The Great Pumpkin – Part II – baking with pumpkins

Photo of pumpkins at a farmLast week, we took an armchair tour of the creative ways Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) innkeepers decorate their inns with pumpkins, corn stalks and mums.  They offered tips for ways that you can use pumpkins to decorate your homes.  This week, we’ve scoured recipes from the nine DINE inns and keeping the focus on pumpkins, we offer some perfect playfulness for your dining room table.  Not a foodie, baker or wizard in the kitchen?  Plan your next romantic getaway or culinary vacation in DINE country, and let our innkeepers create pumpkin goodness this fall.

Let us know what you think of these fun fall recipes utilizing the great pumpkin.

Pumpkin  French  Toast from the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina (Dave Labrie’s recipe)

Note:  This recipe calls for Challah Bread (or any sweet-style bread)

Pumpkin French Toast from Inn at Harbor Hill MarinaIngredients

Small Batch: (8½“ x 11” baking dish – good for 8 people)

In large bowl, mix:

4 Eggs

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (approx. ½ of a 15 oz can)

1½ Cups Milk

1½ teaspoon Vanilla

1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

½ teaspoon Nutmeg

Crumb Topping  (below is enough for 1 small dish as so adjust accordingly)

Add the following into a small bowl:

¼ Cup All-Purpose Flour

¼ Cup Brown Sugar – packed

½ teaspoon Cinnamon

4 Tablespoons Butter (cubed)

Cream Cheese Glaze  (below is enough for 1 small dish like the one above – it’s really good!!!)

Add following into a blender & mix until “creamy”. It can store in fridge overnight:

4 oz. of cream cheese (at room temperature)

1 Cup Confectioners’ sugar (try to blend the above 2 ingredients first)

½  Cup Milk

1 teaspoon Vanilla


  • Spray baking dish(es) with Butter Spray
  • Cut Challah Bread into 1” cubes and place in baking dish
    (fill dish and slightly heap bread cubes just over top brim of baking dish)
  • Combine Crumb Topping ingredients into a bowl and cut/blend together until mixture is “crumb-like” (set aside)
  • In a large bowl whisk/mix together Eggs, Pumpkin, Milk, Vanilla & spices.
  • Pour above liquid mixture over bread cubes & “push cubes down” to ensure all bread cubes get wet or well coated with the wet mixture.
  • Top bread cubes with Crumb Topping and wrap in clear plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for ~ 60 minutes (or until slightly browned on the top)
  • While dish is baking, make the “Cream Cheese Glaze” by placing all ingredients in a blender and mix until creamy/smooth.
  • Pour Cream Cheese Glaze mixture into a squeeze/squirt bottle to drizzle over baked Pumpkin French Toast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from Captain’s House Inn


Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies2 lb. Butter

4 Cups Sugar

8 Cups Brown Sugar

4 Eggs

1 Tbs Vanilla

8 Cups Pumpkin

12 Cups Bread Flour

2 tsp Baking Soda

2 tsp Baking Powder

2 tsp Salt

¼ Cup Cinnamon

1 Tbs Nutmeg

6 Cups Oatmeal


Preheat the oven to 350°.

  1. Cream the butter and sugars adding in the eggs, vanilla and pumpkin, scraping the sides of the bowl to incorporate the ingredients.
  2. Sift the remaining ingredients and add to the wet mixture.
  3. Make small balls with dough and bake about 12-14 minutes until golden brown.

Makes a large batch – perfect for the neighborhood Halloween party.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding With a Vanilla Rum Sauce from Rabbit Hill Inn

Ingredients for Bread Pudding:

½ tsp vanilla

½ loaf French bread, cubed & partially dried

Pumpkin Bread Pudding - Pexels photo4 eggs

3 croissants, cubed & partially dried

1 pint Half & Half

1 Tablespooon cinnamon

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon nutmeg

6 ramekins or muffin tins

7 oz canned pumpkin

Directions for Bread Pudding

  1. Bring Half & Half to simmer and whisk in vanilla and sugar.
  2. Take off heat and whisk in pumpkin until smooth.
  3. Add in bread & croissants and incorporate until bread has soaked up the mixture.
  4. Add eggs, nutmeg, and cinnamon and work until fully incorporated.
  5. Grease 6 ramekins or muffin tin and fill with the mixture.
  6. Bake at 375-400°F for 20-30 minutes.  (for a convection oven, bake at 325°F)

Ingredients for Vanilla Rum Sauce:

2 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum

5 egg yolks

1 ½ cups heavy cream

½ cup sugar

¾ teaspoon vanilla

Directions for Rum Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients in a metal mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk over a hot water bath until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. (Make sure the water bath is not so hot as to cause the eggs to scramble
  3. Allow to cool.
  4. Rewarm to order by placing in microwave or heating on a very low heat on the stove top.

For more sweet pumpkin recipes, view this blog posted earlier. To access other recipes posted the DINE blog, simply click on RECIPES above. We’ll be finishing our pumpkin series next week with delicious pumpkin soups from the DINE kitchens.

We’re looking forward to baking for you on your next trip to visit your favorite DINE inn.  Don’t forget to book directly with the inn for the best availability and prices.

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton

In New Hampshire: Manor on Golden Pond  in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In Maine:  Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunkport.

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton