a touch of orange

Fall settles in New England, painting the trees in warm hues. Color spreads from air to garden. A leaf or two float slow in the street. Sugar pumpkins tear from the vine. We huddle near the kitchen stove while the holiday baking begins.
sugar pumpkin bottom

With Thanksgiving only three days away, I decide to combine two classic desserts, pumpkin pie filling with rice pudding. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves spice up the dish.

pumpkin pie rice pudding set up

Pure maple syrup sweetens the pudding and pumpkin purée while adding a hint of caramel flavor. Raisins along with toasted walnuts and pine nuts offer a chewy crunch. It’s a new fall tradition here, too good not to share. Enjoy.

pumpkin pie rice pudding

Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding
(printable recipe)
adapted from More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts by Fran Costigan
Yield 6 to 8 servings
2 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups rice milk (soy or almond milk)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch sea salt
2 cups Spiced Pumpkin Purée (see recipe below) or 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
½ cup raisins
¼ cup walnuts (toasted and chopped)
¼ pine nuts (toasted and chopped)
Make Spiced Pumpkin Purée. Set aside and allow to cool while continuing with the recipe.
Combine raisins, chopped toasted walnuts, and pine nuts in a small dish; set aside.
Combine the rice, rice milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a 2-quart ovenproof casserole dish with a lid. Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil; stir several times. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Place rack on the middle shelf and preheat oven to 375 F.
Uncover casserole dish and put in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes; stir two times. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350 F. Stir in the Spiced Pumpkin Purée. Cover and bake another 15 minutes.
Cool casserole dish on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm garnished with the raisin, walnut, and pine nut mixture.

Spiced Pumpkin Purée
adapted from More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts by Fran Costigan
Yield 2 cups
2 cups (16 ounces) unsweetened pumpkin purée (for fresh purée, use sugar pumpkins)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook the over low heat until the mixture comes to a simmer and sputters; stir often. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the purée is dark, glossy, and thickened.
Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature before adding to Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding.


  1. Heather says

    Thank you for this recipe. I made it last night & it was delicious. I also realized that the "spiced pumpkin puree" is a cheap & easy way to make pumpkin butter!

  2. nikki says

    Heather-You're welcome! I'm so glad you tried this recipe, and I agree, making your own pumpkin puree is so simple and can easily be added to baked goods.


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