Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding



So….I’ve developed a bit of a pudding problem.  And I blame it on this recipe, right here.

I first made this pumpkin butterscotch pudding about two weeks ago.  It was my first homemade pudding attempt, and the end result was gloppy and runny.  Not in a necessarily unappetizing way, but it was definitely more like melted ice cream than pudding.

After that first too-thin, un-set batch, I realized I had never actually eaten homemade pudding.  Maybe, I thought, this is the right consistency for homemade pudding, and it is supposed to be thinner than the store-bought kind.  I made a second batch of pudding a few days later, chocolate-flavored this time, using a recipe from The Joy of Cooking, just to get a feel for the method and appropriate consistency.

I made the pumpkin butterscotch pudding again, successfully this time, on Sunday for a dinner party.  And then I made it again this Tuesday.

All told, I’ve made pudding four times in the past two weeks.  And it is quickly becoming my favorite dessert, especially when layered with a little homemade whipped cream and cookie crumbles.  I’m already dreaming up other flavors, and ideas for pudding pie. If I’m not careful, I’m going to need a pudding intervention soon. Maybe the coming holiday baking rush will calm the pudding obsession?

Until then, send help. Or pudding.


Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding

This pudding tastes like pumpkin pie in a bowl. While it is great on its own, for a show-stopping dessert, serve it with whipped cream and crushed ginger cookies.


  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon spiced rum (optional. If not using, increase vanilla to 1 tablespoon)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 large eggs


  1. When it comes to making pudding, you need to keep a close eye on the pan, and will need to move quickly between steps. So this recipe is one where it is super-helpful to measure out all of the ingredients for the later steps before you start cooking. Measure out the pumpkin puree now. In a separate bowl, measure out the butter, vanilla and optional spiced rum, and set it aside as well. You'll also want to get out a loaf or other small heat-proof pan with tall sides, or 4-5 ramekins to pour the finished pudding into. Now you are ready to make pudding!
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger and allspice.
  3. Whisk in the cream, half and half and eggs. The eggs will separate and may stick to the whisk, but that spotty look will go away as you cook the pudding.
  4. Put the saucepan on the stove, and turn the burner to a medium-low heat. Don't make it any hotter than a medium-level heat, or the eggs will scramble or the dairy will scald. Cook, whisking often, for 2-3 minutes, or until the liquid looks fairly uniform, with no big oily-looking egg spots.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree, and whisk until it is completely mixed in to the cream. Cook, whisking constantly, until the pudding starts to resist the whisk a bit. You are done when you can lift the whisk out, and have the pudding that drips off the whisk and into the pan hold its shape for a second or two. It should take 3-5 minutes to get to this stage.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter, vanilla and rum.
  7. Pour the pudding into the loaf pan, baking pan or ramekins, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes to allow the pudding to "set." If you don't like pudding skin, you can place a piece of waxed paper on top of the pans or ramekins, pressing the paper lightly into the surface of the pudding, before you chill them.


  1. says

    Great flavors! I tried a lighter variation and substitutions with great success. For a richer butterscotch flavor, I used brown sugar instead of white. For the dairy, I substituted a pumpkin spice coconut milk (seasonal flavor). So delicious! I’m also a big pudding lover.