L.A.'s Best Seasonal Desserts, Plus An Easy Holiday Feast Recipe

We’d be lying if we didn’t admit that one of the best parts of the holiday season is diving spoon first into our favorite pumpkin-flavored desserts. Whether it’s a spiced cupcake or something decidedly more gourmet, L.A.’s flourishing food scene is the gourd go-to for all things yummy. And, with the mounting pile of holiday dinner and cocktail party invites awaiting you, these sweet treats are the perfect "thank you" gift for a hostess, contribution to an office party, or the happy ending to that autumn apartment dinner. If you don't feel like buying ready-made (you overachiever, you), The Kitchy Kitchen's Claire Thomas has got an easy-to-whip-up the ultimate pumpkin recipe. So dig in, but remember to spread the holiday cheer (and calories) to all of your friends, fam, and…editors!
1. Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Sandwich at Coolhaus Ice Cream Truck:
Nothing will get you into the seasonal spirit quite like the pumpkin pie ice cream sandwich from Coolhaus Ice Cream Truck. Try it between two double chocolate chip cookies and you won’t regret you did.
Coolhaus, for truck location follow them on Twitter; 310-424-5559.
2. Pumpkin Pecan Mini Cheesecake at Magnolia Bakery
Forget the cupcakes and the banana pudding—it’s all about the pumpkin pecan mini cheesecake with a ginger snap crust for the holiday season. It’s rich, smooth, sweet, and tastes just like the holidays should.
Magnolia Bakery, 8389 West 3rd Street (at South Orlando Avenue); 323-951-0636.
3. Pumpkin Donut at Fōnuts
Los Angeles is no stranger to the donut shop, but only a few spots in the city can boast gluten free goodies that are as delish as Fōnuts. Don’t miss out on their seasonal Pumpkin donut for one of the most scrumptious treats in town.
Fōnuts, 8104 West 3rd Street (at South Crescent Heights Boulevard); 323-592-3075.
4. Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt at Yogurtland
It’s an L.A. holiday tradition! Fill your cup with Pumpkin Pie fro yo, a few spoonfuls of granola, and a dash of graham cracker crumbs for a delightful (and semi-healthy) treat!
Yogurtland, to find their multiple Southern California locations visit their site .
5. Ginger Pumpkin Pie at Simplethings Sandwich & Pie Shop
This Ginger Pumpkin Pie is heavenly—light, creamy, with a pop of ginger, and topped with a dollop of whipped cream. It comes in a “cutie pie” (3 inches), “simple pie” (5 inches), or “big pie” (9 inches) size—now really isn’t the time to scrimp!
Simplethings Sandwich & Pie Shop, 8310 West 3rd Street (at South Sweetzer Avenue); 323-592-3390.
6. The Vanilla Frosted Pumpkin Loaf at Babycakes
The perfect pumpkin treat to go with a cup of tea or coffee. Sweet with a dense and moist crumb, this loaf makes the perfect seasonal bite.
Babycakes, 30 East 6th Street (at South Main Street); 213-623-5555.
7. Pumpkin Spice Pancake at John O'Groats
Don't lie, if you could eat pumpkin pie for breakfast, you totally would. And it seems like John O'Groats has answered our wish by making fluffy, delicious spiced pumpkin pancakes covered in maple syrup.
John O'Groats, 10516 West Pico Boulevard (at Patricia Avenue); 310-204-0692.
8. The Pumpkin Custard at Saladang Song
"Pumpkin custard dessert" is such a humble title for such an out-of-this-world dish. Served in a fist-sized pumpkin with the center scooped out and replaced by a coconut pumpkin custard, this dessert is the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and a touch of Thai.
Saladang Song, 383 South Fair Oaks Avenue (at East Del Mar Avenue); 626-793-5200.
Spiced Pumpkin Muffins with Fig Honey Butter
These should be called fall vegetable muffins, but the flavor is like a cross between carrot cake and pumpkin pie, so Spiced Pumpkin muffins is a bit more fitting. The fig honey butter is the perfect earthy compliment to these moist, delicately textured treats. A word to the wise, just pulse the carrots and butternut squash in a food processor rather than grating them. It might not look grated, but it has the same effect in the cake and is a hell of a lot easier then sitting there and grating all of it yourself. Enjoy!
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups olive oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shelled pecans, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup of finely grated carrots
1 cup grated butternut squash
1 cup of canned, pureed pumpkin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside. With a mixer, beat the eggs until frothy and pale. Gradually add the sugar and beat for a few minutes, until the batter is thick. Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and pumpkin alternatively and beat on low just until incorporated. Add the veg, pecans, and coconut and mix just to combine. Pour into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.
For Fig Honey Butter
5 ripe figs, halved
1 bunch rosemary
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch sage
olive oil
8 oz butter, softened
3 tablespoons honey
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a casserole dish scatter the herbs on the bottom. Place the figs on top of the herbs, face side up. Drizzle the whole thing with a little olive oil and pop in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the figs a plump and juicy. Let the figs cool and add them, the butter, and honey to a food processor and pulse until combined. To store, roll in wax paper, secure the ends, and refrigerate. Smear it on everything and anything.

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