Pumpkin Custard Cups Outshine Even the Best Pumpkin Pie 5

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We have a long-standing tradition in our household that each one of us “brings” a dish to our holiday table. Yes, even the people who live here. They are asked to plan and prepare a dish of their choice. My eldest makes his famous ginger spiced cranberry sauce every year. My youngest found his go-to recipe a half-dozen years ago in a FamilyFun magazine (it’s no longer on their website). This Maple Pumpkin Custard is gluten free and oh, so good. We discovered several years ago that it’s especially good with homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned, and the coconut sugar gives it a nice depth.

These pumpkin custard cups have been a go-to dessert for us for years. They always garner raves, plus it's gluten free and easy to make.

Maple Pumpkin Custard


  • 1/3 cup organic sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cup organic heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (or you can use canned)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup


Preheat oven to 300º F.

Whisk sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, spices, and salt together in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Set aside.

In a medium-size saucepan, whisk together the milk and heavy cream, pumpkin puree, and maple syrup. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is hot but not boiling, about 7 minutes. Ladle into sugar and yolk mixture, stirring constantly. (If you pour it all in at once the yolks will cook; you don’t want that to happen.) Once egg mixture and hot mixture are roughly the same temperature you can add it a bit more quickly.

Pour 3/4 inch of hot water into a large, shallow casserole dish. Divide the custard evenly among six custard cups and arrange the filled cups, evenly spaced, in the baking dish. Bake the custards, uncovered, on the center oven rack for about 45 to 50 minutes. The centers may jiggle a bit, but shouldn’t be too fluid. Transfer the custard cups to a wire rack to cool.

When the custards reach room temperature, cover and refrigerate for at least six hours.

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5 thoughts on “Pumpkin Custard Cups Outshine Even the Best Pumpkin Pie

  • Elisabeth

    This looks incredible. Do you know if you could substitute a bit of coconut milk for the cream? I’m wondering if it would give the same sort of depth that coconut sugar does. I don’t have any coconut sugar.

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Well, I haven’t *tried it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. (And trust me – it’s good with regular ole sugar, too!)

  • Brenda

    Can you bake this in a single dish and not individual ones?

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      You can, and I’ve done it, but it needs to cook longer. 10-15 minutes, maybe?