Pumpkin & Molasses Custard

Pumpkin custard is a perfect, nourishing autumn dish.   Packed with beta carotene, antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium and other micronutrients, this dish is rich in   flavor and nutrition.     Flavored by molasses, cinnamon and unrefined cane sugar the custard may take on an unappetizing brown color; however, if you serve it in a pumpkin shell its appearance at the table will be delightfully dramatic – appealing to both children.

Seasonal eating is a pleasure.   There’s nothing quite like celebrating foods at the height of their ripeness.   Moreover, seasonal foods naturally complement one another.   Consider fresh spring greens and ripe strawberries or a summer salad of tomatoes, corn and basil all at their peak flavor.   Autumn is time for pumpkin and winter squash – those faintly sweet, warming and dense vegetables.   While I generally prefer to serve my winter squashes in savory dishes (their flavor combines beautifully with sage, garlic and pecorino-romano cheese), they also combine equally well with heavy, warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

This pumpkin custard is dense with flavor and nutrients, and provides a beautiful finish to an autumn supper or Thanksgiving menu.   Moreover, it’s a nice alternative to pumpkin pie as the custard is both grain- and dairy-free.

pumpkin custard baked in a pumpkin shell

By Jenny Published: October 27, 2009

  • Yield: 6 Servings

This pumpkin custard is dense with flavor and nutrients, and provides a beautiful finish to an autumn supper or Thanksgiving menu. Moreover, it's a nice alternative to pumpkin pie as the custard is both grain- and dairy-free.


  • 1 large Pie Pumpkin
  • 1 small Pie Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Date Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Molasses
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutgmeg
  • pinch of Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Unrefined Sea Salt
  • 6 Eggs (Beaten)


  1. Split the small pie pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, guts and strings.
  2. Invert the split pumpkin onto a casserole dish with about 1 cup of water.
  3. Bake at 400 ° F until soft – about 1 hour or so.
  4. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool before scooping out the pulp.
  5. Cut the top off the larger pie pumpkin, remove the seeds and guts.
  6. In a blender, mixer or food processor blend together the reserved pumpkin pulp, spices, unrefined sugar, molasses and eggs.
  7. Pour mixture into the shell of the larger pumpkin and bake, uncovered, for 1 ½ hours or until a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean.

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What people are saying

  1. Lisa Imerman says

    That is a neat idea!! I did a pumpkin stew/soup in a pumpkin before, never thought of doing a dessert.

    It kind of looks in the picture that there are raisins in it? Maybe I just think it looks that way.


  2. Jenny says

    Jenn – this looks stunning on the supper table. We’re planning to serve it for Thanksgiving.

    LO – It’s a great pumpkin pie substitute – especially for the folks who are grain and dairy-free. The taste is very similar.

  3. Jenny says

    Lisa –

    I did include dried cranberries and raisins in the original recipe, but it gave the custard a texture I didn’t care for so I’ve ommitted them in the posted recipe.  My son liked the addition a lot!

    Take Care –


  4. says


    I love your creativity and I totally trust your recipes. We are changing the way we eat and the results are amazing: more focus, loss of weight, loss of moodiness, looking lean instead of bloated, and avoiding sickness. Thanks for all you do!

    • Jenny says

      Tutti –
      Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words. I’m so glad you like the recipes! Cooking is such a passion of mine. And it’s such a pleasure to use wholesome, natural ingredients for such good-tasting food, you know?

      Take Care –

  5. Clarissa K says

    Silly to ask, but I am going to use a large can of organic pumpkin that is in my cupboard…so any idea how many cups your cooked pumpkin ended up with?

    I am glad to have this idea, btw, as we are wheat-free these days and baking hasn’t been as fun. But we are learning! 😉

  6. annie avery says

    i put this recipe together yesterday, using one smallish-medium pumpkin. i use the woodstove’s oven to cook, and it took longer, but the aroma coming out of it each time i tested it… ahh!! i did not bake a pumpkin to use as a dish, left the second for another batch. as i was cutting up the cooked pumpkin for the recipe, i fed some parts to the dog. she loved it! later in the evening i found she had started a nice hole in the second pumpkin and had a nice treat! i would not add milk or half and half to the next one, it has a nice texture as is. and maybe i’ll top it with the cranberries, set them in when it’s solidified on the top somewhat.. thanks for the recipe!

  7. Ani says

    YUM! I just delved into some, and this is a pure delicious comfort food. I used maple syrup, stevia and and a tiny bit of sucanat since I didn’t have date sugar or molasses. I baked in in a dish since I didn’t feel like scraping out another pumpkin and added a few walnuts on top halfway through the baking process. It was amazing thanks for the great recipe.

    • Char says

      Ani, What amounts of maple, syrup, stevia and succanat did you use? I, too, have those on hand, and don’t have date sugar or molasses. Thanks!

  8. Linette says

    I’ve made pumpkin custard in a pumpkin BUT, the custard took forever to cook AND never set right because the outside pumpkin was cold and took a very long time to let heat through and released a great deal of moisture into the custard, drawn out by the sugar.

    Next time, I am going to bake the outer pumpkin, scooped out before baking, and pouring the custard into the hot shell.

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