Kid recipes: Roast your own pumpkin + make 2 Turkey Day treats

Junior chef Molly O’Connell is back with holiday recipes for no-bake pumpkin cheesecake in jars, pumpkin scones with cranberries

SAN ANTONIO – Get the kids involved in the kitchen this holiday season with two easy recipes made with fresh roasted pumpkin.

Junior chef Molly O’Connell walks us through the steps to roast your own pie pumpkins in the oven, make your own puree and whip up some easy pumpkin cheesecakes in jars and pumpkin scones with cranberries.

To roast your own pumpkin, O’Connell suggests taking the stem off, chopping the pumpkin in half, seeding the pumpkin, then baking it at 400°F on a baking sheet lined with parchment for 40 minutes to an hour. Just watch the video above for a how-to. You can check out the recipes below.

No-bake pumpkin cheesecakes in jars

Yields 4 medium jars, 8 small jars


  • 1 cup crumbled gingersnap cookies (*TIP: You can crush the cookies in a zipper bag using a rolling pin)
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces or chopped pecans
  • 16 ounces (2 bricks) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups roasted pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • Sprinkle of ground cloves
  • Sprinkle of cardamom
  • Whipped cream, for topping
  • Canning jars (medium or small)


Add cream cheese, sugars, heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract to food processor or stand mixer. Mix well. Add pumpkin puree and spices, then blend until smooth.

Place two tablespoons of cookie crumbs in each jar. Add a tablespoon of chopped pecans to each jar. Spoon in a layer of the cheesecake filling, then repeat, starting with the cookie crumbs. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg or crushed gingersnaps. Serve chilled.

*Tip for the kids: If you have little ones, you can always pre-mix the filling and get them involved in assembly!

Pumpkin scones with cranberries

Yields 8-10 scones


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, grated
  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries


Place the grated butter in the freezer to chill. Preheat oven to 425°F.

Add pumpkin, sour cream, milk, vanilla and maple syrup to bowl and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients and add grated butter, using your hands to toss just until incorporated. Add chilled pumpkin mixture and fold until just combined.

Add cranberries and fold just until the dough comes together. If you mix it too much, the scones won’t be light and fluffy. Spoon the mixture into a scone pan. If you don’t have a scone pan, roll out the dough on a floured surface a cut with a biscuit cutter, then place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Top with turbinado sugar and bake for 15 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Enjoy plain, with butter or with an easy cream cheese icing (below)!

Easy cream cheese icing


  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese


Stir all ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over scones.

Other recipes by junior chef Molly O’Connell:

- Meatballs 3 ways

- Ribs + chicken with ‘awesome sauce’

- DIY Fiesta food favorites

- Apple pie stuffed French toast

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