Every fall, I seek to create delicious baked pumpkin dessert recipes for my family to enjoy. This year, I wanted to try my hand at making a pumpkin crisp that was just as good as my apple crisp! After some trial and error, I developed the most delicious pumpkin crisp ever from scratch. You won’t find this recipe anywhere else but on this website. It was developed by me and I’m sure you’ll love the tasty results.
A sugary, buttery, crispy topping is baked over pumpkin custard producing the most heavenly results that are perfectly sweet. One bite of this dessert and you might forget the traditional pumpkin pie this holiday season.
When I pulled my finished product out of the oven, it smelled absolutely divine. My husband was pleasantly surprised when he came home from work because he loves anything with pumpkin flavor in it! We both loved how the top had a crispy sugary crust. It made us feel like we were eating something fancy even though this is really just an easy weeknight dessert.
It tasted as good as it looked too–full of warm spices and sweetened just right so you can still taste all those fresh flavors of pumpkin pie. The scoop of ice cream on top was like the quintessential cherry — so perfect!
So, who wants a warm bowl to enjoy? I know I do now that I am writing this post. I surely have to make this heavenly concoction again at Thanksgiving time because it earned its spot on my dessert table along with this Moist Pumpkin Cake recipe. While this pumpkin crisp doesn’t require cake mix, you might like this Pumpkin Dump Cake that does.
Pumpkin Crisp Ingredients
This pumpkin crisp recipe uses easy-to-find, inexpensive ingredients and feeds a small crowd. I decided to make my recipe larger than most desserts to be able to feed a small gathering at Thanksgiving. You could halve this recipe to make fewer servings, but here are some items to add to your grocery list.
For the crisp topping, you will need eggs, old-fashioned oats, light brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, all-purpose flour, pumpkin spice, and butter. Chopped pecans or walnuts (although pecans are much less bitter) add a wonderful nutty flavor and texture to the crisp topping.
For the pumpkin custard mixture, you’ll need eggs, granulated sugar, whole milk, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and some salt. These ingredients combine into a rich layer of essentially “pumpkin pie” at the bottom of the casserole dish.
How to Make the Pumpkin Custard
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, spices, milk, sugar, salt, and pumpkin spice. Since this is a custard, the eggs really help to make this layer a smooth, sweet, decadent layer similar to that of the inside of a pumpkin pie.
It bakes up with a nice crust and has the best texture in my opinion. You will spread this into a 9″x13″ greased casserole dish, top it with the crumble and bake.
How to Make the Pumpkin Crisp Topping
For the topping, I modeled the recipe after what I use for my apple crisp, but I doubled it. I love to use old-fashioned oats for my crisps with a combination of crunchy nuts. Pecans or even walnuts work well to achieve this delightful texture.
In a large bowl, mix together the light brown sugar, flour, oats, chopped nuts, pumpkin spice, and butter cubes. You’ll want to mix these ingredients until small crumbles form (hence the name). Then, you simply scatter them over the top of the raw pumpkin custard batter. Some crumbles may sink but they will bubble back up as they bake.
How to make Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
Homemade pumpkin spice is a fall tradition for many home bakers. If you don’t have any pumpkin spice in your spice cabinet, you can easily make your own with just a few ingredients and simple steps!
- 4 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
- 4 teaspoons of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice berries (optional)
Mix all those dry ingredients and add them to an airtight jar. Place them in a cool, dry place.
How to Store Pumpkin Crisp
Since this is a custard-based recipe with lots of dairy inside, it is best to store this in the refrigerator covered tightly.
Store for up to 3 days in the refrigerator for the best flavor. The crisp topping might lose a little of its crunchy texture, but this is so good cold or warmed in the microwave.
You can also prepare this ahead of time by assembling each part separately. For example, you can store the custard in the pan you intend to bake it in and then add the premade crumble to it in the morning to bake. Just make sure you store the prepared crumble topping in another airtight container until right before baking.
I have not tried to freeze this recipe so I am not sure how it would do texture-wise. If anyone has, please feel free to share some tips below.
How to Serve
Similar to pumpkin pie, this pumpkin crisp goes perfectly with a dollop of golden vanilla ice cream while warm. You can also add a dairy-based whipped cream or even a non-dairy topping. Regardless, this dish is both tasty chilled or warmed so it is simply a matter of preference.
Homemade Baked Pumpkin Crisp
- oven adjusted to the center rack position
- 9"x13" deep dish casserole pan
- Mixing Bowls
- Measuring cups & spoons
- wooden spoon
- can opener
Pumpkin Custard Layer
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 9"x13" casserole dish with nonstick spray, or melted butter, and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk the eggs, extract, and granulated sugar until fluffy. Mix in the milk, puree, pumpkin spice, and salt. Whisk until smooth and fully blended.29 ounces Pumpkin puree, 6 large eggs, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1⅓ cups whole milk, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, ¾ teaspoon salt
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the greased pan; set aside.
- In another bowl, combine all of the crisp ingredients and mix until combined. Your mixture will have a texture of play sand, and feel crumbly. However, there should be no loose powders in the bowl. Using clean, or gloved hands to work the ingredients is the best method to get this incorporated.1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup old-fashioned or quick cook oats, 1½ cups light brown sugar, 1 cup unsalted butter, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¾ cup pecans
- Sprinkle the crisp mixture over the pumpkin custard. Bake uncovered at 375°F. for 45-55 minutes. When the crisp is done, the center will be no longer jiggly, and the top will feel firm to the touch. A tester inserted into the center of the crumble will come out clean.