Swap Pie For Cupcakes And Cookies!

Pumpkin pie is as synonymous with Thanksgiving as turkey, pioneers and cornucopias. As delicious as a creamy slice of pumpkin pie is, sticking to the same old recipes year in and year out can be such a drag. So this year, instead of bringing the standard pie you always bring to your Grandma’s Thanksgiving dinner, surprise your friends and family with these three unique, and equally delicious pumpkin desserts. You'll be shocked at how quickly they disappear and how little people will miss the boring ol' pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin pie cupcakes

Each of these desserts has all of the traditional flavors of pumpkin pie (like cinnamon, pumpkin puree and cumin) with other delicious ingredients too, like Greek yogurt, cream cheese and chocolate chips! Plus, each bite size pumpkin treat requires no fork or plate. And for those who are always stuck on dish duty (like I am), this fact alone makes each one necessary this year!

Pumpkin pie cupcake recipe

Don't let the name of these fool you -- they aren't your ordinary cupcakes. These mini cakes have the same ooey, gooey center as a slice of the famous pumpkin pie. The flour and sugar in the mix form a crust around the center so you get the same texture as a piece of pie. Plus, the top becomes concave while cooling, forming a perfect spot for a dollop of whipped topping!

Pumpkin pie cupcakes

Yields: 12 cupcakes


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • Whipped topping and cinnamon for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake wrappers in a muffin pan and coat wrappers with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a larger bowl, combine pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, almond and milk until fully combined. Add in dry ingredients and mix until no streaks of flour remain and batter is smooth. (Batter will be runny).
  4. Fill liners about 3/4 of the way full and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cupcakes are brown. Once cooled, add a dollop of whipped topping into the concave center and sprinkle with cinnamon!

Low-fat pumpkin cake bars recipe

Not only is this cake absolutely delicious, it's very low in fat and calories because it's made with no added butter or oil! Serve with low-fat cream cheese frosting for a deliciously deceptive holiday dessert! You might want to double the recipe -- this pumpkin cake will go FAST!

Low fat pumpkin cake bars

Yields: About 16 cake bars


For the cake:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Cooking spray

For the frosting:

  • 5 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped


  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch glass cake plate with cooking spray.
  2. Mix pumpkin, yogurt, vanilla, egg whites and sugar well in a large mixing bowl. Once combined, add in baking soda, baking powder, flour, salt and pumpkin pie spice until fully mixed.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until cake comes out dry when inserted with a toothpick.
  4. To make the frosting: Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together. Once cake has cooled, frost and garnish with toasted almonds.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies recipe

These cookies are the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I've ever had. They are so easy and are a huge crowd favorite. My father-in-law, who hates all things pumpkin, could not stop eating these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. To make these even more decadent, drizzle with melted milk chocolate and dip in toasted almonds!

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Yields: 24 cookies


  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil and egg. Mix until combined. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda. Add milk and vanilla extract to flour mixture.
  3. Add pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and mix until fully combined. Add in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop spoon size dough balls onto the greased cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Bake for about eight to 12 minutes, until cookies are browned!

Pumpkin pie, you can eat your heart out!

More Thanksgiving desserts

The perfect apple pie
Sweet potato pie -- A Southern favorite
Spiked Thanksgiving desserts


Recommended for you


Comments on "3 Non-pie Thanksgiving pumpkin desserts"

Kelly November 19, 2013 | 6:31 AM

Does anyone know if the cupcakes can be made in advance? I would like to make them the day before Thanksgiving but I'm afraid the "gooey" part will be compromised.

Stephanie November 18, 2013 | 3:27 AM

The pumpkin cake bar recipe was amazing. I love pumpkin, but hate all the high calorie desserts so this one was right up my ally. The frosting tasted great, but mine didn't look like the one in the picture. I will definitely make this again!

Melinda November 04, 2013 | 7:04 PM

Loved the cupcakes!!! Is there anyway you can add a "share" with email or Facebook?

Michele October 31, 2013 | 1:23 PM

Sorry, I forgot to add that I used a sugar substitute and you would never be able to tell!

Michele October 31, 2013 | 1:20 PM

I made the cookies, but substituted 1/3 cup Greek yogurt and 1/3 cup extra pumpkin purée vice oil. I also added cinnamon and they are big, fluffy and delish! A little too much chocolate chips, that I think detracted from the pumpkin for my taste, but will be making these every holiday season! Thank you for posting!

Wendy September 26, 2013 | 2:35 PM

Faye I saw a comment on another page that said, "I do think everyone needs to know that these cookies do need to sit for about a day for the pumpkin to soak in and settle. They became orange and amazing the day after baking. I let them sit in a closed container over night and they were nice and orange the next morning. MUCH better tasting then right out of the oven. (I thought anyways) Maybe that would help with the pumpkin flavor.

Patricia September 22, 2013 | 5:39 PM

The cake bars are nasty. They are bitter, not sweet at all, and took longer to bake. Threw them out.

Claire September 02, 2013 | 5:25 PM

Hey Faye! You can sub in some pumpkin spice? I'm not sure how else to make it more pumpkiny.

Faye September 01, 2013 | 5:28 AM

I just made the cookies - incredibly moist and delicious! BUT (and this is a big but!) they don't taste heavily of pumpkin. Which of the other 2 recipes tastes like pumpkin? Or how can I rework the cookies to be more pumpkiny?

Tina February 02, 2013 | 11:32 AM

I've made the cookies and the bars before and they are all incredible!! Thanks so much for sharing!

claire November 23, 2012 | 4:55 AM

Hi Kim! You can certainly use those substitutes!

KatieeGenee November 21, 2012 | 8:54 PM

I cannot tell you how amazing those cookies are! I'm in the guard of my high schools marching band and all I have to say is that these are fabulous! They are so delicious and everyone in the band and guard absolutely adore them. Even the people who say that they dont like pumpkin were eating these down like they were going out of style! I added a bit more flour just so that they wouldnt spread as much. Instead of dropping them by spoonful, i used a teaspoon measuring spoon and they make 75-85 bite size cookies each batch! Definitely a keeper! Thank you!

Rebecca November 21, 2012 | 7:31 PM

Tina you must have done something wrong with the cake bars. They are moist and delicious . My 3 and 4 yr old loved them. Trying the ccakes tomorrow.

Kim November 21, 2012 | 5:56 AM

Can anyone tell me if the pumpkin cupcakes will turn out the same if I use Splenda instead of the white sugar and the splenda-brown sugar instead of regular brown sugar???

Emily November 10, 2012 | 5:56 PM

I made the pumpkin pie cupcakes. They were good, but didn't make a crust like yours did.

tina November 10, 2012 | 3:26 PM

The low-fat pumpkin cake bars are gross and have a rubbery texture. Not recommended.

claire November 09, 2012 | 9:15 AM

Hi Mina, yes, you can sub in real pumpkin puree!

mina kaliakouda November 03, 2012 | 12:41 AM

can I use real pumpkin instead of canned?

T W November 02, 2012 | 11:35 PM

Just made the cupcakes with vanilla extract and whole wheat flour. Added homemade whipped cream to the top... DELICIOUS!! Thank you for the recipe!!

mamawolfe November 01, 2012 | 6:28 AM

Loved the cupcakes-I made them last night for Halloween and they were a success. I used almond milk and wheat flour and everything turned out fine!

+ Add Comment

(required - not published)