Some of my fondest memories with my Grandma are baking together, second only to playing cards with her and Great Grandma. Grandma was known for her baked goodies and you could count on her to bring a dessert to every gathering. Now that she's gone, I've found myself stepping into that role. With lots of time to think and bake lately, I've been planning the perfect non-pie dessert to make this fall. I recently made a chocolate torte for my son's birthday that my Grandma used to make and was inspired to create a pumpkin version. My kids say it's even better than the chocolate one, and when my sister tasted it, she said, "You need to write this one up!" So by request, here's my pumpkin torte recipe.
Before you get started, here are a few notes:
- If using gluten-free flour, you might want to use a little less flour or a little more butter if you find your favorite flour blend tends to be dry.
- You can finely chop almonds, or any nut of your choice, instead of buying almond flour. Try crushed graham crackers if you are nut free.
- Homemade whipped cream is amazing in place of the premade whipped topping, but they both taste great. If you do it yourself, use 16 oz. whipping cream and 1/4-1/2 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like it.
- Use half a can of pumpkin for a little pumpkin flavor or a whole can for a lot of pumpkin flavor. I tasted it after I mixed in half a can and decided to use the whole thing.
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
For the first layer:
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup whipped topping
For the second layer:
- 2 packages vanilla instant pudding
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or more to taste)
For the topping:
- The remainder of whipped topping
- Cinnamon to dust over the top
1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix flour, almond flour, and butter. Press into the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until it begins to brown. Remove from oven and cool completely.
2. Make the first layer: Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 cup whipped topping. When the crust is completely cool, spread over crust. You may wish to chill each layer for 20 minutes before adding the next one.
3. Make the second layer: Mix pudding and milk together well. When the pudding begins to thicken, mix in the pumpkin and spices. Spread over the cream cheese layer and chill if needed to make spreading the whipped topping easier.
4. Add the topping: Spread the rest of the whipped topping over the pumpkin mixture and lightly dust with cinnamon. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Looking for more seasonal inspiration? Check out "Thanksgiving Side Dishes Take Center Stage" on Macaroni Kid EATS!
Laura Miller is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Appleton-Waupaca-Oshkosh.
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