One of the easiest homemade Thanksgiving desserts, this Pumpkin Crisp is a must make. A ginger shortbread layer is topped with a creamy pumpkin pie filling and then an oatmeal pecan crumble topping. An absolutely delicious fall dessert.
A festive and satisfying Thanksgiving dinner starts with an amazing Brined Turkey. Complete the meal with extra Creamy Mashed Potatoes and an Orange Spinach Salad. Of course what would Thanksgiving be without an irresistible Fall Punch.
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Pumpkin Crisp vs Pumpkin Crumble
Basically, Pumpkin Crisp and Pumpkin Crumble are one and the same dessert. This is because in recent years both terms have been used interchangeably.
However, if we dig a little deeper the main difference between the two, a Crisp has a crumbly topping with oats and a Crumble has a crumbly topping with no oats and sometimes nuts. Additionally, since this Pumpkin Crisp has both oats and nuts it falls under both names.
- 13×9 inch Baking pan
- Pastry Cutter
- Hand Mixer (or stand mixer)
- Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- All Purpose Flour (2 1/2 cups)
- Granulated Sugar (1 3/4 cups)
- Unsalted Butter (14 tbsp or almost 1 full cup)
- Ground Ginger (3 teaspoons)
- Cinnamon Powder (4 teaspoons)
- Ground Cloves (1/2 teaspoon)
- Salt (1 teaspoon)
- Pumpkin Puree (2 15 ounce cans. Make sure it is pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling)
- Large Eggs (5 eggs total)
- Sweetened Condensed Milk (2 14 ounce cans)
- Brown Sugar (1/2 cup)
- Rolled Oats (1/2 cup)
- Baking Powder (1 teaspoon)
- Vanilla Extract (1 teaspoon)
- Chopped Pecans (1/2 cup)
How To Make Pumpkin Crisp
- Mix together the dry ingredients for the crust.
- Cut in cold butter cubes until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Press into a 13×9 inch baking pan and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425℉.
- In a small bowl mix together sugar, spices and salt.
- In a separate large bowl beat together pumpkin and eggs. Add sugar mixture and beat well.
- Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk (make sure to scrape down sides of bowl).
- Pour pumpkin filling over crust and bake for 15 minutes at the higher temperature and then bake for 30-35 minutes at 350℉ or until pumpkin is mostly set.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together dry ingredients for the crisp topping.
- Add in vanilla and whisked egg. Stir until the moisture from the egg and vanilla is evenly distributed and mixture becomes crumbly (see video).
- Raise temperature of oven to 400℉ and sprinkle crumble topping evenly over pumpkin.
- Drizzle crumble topping with melted butter.
- Bake until topping is golden brown and cake tester inserted into center of the crisp comes out clean.
- Let cool at room temperature and then top with a scoop of ice cream or dollop of homemade whipped cream.
Using Fresh Pumpkins
The easiest way to make this Pumpkin Crisp is with canned pumpkin puree. However, fresh pumpkin may be used also. It is important though to follow these specific guidelines if using fresh pumpkin.
- Do not use large carving pumpkins for baking. Although edible, the pumpkin flesh is extremely watery and stringy when baked. Instead, use the smaller “sugar pumpkin” or “pie pumpkin” variety.
- Follow one of these two methods for roasting the pumpkin to make puree.
- Once roasted and made into a puree, use either a scale to measure out 30 ounces of pumpkin puree or measure out 4 cups of puree and remove 2 tablespoons. Either method will give the amount of puree needed for this Pumpkin Crisp.
Can this dessert be made by a beginning baker?
Yes. However if you are brand new to baking, make sure to follow these tips:
- Read recipe before you begin and then reread the directions for each layer before starting on the layers.
- Set up and make sure you have all tools and ingredients needed before starting.
- Cube the cold butter and then place back in the refrigerator while measuring other ingredients for the shortbread crust.
- Spoon flour into measuring cups and then level with a butter knife.
- Follow the directions closely for baking as this Pumpkin Crisp uses 3 different temperatures.
Can the shortbread layer be made in a food processor rather than using a pastry cutter?
Yes. Use the metal S shaped blade to process the cold cubed butter with the sugar, flour, ginger and cinnamon until you have a coarse sandy consistency.
Is there another nut I can use besides pecans?
Chopped walnuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds and macadamia nuts are all fun alternatives to pecans. However, each nut may change the taste and texture a bit. Just make sure to use your favorite nut for this crunchy topping.
Can pumpkin pie spice replace the spices in this recipe?
Yes, however it will change the taste of the crisp. I do recommend sticking to the recipe as written.
To use pre-made pumpkin pie spice eliminate all the spices in the first two layers and replace with 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for the crust and 1 1/2 tablespoons for the pumpkin filling. Follow the crisp topping instructions as written.
How will I know when it’s is done baking?
This Pumpkin Crisp is done baking when both a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the crumble topping is golden brown.
Should this dessert be served warm or cold?
I personally love this Crisp cold and my husband enjoys it still warm, room temperature or cold. How you serve it boils down to your taste preference.
How long can this Pumpkin Crisp sit out unrefrigerated?
Once the Pumpkin Crisp is done baking, let it sit at room temperature until completely cooled. Cover and then refrigerate.
If in the preparation for Thanksgiving dinner you run out of room in the refrigerator it is not a huge issue if the crisp is left out overnight. Just make sure to cover with plastic wrap and then refrigerate the next day or as soon as possible. It will last up to three days covered in the refrigerator.
More Delicious Fall Desserts
If you enjoyed this Pumpkin Crisp please let me know by leaving a comment and review below. Doing so helps to encourage others to make the recipe also. Thank you!
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 cup cold butter *cubed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt *See Note #1 below
- 2 15 ounce cans pumpkin puree
- 4 large eggs
- 2 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar *either light or dark
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg *whisked
- 6 tablespoons butter *melted, See Note #2 below
- In a medium sized mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Mix well.
- Using a pastry cutter cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Press into an ungreased 13x9 inch baking pan. Set aside. See Note #3 below.
- Preheat oven to 425℉.
- Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in a small bowl.
- In a separate bowl whisk eggs.
- In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), beat pumpkin with eggs. Add sugar and beat well making sure to scrape down sides of bowl.
- Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk scraping down sides of bowl often.
- Pour pumpkin mixture over shortbread crust. Bake at 425℉ for 15 mins.
- Lower temperature of oven to 350℉ and continue baking for 30-35 minutes or until pumpkin is mostly set. See Note #4 below.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl add flour, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, rolled oats and pecans. Stir well.
- To the bowl add vanilla and egg. Stir until the moisture of the egg and vanilla are evenly distributed and the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Raise temperature of oven to 400℉. Sprinkle crumble mixture evenly over the top of the pumpkin and drizzle with melted butter.
- Bake for 20 mins or until crumble topping is golden brown and cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the crisp.
- Let cool completely at room temperature. Top with ice cream or freshly made whipped cream. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.
- Bake pumpkin and shortbread crust at 425℉ for 15 mins.
- Lower temperature of crust and pumpkin to 350℉ for 35 mins.
- Add crumble topping and bake at 400℉ for 20 mins or until golden brown.