The Best Canned Pumpkin for Fall Baking and Beyond
Canned pumpkin puree is a fall baking essential, but are you really buying the best brand? We tested eight options to find the best can for your pumpkin pies and other fall treats.
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Why You Want the Best Canned Pumpkin
At Taste of Home, we love everything pumpkin: pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars—even savory pumpkin recipes. And while these recipes run the gamut of flavor, they all start with one staple ingredient: canned pumpkin. (Yes, it’s better to bake with canned pumpkin instead of fresh pumpkin.)
Despite making all these amazing recipes, chances are you don’t think twice about what brand of pumpkin puree you grab at the store. But since many of these treats are so beloved, our Test Kitchen wants to make sure that they taste their absolute best. How do we do that? With a blind taste test, of course!
Our Canned Pumpkin Taste Test
For this test, our team of culinary pros sampled a whopping eight brands of canned pumpkin! Who knew that many were even at the grocery store? Each brand of pumpkin puree was sampled blindly and each Test Kitchen staffer took careful notes on the following:
- Color: Part of what makes pumpkin recipes so appealing is the vibrant color. A good can of pure pumpkin should have a rich orange hue—nothing pale or dull.
- Texture: When making pumpkin puree from scratch, it can be challenging to get a super smooth texture. It’s why folks prefer the canned stuff. Our Test Kitchen wanted to find canned pumpkin brands with a velvety smooth feel with minimal (if any) pulp.
- Flavor: Canned pumpkin should contain just one ingredient: pumpkin! It should taste fresh and, well, squash-like. There should be no metallic flavors or saltiness there—just pure, unadulterated pumpkin.
Eight brands were considered for this test, and three were crowned winners by our Test Kitchen. Check out our Test Kitchen-Preferred canned pumpkin brands.
Best Canned Pumpkin Overall
Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
In this taste test, our Test Kitchen pros found that the biggest name in the pumpkin game does, in fact, make the best canned pumpkin on the market. Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin is a favorite among our culinary crew.
Libby’s canned pumpkin has a really rich orange color that is quintessential fall. This deep shade is perfect for giving recipes like this copycat Starbucks pumpkin bread, gluten-free pumpkin bread and spiced pumpkin bars their appetizing appearance.
As for the taste, Shannon Norris in the Test Kitchen explains that “this brand has more depth of flavor than the others.” A scoop of Libby’s canned pumpkin has “great pumpkin flavor: earthy with a tiny bit of sweetness,” according to the Test Kitchen’s Josh Rink.
You’ll also find that Libby’s pumpkin is exceptionally smooth. There are no visible fibers in this can of pumpkin—just a velvety smooth pumpkin puree.
Also, check these Pumpkin Dessert Recipes to use up those cans of pumpkin.
Best Budget Pumpkin
Great Value 100% Pure Pumpkin
If you have a lot of pumpkin bakes lined up this fall, you can save some money by opting for a generic canned pumpkin option. Walmart’s Great Value 100% Pure Pumpkin hits all the marks but costs significantly less than brand name options.
This can of pumpkin isn’t as vibrantly hued as others in this test, but it has a winning texture. “This one is nicely pureed with a creamy consistency,” says Ellie Crowley in the Test Kitchen. That velvety texture is perfect for recipes like this pumpkin cheesecake and homemade pumpkin ice cream.
Beyond smooth consistency, this canned pumpkin smells fresh and tastes of pure pumpkin without any extras. It does have a slightly milder flavor than our other top pumpkin picks, but when paired with pumpkin spice and topped with whipped cream, this brand will make an amazing pumpkin pie.
Check Out More Test Kitchen-Preferred Products
Our Test Kitchen is constantly testing food, kitchen gadgets and cleaning gear looking for brands that deserve the right to be called Test Kitchen-Preferred.
If you want to fill your pantry and fridge with the best products, check out these tests: