don’t carve them, why not use them when you’re finished with them outside (and before they have fully ripened) to make puree? This is what I did for my pumpkin soup recipe. I made the pumpkin puree from scratch. It creates a rich flavor.
Basically, you’ll cut the pumpkin into large pieces and keep the skin on. It’s best to steam the pieces so they don’t get too watery. Steam the pieces for 30-45 minutes, removing from heat when the pulpy part is soft and you can scrape it from the skin.
Let cool just enough that you can handle the pulp in a blender. Add pulp and a bit of water, if necessary, and blend until the pumpkin is pureed. If you don’t need the pureed pumpkin immediately, you can freeze it until you are ready to use it.
Save the pumpkin seeds, too! Rinse the pulp off of them, and let dry completely – about 24 hours. Then, drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper on them and bake in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, or until golden. Have them as a snack or garnish your pumpkin soup with them.
Spiced Pumpkin Bread
This bread is so good with breakfast. You can make an optional cream cheese topping and use that as a spread. Or, if you’re like me, you can spread the topping over the whole loaf and serve warm.
It's pumpkin spice...once, twice or thrice!
This recipe will make one loaf (9x5"), or three small loaves (3x5").
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or softened butter
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 cup nuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 325°F if you’re using a glass or ceramic loaf pan, otherwise, heat oven to 350°F.
- Grease your loaf pan or small loaf pans.
- Combine flour, salt, sugar, baking powder in large bowl. Mix well.
- Add in the pumpkin puree, eggs, vegetable oil, water, pumpkin pie spice, ground cloves and nuts. Mix just until batter is not lumpy.
- Pour batter into a 9x5” loaf pan (I used smaller loaf pans – see below). Place in oven and bake for 1 hour. Start checking for doneness around 50 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the bread will come out clean when it’s ready.
Make the topping: (optional)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp honey (or ¼ cup sugar)
¼ tsp. chopped nuts
¼ tsp. vanilla
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and spread over spiced pumpkin bread. Or, use as a topping for the entire loaf.
Tips and Tricks
I used small 3x5” ceramic bread pans with autumn decorations. I found them at the craft store. When baking, check for doneness around 45 minutes, but will probably still need around 50-60 minutes to finish baking. You’ll still want to bake at 325° F. Making bread in these little pans make for great gifts.
When testing for doneness, you don’t have to use a toothpick. In fact, a great alternative is a “skewer” – the kind you use for shish kabobs. They’re long and you don’t have to pull the bread out of the oven to check for doneness. Plus, you reduce the risk of burning yourself.
Put the topping on only after the bread is cool – if you’re putting it on the loaf. That way, it will go on exactly where you want it and you can even be a little decorative with it.
Which Recipe Will You Try First?
Pumpkin Soup in a Slow Cooker – Wholesome and Easy!
I admit I’m in love with my slow cooker. It doesn’t use much energy, I put all the ingredients in and a few hours later, I have a meal, ready and waiting.
This meal is delicious and wholesome, complete with potatoes and creamy goodness. It’ll warm you up after spending a day on a hayride! Serve it up with some parsley for garnish and a side of honey butter crackers. This is sure to be a keeper.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 3 medium potatoes, cut into ½” chunks
- 1 tsp grated gingerroot
- 4 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker.
2. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
3. Serve hot with a sprig of parsley.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies
This brownie mix uses your favorite brownie mix plus pumpkin cheese batter. It’s a yummy treat and perfect for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
It’s not a difficult recipe, but you’ll want to have an electric mixer handy and make sure your cream cheese is soft, or it will make your batter lumpy.
If you use a different brownie mix than the one I used, no problem! See the tips and tricks below to adjust your cooking time.
- Pre-made brownie mix - I used Pillsbury.
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (for the brownie mix)
- 2 tbsp water (for the brownie mix)
- 1 egg (for the brownie mix)
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Batter:
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 6 oz. pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp allspice
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp salt
1. Spray an 8X8” pan. Preheat oven to 325°F if using a ceramic pan, 350°F if using a metal or non-stick pan.
2. Mix brownie mix (using the vegetable oil, egg and water) and pour into pan. Reserve about 1/8 – 1/4 cup of the mix and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cream cheese, egg, pumpkin puree and the rest of the ingredients. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-low for about two minutes.
4. Pour pumpkin-cream cheese better over brownie mix in pan. It will displace the brownie mix a bit.
5. Pour the reserved brownie mix on top of the pumpkin pie mix in a zig-zag pattern.
6. Take a butter knife and follow the zig-zag pattern to start to swirl it. Then, go perpendicular to the zig-zag pattern, creating a swirl zig-zag pattern.
7. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean.
8. Let them cool completely before serving.
Tips and Tricks for the Brownies
If you like your brownies a little more “gooey,” cook them for a little less than the required time.
You can use any brownie mix you like for this. Even if you make brownies from scratch, they can make up the base layer for this recipe. Then, make the pumpkin cream cheese batter and cook accordingly.
When you use a brownie mix - from scratch or pre-made - add about 30 minutes more to the baking process to allow the pumpkin cheesecake mixture to cook thoroughly. For example, if your brownie mix says it will take 33 minutes, add another 30 minutes to the cook time for the pumpkin cream cheese to cook, for a total of 63 minutes.
© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun