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Easy Pumpkin Custard

This homemade pumpkin custard is incredibly easy to prepare and makes for a wonderful fall dessert. Perfect for family gatherings!

two pumpkin custard cups on light wood table

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Homemade Pumpkin Custard Recipe

Picture this. It’s eight years ago. I am a bride to be and I’m meeting my in-laws for the first time. It’s a rainy Thanksgiving day in Washington and my soon to be Mother-in-Law has just prepared the BEST. TURKEY. EVER. It has amazing, juicy flavor and the breast meat isn’t dry at all. I think to myself, “where has this turkey been all my life?”

I know someday, probably sooner than I realize, I will be the one making a turkey. And I’ll want it to taste exactly like that. So I email my Mother-in-Law and ask how on Earth that delicious turkey was created. And this is the response I get:

Pam Anderson recommends buying a 10-12 pound turkey and using a V-rack in your roaster. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat to 400 degrees. Place turkey, breast side down, on V-rack. Brush back and sides with melted butter. Roast for 45 minutes.

Baste the turkey with drippings. Turn the turkey on its side. Brush exposed area of turkey with pan drippings. If broth has evaporated, add 1/2 c more. Return to oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove turkey and turn to other leg/wing side.

Baste with the pan drippings. Add broth if necessary. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove turkey and turn breast-side up. Baste. Roast 35-55 minutes longer, until meat thermometer inserted in breast registers 160-165 degrees and the leg/thigh registers about 170. Check to make sure broth has not totally evaporated, allowing the herbs to burn. Transfer turkey to platter let rest 20-30 minutes.

Pam Anderson says that the brining process makes frozen turkeys taste as good as fresh. Her roasting method creates even browning and prevents the breast from drying out.

Little did I know that THAT Pam was from Three Many Cooks, who I would one day meet at a blogging conference (what the heck was a blog, anyway?). Well, THAT Pam has done it again.

Her latest book, Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers, is full of delicious and simple recipes for low-stress entertaining. Recipes just like this Easy Pumpkin Custard, which would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving table.

Pumpkin Custard Ingredients

If you think homemade custard is tough to make, think again! All you need to make this easy pumpkin custard recipe is:

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

three pumpkin custard cups

Click HERE to save this recipe for Pumpkin Custard!

How to Make Pumpkin Custard

Heat the pumpkin and spices in a saucepan until the puree starts to sputter. Whisk in the brown sugar and evaporated milk, then bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg and egg yolks in a small bowl. Gradually add the hot pumpkin mixture to the eggs, then divide the pumpkin custard between eight custard cups.

Homemade custard needs to be baked at a lower temperature in a water bath. I’ve provided detailed instructions on how to create a water bath in the recipe card below.

Once the pumpkin custard is out of the oven, chill it until ready to serve.

Do I Have to Use Custard Cups?

No, you can also use small ramekins if you don’t have custard cups. Or use other small ceramic, oven-safe vessels to bake this homemade custard in.

Can I Prep Pumpkin Custard in Advance?

Yes, homemade baked custard can be made up to 2 days before you plan on serving it. After making the pumpkin custard, you’ll need to store it in the fridge and cover it in plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the top.

Tips for Making Pumpkin Custard

Make sure you’re using pure pumpkin puree for this easy custard recipe, and NOT pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin puree is unsweetened and not spiced, which makes it a great base ingredient for this homemade custard.

If you love fall spices, feel free to add more ginger and cinnamon to the pumpkin custard. Or you can try using pumpkin pie spice instead of the ginger and cinnamon.

Lastly, you have to make this baked custard in a water bath. The water bath ensures the pumpkin custard doesn’t crack and cooks through evenly.

More Pumpkin Recipes:

Craving pumpkin? Check out all of my Pumpkin Recipes for some wonderful ways to use up those cans of pumpkin puree you’ve been stocking up on.

This Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie is my current breakfast obsession. It’s incredibly easy to make and genuinely tastes like a pumpkin pie, minus the crust!

Have you ever put pumpkin into soups? I make a batch of this Pumpkin Black Bean Turkey Chili a couple times every fall. My family loves how thick and hearty it is.

Nothing beats warm Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls on a crisp fall morning. If you’ve never made homemade cinnamon rolls before, don’t fret — they’re easier to make than you’d think.

Looking for an easy no-bake fall dessert? This Pumpkin Pudding recipe is similar to these pumpkin custard cups, but it uses fewer ingredients and is ready in just 5 minutes.

Also, be sure to check out these 25 Pumpkin Recipes to Try this Fall. So, if like me, you have a pumpkin hoarding problem you now have a very good excuse.

What’s your favorite pumpkin dessert?

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Pam Anderson Pumpkin Custard

Baked Pumpkin Custard

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This homemade pumpkin custard is incredibly easy to prepare and makes for a wonderful fall dessert. Perfect for family gatherings!


  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 large egg (yolk and white)
  • 2 egg yolks


    1. Bring 1 quarter water to boil for a water bath. Set eight 6-ounce custard cups in two 8-inch square pans. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat to 325 degrees F.
    2. Heat pumpkin, ginger, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat until puree sputters and flavors intensify, about 3 minutes. Whisk in brown sugar and evaporated milk. Bring to a simmer.
    3. Meanwhile, whisk egg and yolks in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk hot-pumpkin mixture into the eggs, then pour into custard cups. Set pans in oven and carefully pour enough water in the pan to come halfway up the sides of the cups.
    4. Bake until the custards are set, about 30 minutes. Remove custard cups from the baking dish and cool slightly. Lay plastic wrap directly over each custard to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until ready to serve.


Recipe from Pam Anderson's new cookbook, Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 156Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 88mgSodium 82mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 1gSugar 18gProtein 6g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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Click HERE to save this recipe for Pumpkin Custard!


Friday 29th of October 2010

These look so tasty! And what a great story!


Thursday 28th of October 2010

Look great


Tuesday 26th of October 2010

I just read your comment about torching the brown sugar. I'm going to have to try that. It sounds incredible, and they already look like I'd be licking the bowl clean even without it on there.


Tuesday 26th of October 2010

I will be making this one soon. I am loving all of Pam's recipes. Great post!

My Man's Belly

Tuesday 26th of October 2010

LOL - I have the opposite turkey story...they all ask me how to make my turkey. Which is that much funnier since my mom didn't want me to touch the turkey the first year I made it for her.

This recipe looks perfect for our upcoming Halloween dinner.

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