You only need 4 ingredients to make this easy pumpkin pudding recipe! This creamy semi-homemade pudding is an easy fall dessert or sweet snack for kids and adults alike.
Why you’ll love it: this pumpkin pudding recipe is so easy and tastes like homemade pumpkin pie! It’s perfect to have for dessert or as a lunchbox treat.
How long it takes: 5 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: a mixing bowl and a whisk
Servings: 4 (but it’s really easy to make a double batch)
- 1 Recipe Overview
- 2 Quick Homemade Pumpkin Pudding
- 3 Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Pudding Recipe
- 4 Ingredients You’ll Need
- 5 How To Make Pumpkin Pudding
- 6 Tips for Success
- 7 FAQs
- 8 Make This Pudding Recipe Your Own
- 9 Ways to Serve Pumpkin Pudding
- 10 How to Store
- 11 More Pumpkin Recipes
- 12 Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Pudding Recipe
Quick Homemade Pumpkin Pudding
Is it ever too early for pumpkin recipes? I think not. Fall is just around the corner. That means pumpkins, the smell of falling leaves, the slight chill in the air, sweaters, crisp red apples, and pumpkin poke cake. I’m even ready for football season!
This easy pumpkin pudding recipe is a quick homemade treat to ease us into the colder months. Topped with whipped cream and crunchy pepitas, this pumpkin pudding is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth and a craving for cozy spice.
Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Pudding Recipe
- 4 ingredients. There are only four ingredients in this easy pumpkin pudding. Really, it’s jazzed-up instant pudding (but that can be our little secret). It’s full of fall flavor and extra creamy.
- Quick to make. Whip up a batch of pumpkin pudding in five minutes, and then all it takes is a bit of time for it to chill in the fridge before serving.
- Pumpkin flavor. This pumpkin pudding tastes a bit like a freshly baked pumpkin pie. You can even use this silky pudding as a dip for Graham crackers, cookies, and more. See further on for serving suggestions.
- Kid-friendly. If your family loves pumpkin as much as mine does, they’re going to gobble down this pudding! It makes an easy light dessert or snack, perfect for school lunches.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Below, you’ll find (drumroll, please) the whopping 4 ingredients needed to make this pumpkin pudding recipe. You’ll find complete instructions and nutritional information on the printable recipe card near the bottom of the post.
- Instant Vanilla Pudding: Make sure you buy instant pudding and not the kind that needs to be cooked.
- Pumpkin Purée: Look for 100% mashed pumpkin, not the canned pumpkin pie filling that already has spices and sugar added.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: This is a pre-mixed blend of spices made from cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. I usually make my own homemade pumpkin pie spice and keep it in the pantry. You can buy a mix at the store, too. Pumpkin pie spice is what makes plain ol’ pumpkin taste like delicious pumpkin pie.
- Milk: Pretty much any type of milk works, dairy or non-dairy.
How To Make Pumpkin Pudding
This pumpkin pudding is a 2-step recipe that’s ready for the fridge in minutes:
- Combine the ingredients. Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl. A bowl with a pouring spout works well because it’s easier to pour the pudding into dessert bowls afterward.
- Chill. Pour the pudding into cute serving dishes and chill for an hour (if you can wait that long).
Tips for Success
This pudding recipe is just about failproof, but you can follow these final tips for the best results:
- Be sure to use plain canned pumpkin. Don’t buy pumpkin pie filling which contains lots of sugar already. Your pudding won’t turn out right (see the FAQs below).
- No pumpkin pie spice? No problem. Substitute ¾ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg in place of pumpkin spice in the recipe.
- To speed up the mixing process, make this pudding using a blender or food processor.
- Use up leftover pumpkin puree. This recipe calls for a half cup of pumpkin puree, so you’ll have some leftovers from a 15 oz. can. Use leftover pumpkin puree in easy fall breakfast ideas like pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin pie smoothies, or add it to oatmeal. Or, use it to make pumpkin pie dip!
Yes, sort of. Jell-O makes a pumpkin spice-flavored instant pudding mix with cinnamon and ginger, along with artificial colors and flavorings. This homemade pumpkin pudding is a healthier alternative made from real pumpkin!
Canned pumpkin puree is made from 100% pure pumpkin without any additives. Pumpkin pie filling, also sold in cans, contains add-ins like sugar, thickeners, and spices. As a result, using pumpkin pie filling in this recipe will impact the texture and cause the pudding to turn out overly sweet. Stick with real pumpkin puree!
Make This Pudding Recipe Your Own
This simple yet tasty pumpkin pudding leaves loads of room for easy variations. Here are some ideas to try:
- Substitute another flavor of pudding for the vanilla. Try cheesecake or butterscotch-flavored instant pudding. You can also use pumpkin spice-flavored pudding and omit the pumpkin pie spice in the recipe.
- Make pudding snacks. Pour the pudding into snack-sized containers and add them to lunchboxes.
- Use homemade pudding. Rather have pudding that doesn’t come from a box? If you have time, try homemade vanilla pudding or chocolate pudding as the base for this pumpkin pudding recipe.
- Turn it into pumpkin pie. Pour this pumpkin pudding into a pre-made pie shell, either pastry or graham cracker, and chill for an easy no-bake pumpkin pie. How easy is that! It’s perfect for Thanksgiving. (If you’re looking for a classic baked pumpkin pie, be sure to try my homemade pumpkin pie recipe.)
Ways to Serve Pumpkin Pudding
Make it fancy: Garnish this dessert with pepitas (pumpkin seeds), or any toppings you’d like. Toasted pepitas with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice sprinkled over this pumpkin pudding is extra tasty. A dollop of homemade whipped cream with a dash of extra pumpkin spice, or a sprinkle of granola makes a good garnish, too.
Just for kids (and kids at heart): Serve this pudding with a side of plain Graham crackers or Teddy Grahams for dipping. Homemade oatmeal raisin cookies are perfect for dunking, too.
How to Store
- Refrigerate: Pumpkin pudding will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Cover the dishes or any leftovers tightly with plastic wrap.
- Freezer: Technically, you can freeze this pudding for longer-term storage. Keep in mind that the taste and texture may change upon thawing. Store the pumpkin pudding airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge before serving.
- ½ cup pumpkin purée (plain canned pumpkin)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup milk
- 1 package (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding (be sure it's the instant pudding, not the kind you have to cook)
- optional: whipped cream and/or pepitas for topping
- optional: graham crackers for dipping
- In a medium-large bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, milk, and instant pudding. Whisk until there are no lumps. Pour into individual dessert dishes. Makes 4 half-cup servings.
- Chill for about an hour or until firm.
- Garnish with pepitas and/or whipped cream. It tastes great scooped up on a graham cracker as well!
- Use plain canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Any type of milk can be used, including non-dairy.
- For lunchbox treats, pour the pudding into snack-sized containers and refrigerate.
- If you don’t happen to have pumpkin pie spice, either make your own blend (it’s easy!) or substitute ¾ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.