7 Best Pumpkin Puree Substitutes for year-round recipes

As the pumpkin season is over, you may wonder what are the best pumpkin puree substitutes for year-round recipes. How can you repurpose your Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins in March, May or July? Fear not, for there are plenty of creative substitutes for pumpkin puree that can breathe new life into your favorite recipes. Whether you’re baking muffins, cakes, or pies, making mousse or any other treat, experimenting with alternative ingredients can lead to delightful surprises. Let’s explore some exciting options to replace pumpkin puree in your recipes.

7 Best Pumpkin Puree Substitutes for year-round recipes

1. Canned Sweet Potato Puree

Swap out canned pumpkin puree with the equally velvety and naturally sweet canned sweet potato puree. Sweet potatoes provide a similar creamy texture and earthy flavor, making them an excellent substitute in muffins and pies. Rich in vitamins and fiber, sweet potatoes not only add depth to your recipes but also bring a nutritional boost. You can even try to make the sweet potato mousse if you wish! It may not be very known yet, but you can give it a go!

2. Applesauce

For a lighter and fruitier twist, substitute pumpkin puree with applesauce. Applesauce adds natural sweetness and moisture to your baked goods, making it an ideal substitute in muffins and cakes. Opt for unsweetened applesauce to control the sweetness level and to let the other flavors shine. Experiment with different apple varieties to play with the flavor profile. You can try Fuji, Cosmic Crisp, or even the Pink Lady! Alternatively, you can buy ready-to-go applesauce from the grocery store for a faster solution.

3. 🍌Banana Puree

Banana puree is another fantastic substitute that brings sweetness and a distinct flavor to your recipes. Mashed ripe bananas can replace pumpkin puree in a variety of baked goods, imparting a luscious texture and subtle sweetness. This option works particularly well with muffins and quick breads, providing a unique twist to your traditional recipes. As bananas are sweeter than pumpkin, make sure that you reduce the sugar in your recipes.

4. Butternut Squash Puree

Butternut squash, with its sweet and nutty flavor, is an excellent alternative to pumpkin puree. Roast and puree the squash to achieve a smooth consistency that can be seamlessly integrated into your favorite recipes. Butternut squash works particularly well in pies and custards, offering a rich and satisfying taste even in May.

5. 🥕Carrot Puree

Carrot puree not only adds a vibrant hue to your baked goods but also brings natural sweetness and moisture. Incorporate carrot puree into muffins, cakes, and pies to infuse a subtle earthy flavor and enhance the nutritional content of your treats. This option is especially appealing for those seeking a balance between sweetness and a hint of vegetable goodness. The recipe will feel a little savory, maybe even “umami”. Great for children who love carrots and color!

History nerd? Read about the history of Pumpkin Pie here

6. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt mixed with date syrup
The yogurt

For a tangy and protein-packed alternative, consider using Greek yogurt in place of pumpkin puree. Greek yogurt adds a creamy texture and a slightly tart flavor that complements both sweet and savory recipes. Swap out a portion of the pumpkin puree with an equal amount of Greek yogurt to create a lighter yet satisfying end product. As yogurt tends to be a bit tart, you may need to add a little more sweetener to your recipe.

7. 🫘Nut Flours

For those looking to reduce the reliance on fruit purees altogether, incorporating nut flours can provide a unique texture and flavor profile. Almond or hazelnut flour, for instance, can add a delightful nuttiness to your baked goods. Experiment with the ratio of nut flour to achieve the desired balance in your muffins, cakes, or pies. Nut flours are typically lighter than the traditional all-purpose flour, so you may well need a larger quantity.

Do you need more information about baking with almond flour? Read our observations from the Pumpkin Spice Almond Madeleines recipe

What is the substitute ratio?

You replace it in a 1:1 ratio but be ready to add a larger portion if needed. For example, you may need to add a little more applesauce as it is generally speaking lighter than pumpkin.

What should I do if the dough is too thin?

At wedesserts.com, we are supporters of the weight vs. volume in baking. That means, that for baking accuracy, you need to weigh the ingredients to find the ideal equivalence and ratio between the ingredient you are replacing and the one you are using.

What else I should know when I do the swap?

When you are swapping pumpkin puree for any other ingredient, take notice of the following and experiment a bit with the quantities you will use:

  1. The texture of the dessert or baked good you are making. If it feels thin, add a little more of the new ingredient
  2. The flavor. If the new ingredient is sweeter, you reduce the sugar. If it is tangy, add extra sweetener. If you want to recreate the pumpkin flavor for a pie for example, maybe the ripe banana puree won’t be the best substitute idea. Use banana puree for muffins instead
  3. The availability of the substitute. Most of these substitutes are largely available in grocery stores. However, you may not be able to find canned carrot puree or sweet potato puree everywhere

Our favorite baking book The King Arthur Baking School: Lessons and Recipes for Every Baker. Get it here

Don’t forget to change the name of the recipe with the new ingredient! It is no longer a pumpkin pie 🥧 but a banana pie!

What ingredients to avoid using as a substitute

1. 🥑Avocados (mashed or puree)

Although their color is impressive, Avocados won’t add too much flavor to your baked goods, and you’ll need to add sweetener. I would use avocados in no-bake, raw desserts, and mousse as well but not as pumpkin puree substitute

2. Shredded Zucchini

Less impressive in color than avocados, Shredded Zucchini is more of a vegetable. I would use it for a nice zucchini bread but not as a pumpkin puree substitute in pumpkin desserts.

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Conclusion: 7 Best 🎃Pumpkin Puree Substitutes for year-round recipes

While the pumpkin season may be over, the possibilities for creating delicious treats are endless. By experimenting with alternative ingredients like sweet potato puree, applesauce, banana puree, butternut squash puree, carrot puree, Greek yogurt, and nut flours, you can elevate your favorite recipes to new heights. Use these substitutes, and let your creativity guide you in the kitchen. Who knows, you might discover a new favorite that will help you recreate your pumpkin recipes year-round.

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