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Pumpkin Fritters

Ariane Duarte's Pumpkin Gnocchi + Pumpkin-Brussels Sprouts Flatbread + Pumpkin Fritters
Ariane Duarte's Pumpkin Gnocchi + Pumpkin-Brussels Sprouts Flatbread + Pumpkin FrittersNathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

This recipe is all pumpkin all the time! The crispy fritters are made from fresh roasted pumpkin then they get a dip in sweet pumpkin caramel infused with homemade pumpkin butter.


Roasted Pumpkin
  • 1 2-pound pumpkin
  • 8 ounces butter, melted
  • 4 ounces brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pumpkin Butter
  • 1 2-pound pumpkin, peeled and diced large
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
Pumpkin Butter Caramel
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup pumpkin butter (recipe above)
  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin (recipe above)
  • cups flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg


For the roasted pumpkin:


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil.


Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Cut each half in half again.


Combine the butter, brown sugar and salt and pepper in a bowl. Brush the pumpkins all over.


Place on the prepared sheet pan and add 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Cover with aluminum and roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until fork tender.


Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove the meat with a spoon.

For the pumpkin butter:

Place all of the ingredients into a large sauté pan, cover with aluminum foil and cook slowly until pumpkin is very soft, approximately 25 minutes.

Carefully spoon or pour into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

For the pumpkin butter caramel:

Place the sugar and water in a medium sauce pot and slowly heat until sugar turns very light brown (do not stir the sugar as it is caramelizing). Add the heavy cream and pumpkin butter and stir until well incorporated.

For the fritters:


Preheat canola oil in a large pot or deep fryer to 400°F.


Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Combine the pumpkin butter, buttermilk and egg in another bowl and mix well. Slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.


Using a large spoon, carefully drop spoonful of batter into the oil and fry them for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the fritters from the oil and drain on paper towels.


Serve with pumpkin butter caramel sauce and powdered sugar.