Pumpkin Cornbread with Sugared Walnut Topping takes classic cornbread and turns it into a tasty Fall dessert for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Add pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice seasoning, and milk to Jiffy corn muffin mix to create this delicious and easy twist on plain cornbread! Serve at holiday dinners or enjoy as a cozy Fall treat any day of the week.
I am excited to share this easy Pumpkin Cornbread with Sugared Walnut Topping recipe with you.
It's full of pumpkin spice flavor and is a little more moist and cakelike than traditional cornbread.
If you're looking for a new recipe to add to your Thanksgiving dessert table too, make this pumpkin cornbread be it! Top it with a few swirls of walnut topping, and it'll look decadent on your dessert (or appetizer) table.
It's an easy recipe made with a few simple ingredients. The trick for keeping it simple is to use Jiffy corn muffin mix, canned pumpkin puree, and a store bought pumpkin spice mix.
It can be baked in the oven and ready in under 30 minutes, or air fried in about half the time.
To make pumpkin cornbread you need:
- Jiffy corn muffin mix
- Pumpkin puree: store bought for ease, or use homemade puree.
- Pumpkin spice mix: or a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
- Crushed or chopped walnuts
- Brown sugar
We are keeping this recipe super simple by using Jiffy corn muffin mix. But if you have a homemade cornbread recipe and want to use that instead, go for it!
There are a few ways to vary this pumpkin cornbread recipe that will not change how delicious the outcome is. You can:
- Make pumpkin cornbread muffins.
- Use homemade cornbread mix instead of Jiffy.
- Use homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned, or a butternut or acorn squash puree.
- Make it dairy-free by using almond milk, oat milk, soy milk or lactose-free milk.
- Make it egg-free by using a flax egg.
- Substitute the walnuts with almonds, hazelnuts, or even dried cranberries.
- Leave the walnut topping off entirely.
With any of the variations, you'll still get a beautiful orange cornbread that tastes like a pumpkin-filled Thanksgiving!
Pumpkin cornbread is made in 3 easy steps, whether it's being oven-baked or cooked in the air fryer.
STEP 1: Grease a pie plate generously with butter or cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice mix, milk and egg.
STEP 2: Add the corn muffin mix and stir until combined.
STEP 3: Pour into the pie plate and let sit for 3 minutes while making the walnut topping. At this point, preheat the oven or air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
STEP 4: While the oven is preheating, make the walnut topping. In a small bowl, combine the walnuts and brown sugar.
Now, based on your preferred cooking method, follow the instructions below.
Oven Baked Instructions
Sprinkle over the cornbread batter in any pattern you'd like, or no pattern at all. I sprinkle mine in a swirl.
Place into the preheated oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Air Fryer Instructions
The difference between the air fryer and oven is the cook time and temperature. Plus, the walnut topping should be added when it's almost done cooking to prevent the walnuts from burning.
Once the air fryer is heated, put the cornbread into the air fryer without the walnut topping. Set the time to 10 minutes.
With 5 minutes left, add the walnut topping.
Check the cornbread with a toothpick when the 10 minutes is up, and cook in 2 minute increments if not cooked through.
Let the pumpkin cornbread cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Or enjoy it as a simple dessert cornbread with your family, no special occasion necessary.
Pumpkin cornbread should be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days. This makes it a great dessert to make ahead during the busy holiday baking and cooking rush.
Pumpkin Cornbread with Sugared Walnut Topping
- Grease a pie plate generously with butter or cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice mix, milk and egg.
- Add the cornbread mix and stir until combined. Pour into the pie plate and spread out evenly. At this point, preheat the oven or air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While preheating, make the walnut topping. In a small bowl, combine the walnuts and brown sugar. Then proceed with your preferred method below.
- Sprinkle the walnut topping over the cornbread batter in any pattern you'd like. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
AIr Fryer Method
- Once the air fryer is heated, put the cornbread into the air fryer without the walnut topping. Set the time to 10 minutes.
- With 5 minutes left, add the walnut topping. Check the cornbread with a toothpick when the 10 minutes is up, and cook in 2 minute increments if not cooked through.
- Let cool 5 minutes before serving.