A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Bundt Cake with Orange-Vanilla Glaze Pumpkin Pie Pancakes Pumpkin Biscuits with Orange-Honey Butter USS North Carolina Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Parmesan Pumpkin Lasagna Zesty Pumpkin Soup

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Bundt Cake with Orange-Vanilla Glaze Pumpkin Pie Pancakes Pumpkin Biscuits with Orange-Honey Butter USS North Carolina Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Parmesan Pumpkin Lasagna Zesty Pumpkin Soup

7 Perfect Pumpkin Recipes to Try This Fall


Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Bundt Cake with Orange-Vanilla Glaze

By Lynn Wells
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

For the cake:
1 cup canola oil
2½ cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin
½ cup chopped walnuts, plus more for garnish

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon orange extract
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, add oil and sugar and mix with an electric beater until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Stir until well blended. Slowly add to the egg mixture, alternating with the pumpkin, beating well to combine. Fold in the walnuts.

Pour the batter evenly into a 10-inch Bundt pan that has been well sprayed. Bake for 60 minutes or until cake tester or inserted knife comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool about 10 minutes before removing cake from pan.

For the glaze: Add the powdered sugar to a small mixing bowl. Add milk, vanilla extract, orange extract, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until smooth. The glaze is at the right consistency when it coats the whisk but is still pourable. Add a bit more sugar if it’s too thin, or a bit more milk if it’s too thick.

Once cake has cooled completely, transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with the glaze, and sprinkle with some chopped walnuts.

Back to Top

pumpkin pie pancakes


Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

By Lynn Wells
Yield: 8 pancakes.

1 ½ cups milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt

In a bowl, mix milk, pumpkin, egg, butter, and vinegar. In a separate bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine. Do not overmix.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately ¼ cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot. Top with whipped cream, toasted walnuts, and maple syrup, if desired.

Back to Top

Pumpkin Biscuits


Pumpkin Biscuits with Orange-Honey Butter

By Lynn Wells
Yield: 12 biscuits.

For the biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup chilled salted butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup whole milk
½ cup canned pumpkin

For the orange-honey butter:
½ cup salted butter, softened
½ cup honey
½ teaspoon orange zest
⅛ teaspoon salt

For the biscuits: Preheat oven to 450°. Combine flour and next six ingredients (flour through nutmeg); cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Combine milk and pumpkin, and add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Turn out the dough onto a heavily floured surface. Knead lightly five times. Rub flour on rolling pin and roll dough to about ½-inch thickness. Cut into 12 biscuits with a 2½-inch biscuit cutter.

Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 450° for 11 minutes, or until golden.

For the orange-honey butter: Combine all ingredients and mix well. Butter may be served at room temperature or chilled. Great on biscuits, pancakes, vegetables, chicken, and fish.

Back to Top


USS North Carolina Pumpkin Pie

Yield: 8 servings.

2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
½ cup cold water
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups pumpkin
¾ cup evaporated milk
¾ cup re-hydrated milk powder
2 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine flour and salt. Using a butter knife or fork, cut small amounts of shortening into the flour, until the flour is crumbly. Add water, work to incorporate but do not overwork.

Wrap dough in plastic, refrigerate for four hours (or overnight). Makes enough for two pie crusts and can be frozen.

Roll dough out on clean, lightly floured surface. Cut a circle dough slightly larger than a nine-inch pie tin. Use a spatula or butter knife to lift the dough and set it into the tin. You can use scraps of dough to build the edge of the crust.

Using a fork, mark the rim of the crust and poke holes in the bottom of the crust.

If you have pie weights, use them to keep the bottom from rising. If not, butter one side of a piece of foil. Place the foil butter-side down and fill with beans or rice.

Bake crust for 12 minutes.

Mix dry ingredients: cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt. Re-hydrate ¾ cup worth of milk powder (If you can’t find powdered milk, double the amount of evaporated milk.). Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin. Add sugar and spices. Slowly incorporate milk. Blend well.

Preheat oven to 425º. Pour filling into baked pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes.

Lower temperature to 350º. Bake for 40-50 minutes. A knife or toothpick should come out of the filling clean.

Allow to cool for two hours.

Back to Top

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars


Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

By Lynn Wells
Yield: 12 bars.

For the crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup salted butter, melted
½ cup chopped pecans

For the filling:
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1½ cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

For the garnish:
Whipped cream
Pumpkin pie spice

Heat oven to 300º. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving about 1 inch of paper hanging over the sides. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and pecans with the melted butter. With your fingers, press the crust on the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside while making the filling.

In the mixing bowl of a stand-up mixer, add the cream cheese and sugar. With the paddle attachment on, beat on low speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Spoon half of the mixture over the crust and spread evenly.

Add the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to the remaining cream cheese mixture. Use a wire whisk to stir until smooth. Carefully spoon over mixture in pan.

Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until just set. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar, allowing the cheesecake to slowly cool down for about 1 hour.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting into bars. Top each bar with whipped cream and a dusting of pumpkin pie spice.

Back to Top

Parmesan Pumpkin Lasagna


Parmesan Pumpkin Lasagna

By Lynn Wells
Yield: 6-8 servings.

6 tablespoons salted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare a 9×12-inch baking dish by evenly coating with olive oil or butter. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat 5 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light golden, sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Add pumpkin. Bring to a boil. Add ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.

In a saucepan, heat remaining tablespoon of butter until melted. Add mushrooms, garlic, and shallot. Cook on medium heat 10 minutes.

In a separate mixing bowl, blend ricotta and remaining ½ cup Parmesan.

Ladle 1 cup of sauce into baking dish. Place one layer of lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Spread half of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles. Add a second layer of noodles. Layer with mushroom mixture. Top with 1 cup sauce. Add next layer of noodles, followed by remaining cheese mixture. Pour remaining sauce over the top, and cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour at 350º. Remove from oven and let sit (covered) 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with extra Parmesan.

Back to Top

zesty pumpkin soup


Zesty Pumpkin Soup

By Lynn Wells
Yield: 8 cups.

¼ cup salted butter
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
Toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

Melt butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, allspice, salt, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Add chicken broth and pumpkin, and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add cream and stir. For a smoother consistency, add soup mixture to blender (in small batches), and blend until smooth. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and sour cream.

Back to Top

print it

This story was published on Sep 16, 2021

Our State Staff

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.