Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie Puddings

These deconstructed pumpkin pie puddings go well with bitter coffee, which balances the sweet and creamy dessert. #pumpkinpie #pudding #thanksgiving

before college, i wasn’t much of a pudding person. perhaps it’s because my mom isn’t into them (so we didn’t have them around) or because whenever i did have pudding it would be paired with mushy, oxidized bananas.

but when i got to college, the dessert table was filled with cupcakes, cookies and pudding. the cupcakes could be good (there was an amazing poppy seed one with a very light whipped cream and strawberry frosting) but they could also be the stereotypical chocolate cupcakes you get at the grocery store with the dry, not very chocolate-y cake and the hard, cloying vanilla icing. when they had those types of cupcakes and/or yet another overbaked cookie, i reached for a pudding parfait. i was partial to the chocolate/peanut butter one, with an albeit dry chocolate cake stacked with creamy peanut butter pudding and whipped cream, and the pumpkin one, with pumpkin pudding, spiced graham cracker crumbs and a dollop of whipped cream.

these deconstructed pumpkin pie puddings sounded like the last parfait i described, and i couldn’t help but bookmark it in a fit of nostalgia.

deb perelman (of smitten kitchen fame) details two methods for making the puddings: one where you whip everything together, and another where you blend the pumpkin and seasonings, cook that down, and then stir in the animal products. i chose the first, and despite her warnings that the more intensive method pays off with an even more silky pudding, the lazy method still bakes up into something rich and smooth. plain, it’s tasty, and there’s the tang from the sour cream to balance out the decadence of the pudding. but i think graham crackers are crucial here, since there’s otherwise no different texture to break up the expanse of squash and cream. gingersnaps could work too, but it depends on how spice-y you like your dessert.

These deconstructed pumpkin pie puddings are topped with a layered of sweetened sour cream. #pumpkinpie #pudding #thanksgiving

1 year ago: Palo Alto: The HSM3 Tree is Impossible to Find, Vietnamese Garlic Butter Noodles
2 years ago: Toasted Almond Thumbprint Cookies, Caramelized Cinnamon Apple Pancakes
3 years ago: (Vegetarian) Egg Gratin with Swiss Chard and Cherry Tomatoes, Somen Salad
4 years ago: Vegan Apple Pie Smoothie, Spaghetti Squash with Parmigiano-Reggiano and Truffle Salt

Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie Puddings
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
These deconstructed pumpkin pie puddings are a fun way to have your pumpkin pie, in non-pie form!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 ramekins
Calories: 188 kcal
  • 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • gingersnaps or graham crackers for serving
Sour Cream Topping
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all of the pudding ingredients.
  2. Divide between seven to eight ovenproof 6-ounce ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes, until puddings barely jiggle and a knife comes out clean. Cool completely.
  3. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl, then spread 2 T topping onto each pudding. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with gingersnaps or graham crackers.
Recipe Notes

From Smitten Kitchen.

You can use ramekins of a different size, but be prepared to change the baking time.

You can bake the sour cream topping for a few minutes, but I think it's creamier and tastier when left unbaked.

more pumpkin
The spiced pumpkin butter and brown sugar walnut crumble are good, but they're nothing without a base of slightly crispy, tender on the inside waffles. #waffles #pumpkin #walnuts #streusel #brunch

Waffles with Spiced Pumpkin Butter and Brown Sugar Walnut Crumble

This apple, spiced pumpkin and frangipane galette is so easy to make it look good. Arrange the apples how you want and sprinkle sugar on the crust, and you're solid. #apple #pumpkin #frangipane #galette #thanksgiving

Apple, Spiced Pumpkin and Frangipane Galette

These deconstructed pumpkin pie puddings are even better served with something crunchy, like graham crackers! #pumpkinpie #pudding #thanksgiving

62 Replies to “Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie Puddings”

  1. This sounds like my kind of dessert, Heather! I love all of the spices in there. Like you, I’m not a huge fan of cupcakes. I mean I’ll eat ’em if they are there, and I’ll probably enjoy ’em. But I prefer other desserts first. And by other desserts, I mean this pumpkin pudding. With gingersnaps for me, please. 🙂 Looks amazing, my friend!

    1. thanks david! crunchy, crispy gingersnaps balance the creamy pudding so well (:

  2. I’m not a huge pudding person either, but pumpkin pudding sounds totally do-able. And a pudding parfait sounds even better!

    1. putting this pudding in a parfait would look so nice!!

  3. This sounds like a great alternative to have pumpkin pie puddings! The recipe sounds very straightforward and not too difficult. Thanks for sharing!

    Jenn |

    1. they’re pretty easy! i didn’t realize how easy puddings were to make before this one (:

  4. I love it because everyone gets their own little pudding ramekin and it sounds delightfully yummy for the holidays Heather! Yum!!

    1. yeah, it feels a little fancier when you have individual desserts (: (plus, i can’t scoop/serve a massive pudding in any sort of nice looking way lol).

  5. Heather, this looks and sounds scrumptious. I’d have likely chosen the “easy” method as well. And I do love anything from Deb Perelman. Thanks for the recipe – and, it sounds like your college cafeteria beat the heck out of mine. Poppy seed Pudding – Mmmm.

    1. deb is one of the food blogging queens for a reason (; and college dining in general seems to be so nice now! they built a gleaming glassy building at my school for freshmen, and it looks like a real restaurant, not a dining hall in the slightest.

  6. Oh, college days. I can’t say that any of the dessert was memorable. However, nearing the end of my first year the cafeteria suddenly did a 180 and stocked a freezer with Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. It was the best/worst thing to happen!
    I’m all into the personalized desserts these days. Pumpkin pudding sounds delicious! I had not thought to make it. Will try this one. Thank you, Heather!

    1. oooh ben and jerry’s?! they only had soft serve that tasted super chemically at my dining hall (but probably a good thing, bc i would not have been able to resist endless cherry garcia pints).

  7. I’m always curious about pumpkin desserts as this is not something traditional to me. Looks really good.

    1. i’m sure there’s plenty of foreign desserts to me, too! it’s fun to learn about and taste all of them (;

  8. Soooo about how I am OH SO SEXILY licking my computer screen over these puddings!

    1. LOL and i thought that my screen was blurry enough with a few droplets of water, much less a nice path of saliva (;

  9. Sounds so yummy. I love how food evokes so many memories! I bet this pudding was a million times better than what you had at school! 😉 xoxo

  10. You know i am sucker for mini and individual desserts. Love this deconstructed version!

    1. i think everyone is! i don’t really understand the appeal of tiny kitchen (that’s a bit tooo tiny for me), but small/individual desserts are right up my alley (:

  11. I have actually never been a pudding person myself as well. I would have reached for the cupcakes every time, even if they did taste dry with cloying icing 😉 But a pumpkin pudding? I think that would change my mind!

    1. yeah, i think the texture of pudding can be off-putting sometimes! but this one is smooooth and creamy, and not gloopy at all (:

  12. These are so cute heather. I love all the spices in there and that sour cream topping instead of the usual whipped cream sound so delightful. How fabulous !!!

    1. thanks, maria! the sour cream adds a bit of tang which i like (:

  13. Oh, these certainly look good, I would love one or two or even three right now. Unfortunately, I have always been a dessert girl and I have to be uber strict with myself so I don’t spiral out of control. But I would love to be out of control with these little beauties 😀

    1. this recipe scales down really easily! or it’s a good chance to invite some friends/family over and you can spread the pumpkin cheer (:

  14. Love this idea and everything I’ve made from Smitten Kitchen has been superb!! Also, I think I went to the wrong college!! Where are these dessert tables you speak of!??

    1. haha i think college food in general is a lot better quality now! my friends at other colleges used to talk about all the fresh berries they had, and the amount of options that were available.

  15. Hahaha, I love how you went with the lazier approach to pudding. Sometimes I want my food sooner than later. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

    Seriously though, this pudding sounds amazing. I don’t think I could decide between graham crackers and gingersnaps so I may have to make this with both. I wonder if that would be too much texture though? Either way, I’m dying to try this 🙂

    1. never too much texture!! you get the best of both worlds if you have both graham crackers and gingersnaps (:

  16. Totally need some of these in my life! The idea of little individual pumpkin pies in cups is just so cute! I love the idea of adding some gingersnap cookie crumbles to it too, what a perfect combo.

    1. yeah, i love baking things in individual ramekins! thanks shannon (:

  17. I didn’t grow up eating pudding and it took a while for me to start liking it. But now I really enjoy it when I want a dessert that isn’t too heavy or rich and that feels more like a snack. I really like the sour cream topping! It reminds me of the topping I put on cheesecake and I bet it tastes amazing with the pudding.

    1. ooh yes this sour cream topping is super similar to the kind you’d put on cheesecake! if you like it there, then you’d definitely like it here (:

  18. MmMMMMmmmmm, this looks amazing.. I want this for breakfast!! haha! <3 –

    1. thanks! this would be an awesome special occasion breakfast (;

  19. Love the playful touch you gave to the traditional pumpkin pie 🙂

    1. thanks! and so much easier (i still have a love/hate relationship with pie crust!).

  20. I grew up not loving pudding either, but I think it’s because whenever I had it, it was a little runny and gross, or served out of a plastic cup which just grossed me out. But this? This is a pudding I can get behind, not only because it’s pumpkin flavoured!!!

    1. ooof yeah was not a fan of those puddings in the plastic cups either. and i’ve never seen anyone else buy them at the grocery store lol.

  21. I’m still loving all the pumpkin recipes this time of year! Love that these puddings are prepared into individual servings. The sour cream topping sounds like the perfect compliment to the spices in the pudding.

    1. the sour cream helps mellow out the pudding as a whole really nicely! thanks marie (:

  22. I have actually never had pumpkin pudding. This looks and sounds so good, Heather! I love how easy it is to make! This is definitely a great addition to the fall and winter dessert table.

    1. it’s so easy! and perfect if you have extra pumpkin lying around (:

  23. I have ALWAYS been a puding kinda person.
    These sound a drem and perfect for this time of the year
    Thanks for sharing

    1. thanks kimberly (:

  24. This is a truly palatable dessert which I am looking forward to trying, Heather. Can I use coconut milk instead of whole milk?

    1. definitely! you might get a bit of coconut flavor, but coconut + pumpkin sounds delicious :3

  25. I hate it when chocolate cupcakes are so dry and don’t taste that great. I feel like I’ve missed out from the school’s dining hall with all of these desserts XD.

    The deconstructed pumpkin pie pudding looks delicious! I like how this feels more personalized! Thanks for sharing :).

    1. haha you’re probably healthier for skipping all those desserts (;

  26. My kind of pud! I love all the spices in it. Your dinning hall desserts sound like ours 🙂 kind of average but you hold them with a sort of nostalgic glow.

    1. it’s amazing how much nostalgia changes things! i look back on the dining hall desserts fondly, but now i’d probably be disappointed (especially because i have access to more exciting and tasty desserts nowadays 😉).

  27. Sometimes you just need your own little dessert to sit and enjoy in a warm nook! These pumpkin pie puddings look so cute and lovely..They are spiced which makes them perfect for fall! Love the sour cream topping on top!

    1. warm dessert + a book + a warm nook sounds awesome right about now!! thanks deepika (:

  28. Yum! This looks so indulgent. When I was a hospital volunteer during my freshman year of high school, I spent my $4/shift voucher at the hospital cafeteria on pudding cups and sweet potato fries. The good old days…

    1. haha i used to volunteer at a hospital too, and definitely had my share of hospital voucher fries as well (;

  29. What a funny pudding! I’m more into salty pumpkin recipes but I’d like to try this one 🙂

    1. i associate pumpkin more with sweet things, but savory pumpkin dishes sound awesome!! i had a thai pumpkin curry this week that was super tasty, so i’ll have to start cooking (instead of just baking) with pumpkin (:

  30. I love pumpkin pie, but I love cute individual servings of pumpkin pies even more!! :O Such a brilliant idea! and holy moly I knew I loved sour cream before on all the thingz but on a pumpkin pie pudding?! Yup, you my friend are seriously brilliant.

    1. sour cream on ALL the things (;

  31. What a great idea! I’ll definitely have to give this a try – I’m sure there’s a genius way of making these vegan & gluten free too 🙂

    1. thanks!! if you omit or use gluten-free graham crackers or gingersnaps, then it’s gf. easy peasy (: the vegan part would be harder, but you could sub in coconut cream for the dairy in the pudding, maybe use flax egg to mimic a chicken egg (not sure about this part though since i’ve never done a flax egg myself), and use almond/some other vegan sour cream sub. would be interesting to try!

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