This Pumpkin custard is an easy and elegant dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas. They're basically individual crustless pumpkin pies!
This creamy dessert is fantastic for the holiday season, and any special occasions during fall and winter.
These individual pumpkin custards are less of a pumpkin pudding, and more like a crustless pumpkin pie.
They whip up in just minutes - a great alternative when you’re looking at pumpkin pie recipes, and just can’t be arsed to deal with making a pastry crust. (Or buying a pie crust, for that matter!)
In other words?
This easy pumpkin custard recipe is the perfect dessert for when you’re feeling festive and kinda fancy... but also sort of lazy and/or strapped for time.
You know, kind of an ideal for the busyness of the season!
This is a super simple recipe, and you should be able to find all of the ingredients in pretty much any grocery store.
There’s some room for tweaking it to your tastes and dietary needs, so here are a few notes for you:
Use actual pumpkin purée, rather than pumpkin pie filling - which has fillers and other ingredients added.
I use store bought canned puree, but homemade pumpkin puree is another great option if you have some pie pumpkins to cook down!
I use both full fat cream cheese and heavy cream to make these custards, as I find it gives an amazing richness to this wonderful fall dessert.
That said, the eggs go a long way in thickening and setting this recipe, so you CAN lighten up in this area, if you’d like - or if you need dairy-free options.
Whole milk works for those who can handle dairy, while almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk are all great dairy free options.
You can use a low fat cream cheese if you like, or a plant based cream cheese substitute.
We use both light brown sugar and maple syrup in this recipe, which gives a balanced flavour and a nice level of sweetness.
You can use a little less sugar if you need to... or swap the brown sugar out for coconut sugar or Swerve Brown Sugar Substitute if you prefer.
I use individual spices as a makeshift pumpkin spice:
If you’d rather use Pumpkin Pie Spice, use 2 teaspoon of that in place of the 4 spices.
You’ll also need large eggs, vanilla extract, and salt.
No real notes on those - I haven’t tried this with any kind of egg substitute.
Beyond the actual custard ingredients, consider dressing these custards up with some garnish - whipped cream is always perfect with a creamy custard like this.
(Coconut cream is a great option to top a dairy free custard!)
Also, we love to add a bit of crunch for contrast.
Walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, even broken graham crackers go well as a bit of a topping for these pumpkin custard cups!
How to Make Pumpkin Custard
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, this is a pictorial walk through.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer), cream together cream cheese and brown sugar.
Once smooth, add remaining ingredients to the large bowl and mix until smooth.
Carefully add hot water to the large baking pan, till water level is about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
This is a water bath - key to the silky texture of these custards.
The warm water buffers the custards from the direct heat of the oven, allowing for a slower, more even cook... and a nice, smooth texture as a result.
The bake time will depend on the proportions of your ramekins - keep an eye on it.
Once cooled, cover individual servings with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
More Pumpkin Recipes
When fall is here, is there anything better than indulging in some pumpkin goodies? We’re down for all things pumpkin, whether for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or a healthy pumpkin recipes for a random Tuesday!
Here are our favourite ways to use the gourd!
Copycat Pumpkin Spice Latte
Easy Maple Pumpkin Spiced Muffins
Easy Pumpkin Martini
Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes
How to Carve a Pumpkin Like a Pro
How to Make Pumpkin Mead
Maple Pumpkin Spice Bagels
Maple Walnut Spiced Pumpkin Buns
Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
Quick Pumpkin Bread
Traditional Pumpkin Mousse
... and from my other blogs:
Gluten Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Gluten-free Pumpkin Bread
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Mini Doughnuts
Gluten-Free Sopaipillas Pasadas
Keto Pumpkin Fat Bombs
Keto Pumpkin Bars
Homemade Pumpkin Chai Latte
Pumpkin Chia Pudding
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- 4 oz Cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup Brown sugar packed
- 15 oz Pumpkin puree
- 2 Large eggs
- ¼ cup Heavy cream
- ¼ cup Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
- Pinch Ground Cloves
- pinch Nutmeg
- pinch Salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a stand mixer (or in a bowl with an electric mixer), cream together cream cheese and brown sugar. Once smooth, add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Pour into 4-6 ramekins or custard cups, and arrange in a large pan. Carefully add water to the large pan, till about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake until custards are set, but wiggle in the middle – about 30 -40 minutes.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool to room temperature, and then chill for at least 2 hours before serving.