3 Things to Do With Less than 1/4 Cup Leftover Pumpkin

Pumpkin leftover story board
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  In addition to many other blessings, I’m thanking God for all of you who visit this blog occasionally or regularly and make it so much fun to cook and take pictures of the results. Love you and God bless.

Pumpkin is too expensive these days to let a few leftover tablespoons go to waste. Here are three of my favorite uses for the nutrient-rich orange puree. None require more than 1/4 cup.


My friend Joan of Orange Waffles fame recently wrote, “I had been wanting the pumpkin pancakes that I-Hop has been advertising, so I decided to try to make some. I was going to open a can of pumpkin to make a cake today anyway.  The cake only used 1 cup.”

Joan adapted her favorite pancake recipe which I recognize as the Feather Pancakes from my Better Homes and Gardens Quick Breads Cook Book, published the year before I got married a l-o-o-o-n-g time ago. It has been around awhile, but it’s a keeper, just like my husband (included in blessings mentioned above).

Although I don’t claim to be a pancake connoisseur, I really like these–enough to forsake my usual bowl of yogurt and cereal occasionally.  Joan recommends drizzling them with hot caramel sauce (although maybe not as much as you see in the picture–YIKES!) and a little maple syrup on the side. See recipe here.

#2. PUMPKIN GREEK YOGURT with Cookie Crumbles

I eat a LOT of homemade nonfat Greek yogurt so I’m always looking for creative ways to eat it. Whenever I have a tablespoon or more of leftover pumpkin, this is my first thought.

Add a couple tablespoons pumpkin puree to 6-8 ounces of plain Greek yogurt along with your favorite sweetener. For me, it’s a packet of Splenda or a tablespoon of sugar-free Torani syrup, preferably the Gingerbread or Pumpkin Pie flavor.  Honey, sugar, or a different artificial sweetener would also work.  Add a 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and combine until smooth.  Serve with a crispy cookie crumbled on top for a low calorie facsimile of pie with a crumb crust.  Gingersnaps are pictured but vanilla wafers or graham crackers would also work.

#3.  PUMPKIN SPONGE PIE (a variation of Grandma’s Squash Pie)

This family favorite tastes great with pumpkin instead of squash and requires only 2 rounded tablespoons of pumpkin puree. At this point, I’m sure my sisters are wondering what in the world a sponge pie is and why I’m calling it a family favorite.  Turns out, that’s the kind of pie we’ve been eating all these years.  Google turned up recipes for Lemon Sponge Pie and Chocolate Sponge Pie as well. (I’ll be trying those soon.) They’re all made by separating eggs, whipping the whites until stiff, and folding them into the remaining ingredients to produce a  light but sweet treat with the characteristic layers we love.

To make pumpkin sponge pie, substitute pumpkin puree for the squash in Grandma’s Squash Pie.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue Huffstutler October 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm

where do I find the recipes for the pumpkin pancakes?


steph (whisk/spoon) November 30, 2010 at 11:36 am

forget leftover puree…i want to open a new can just so i can make all these things–mmm! i have no idea why i haven’t made pumpkin pancakes yet. i know i would love them. i have never seen a sponge pie…looks like half cake half pie?


mike November 26, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Drat… just threw away about 1/2 cup the other day! Trust me I looked for recipes…! These are GREAT!!! Especially the pie. Your crust looks wonderful! I have this wonderful book: “Sweetie Pies” – recipes from southern women handed down from grandmothers, chess pie, buttermilk pie, etc – this looks like something out of there. I must try it. HAPPY THANKSGIVING (a day late)! I made a Frangelico Mascarpone/Pumpkin Pie (with hazelnut crust) – you know me, so traditional. 🙂


ldh November 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Just look at that stack of pancakes! Even after all of the carbohydrates yesterday I would love a forkful drenched in caramel sauce! Notice, I did said just a forkful. 🙂


Kristen November 26, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Such delicious ideas!!


Mary November 26, 2010 at 10:24 am

I want to try ALL of those… especially those pancakes! These all sound (and look) wonderful! Great site; so happy I found you!



Paula November 25, 2010 at 8:55 am

Wow! Who knew you could get three lovely dishes from 1/4 cup of leftover pumpkin! Those pancakes would certainly kick-start the day.


Suzanne November 25, 2010 at 8:24 am

great ideas! And Paula, your invited to come have some of that turkey if you bring that chocolate silk pie! 😉


Susie November 25, 2010 at 7:32 am

Yum! I wondered if u would have a thanksgiving post. These look good to me!


bigFATcook November 25, 2010 at 3:40 am

Yummy!! I cant take my eyes off these goodies!! :))) Looking great, tasty and lovely:)



Michaela November 25, 2010 at 1:55 am

What a phenomenal idea.. I always avoid recipes that don’t use entire can increments of pumpkin, but I eat a lot of yogurt and this looks like a great way to make it more interesting. I can imagine it would be really good if you cooked the pumpkin with some butter or cream first, too.


Jill November 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I just ate some mixed into yogurt, and it’s wonderful! Gotta love a guilt-free treat!


Karen November 24, 2010 at 11:06 am

Wow, these look so scrumptious! Love your ideas – no one would ever know these fantastic treats were made with leftovers. I wish you and your family have a very happy Thanksgiving!


TheKitchenWitch November 24, 2010 at 8:50 am

I have 1/2 of a cup of canned pumpkin sitting in my refrigerator RIGHT now. How did you know? This is why I need you in my life, Paula!


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