17 pumpkin recipes that'll make you forget all about pumpkin spice

What ever happened to the pumpkin? You know, that bulbous, bright-orange member of the squash family that used to be emblematic of fall? It's gone missing.

Now, autumn is considered pumpkin spice season, boasting a plethora of products that typically have little to no real pumpkin in them whatsoever.

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Marcela Valladolid makes creamy pumpkin cheesecake – with squash!

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Marcela Valladolid makes creamy pumpkin cheesecake – with squash!

Play Video - 3:39

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It's gotten to the point where plain ol' pumpkin recipes feel like a rarity, a novelty. A pumpkin's fate is usually being carved into a jack-o-lantern rather than baked into bread or puréed into a bisque. And we feel like that's a shame. So, here are 17 recipes that highlight the earthy, rich sweetness of pumpkin — real pumpkin.

Gooey caramel pumpkin bread pudding
Caramel Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Grace Parisi / TODAY
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12
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Could there really be anything more decadent than a cross between pumpkin pie and French toast?

Caroline V. / Yolo-Sole / TODAY Food Club

Brown butter whole wheat pumpkin pancakes

This perfectly pumpkin-y pile has hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. All it needs is a generous drizzle of some real maple syrup.

Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha) Cheesecake
Marcela Valladolid makes pumpkin cheesecake for fall
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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6-8
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The shards of pumpkin-brown sugar brittle take an already tasty treat to a whole other level. It's all in the details, right?

Ashley / Fit Mitten Kitchen / TODAY Food Club

Vegan sweet potato black bean pumpkin chili

This hearty autumnal meal comes together with pantry staples in just four hours in the crock pot — perfect for tailgating.

Lise Ode / Moms Loves Baking / TODAY Food Club

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting

The warm, cozy spices in these bars are brightened up with a thick slick of cream cheese frosting.

FOODBEAST / TODAY Food

Pumpkin and candied bacon sticky buns

Bacon makes everything better. So does pumpkin. So you can imagine what happens when the two of them join forces.

Chrissa / Physical Kitchness / TODAY Food Club

Pumpkin pie microwave soufflé

Soufflé sounds sophisticated, but did you know it could be accomplished in your trusty ol' microwave? This'll be your fanciest-yet-simplest breakfast ever.

Annette Zito / KitchAnnette / TODAY Food Club

Pumpkin bisque bliss

This is autumnal coziness in liquid form. You're going to want to dive right in.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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10
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Rich, creamy, classic. There's no beating it.

Shashi Charles / Runnin Srilankan / TODAY Food Club

Spiced pumpkin kiribath

You thought kiribath, Sri Lankan rice pudding, couldn't get any more comforting — then it got the pumpkin treatment.

Jan D'Atri / TODAY Food

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

It's a crispy, chewy, classic crowd-pleaser with a seasonal twist.

Leanngrunwald1 / WHAT'S COOKING?... WITH MAMA G / TODAY Food

Gooey pumpkin bread

Pair a thick slice with a cup of coffee, and your morning will be made.

Pumpkin Potato Hanukkah Latkes
Pumpkin Potato Hanukkah Latkes
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Give your typical potato pancakes a subtly sweet spin.

Pumpkin ice cream

Kellie Hemmerly / The Suburban Soapbox / TODAY Food

Feeling conflicted because you're going to miss summer but are also looking forward to fall? Here's your solution. The perfect bridge between seasons.

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
Healthy Pumpkin Spice Muffins recipe
Frances Largeman-Roth
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12 muffins
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Once you try these, you'll realize that, without that pumpkin purée, you've been eating dry muffins this entire time.

Happy Healthy Latina / TODAY Food Club

Chimichurri sauce over roasted spiced pumpkin & potato

As this recipe demonstrates, pumpkin's flavor is strong enough to stand up to the powerful force that is chimichurri. More savory pumpkin recipes like this, please!

Pumpkin cinnamon buns will rock your world
Gesine Bullock-Prado's recipes for pumpkin cinnamon buns and other pastries
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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Wait, cinnamon buns weren't already perfect? No, actually, they needed pumpkin. Now they're perfect.

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