Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding with Whipped Mascarpone + Toasted Buckwheat

This stupid-easy pudding kissed with pumpkin and spices tastes just like pumpkin pie. Dress it up with whipped mascarpone, toasted buckwheat, and pecans if you like. 

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding with Whipped Mascarpone and Toasted Buckwheat

One of my all-time favorite desserts is this butterscotch pudding, barely adapted from a Gourmet recipe and posted almost 6 (!) years ago. I’ve made it countless times over the years, sometimes adding in labneh at the end in place of heavy cream, or swirling it into a chocolatey banana cream tart, or layering it into banana pudding cups with mesquite gingersnaps in my book.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding

When Sarah mentioned her pumpkin pudding goals last week, my thoughts turned again to butterscotch. It was 10pm, I still had a blog post to write, but I couldn’t resist creeping into the kitchen to whip up a batch of butterscotch pudding with pumpkin puree and spices added in.

Pumpkin Butterscotch PuddingPumpkin Butterscotch Pudding

The result? Silky pudding that tastes just like pumpkin pie filling, only without the fuss of a crust, or baking, and with no risk of the filling overbaking and becoming broken and watery. WIN.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding with Whipped Mascarpone and Toasted Buckwheat

The deep molasses flavor from organic dark brown sugar carries through in the finished dessert. Fresh ginger adds a bit of zip, and pumpkin puree enhanced with a bit of turmeric for color gives the pudding a cheery orange hue. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice lend a classic pumpkin pie taste.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding with Whipped Mascarpone and Toasted Buckwheat

After setting for a few hours in the fridge, these are perfect on their own. Or you can top them with a plume of gently sweetened whipped mascarpone and a dusting of toasted pecans and buckwheat groats and a few flecks of flaky salt. Though my favorite part is licking the hot pudding dregs from the pot with a spatula while standing over the sink, the finished product – spiced pudding, airy cream, and nutty/crisp pecans and buckwheat – is pretty satisfying, too.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding

If you’re looking for an easy, make-ahead, no-bake, naturally gluten-free Thanksgiving dessert, I highly recommend this one.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding

To make things even better, this treat is part of a virtual pumpkin party hosted by Cake Over Steak and Twigg Studios. For more pumpkin pudding love, have a gander at Sarah’s Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds. And scope out the long list of links to the rest of the party, below.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding

Happy #VirtualPumpkinParty!

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding with Whipped Mascarpone and Toasted Buckwheat

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding with Whipped Mascarpone and Toasted Buckwheat
Yields: 6 (1/2 cup) servings
 
Silky pudding kissed with molasses and spices tastes just like the best pumpkin pie ever, only way easier. Whipped mascarpone and toasted buckwheat and pecans make a pretty and tasty topping; feel free to substitute regular whipped cream and toasted walnuts or pumpkin seeds if you prefer.
Ingredients
Pudding:
  • ½ cup (110 g) dark brown sugar (preferably organic)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (17 g) cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional, mostly for color)
  • ⅛ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups (355 ml) whole milk
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (120 ml) unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 1 teaspoon packed finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter
Topping:
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) mascarpone (or creme fraiche)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar (to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla paste or extract, or seeds from ¼ vanilla bean
  • tiny pinch fine sea salt
  • handful raw buckwheat groats
  • handful toasted pecans, roughly chopped or broken
  • flaky salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, allspice, and salt until combined. Whisk in the milk, cream, pumpkin puree, vanilla bean and scrapings, and ginger. Place the pot over medium heat and gradually bring to a boil, whisking constantly and making sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pans with the whisk. You’ll have to stop whisking for a few seconds to verify that the pudding is boiling, which you’ll know by the big bubbles that pop gloopily. Once the mixture comes to a boil, continue cooking and whisking for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the butter. It should be the consistency of creamy yogurt.
  2. Strain the hot pudding through a mesh strainer and into a large measuring pitcher, then divide the hot pudding among 6 (4-ounce) heatproof cups or jars. Cover the puddings and chill until set, at least 2 hours and up to 2 or 3 days.
  3. Combine the mascarpone, cream, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until it holds soft peaks. Chill until needed. Toast the buckwheat groats in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently, until the buckwheat turns golden and smells nutty, 2-3 minutes. Tip into a small bowl and allow to cool completely.
  4. Serve the puddings topped with a plume of whipped mascarpone and a dusting of toasted buckwheat, pecans, and/or flaky salt, if you like.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding

More pumpkin love from around the web:

Cake Over Steak • Quick Pumpkin and Kale Risotto + Arancini

Twigg Studios • Sausage Stuffing Baked in a Pumpkin

Donuts, Dresses and Dirt • Pumpkin Spice Latte Popsicles

Cloudy Kitchen • Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla German Buttercream

Vegetarian Ventures • Smoky Pumpkin & Black Sesame Hummus

Eat Boutique • Pumpkin Scallion Dumplings

A Little Saffron • Pumpkin Stuffed Shells

Two Red Bowls • Pumpkin & Maple Caramel Baked French Toast

Wallflower Kitchen • Mini Pumpkin & Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Wit & Vinegar • Pumpkin Butterscotch Banana Split

Style Sweet CA • Pumpkin Creme Brulee Cake

Nommable • Pumpkin Biscuits with Mushroom Thyme Gravy

With Food + Love • Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Seed Bread

Hortus • Creamy Roasted Squash Soup + Pumpkin Risotto

Sevengrams • Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Jojotastic • 1 Pumpkin, 2 Ways: Pumpkin Trail Mix & Dog Treats

Grain Changer • Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal

Girl Versus Dough • Pumpkin Cranberry Flax Crisps

Earthy Feast • Pumpkin Grits + Pumpkin Home Fries + a Fried Egg

Harvest and Honey • Truffled Pumpkin Papardelle Alfredo with Frizzled Sage

Tasty Seasons • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

Broma Bakery • Pumpkin Butter Pop Tarts

Tending the Table • Roasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad

The Sugar Hit • Super Soft Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Delicious Not Gorgeous • Waffles with Spiced Pumpkin Butter and Brown Sugar Walnut Crumble

Taste Love and Nourish • Pumpkin Bread Pudding

The Green Life • Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chunk & Hazelnut Skillet Cookie (Vegan)

Foolproof Living • Pumpkin Creme Fraiche Pasta with Sage

The Monday Box • Pumpkin Butterscotch Cakes

Design Crush • Pumpkin Bourbon Hot Toddy

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My Name is Yeh • Roasted Pumpkin with Yogurt and Hazelnut Dukkah

Give Recipe • Orange Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

Heartbeet Kitchen • Magic Vegan Pumpkin Pie Fudge

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Eat Within Your Means • Vegan Pumpkin Blender Muffins

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Lab Noon • Pasta Bake with Roasted Pumpkin and Saffron Sauce, Pistachio and Goat Cheese

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Hey Modest Marce • Mascarpone Pumpkin Pie

Inspired By the Seasons • Pumpkin Applesauce Smoothie

CaliGirl Cooking • Pumpkin Praline Cinnamon Rolls with Spiked Cream Cheese Glaze

Sally’s Baking Addiction • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Well and Full • Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus

Appeasing a Food Geek • Cheese Fondue Stuffed Roasted Pumpkin

SweetPhi • Pumpkin Chili Biscuit Bake

Warm Vanilla Sugar • Buttermilk Pumpkin Doughnuts

Mademoiselle Poirot • Cinnamon-Pumpkin Mousse on Honey Panna Cotta topped with Hazelnut Brittle

Heart of a Baker • Pumpkin Sticky Buns with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Flourishing Foodie • Massaman Curry with Pumpkin and Chickpeas

Ginger & Toasted Sesame • Pumpkin Jeon

Lindsay Jang • Best Ever DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Fix Feast Flair • Hokkaido Pumpkin + Sage Mac and Gouda

Will Frolic for Food • Pumpkin Kale Patties with Coconut Cilantro Rice

A Couple Cooks • Pumpkin Pecan Baked Steel Cut Oats

Vermilion Red • Pumpkin Pie Souffle

Britnell • Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Displaced Housewife • Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts

Sweet Gula • Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

La Pêche Fraîche • Pumpkin and Condensed Milk Cakes

Kitchen Konfidence • Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Rosemary Brown Butter Sauce

Loves Food, Loves to Eat • Savory Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Kale & Caramel • Goat Cheese & Sage-Stuffed Pumpkin Challah

Okie Dokie Artichokie • Pumpkin Chorizo Chili with Sweet Potatoes + Pinto Beans

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Liliahna • Chicken Legs with Pumpkin and Tortellini

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Serendipity Bakes • Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake

So Much Yum • Vegan Maple-Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

The Brick Kitchen • Pumpkin, Pecan & White Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

Lisli • Pumpkin Pie Cake

Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt • Pumpkin Pie Dip

Fig+Bleu • Pumpkin Granola

The Speckled Palate • Pumpkin Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

Cook Til Delicious • Fall Cliche Cake (Pumpkin Spice Cake / Maple Cream Cheese Frosting / Apple Cider Caramel Sauce)

Floating Kitchen • Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

The Wood and Spoon • Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

Fork Vs Spoon • Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Lemon & Vanilla • Pumpkin and Coconut Caramel Flan

Dunk & Crumble • Pumpkin Chocolate Icebox Cake

Chicano Eats • Pumpkin Butter Pan de Muerto

On the Plate • Pumpkin Pancakes, Salted Caramel & Pecans

Rough Measures • Cosy Pumpkin Spice Latte (Caffeine and Dairy Free)

Brewing Happiness • Pumpkin Ginger Breakfast Cookies

A Butterful Mind • Pumpkin Cheesecake with Vanilla Whipped Cream

The Little Loaf • Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Fork to Belly • Pumpkin Gnocchi

The Little Epicurean • Chocolate Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie

Bourbon and Honey • Spicy Roasted Pumpkin with Honey and Feta

What to Cook Today • Spicy Pumpkin Noodle Soup

Food by Mars • Pumpkin Pie (Grain-Free, Diary-Free)

Oh Honey Bakes • Pumpkin Cake with Gingersnap Toffee

Long Distance Baking • Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

The Jam Lab • Pumpkin Madeleines Dipped in White Chocolate

The Lemon Apron • Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with an Olive Oil Glaze

Sun Diego Eats • Thai Pumpkin & Sticky Rice Cakes

A Cozy Kitchen • Pumpkin Chai Scones with Black Tea Glaze

A Cookie Named Desire • Pumpkin Shrubs

Eating Clean Recipes • Vegan Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Kingfield Kitchen • Vegan Fresh Pumpkin Soup

Drink and Cocktail Recipes • Pumpkin Dirty Chai

The Pig & Quill • Pumpkin Sage Cannelloni (Dairy-Free)

My Lavender Blues • Pumpkin, Banana & Olive Oil Bundt Cake

Betty Liu • Pumpkin + Pear Butter Baked Melty Cheese

Happy Hearted Kitchen • Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin with Tahini Yogurt + Hazelnut Dukkah

InHappenstance • Pumpkin Scones with Maple Butter

Live Eat Learn • Pumpkin Gingerbread Hot Cocoa

 

 

33 thoughts on “Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding with Whipped Mascarpone + Toasted Buckwheat”

  1. Wow! These look and sound amazing and I absolutely cannot wait to try the recipe. For a vegan version do you think a plantbased milk could replace the milk and coconut cream the cream? Let me know what you think!

  2. Ooh butterscotch pudding is so nostalgic for me! We used to make the packaged kind on special occasions as a kid and it always felt like the most decadent treat in the world. Believe it or not I’ve never tried making it from scratch, but this pumpkin version has inspired me. Could be dangerous because I may end up eating this nonstop xo

  3. OMG these little pudding cups look amazinggg!! I have to try and make this! I love the taste of butterscotch and paired with a pumpkin pie filling is genius! And as usual your photography is always so pristine and mind blowing! :) Love it all! Happy #virtualpumpkinparty day! :)

  4. Please stop making this beautiful food, just for a while. The list of your recipes I want to try is just getting longer and this life won’t be enough. I am serious <3
    p.s. love the addition of fresh ginger, goes so well with pumpkin!

  5. Hi Alanna,
    I have been a reader for a long time and I just received your book from Amazon! It’s really brimming with recipes, which makes me very happy. But first I’d like to tell you more about myself: I have a coeliac friend due to whom I started trying more unusual grains in recipes, leading to me realizing I prefer to add these grain themselves in my glutinous desserts as well. That’s not surprising to me because I liked whole wheat and buckwheat more even when I was a child with no health expectations attached. My question is, when I’m not baking for my coeliac friend, can I sub in wheat flour in place of the starches and sticky rice flour that you use extensively in your book? I am Italian, so a) I already sub by weight and b) farina 00 or even 1 costs much less than the starches and exotic sticky rice flour.
    Your work is very appreciated. I might make this pudding as well. Ciao, Didi

    1. Hi Did! Thanks so much for the kind words and the note! I *think* that substitution will work in most cases, though it might take some experimentation depending on the recipe. Please keep me posted if you try – I’d be grateful to share that info with other readers. :)

      1. I will – do you have any ideas on which type of recipe the substitution might work less well? Thank you 😊

  6. Hi there! I haven’t commented here in a long time–usually I read Bojon Gourmet from a feedreader but today I’m back to the browser window. Anyway, thank you for this recipe especially, because I think children will enjoy it more than pie and I’ll have four nieces and nephews at my table this Thanksgiving.

    Though it does seem like everything has gone Pumpkin Spice in my Trader Joe’s. I’m waiting to see Pumpkin Spice Kitty Litter on their shelves.

    I wanted to let you know that Alternative Baker arrived here (Maryland) a few weeks ago after spending an agonizingly long time on the pre-order list. I told you a few years ago that I’d look forward to sliding your name onto my cookbook shelves. Still looking forward to it, because it’s been on the night stand and the coffee table and left on the tv room sofa… well done! So many great ideas and my family’s favorite Meyer Lemon Buttermilk pie even rated an entry. All your hard work paid off with a handsome book. When’s the next one out?

    1. Hi Sully! This note totally makes my day (and I can’t wait to get my hands on some PSL kitty litter, hahaha). Thank you so much for reading all these years, and for supporting my book! I can’t wait to hear what you all make from it. :) Fingers crossed I’ll get to write another!

    2. So I wanted to share this,

      I made this pudding for an “early Thanksgiving” at home with extended family from out of town as a kids dessert. I got a partial spoonful. My youngest niece said it was the best dessert she’d ever had and insisted she’d “do sharing time” with the grownups and went around the table, feeding us each a taste. She might be right.

      Yesterday was shaping up to be a quiet day, but at last minute we decided to join a potluck Thanksgiving for about 40 at our UU church. I figured the basics were covered pie-wise, so I made that (generic Florida) lemon (Supermarket cultured) buttermilk with (McCormack) Vanilla (extract and fridge boxed cheater) pie (crust from Pillsbury), and topped it with some stripes of blackcurrant jam piped from a ziplock. And even though of necessity I went low-end on the ingredients, I’ve sent out four links to the post on your website and your book at Amazon today to people who gobbled it up. I didn’t get a slice!

      So thanks for being part of our Thanksgiving celebrations. I do have a question for you. In Alternative Baker you list singingdogvanilla.com as a bulk source for vanilla beans, but it seems like since publication they’ve gone to small retail packs and wholesale-to-trade. Do you have a new suggestion?

      1. Hi Sully! Aw, your niece sounds like the sweetest; I’m so glad the pudding and pie were well-liked. Thank you SO much for sharing my blog and book with your friends! As for the vanilla, I’m sad to hear that about Singing Dog. In that case I recommend Vanilla-Saffron Imports. Cheers!

  7. I’m typically not a butterscotch person but one of the most fantastic desserts I’ve ever had is the butterscotch budino from Pizzeria Mozza. Your dreamy pudding looks like it could rival their recipe, and I’m so up for giving it a try :).

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