How to Make Pumpkin Tiramisu: The Tastiest Fall Twist on a Classic Dessert

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Put a twist on a classic dessert just in time for fall. Learn how to make pumpkin tiramisu filled with cozy flavors.

As soon as fall hits, we’re all craving comfy, cozy flavors. For some, that might mean apples, for other cinnamon. But, for many, pumpkin is the flavor of the season. Yes, a classic pumpkin pie is always tasty, so is a pumpkin spice latte—but why not expand your horizons? Give a classic dessert a fall spin with pumpkin tiramisu.

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How to Make Pumpkin Tiramisu from Scratch

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This recipe comes to us from reader Pam Peters of British Columbia, who loves to go beyond plain pumpkin pie in the fall. And she included tons of other amazing fall flavors in her recipe, too, like honey, cinnamon, ginger, clove and a touch of rum. To make this tiramisu—including homemade pumpkin ladyfingers—here’s what you’ll want to grab at the store:

For the pumpkin ladyfingers:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (if you can’t find canned pumpkin, try these easy swaps)
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum
  • 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the tiramisu:

  • 2-1/4 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg

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Step 1: Stir Up the Ladyfinger Batter

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For traditional tiramisu, you might rely on a package of premade ladyfingers. Not here! Instead, you’ll be making a batch of pumpkin and spice-flavored cookies. There will be some extras, but they are delicious with your morning coffee.

To begin, cream room temperature butter and sugar together until light and fluffy—about five minutes. Then use your mixer to beat in the egg and honey. Then stir in the pumpkin and your favorite rum.

In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda and salt. Then gradually beat the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until combined.

Step 2: Pipe Ladyfingers onto Baking Sheets

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To get that just-right ladyfinger shape, grab a piping bag (a zip-top bag will also work in a pinch). Fill the bag two-thirds full (any fuller and it can get hard to handle or it’ll spurt out the back end!) and cut a three-quarter-inch hole in the tip. You can use a plain piping tip here, but just the hole in the bag will work too.

Then pipe the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. You want the fingers to be about two-and-a-half inches long and two inches apart.

Editor’s tip: An easy way to get consistently sized and spaced ladyfingers is to draw lines on the reverse side of your parchment with a pencil. Just mark out the right sizes and pipe away!

Step 3: Bake the Ladyfingers

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Bake the cookies at 350ºF for 12 to 14 minutes. When golden, remove and cool completely on a wire rack. When we say completely, we mean it! If you want, you can prep the cookies a day in advance so they are absolutely cool.

Editor’s note: This recipe will make some extra ladyfingers. Whatever you don’t use in your pumpkin tiramisu, dunk in your morning coffee. You can use extras to make crumb crusts for delicious desserts or just snack on them. Store spares in an airtight container for a week. If you can’t finish them all in that time, pop ’em in the freezer where they’ll keep for a year.

Step 4: Make the Whipped Cream

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Whipped cream gives this tiramisu its velvety texture. To make whipped cream from scratch, beat the whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Then add sugar and beat until soft peaks form. You can tell the cream has reached the soft peak stage when you lift your beaters out of the bowl, flip them over and the peaks droop a bit when turned.

Editor’s tip: You absolutely want to use a hand mixer or stand mixer here. Whipping cream by hand is tiring and time-consuming.

Step 5: Make the Pumpkin Filling

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In another bowl, mix together the canned pumpkin and spices. Fold a third of the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture. Be gentle while you fold so you don’t deflate the cream.

Step 6: Mix the Cream Cheese Filling Together

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Grab another mixing bowl and mix the room temperature cream cheese until smooth. Then beat in the remaining whipped cream until combined.

Your typical tiramisu doesn’t have two types of filling, but this one is over-the-top and delicious. Plus, who doesn’t love pumpkin and cream cheese together?

Step 7: Lay the Base of the Tiramisu

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Next, grab your favorite 13×9-inch pan and arrange ladyfingers in a single layer. You want to cover the bottom of the pan, so if there are any large gaps, you can break the cookies to fit (you won’t be able to tell with the finished product).

Then brush the cookies with rum. This helps to soften the cookies a bit and adds flavor.

Step 8: Layer the Tiramisu

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Once the base is laid, top the ladyfingers with a third of the pumpkin filling and then a third of the cream cheese mixture. An offset spatula really helps here. With both layers of cream in place, repeat the process twice more: ladyfingers, rum, pumpkin, cream cheese.

Your last layer should be cream cheese. Use the back of a spoon to give the tiramisu some pretty swirls or use an offset spatula to make the finish nice and smooth—it’s up to you!

Step 9: Chill and Serve

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Cover the pumpkin tiramisu and refrigerate for at least eight hours, though overnight is even better—tiramisu is one of those desserts that gets better as it sits.

Before serving, sprinkle with cinnamon. A small sifter will help here—you don’t want to overdo it with this spice.

How to Serve and Store Pumpkin Tiramisu

Tiramisu of any kind benefits from a stay in the fridge. This allows the crispy cookies to soften up and the flavors blend together nicely. You can make this dessert a day in advance and feel confident that it’ll taste even better after dinner the next day.

To store the tiramisu, cover and stash in the fridge. Try to eat it all (or hand out leftovers) within three to four days. If you know you can’t finish it all, you can freeze pumpkin tiramisu for up to three months. Just wrap the pan or individual pieces tightly, then thaw when you’re in the mood for a treat.

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After all the piping, whipping and layering, you’ll find that this pumpkin tiramisu was worth every single bit of effort. The combination of pumpkin, cream cheese, warming spices and a hint of rum really sing. The crispy cookies and velvety fillings are also a phenomenal pairing—one that will have guests coming back for seconds. While this is definitely a fall take on a classic, you might find yourself craving this pumpkin tiramisu all year.

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.