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This pumpkin custard dessert is a cinch to prepare and will satisfy that pumpkin craving! It’s rich and creamy and full of pumpkin spice with a delicious nutty, crunch topping.

Its creamy, delicious and can be served either warm or cold. If you love pumpkin custard, you’ll also want to check out our pumpkin delight dessert and pumpkin cheesecake bars – all great fall treats!

Pumpkin Custard in ramekin

BEST Pumpkin Custard recipe

I am kind of in love with this pumpkin custard. It’s such a great alternative to making an entire pumpkin pie. You can serve it in little individual dishes with a dollop of whipped cream.

Not only is a great dessert idea for any fall holiday, but it’s great to enjoy anytime during pumpkin season, even though it’s always pumpkin custard time in my book.

I love that this recipe is easy enough to be made on any normal weeknight but also classy enough to make for a large gathering. My favorite way to serve this custard is chilled with a little whipped cream on top. Add that topping of chopped pecans and a sprinkle of cinnamon to give it that extra spice and crunch.

You can also serve the custard warm- whatever you prefer!

Pumpkin Pie Custard in water bath

Pumpkin Custard Water Bath

Custards can be a bit tricky at first if you’ve never made them before since you’ll put them in little bowls or cups and THEN put them in another pan with water to bake – it’s called a water bath. Don’t be nervous though. If you just follow the directions, it turns out just fine. 🙂

What to bake custard in: You’ll need a heat proof baking dish to make this dessert such as custard cups (flared sides) or ramekins (straight sides). If you do not have either of these you can use a smaller wide mouth mason jar. 

What does a water bath do? It simply adds moisture to the oven and can be helpful when making cheesecakes or custards to prevent it from cracking or from being overcooked. Without a water bath, the outside of this custard would overcook before the center is done.

To make this easy pumpkin custard, begin by combining the pumpkin puree, eggs, half and half, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Beat them together until combined.

Pour the batter evenly into 3 greased 10-oz oven safe containers (I like to use little ramekins).

Place the cups into a 9×13 baking pan. Then pour about an inch of hot water around the cups. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. While the custard is baking, combine the brown sugar, melted butter, and pecans in a small bowl.

After the custard has baked for 20 minutes, take them out of the oven and sprinkle the pecan mixture on top. Bake for another 35-40 minutes.

Remember you can serve these warm or chilled! Store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.

pumpkin Custard recipe Notes:  

  • A water bath is also called a bain-marie
  • Don’t over check the custard. Each time the oven opens the heat and moisture is lost. 
  • If you are making several at a time they may cook at different times. So keep an eye on them.
  • To avoid spilling hot water: add 1 inch of hot water to the pan after you have placed it on the oven rack, then gently slide the rack into the oven. 

How do I know when the custard is done? Since the custard is supposed to be a bit jiggly in the center you can know when the custard is done by inserting a butter knife halfway between the center and the side of the dish. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

Pumpkin Custard Recipe with whipped cream

Toppings + Storing for pumpkin custard

Which Pumpkin Custard Toppings are best? We were sure to add a few fresh chopped pecans on top along with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You could also add nutmeg or pumpkin spice, based on what you like most.

You can also STORE the custard in the fridge by covering and storing for up to 3 days.

We hope you enjoy this custard. It’s practically pumpkin pie without the crust but even more flavorful!

This pumpkin custard is going to make your fall season delicious! If you’ve never made a custard then definitely put it on your fall bucket list and don’t be intimidated by it. They’re really quite simple. 🙂

For more great pumpkin desserts, check out:

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4.98 from 91 votes

Pumpkin Custard Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
This pumpkin custard dessert is a cinch to prepare and will satisfy that pumpkin craving! It’s rich and creamy and full of pumpkin spice with a delicious nutty, crunch topping.
Servings: 3
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 (15 oz) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 TB butter melted
  • Whipped cream, ground cinnamon and chopped pecans, optional
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  • Preheat oven to 350
  • In a large bowl, beat together the first six ingredients. Pour into 3 greased 10-oz cups.
  • Place cups in a 9×13 baking pan; pour hot water around cups to a depth of 1 in. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, pecans and melted butter. After custard has baked for 20 minutes, sprinkle over the top and bake an additional 35-40 minutes longer or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or chilled; top with whipped cream, cinnamon and more chopped pecans if desired. Store in the refrigerator.



Calories: 496kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 149mg, Sodium: 515mg, Potassium: 268mg, Sugar: 65g, Vitamin A: 615IU, Vitamin C: 0.7mg, Calcium: 168mg, Iron: 1.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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Adapted from Taste of Home.

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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4.98 from 91 votes (64 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Andrea says:

    I’m hoping to try this recipe for a neighbor that has recently had all of his teeth pulled! If I’m eliminating the topping, would I just bake it for 50-60 minutes?
    Thanks, and Merry Christmas

  2. Marchosias says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe! Delicious, especially the topping!

    Note: I used 2 cups of fresh pumpkin I roasted plus a teaspoon of vanilla extract and added a tablespoon of cornstarch to balance out the extra liquid:)

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Thanks for sharing what you did! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  3. Wendy says:

    5 stars
    OUTSTANDING! I’ve been making pumpkin custard my entire life and decided to try this recipe this year. I don’t know what it is–maybe the brown sugar–that makes this recipe the BEST. Soooo smooth and not the least bit too sweet. It showcases the true pumpkin flavor beautifully. All I did differently was add a third egg (per one reviewer’s recommendation because I use real pumpkin puree) and 1-2 tsp. freshly grated orange peel (highly recommended). For the topping, I don’t candy my chopped pecans; I just toast them in a skillet and sprinkle them on a dollop of sour cream sweetened with a little bit of powdered sugar stirred in. I will be using this recipe for the rest of my life!! Thank you!

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      You’re welcome!! Thank you for sharing what you did. I’m so happy to hear this recipe was a winner for you!

  4. Keith I. says:

    My family LOVES this recipe. I’ve put my own spin on it and if you are brave I encourage you to try my version. First, Rather than use canned pumpkin I roasted some fish picked pumpkin from my garden, and I did it in my pellet smoker, not in the oven. Just cut the pumpkin into quarters with the skin on, rub some olive oil on it and let it roast down then scoop out the flesh into a colander and let as much liquid drain off as possible. Next, I make my own pumpkin pie spice. You can find the recipe here: DO NOT omit the ‘secret ingredient’! Then, instead of using half and half, I use condensed goat milk! I make ‘double’ batches, thus in order to get two cups I use one can of the condensed goat milk which measures out to 1 3/4 cups and 1/4 cup of half and half. Finally, for the topping I use goat butter instead of cow butter. I cook the custard in 8 oz., wide mouth canning jars and when cool I put the lids on and store in the fridge for up to several days – I think the flavor actually improves after a day or two. Serving these in the jars with the lids on makes for a fun presentation – I just make sure to have whipped cream and chopped pecans on the table and let guests garnish their own. The fresh pumpkin with a hint of smoke, along with the rich nutty flavor imparted by the goat dairy make this dessert entirely unique, and the freshly prepared pie spice with its ‘secret ingredient’ provides a full-bodied holiday flavor. Be brave!

  5. wippy says:

    looks great but with 65g sugar a serving, I have to pass.

  6. Diane says:

    Hi! This sounds so good!
    If I don’t use the topping, do I only bake for 20min or continue with the additional 30min anyway for a total of about 50 min? Thanks!

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      I’d still bake for the full amount of time. You just don’t have to pull it out at 20 minutes to add the topping.

  7. Laura Migliore says:

    Hello, These look so delicious. I have some fiesta ware 5 oz ramekins, how would I adjust the cooking time? Plan to top these with whipped cream and pumpkin seed brittle as a garnish.

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      I would certainly reduce the cooking time since your ramekins would be about half the size the recipe calls for. Perhaps start by cutting the baking time in half. And then just check from there. I have only ever made it in 10 oz cups. You’ll know it is finished when you insert a knife in the center and it comes out clean.