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Simple Servings

Pumpkins and spice and everything nice

Carol Cogliano
Hollabaugh Bros., Inc.

(10/2016) Has it hit you yet? Fall has arrived, and along with it, everything pumpkin-flavored! Our society has become quite obsessed with "pumpkin spice" flavored products. From your favorite coffee/latte, to breath mints and hand soap…you can’t avoid it! However, if you’re like me, you still enjoy the pumpkin classics: pumpkin pies, roasted pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin rolls. The pumpkin craze is a craze for a reason – we love pumpkin, and it gets us into the fall season, welcoming cooler temperatures and savory comfort foods that help us feel cozy and warm.

Pumpkins are a member of the Cucurbitaceae (cucurbit – hard "k" sound) family, which also includes squash, gourds, cucumber, zucchini, and all kinds of melons - watermelons, cantaloupes and honeydews. (Fun fact: You can’t plant pumpkins too close to other members of the cucurbit family, or you will have edible lopes and melons that taste like a pumpkin!) Additionally, it is best to rotate pumpkins from year to year, as opposed to always keeping them in the same ground.

Although pumpkins are grown throughout the northeastern United States, production tends to be concentrated near population centers. Pumpkins are sold primarily for ornamental purposes, especially during the Halloween season. Depending on the variety grown, pumpkins are available from late August through October. There are many varieties of pumpkins, just like apples or peaches – and all of them have slightly different qualities. When it comes to preparing pumpkin recipes, people associate sugar or neck pumpkins with the only pumpkin you can use to make a pumpkin pie, but in reality, there are many varieties of pumpkins/squash that cook off good "meat" and make delicious pumpkin pies and other pumpkin baked goods.

Preparing a pumpkin for cooking/baking is relatively easy: Remove the stem and scrape out the inside, discarding the seeds. Cut the pumpkin in half, and place the pieces cut side down onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Rub the skin with canola oil and bake at 375 for about one hour, until fork tender. Allow it to cool, before scooping out the softened pumpkin, and puree with a blender before use.

I encourage you to embrace the upcoming fall season by preparing some pumpkin recipes for your family, and revel a bit in the pumpkin spice fanaticism… It is well-deserved. Enjoy!

My grandmother’s Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie was one of my favorite desserts as a child. That being said…I can’t remember the last time I made it! I’m going to correct that situation immediately, and I invite you to join me in whipping up a treat for your family that is smooth, creamy and cool – perfect to enjoy during these late summer days.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Recipe courtesy of: Bernice Henderson

Ingredients and Instructions:

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (approximately 15 squares of crackers)
  • 3 Tbl. sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine

Combine crumbs and sugar. Stir in melted butter and blend. Pack firmly in 9" round pie pan. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Cool. Pie pan may be buttered.


  • 1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream (softened)

Mix together ingredients. Pour into a chilled graham cracker crust and freeze until firm.

If you are an "online foodie" like I am, searching Facebook and Pinterest for recipes, I’m certain that you have seen a link to the following recipe recently. Everyone who’s falling victim to the pumpkin spice craze has been ooh-ing and aah-ing over it for weeks now. These cupcakes are wonderful little bites of pumpkin pie, that you can add a dollop of whipped cream to, for a preview of the slices of pumpkin pie that await you this holiday season.

Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy of:


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • Whipped cream


  1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, vanilla and evaporated milk until well combined.
  5. Add in dry ingredients and whisk until no streaks of flour remain and batter is smooth.
  6. Fill each muffin cup with approximately a cup of batter.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove cupcakes from pan and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  9. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with more pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon on top and before serving.

My husband’s Aunt Dianne is famous for her scrumptious pumpkin rolls. Each Thanksgiving, she gifts family members with them (yum!), and up until this past year, I was far too intimidated to try making one myself. Not anymore! Follow this recipe to the letter for a successful - not to mention completely sinful - Pumpkin Roll of your own. Once you master it, you too can make it a homemade gift to friends and family!

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling


  • ¼ cup 10x sugar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree

For the cream cheese filling:

  • 1 8oz package cream cheese
  • 1 cup 10x sugar
  • 6 Tbl. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 15x10 jelly roll pan with cooking spray, line with parchment, and then spray parchment with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in medium bowl until combined. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed until thick. Add in vanilla and pumpkin, and beat until combined. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. While cake is baking, lay thin tea towel flat on the counter and dust generously with 10x sugar. When the cake is done, immediately loosen and turn cake over on to prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with the narrow end. Cool on wire rack (or in fridge) completely.
  4. When ready to add filling, carefully unroll cake and remove the towel. Spread cream cheese filling (recipe in step 5) evenly. Immediately re-roll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap. Slice to serve.
  5. For cream cheese filling: In a large bowl using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 10x sugar, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth.

Carol Cogliano is the Director of Events at Hollabaugh Bros., Inc. which is located at 545 Carlisle Road, Biglerville, PA 17307. Visit for a full listing of their upcoming events and classes or call 717-677-8412 for more information.

Read other articles by Carol Cogliano