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Pumpkin-Inspired Recipes for the Family

Pumpkin-Inspired Recipes for the Family

20 pumpkin recipes for breakfast, dinner, and dessert that the whole family will love

It's a fall tradition: You and the kids head to the pumpkin patch to pick your own gourds, then cart them home to carve them into jack-o'-lanterns that grin and grimace from your windows and porch steps. But what to do with all that leftover pumpkin?

Step into the kitchen with your little ones and whip up some delicious pumpkin-flavored treats! Check out the recipes below for several sweet breakfast ideas, a few savory dinners, and of course, some decadent desserts—all pumpkin-inspired and perfectly delicious.

Pumpkin-Flavored Breakfast Bites

Tofu Pumpkin Bread

tofu pumpkin bread

The not-so-secret ingredient in this bread is creamy tofu, which adds moisture without adding saturated fat. Add ginger and pumpkin pie spice and you've got a loaf that smells as good as it tastes. Courtesy House Foods.

Makes: 1 loaf (about 10 servings)


  • ½ package premium or organic tofu (soft), drained
  • ½ can pumpkin
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • Dash ginger


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a blender, combine pumpkin and tofu. Puree until smooth and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add sugar, vegetable oil, water, and vanilla to tofu mixture
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and pumpkin spice.
  5. Combine dry and wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly and pour into a loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 1 hour.
  7. Cool about 1 hour before serving.

Peanut Pumpkin Muffins

peanut pumpkin muffins

This recipe, provided by the National Peanut Board, calls for ingredients such as canned pumpkin, salted peanuts, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, dark brown sugar, and molasses. Each serving has more than 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, making them a delicious and nutritious morning treat to kickstart your child's day.

Makes: 12 muffins


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 1 cup canned (solid-pack) pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • ¾ cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped, divided
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray, or line it with muffin papers. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients until well mixed. 
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, molasses, oil, and one egg until combined. Add the other egg, pumpkin, and vanilla, and whisk again until combined. 
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, until just combined, being careful not to over mix. 
  5. Stir in ½ cup peanuts. 
  6. Pour batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each one about ¾ full. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with remaining ¼ cup chopped peanuts. 
  7. Bake until puffed and golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. 
  8. Cool muffins in the pan on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges of muffins to loosen them from the pan if no paper was used. Serve warm or cool; store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 4 months.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Chocolate Filling

pumpkin pancakes

Start Halloween morning off right with these devilishly delicious pumpkin pancakes stuffed with creamy chocolate filling. Don't worry, they're not as sinful as you think! The recipe comes from healthy mama Catherine McCord, blogger at

Makes 18 pancakes


  • 1 cup white flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp honey


  1. Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk, honey, vegetable oil, and pumpkin puree.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until combined; it is okay if there are some lumps.
  4. Heat a large sauté pan or griddle over medium heat and grease with oil.
  5. Drop about 2 tbsp of the pancake mixture onto the griddle and cook for two minutes on each side, until golden. Tip: Use an ice cream scooper to drop the pancake batter onto the griddle for perfectly round pancakes.
  6. Set aside and allow to cool.
  7. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, cocoa powder, and honey until smooth.
  8. Place 1 tbsp of the filling between two pancakes to make a sammie.
  9. Continue to make the rest of the sammies.
  10. Serve.

Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino

This is an easy-to-make treat (no espresso machine required!) that's perfect when sipped in the brisk fall weather. 'Tis the season for pumpkins, after all—whip up a cup of this festive brew after you've tramped through the pumpkin patch, while you sit watching the kids carve their jack-o’-lanterns, and enjoy the earthy flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Courtesy Torani.


  • ½ oz. Torani Pumpkin Spice syrup
  • 4 oz. milk
  • 2 shots espresso (or ½ cup strong-brewed coffee)


  1. Steam milk and Torani together.
  2. Pour heated, flavored milk into a 6-oz. cup and add brewed espresso (or coffee).
  3. Spoon a thin layer of foamed milk over the top of the beverage.

Savory Pumpkin-Inspired Dinners

Pumpkin Seed and Panko-Crusted Chicken

This easy recipe for chicken breasts crusted in panko and whole pumpkin seeds makes a great family dinner in the fall. You can also try this recipe with your favorite fish filet in place of the chicken. Recipe by Maria Zoitas, catering director at Westside Market NYC and creator of Maria's Homemade, a line of prepared food sold exclusively at Westside Market NYC.


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups of panko
  • 2 cups of pumpkin seeds
  • 4 whole eggs beaten
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp salt (kosher)
  • 1 tbsp fine chopped oregano leaves
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp black pepper


  1. Slice chicken breasts in half. Pound them down lightly until they are ¼ inch thick.
  2. In three separate bowls: Put flour in one bowl, eggs in another bowl, and the panko, pumpkin seeds, salt, black pepper, chopped oregano, and orange zest in the third bowl.
  3. Coast the chicken breast with flour, dip into beaten eggs, then dip into the panko bowl.
  4. In a sauté pan, heat up the oil at medium heat. Lightly sauté the coated chicken breast until it reaches a golden color–about 1 minute on each side.
  5. In the meantime, preheat the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Place the chicken breast onto a sheet pan and cook it for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  6. Note: You can also use your favorite fish fillet instead of chicken. You may put it in the oven for less time or you may finish in a pan.

Oven-Roasted Butternut Squash with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Along with pumpkin, butternut squash is a great gourd that's best enjoyed in the fall. Pair the nutrient-packed squash with toasted pumpkin seeds as well as kale, dried cranberries, and hints of nutmeg and clove. Recipe by Maria Zoitas, catering director at Westside Market NYC and creator of Maria's Homemade, a line of prepared food sold exclusively at Westside Market NYC.


  • 1 medium size butternut squash (about 2 lbs) peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium size white onion, peeled and ¼-inch diced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 bunch of kale, remove stems and slice into 1-inch wide pieces
  • ½ cup shelled, toasted pumpkin seeds
  • ½ tbsp clove powder
  • ½ tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp salt (kosher)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ gallon water


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the butternut squash with salt, clove, nutmeg, and ¼ cup olive oil.
  3. Place the butternut squash in a 9-by-8-inch sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes then remove and leave at room temperature.
  4. In the meantime, poach the kale for 3-4 minutes in ½ gallon of broiled water. Remove the kale and place in cold water, drain, and set aside.
  5. In a sauté pan, heat the ¼ cup of oil left, sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, and add cranberries. Sauté for 2 more minutes and add the pumpkin seeds, cooking for 1 minute.
  6. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve. 

Pumpkin Pie Pasta

Approved by a certified nutritionist and kids' cooking instructor, this recipe for pumpkin pie pasta is a simple and fun dinner idea that the whole family will love. Try it on a chilly fall night when the pumpkins are plump in the fields, or any night when you're craving something other than plain old pasta. Try adding some protein like chicken or white beans for a more balanced meal. Recipe by Jacquie Grinberg, adapted from Joie Warner's No-Cook Pasta Sauces (Chronicle Books, 1998).


  • 1 pound bow tie pasta
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ to 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • ½ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the pasta and basil. Heat the butter a little if necessary. Set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta until al dente.
  3. Drain pasta well and immediately add to the sauce bowl.
  4. Sprinkle with basil and toss.
  5. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan.

Pumpkin Lasagna

pumpkin lasagna

Recipe by celebrity caterer Andrea Correale, owner and creator of Elegant Affairs.

Makes about 6 servings


  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ? teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 10 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped into ½- to 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the butternut squash directly in the oven, whole. Bake for 20 minutes or until soft enough to cut in half with little effort.
  3. Cut into quarters, place in a baking dish or large cast iron skillet, and roast for 40 more minutes or until the skin can be easily peeled away from the flesh.
  4. Cut chunks about ½- to 1-inch in size. Set aside.
  5. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the pumpkin and the next 7 ingredients (salt through maple syrup). Set aside.
  7. In another small bowl, stir together the ricotta, ? of the chopped mozzarella, and ¼ cup of Parmesan. Set aside.
  8. Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon ? cup of the pumpkin sauce in the dish. Top with 2 lasagna noodles. Spoon ¼ of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with ¼ of the butternut squash chunks. Top with ? cup of sauce. Top with two more noodles, continuing to layer like this until all the cheese and squash is used. Add the last 2 lasagna noodles and remaining sauce. Dot the top with remaining chopped mozzarella and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
  9. Cover with foil. Bake for 50 minutes. Let stand, covered, on a rack for 20 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Ravioli

pumpkin ravioli

Recipe by celebrity caterer Andrea Correale, owner and creator of Elegant Affairs.

Makes about 6 servings


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ? cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ? teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 wonton wrappers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Chopped parsley


  1. Combine pumpkin, Parmesan, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of pumpkin mixture into the center of each wonton wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water; bring 2 opposite sides together to form a triangle, pinching edges to seal.
  2. Place ravioli into a large saucepan of boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt; cook 7 minutes and drain in a colander.
  3. Place chicken broth and butter in a pan; bring to a boil. Add ravioli, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with parsley.

Pumpkin Fettuccine

pumpkin fettuccine

Recipe by celebrity caterer Andrea Correale, owner and creator of Elegant Affairs.


  • ½ pound (8 ounces) whole wheat fettuccine
  • 1 generous tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 3 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping
  • Pumpkins for plating


  1. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, whisk in flour and stir to create a roux, until bubbly and golden, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Add in milk and rosemary. 
  5. Stir constantly and increase the heat a little bit, if necessary, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken, about 5-6 minutes.
  6. Add in mascarpone, pumpkin, salt and pepper, whisking until smooth and thickened into a sauce.
  7. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add cooked pasta to the pan and toss to combine.
  9. Carve out mini pumpkins to be used as your serving vessels. Using tongs, fill the pumpkins with the fettuccine.
  10. Garnish with extra sauce, rosemary, and Parmesan cheese.

Pumpkin Seafood Chowder

pumpkin seafood chowder

Recipe by celebrity caterer Andrea Correale, owner and creator of Elegant Affairs.


  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup seafood broth
  • 1 cup shredded carrot (about 1 large)
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup of ½-inch diced potatoes
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 14- or 15-ounce can of coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoons fish sauce 
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 ounces uncooked shrimp, thawed, tails removed and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 6 Littleneck clams
  • 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and ginger, stirring about 3-4 minutes until the shallots are tender. Add the remaining ingredients (except for shrimp, clams, and cilantro).
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add the shrimp and cilantro during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Cook until shrimp are pink and opaque.
  3. Add clams into the chowder and cover the pot so the clams cook and open up inside the pot. Any clams that do not open should be thrown out.
  4. Serve the chowder hot and garnish with fresh cilantro, pumpkin seed oil, and Thai sweet chili sauce.

Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soup

Recipe by celebrity caterer Andrea Correale, owner and creator of Elegant Affairs.


  • 1 (2 to 3 pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Nutmeg, salt, and freshly ground black pepper
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish


  1. Cut butternut squash into 1-inch chunks.
  2. In a large pot, melt the butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash and stock.
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove squash chunks with a slotted spoon, place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot.
  5. Stir and season with desired amount of nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  6. Serve in mini carved-out pumpkins and top with roasted pumpkin seeds

Decadent Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Chocolate Pound Cake

This festive fall-inspired cake pairs fresh pumpkin with decadent chocolate. Add a simple cinnamon-infused glaze over top and you have a perfect dessert for your next holiday get-together. Courtesy Wilton.

Serves: 16


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1¾ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups 100% pure pumpkin
  • ¾ cup dark cocoa Candy Melts Candy, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare Dimensions Cascade Pan (or similar pan) with vegetable pan spray with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition; beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with pumpkin. Stir in chopped candy; mix until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes; invert onto cooling grid and cool completely.
  5. For glaze, stir together confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and milk in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Spice Doughnuts with Glaze

Add a pinch of pumpkin pie spice to this basic donut recipe to make a fall-flavored treat. For some extra sweetness, top the mini doughnuts with maple, vanilla, or mocha glaze. Recipe courtesy McCormick.

Serves: 15



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ? cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice

Vanilla Glaze

  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ tsp McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

Maple Glaze

  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp McCormick Imitation Maple Flavor

Mocha Glaze

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp McCormick Pure Coffee Extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray mini doughnut pan with no-stick cooking spray. (If you do not have a mini doughnut pan, use a mini cupcake pan to make doughnut holes. You may also use an electric doughnut maker. Prepare as directed.) Set aside.
  3. Mix doughnut ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Spoon batter into prepared pan, using 1 tablespoon of batter for each doughnut.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Meanwhile, for glaze, mix all ingredients for desired flavor in a large bowl until smooth. Remove doughnuts from the pan. Immediately coat in glaze. Place doughnuts on a wire rack set over a baking sheet or waxed paper to cool.

Baked Apples with Pumpkin Seeds

This recipe for baked apples features crunchy pumpkin seeds and warm notes of honey, cinnamon, and orange zest. It's an easy dessert for a crowd, as it can be served warm or cold. Recipe by Maria Zoitas, catering director at Westside Market NYC and creator of Maria's Homemade, a line of prepared food sold exclusively at Westside Market NYC.


  • Roma apples
  • 1 cup red wine (dry)
  • 3 cups sangria wine
  • 1½ cups dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup currents
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Core the apples to remove the seeds. Score with the tip of a small knife in the middle of the apple and around it—this will help the apple bake evenly.
  3. Peel the skin an inch around the top of the apple.
  4. Meanwhile, put the red wine and sangria wine in a sauté pan. Reduce by half, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. In a roasting pan, place the peeled apples (inside side up). In the center of each apple, add sugar. Then pour cinnamon powder around each apple.
  6. Bake the apples for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in a medium-size bowl, toss together the cranberries, currents, honey, pumpkin seeds, and orange zest (this will act as a topping for the apples).
  8. Remove apples from the oven and top each with ¼ cup of the honey mixture.
  9. Put the baking pan with the apples back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve either hot or cold.

Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes

pumpkin pie milkshake

Celebrity caterer Andrea Correale, owner and creator of Elegant Affairs, shares this frightfully delicious Halloween-inspired recipe for pumpkin pie milkshakes that calls for pureed pumpkin and vanilla ice cream.

Makes: 2 shakes


  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup cream or half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ? cup pureed pumpkin
  • ½ tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ? cup graham cracker crumbs
  • Frosting and sprinkles (or cinnamon and sugar) for glass rims


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until combined.
  2. Rim glasses with a light coating of frosting then dip in sprinkles. Pour in shake and sprinkle cinnamon on top.
  3. Top with whipped cream if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats

Okay, so there's no actual pumpkin in these treats, but they're definitely pumpkin-inspired! Whip up a basic rice crispy treat, then decorate with a variety of food coloring and icings to make a miniature pumpkin patch for your fall guests. Recipe by celebrity caterer Andrea Correale, owner and creator of Elegant Affairs.


  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 (10 oz.) packages of marshmallows
  • 12 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1 tsp. yellow food coloring
  • ¼ tsp. red food coloring
  • Green decorating icing in tube
  • Black decorating icing in tube
  • Decorating tips
  • Tootsie Rolls


  1. In a pot on low heat, melt the butter then stir the marshmallows in until they have dissolved.
  2. Next, add the food coloring into the mixture and stir until the mixture is a uniform orange color.
  3. Add crispy rice cereal to the mix, and stir until the cereal is completely coated in marshmallow.
  4. Shape the mixture into balls with either your hands or a spoon.
  5. Place the balls in the refrigerator and leave there until the balls have completely chilled and are firm.
  6. Once firm, using the black and green icing, decorate your pumpkins with leaves, and add a tootsie roll as your stem. 

Caramel Apple "Pumpkins"

Green pipe cleaners and orange sprinkles turn regular caramel apples into caramel apple "pumpkins." Recipe by Mary MacRae Warren.


  • 5 medium Macintosh apples
  • 5 green wooden craft sticks (you can dye plain craft sticks with green food coloring)
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 14-ounce packages of caramels, roughly 96 pieces, divided into two microwave-safe bowls
  • 1 cup orange jimmies
  • 5 green pipe cleaners


  1. Wash and dry apples, then insert a stick into the stem end of each apple.
  2. Microwave one package of the caramels and 2 tbsp of the water in a small, deep, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH until smooth. Stir every minute for approximately 3 minutes. If caramel sauce is too thin, let stand about 2 minutes before dipping apples. Dip apples into hot caramel sauce, turning until well coated. Scrape excess sauce from the bottom of the apples. Place coated apples on a tray covered with wax paper lightly coated with cooking spray.  Refrigerate 1-2 hours.
  3. After refrigerating, repeat microwave and dipping directions with the remaining package of caramels and 2 tbsp water. While the second caramel coating is still warm, roll caramel apples in orange jimmies to coat. Store in the refrigerator until hardened, then wrap with clear plastic. Take a green pipe cleaner and twirl it around a pencil to make curled stems. Use the pipe cleaner tendrils to secure the plastic wrap.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches 

pumpkin gingerbread ice cream sandwiches

Recipe by celebrity caterer Andrea Correale, owner and creator of Elegant Affairs.

Jumbo Chewy Gingerbread Cookies


  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ? cup granulated or coarse sugar


  • In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and molasses. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper.
  • Place granulated sugar in a small bowl.
  • Shape dough into 2-inch balls; roll in sugar.
  • On cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or just until set and soft in the center.
  • Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. 

To assemble

Using your favorite brand of pumpkin ice cream, spoon 3 Tablespoons of ice cream onto one gingerbread cookie and top with another gingerbread cookie. Roll edges in cinnamon sugar sprinkles for added sweetness! 

Pumpkin Pie Trifles

pumpkin trifle

Recipe by celebrity caterer Andrea Correale, owner and creator of Elegant Affairs.

Pumpkin Mousse Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Combine pumpkin, 1 cup cream, sugar, and spice in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool fully.
  2. Whip remaining heavy cream and vanilla to soft peaks and fold into cooled pumpkin mixture; set aside.

Cinnamon Whipped Cream Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, using a mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat. Set aside.

To Assemble

Garnishes needed: candied pecans and crumbled pie crust

  1. Spoon pumpkin mousse into a pastry bag, and then spoon cinnamon whipped cream into a separate pastry bag.
  2. Fill the bottoms of your serving glasses with candied pecans.
  3. Pipe pumpkin mousse on top, then whipped cream, then pumpkin mousse, and finish with whipped cream.
  4. Add garnishes.

Here at NYMetroParents, we've got everything you need to have a safefun, and festive fall and Halloween season.  Whether it is pumpkin or apple picking, getting lost in a corn maze, making Halloween crafts or finding costumes and decorations, we're here to help. 

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