It’s that time of year…. fall…. or pumpkin spice season, as some like to call it.  I did a little research on the fall phenomenon that is pumpkin spice and was quite intrigued by my findings.  Did you know that pumpkin spice earned its name because it was originally used in cakes and pies that contained pumpkin?  I didn’t but McCormick (the seasoning brand) started marketing the spice to save consumers the effort of having to make their own homemade version and could instead buy the spice at their local grocery store.  Pretty cool, huh?

The spice mix is generally a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice.  I admittedly have all these spices in my cabinet but understand that not everyone else does, so I can make homemade pumpkin spice if needed, but something the store-bought version is easier 🙂

I also learned that cravings for pumpkin spice (in any form…lattes, bread, etc.) isn’t just because of a change in the season or you stomach talking.  If there is pumpkin spice scent in the air or you catch a whiff of it somewhere, it can trigger emotions and memories that aren’t related to hunger.  So, it’s no wonder that pumpkin spice has become a season and is so heavily sought out in the fall!

Enough about my research.  Let’s talk recipes.  I love to try new recipes and create new recipes this time of year.  There are so many delicious baked goods, refreshing cocktails, and savory dishes you can make that incorporate pumpkin.  Keep reading to learn about some of my new creations 🙂


Let’s start with Pumpkin Butter.  The reason I made homemade Pumpkin Butter is because 1) it can be a wonderful substitute for regular butter, and 2) I needed it for the next recipe on my list 🙂 Pumpkin Butter is essentially pumpkin puree that has been combined with other ingredients to create a smooth spread.  It delivers the true essence of fall and adds a little spiced sweetness to whatever you are eating.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by adding all your ingredients to a small saucepan.  Heat the saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine.

Once bubbles start to appear along the outside rim of the saucepan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.  You don’t want the bottom to burn!  You do want a slow rolling bubble, not boiling, just vigorous bubbles.

You can now taste the butter and adjust the seasoning as needed.  I thought it was perfect as is, but you may prefer it a little sweeter.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the butter cool completely.

Once cooled, transfer the butter to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  Yum!

The recipe can be found here.

As mentioned previously, I needed the Pumpkin Butter for my next recipe – Pumpkin Spice French Toast Bake.  This is a quick to assemble, overnight casserole, that everyone will love!  It has the perfect french toast consistency and wonderful pumpkin spice taste.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9×13 baking pan.

Slice the bread into 1-inch cubes and place in the bottom of the baking pan.  I think baguettes are the best bread to use for this dish, but any hearty bread will work.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin butter, and pumpkin pie spice.  Pour the mixture over the bread.  Then, use your hands or a spoon to push the bread down until it is mostly covered with the liquid and has started to soak it in.

Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the top.  You can even sprinkle additional pumpkin pie spice evenly over the top, but this is completely optional and should be added to taste.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through (you don’t want mushy french toast).

Remove the baking pan from the oven and serve immediately.  Slice the French Toast Bake and drizzle maple syrup over each piece.  You could even add more of the Pumpkin Butter 🙂 Store any leftovers in the fridge.  So good!

The recipe can be found here.

Next up is more of a lunch or dinner option, because breakfast isn’t always the star of the show!  Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage is a fabulous fall meal.  The gnocchi are soft and pillowy on the inside and nearly melts in your mouth.  It is then tossed in a delicate dressing of butter and sage.  You will be liking your plate clean after eating this!

The recipe can be found here.

The gnocchi in this recipe are homemade but don’t let that deter you!  If you can find pumpkin gnocchi at your local grocery store you can absolutely use that with the butter/sage sauce portion of the recipe.

Start by bringing a small pot of water to a boil.  Peel and slice the potato.  I like to use one large baking potato, but you can use smaller potatoes if desired.  It’s best to weigh the potatoes so the ratio works out with the reset of the ingredients.

Boil the potato until soft and you can easily pierce it with a fork.

Drain the water from the pot.  Then use a potato ricer to rice the potato into a large mixing bowl.  Let the potato cool slightly.

Add the pumpkin and eggs to the potato.  Stir to combine.  I like to add the eggs last so the hot potatoes don’t start to cook the eggs – you don’t want this, so work quickly!

Add the flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and stir to combine.  Stir until the mixture forms a ball.

Flour the counter liberally (I find the gnocchi dough is quite sticky).  Place the dough on the counter and knead for about 30 seconds then divide the dough into 6-8 pieces.

Roll each piece of dough into a long rope that is about ¾-1-inch thick.  You can continue to flour the counter as needed while doing this.  The last thing we want is for the dough to stick to the counter!  Cut each rope of dough into 1-inch pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the gnocchi to the boiling water in batches (you don’t want to overload the pot).  The dough will cook for about 3 minutes, then the dough will rise to the surface and cook for another 1 minute.  It’s OK if you need to help unstick any of the gnocchi from the bottom of the pot after 3 minutes, just gently guide it to the top.  Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon, letting the excess water drip off.  Place the cooked gnocchi in a bowl and repeat until all gnocchi has been cooked.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet (a skillet large enough to fit all the gnocchi).  Once melted, add the sage.  Continue to heat the butter over medium-low heat until it starts to brown, then immediately remove it from the heat.

Add the cooked gnocchi and toss to coat.

Serve warm, garnished with grated parmesan cheese.  It’s absolutely divine!  This recipe serves 4-6.

The recipe can be found here.

Pumpkin spice season wouldn’t be complete without a Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mule.  You need to have a themed cocktail, right?  This recipe is the perfect balance of spice with a crisp favor and couldn’t be easier to make.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by filling a cocktail shaker with ice.  Also fill 1 Moscow Mule mug with ice (this recipe is for 1 drink).

Add the vodka, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and lime juice to the cocktail shaker.  Shake until well blended.

Pour into the mug and top with ginger beer.

Garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and a lime wedge (both are optional).  Cheers!

The recipe can be found here.

Lastly, I have 2 desserts or fall treats to share with you.  First is Pumpkin Spice Chow.  This is fall magic at its finest.  Take your traditional Chex mix with peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar but replace a few key ingredients with fall flavors and you have the perfect snack!  It’s delicious, easy to make, and you won’t be able to stop eating it 🙂

The recipe can be found here.

Measure out the cereal and add it to a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle with 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice and toss to distribute the seasoning.  Set aside.

Add the white chocolate and butter to a microwave safe bowl.  Melt in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth.  You don’t want any chunks of chocolate left!

Pour half of the melted chocolate over the cereal and stir to coat.

Add the remaining 1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice and stir to coat.  You should add 1 tsp for a more subtle taste and 2 tsp for a stronger taste.

Add the remaining half of the melted chocolate and stir to coat.  Adding the chocolate, a little at a time with the pumpkin pie spice in between helps for more even coating.

Add the powdered sugar and toss to coat.  If you are using a large bowl that comes with a lid, add the lid, and shake to coat with powdered sugar; this seems to be easiest.  Otherwise, stirring or tossing the cereal works well too.

Pour the cereal onto wax paper on the counter and spread in an even layer to allow the chocolate to set.

Once set, pour the cereal in a large bowl, and add the candy corn.  Stir to combine.  You could substitute the candy corn for candy coated chocolates if you prefer or add both!  Enjoy!

Store in an airtight container on the counter.

The recipe can be found here.

My second dessert (and final recipe) is for Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Bars with Caramel.  These are soft and squishy with the perfect marshmallow to cereal ratio, with a layer of caramel in the middle.  The caramel is rich and creamy and offsets the spice of the Rice Krispie bars well.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by melting the butter in a large pot.  Make sure you are using a large enough pot to hold the cereal as well, as you will be mixing the ingredients within the pot.

Add the pumpkin spice seasoning and stir to combine.

Add the vanilla, 1 Tbsp milk, and both bags of marshmallows.  Continue to heat and stir until the marshmallows have completely melted.


While the marshmallows are melting, place the caramels in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat in 3 second increments, stirring each time, until the caramels are completely melted.  Add 1 Tbsp milk and stir to combine.  Set aside.

Add the rice cereal to the marshmallow mixture and stir to combine.

Grease an 8×8 baking dish.  Add ½ of the rice cereal mixture to the baking dish.  You need to press down to flatten the mixture into the baking dish and spread it to the sides.  Anyone who has made similar bars before knows how sticky they can be.  I highly recommend spritzing your hands with cooking spray before pressing down.  This will prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.

Next, pour the melted caramel over the top and spread to the sides.

Then, add the remaining ½ of the rice cereal mixture to the baking dish.  Again, I highly recommend spritzing your hands with cooking spray before pressing down and spreading the mixture to the sides.  Make sure to work quickly because the cereal/marshmallow mixture will start to set and become tricky to work with and you don’t want the caramel mixture to cool down too much!

Set the baking dish aside to cool.  Once cooled, slice and enjoy!  So soft and yummy!

Store in an airtight container on the counter.

The recipe can be found here.

For anyone as obsessed with pumpkin spice season (aka fall) as me, these recipes will be sure to please!

Happy Fall and Happy Cooking!

Share this post...Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Pin on Pinterest
This entry was posted in Breakfast, Dessert, Pasta, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.