Pumpkin hoards the headlines when it comes to fall baking and for a very good reason. It’s abundant, affordable, and easy to integrate into recipes. AND a lot of baked pumpkin recipes make great gifts.

What more could you ask for from the humble pumpkin?

Pumpkin is also one flavor that fits extremely well into the Simple to Make, Easy to Elevate, AND Made to Impress framework offered here on Your Mood Your Food.

All three recipes in this week’s pumpkin roundup are Simple to Make. Recipes don’t have to be super complicated to fall into our Easy to Elevate or Made to Impress categories either. Sometimes just something a little out of the norm is enough to soothe your culinary curiosity.

Two of the three recipes veer away from the traditional sweeter pumpkin options. And the third one adds an extra layer of sweetness to make up for that. I made all three of these on the same day in less than 2 hours. One 29oz can of pumpkin supplied all three recipes.

Gluten Free Alert—For our gluten-free fans, the Pumpkin Muffins recipe offers a gluten-free option and the Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal recipe is vegan and gluten-free.

I love baking and tend to “adjust” recipes on the fly based on my flavor preferences and/or what I have on hand.  I did that with two of these recipes, once because of a personal preference and once out of necessity (keep reading).

Simple to Make — Pumpkin Muffins

Source: Love and Lemons

What better way to start your fall morning than pairing a pumpkin muffin with your coffee? As one of the non-sweet options, these Pumpkin Muffins from Love and Lemons yield deliciousness you can feel pretty good about.

Five Things to know about the Pumpkin Muffin recipe:

  • I cannot stress enough how simple this recipe is.
  • There is a gluten-free substitution at the bottom of the main recipe for those of you who need or prefer gluten-free treats.
  • You will need almond milk, so if that isn’t normally stocked in your refrigerator, you’re looking at a trip to the store.
  • I added about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the recipe in addition to the pumpkin pie spice to give it that extra fall kick. See, I couldn’t help myself. I’m a recipe adjustment junkie.
  • We live at high altitude and these took about 25 minutes to cook, rather than the 18-20 minutes listed in the recipe. Not sure if it was the altitude, but they definitely took longer than expected to bake.

Easy to Elevate– Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Source: Creations by Kara

Now we delve into the extra sweet recipe option that transports you right to the bakery and that yummy goodness only a cinnamon sugar topping affords.

This Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe from Creations by Kara hits all the right flavor notes.

The time to make the batter for this bread is very limited—about 15 minutes—so it still falls into the Simple to Make category. The elevation comes from the additional cinnamon sugar topping. I suppose you could forego the cinnamon sugar, buy why would you?

Five Things to know about the Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe:

  • This is a two-for-one recipe that is Simple to Make and Easy to Elevate. If you want to elevate beyond the cinnamon sugar topping, think about adding ½ – 1 cup of chocolate chips to the batter, depending on your sweet tooth.
  • The batter filled six mini loaf pans, but my pans may be smaller than what Creations by Kara used.
  • Because my mini loaves were smaller, they only took 35 minutes to bake. I would highly recommend you watch your baking time, checking sooner rather than later to see if your loaves are done.
  • The 1/3 C sugar + 1 Tbsp cinnamon was way more than I needed to cover my mini loaves. Think about reducing the sugar/cinnamon topping and then making more if needed. Or you can keep the extra and use on toast for your kids. They’ll thank you.
  • If you’re craving chocolate, add ½ C. (or more) semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter. Easy (additional way) to Elevate this bread.

Made to Impress — Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

Source: Eating Bird Food

First, I love the blog name—Eating Bird Food—of this recipe creator. Second, as a huge fan of oatmeal, any recipe that offers a new variation is welcome in my house and this is a healthier breakfast or snack alternative than a lot of pumpkin recipes.

For the third time in this blog, let me say that this is a very simple recipe to make. The unexpected use of pumpkin in an oatmeal recipe catapults it into the Made to Impress category. This recipe is the ultimate Simple to Make, Easy to Elevate, AND Made to Impress pumpkin option.

Not only is this quick, easy, and impressive, but something you can make, freeze, gift, and even get your kids to eat! You may have to add that extra drizzle of maple syrup to make that last one happen but do what ya gotta do!

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

Five Things to know about the Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal recipe:

  • As you see from my photos, I made this in an 8” round pie pan because my 8” square pan was in use. That just means that I sliced it like pie which, when drizzled with extra maple syrup, might bring your kids to the table even quicker.
  • It took 40 minutes for my oatmeal to set in the middle which was longer than the 35-minute baking time in the recipe. Remember to check the middle and make sure it’s set, reducing or extending the baking time as needed.
  • I didn’t have ground flaxseed so I substituted whole chia seeds.
  • You could easily double this recipe, using a larger, rimmed baking sheet in place of the 8” square pan. If you do this, just watch your baking time to make sure the oatmeal is set in the center and not crispy on the edges. Freeze or gift the extra oatmeal.
  • You can up the Made to Impress status of this recipe by personalizing some add-ins. Initially I thought toasted coconut flakes would make a delicious addition. You could also add pepitas, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit. Mix and match whatever you like. Have fun with this recipe!

Hopefully this pumpkin recipe roundup kicks your fall baking into high gear. I’m already planning my weekend morning on the back patio with my coffee, my book, and my pumpkin oatmeal. Bring it on, Fall!