Gluten free pumpkin desserts

pumpkin flan canolainfo I face multiple challenges when it comes to Thanksgiving desserts. They need to be gluten free (for my mother-in-law), nut free (for my daughter) and somewhat traditional (for my husband). I want Thanksgiving desserts to be healthy, too, though I don’t mind indulging. That’s why pumpkin desserts fit the bill – nutritious, nut-free, traditional, yummy, and can be made gluten free with a little tweaking.

A basic pumpkin pie recipe is gluten free except for the crust. I’ve used gluten free pie crust mixes with not-so-great results. They tasted fine and cooked up well, but they totally fell apart when rolling out the dough. What a pain! (If you have an easy gluten free pie crust recipe, let me know in the comments below.)

This year I’m making things easier by using premade gluten free crusts from Whole Foods. They’re not cheap - $6.99 for two – but totally worth it from a time savings perspective, plus they’re tasty and flakey enough for us non-GF folks.

And thanks to CanolaInfo partnering with Cheryl Forberg, R.D., consulting dietitian to NBC-TV’s The Biggest Loser, I’ll be making their gluten free Pumpkin Flan, too. No crust to worry about with this one!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Flan

Recipe by Cheryl Forberg, R.D.

Nothing signals the holiday season more than pumpkin and this flan allows you to showcase it in a new, delicious way. Do away with pie crust and concentrate on yummy pumpkin flavor in this light, not-too-sweet flan.

Yield: 6 servings Serving size: 1 flan


  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 2 eggs, omega-3-enriched if available
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat milk, heated until very hot
  • Boiling water
  • Ground nutmeg for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Adjust oven rack to center position. Coat six 6-ounce custard cups or ramekins with canola oil cooking spray and set them on large baking dish with sides at least as deep as ramekins.
  2. In large bowl, beat eggs and egg white slightly; add pumpkin purée, maple syrup, canola oil, vanilla extract, spices and salt. Beat well with mixer. Add hot milk until blended. There will be about 3 cups of flan mixture. Pour 1/2 cup mixture into each prepared ramekin.
  3. Carefully pour boiling water into baking pan around ramekins. Water should come up to level of custard inside ramekins.
  4. Bake 30-35 minutes or until set around the edges but still soft in center. When center of flan is just set, it will jiggle a little when shaken. Remove baking dish from oven and immediately remove ramekins from water bath; cool on wire rack until room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  5. Serve cold and garnish with ground nutmeg. This dessert can be made up to 3 days in advance. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Nutritional information

  • Calories 110
  • Calories from fat 40
  • Total Fat 4.5 g
  • Saturated Fat 1 g
  • Cholesterol 80 mg
  • Sodium 115 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 12 g
  • Fiber 1 g
  • Sugar 10 g
  • Protein 5 g

Weight Watchers POINTS = 2

Cheaters Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Based on the Holiday Pumpkin Pie recipe from the November/December 2010 issue of EatingWell

10 servings



  • 1 premade gluten free crust from Whole Foods (find it in the freezer section) or from your favorite gluten free recipe or GF pie mix


  • 1 15-ounce can unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 14-ounce can low-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Prepare crust according to directions or per your recipe.
  2. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 425°F.
  3. Whisk pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Add condensed milk and eggs and whisk until smooth. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
  4. Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and bake until the filling is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes more. (Cover the crust edges with foil if they are browning too quickly.)
  5. Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Nutritional information

  • 292 Calories
  • 9 g Fat
  • 3 g Saturated Fat
  • 53 mg Cholesterol
  • 7 g Protein
  • 3 g Fiber
  • 174 mg Sodium
  • 482 mg Potassium

Weight Watchers POINTS = 6

More gluten free pumpkin dessert recipes


Picture courtesy of CanolaInfo.

13 thoughts on “Gluten free pumpkin desserts

  1. Michele@FitFoodista

    Anne Marie – thanks for the tasty recipe and great info! I had no idea Whole Foods sold gluten free pie crusts. My sister in-law is gluten intolerant and I’m forever trying to figure out what to make for her. Happy Thanksgiving!!

    1. annemarie Post author

      Michele, even though I’m 45 minutes from Whole Foods, it was totally worth the trip. They’re a lifesaver. Just wish my local Natural Grocers sold something similar.

      1. Jennifer is Always Sick

        Whole Foods was a life saver for us as well. They have everything, don’t they?! I was able to make a fresh tasting green bean casserole with a dairy free mushroom soup of theirs (my son has a milk allergy), and some french fried onions that didn’t have a “may contain milk” warning on them. Yay! I love Whole Foods!

    1. annemarie Post author

      Glad you made it home. I’m just about ready to head out the door with my shopping list for Thanksgiving. Usually I do it sooner, but had a tough time deciding what to make this year! So many good recipes out there and not enough people to eat it all. Have a wonderful turkey day!

  2. Pingback: The Dairy Free, Egg Free Pumpkin Pie Experiment – Part 2 » Always Sick and Tired

  3. Jennifer is Always Sick

    I know what you mean about trying to bake and cook for people with multiple food allergies and intolerance issues. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about gluten free, although I’ve done gluten free baking in the past, with mixed results. For us, it was a vegan pumpkin pie for thanksgiving, as our boys are dairy and egg allergic. We’re also peanut/tree nut allergic, but in this case, it was an easy thing to avoid.

    Congrats on your successful GF thanksgiving!

    1. annemarie Post author

      Jennifer, even more amazing was that my husband said it was the best Thanksgiving dinner I’ve ever made. Hard to beat that kind of praise! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Lindsey

    My husband makes graham cracker pie crusts, and you just need to buy the gluten free graham crackers and it is good!! He feed them to his brother last weekend and I think it was a hit!

  5. Pingback: recetas con calabaza

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