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Pumpkin Crisp (without Cake Mix)

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This easy recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Crisp makes a comforting fall dessert in just two easy steps. Sweetened and seasoned pumpkin puree is baked with a crunchy crisp topping for a treat that’s perfect for the cooler weather or to serve as a Thanksgiving dessert.

In our house, we are definitely pumpkin fans. Any chance we get to use pumpkin in a recipe, we’re there! Our favorite pumpkin dessert recipes are ones that are simple to make that can be whipped up in no time and this pumpkin crisp fits the bill. 

You’ll start by making the pumpkin base by mixing plain canned pumpkin puree with milk, sugar, eggs, and a flavorful pumpkin pie spice. This gets poured into a casserole dish or a cast-iron skillet that’s ready for the oven. 

A quick crisp topping is then made using flour, sugar, cinnamon, and old-fashioned oats. Butter gets cut into the dry mixture to make a buttery and crumbly topping that gets put right on top of the pumpkin layer. 

After a quick bake in the oven, you’ll have a beautiful and flavorful fall dessert that pairs well with whipped cream, caramel sauce, or a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. This pumpkin dessert will become a quick holiday favorite that is comforting and satisfying!

Pumpkin crisp on a white plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This fall dessert is made with simple ingredients you can find anywhere.
  • You can top it with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a decadent treat.
  • A perfect dessert to make for the Thanksgiving holiday. 
  • The crisp topping is easy to make and gives this crisp a sweet, crunchy, and crumbly top.

Pumpkin Crisp Ingredients

Pumpkin Puree

  • Whole Milk – Helps thin out the bottom layer of the crisp while adding a creamy taste. 
  • White Sugar – Sweetens up the pumpkin layer before baking. 
  • Eggs – Helps the pumpkin layer bind together and set while baking.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – Flavors the pumpkin crisp with warming fall seasonings. 
  • Vanilla Extract – Infuses this dessert with a light vanilla flavor. 

Crisp Topping:

  • Old Fashioned Oats – Gives the crisp topping a nutty flavor and dense texture. 
  • All-Purpose Flour – Helps bring all the ingredients together to make a crumbly topping. 
  • Light Brown Sugar – Adds sweetness and a light caramel flavor to the top.
  • Cinnamon – Warms up the crisp with cinnamon flavor. 
  • Salt – Balances all the flavor notes in the crisp topping.
  • Butter – Used to bring the crisp ingredients together and gives it a rich buttery crunch and texture when baked. 
Top down view of ingredients for pumpkin crisp.

How To Make Homemade Pumpkin Crisp

  1. Prepare For Baking: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Set aside a casserole dish or cast-iron skillet. 
  2. Make the pumpkin base: In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, seasonings, and vanilla. Whisk until all the ingredients are fully combined, then pour the mixture into the casserole dish or cast-iron skillet. 
  3. Make the crisp topping: In a separate bowl, whisk the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt until combined. Cut the cold butter pieces into the mixture using a pastry cutter or two forks until the texture resembles a crumbly mixture.
  4. Assemble and bake the pumpkin crisp: Evenly distribute the crumble topping on top of the wet pumpkin mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the center is set and the top is golden brown. Let it cool for 15 minutes before serving with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Collage showing how to make pumpkin crisp.

Recipe Tips

  • It’s important to make sure your butter is very cold before cutting it into the crisp mixture. This will help keep it from melting before it’s baked. 
  • Make sure you are using old-fashioned oats and not instant oats as instant oats will create a different texture when baked into the crisp. 
  • The eggs should be at room temperature before adding them to the pumpkin mixture to ensure everything bakes evenly. 
  • Use good quality butter such as grass-fed butter for the best tasting crisp topping. 
  • When purchasing pumpkin, make sure you purchase plain pumpkin puree only and not pumpkin pie filling as this already contains sugar and spices. 
  • We’re big fans of making homemade pumpkin pie spice blend so you can adjust the seasonings to whatever you enjoy. 
  • Before serving, make sure you let this crisp rest for at least 15 minutes as it will be very hot straight out of the oven. 

Variations

  • Gluten-free pumpkin crisp can be made by swapping out the flour for a gluten-free flour blend. You’ll also need to make sure your oats are certified gluten-free. 
  • Add some toasted pecans or walnuts to the crisp mixture for a nutty flavor and lots of crunch. 
  • Don’t like pumpkin? Try making this recipe with butternut squash or sweet potato puree instead of pumpkin puree. 
  • For serving, drizzle with a homemade caramel sauce for an extra sweet flavor that pairs well with pumpkin and fall spices.
Spoon scooping pumpkin crisp out of a pan.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: This pumpkin crisp can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freezing: This dessert will not hold up well in the freezer as the texture of the pumpkin layer and crisp topping will change once thawed. Therefore, freezing is not recommended.

How do I make my crisp topping crunchy?

The best way to make a crunchy crisp topping is to make sure you have the right amount of butter and that it is evenly distributed into the rest of the ingredients. You can do this by using a pastry cutter, two forks, or gently using your hands.

What’s the difference between a crisp and a crumble dessert?

A crumble is usually made with fresh fruit on the bottom along with a heavy streusel topping. Crisps are generally the same but have a topping that is likely made with oats and is a bit lighter on top.

Can I use homemade pumpkin puree to make pumpkin crisp?

Yes, though homemade pumpkin puree can sometimes have a bit too much excess water. You can compensate for this by adding a bit less milk to the recipe.

Crisp on a white serving plate.

Pumpkin Crisp

Yield: About 8 Cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cool Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This easy recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Crisp makes a comforting fall dessert in just two easy steps. Sweetened and seasoned pumpkin puree is baked with a crunchy crisp topping for a treat that’s perfect for the cooler weather or to serve as a Thanksgiving dessert.

Ingredients

  • 29 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix the pumpkin puree, milk, white sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie seasoning and vanilla together in a large bowl then pour it into a 12-inch cast iron skillet or a 9x13-inch casserole dish.
  3. Whisk the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl then cut the butter into the mix using a pastry cutter or a fork until it forms a crumbly mixture.
  4. Crumble the topping around the top of the pumpkin mix then bake for 30-40 minutes or until the center of the crisp jiggles only slightly and the top turns a light, golden brown.
  5. Let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.
  6. See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 cup of pumpkin crisp. Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

*Photos courtesy of Karla Rae Photography.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 366Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 156mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 4gSugar: 42gProtein: 7g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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