Whip up ‘Little Halloween Pumpkins’ with Chef Mark

Central Illinois Newsday

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — In celebration of All Hallow’s Eve, dig into some little Halloween Pumpkins packed full of spice. The from-scratch recipe is made by Certified Executive Chef, Mark Shoopman, CEC of Lutheran Hillside Village.


  • 1 Small, farm-grown pumpkin each
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • As Needed Vegetable Spray
  • As Desired Sun-dried cranberries
  • As Desired Holiday Candies or Sweets
  • As desired Assorted Colored Dessert Sauces (optional)

Pumpkin Pudding

  • 1 cup Pumpkin, Canned
  • 2/3 cup Milk
  • 1 Package Vanilla or Butterscotch Instant Pudding and Pie Mix
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Cups Cool Whip

Prepare the Pumpkin

Step 1 – Clean Pumpkin just as you would for a Jack-O-Lantern and reserve the seeds for roasting.

Step 2 – Place the pumpkin on a lightly greased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes. Oven temperatures may vary so watch closely. You want to cook until tender inside and the sugar melts. Cooking time may be longer or shorter based on your oven. Season the seeds with salt and roast in separate pan at the same time. The seeds can cool at room temperature.

Step 3 – Remove form the oven. These can cool at room temperature or you can place in the refrigerator for 25-30 minutes to cool faster.

Prepare the Pumpkin Pudding

Step 1 – Combine pumpkin, milk, and instant pudding together in a bowl.

Step 2 – Add nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and whip until well mixed and pudding is dissolved. fold in the Cool Whip. And chill for 20 minutes.

Step 3 – Place some holiday candies in the pumpkin and spoon or pipe the pudding into the chilled pumpkins. Keep refrigerated until ready to assemble. The longer it chills the more it will set up.


Here is the fun part! Decorate to heart’s content! Let the kids create a design. For parties, it’s fun to write the name of the celebration or person or holiday with the colored dessert sauces.

Place the pumpkin in the center of the decorated plate with the pumpkin top-placed gently at its side. Put a dollop of whipped topping on the top of the pumpkin pudding and sprinkle the sun-dried cranberries and roasted pumpkin seeds.

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