As that fall time of year rolls around, pumpkin pudding shots bring that classic pumpkin spice flavor in a fun way. These shots are so easy to make and take just 10 minutes to put together!
This is one of those great pumpkin recipes with simple ingredients and big flavors, like these easy pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin banana bread, or these fun Caramel Apple Jello Shots.
Made with real pumpkin and vanilla pudding, plus a splash of vodka for boozy fun, these eats will be a hit at your next fall get-together.
Now before you go running off because these are boozy, if you don't want them to contain alcohol, simply leave it out! You'll see how to do that in the recipe card.
These pumpkin pudding shots are easy to make with only a few ingredients and minimal prep work. But the delicious burst of fall flavors will make it a favorite for guests at Halloween, Thanksgiving, or any autumn gathering! (It tastes just like a homemade baked pumpkin pie.)
Why This Recipe Works
Who doesn’t love that classic pumpkin spice flavor? It immediately warms you to the core on a chilly fall day.
This easy recipe captures that flavor but without being overpowering. It’s creamy, boozy, flavorful, and fun.
Even better, it’s a quick recipe. You can whip up a batch of this easy dessert in minutes and have it ready to serve after chilling for less than an hour! It makes a wonderful last-minute treat when friends stop by.
What Goes Into This Recipe
1. Vanilla pudding No need to be fancy here – your favorite brand of instant vanilla pudding mix will work. We used French, but the real flavor is going to come from the pumpkin. This is just here to provide the creamy pudding texture. (Note: You can add a little bit of vanilla extract if you want even more vanilla flavor.)
2. Pumpkin puree. For this recipe, canned pumpkin puree works best. Fresh may have a lot of water in it, making this food more difficult to set. If you are using homemade pumpkin puree, it’s a good idea to add a bit of corn starch or arrowroot starch to thicken up the puree if you find it too runny.
3 Vodka. Although plain vodka works great, you can also get creative with flavored vodka. Find whatever flavor profile works for you!
See recipe card for quantities and full directions.
How to Make this Recipe
Add the vanilla instant pudding mix, milk, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl.
Whisk together and stir in the vodka.
Pour the pudding mixture into shot glasses or parfait glasses.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to set.
These plastic cups with lids are perfect for transporting!
Variations of Pudding Shots
Change up the alcohol. Vodka works great in this recipe, but you can use so many other kinds for different tastes. Ramp up the cinnamon with Fireball whisky. Get a rich flavor with dark rum. Make them even creamier with Baileys. This is a simple recipe that makes it possible to experiment.
Banana Pudding Shots. Instead of vanilla pudding, use banana pudding and instead of pumpkin puree, use mashed bananas. Garnish with a Nilla wafer for that old-school banana pudding flavor you loved as a kid.
Chocolate Pudding and Peanut Butter Shots. Use chocolate pudding instead of vanilla, and omit the pumpkin puree. Use a peanut butter vodka instead of plain vodka and you’ve got that classic flavor combination.
Coconut Cream Pudding Shots. Like coconut cream pie? Substitute flaked coconut for the pumpkin puree and use coconut cream pudding. For an over-the-top coconutty flavor, use coconut rum or top with a bit of coconut sugar, too.
Vegan-Friendly Pudding Shots. If you’re looking to make these free from animal products and vegan-friendly, simply swap out the milk for an alternative like rice milk, oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk.
If you used higher-proof alcohol or more alcohol than the recipe suggests, you may find that the pudding won’t set or will be a bit runny. This is one case where you’ll want to measure instead of just adding a slosh!
Once they are made, they can last in the fridge for up to a week. But ideally, you’ll make them only a day or two in advance so they don’t absorb any flavors from other foods in the fridge.
Absolutely! In fact, if you grew up on pudding pops, you may prefer to eat these frozen. You can freeze them and then thaw in the fridge before serving time, or just eat them frozen.
Top Expert Tips
If you’re going to be transporting the pudding shots to another location, freeze them first and transport them in a cooler. This smart idea will make sure they stay good and yummy on the way to your destination.
Did you add a little too much boozy goodness and now the pudding shots won’t set? Just mix in a bit of whipped cream to help them get to the right consistency.
Love pumpkin spice? Add extra pumpkin spice into the recipe! Not as much of a fan? You can reduce the pumpkin spice or eliminate it in the pudding, and then just put a light dusting on top before serving or just top with a graham cracker or fall sprinkles!
More Delicious Pumpkin Recipes
Pumpkin Pudding Shots
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix 3.4 ounces
- ¾ cup cold milk use 1 ¼ cup of milk if you are not using vodka
- ½ cup vodka skip if you are not making these boozy!
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp. pumpkin spice
- Optional: dippers – I used cinnamon and sugar graham crackers
- Combine all ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl.
- Add in vanilla pudding mix, milk, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice and whisk to fully combine.
- Add in vodka if you are making these boozy.
- Refrigerate for 45 minutes to fully set, top with whipped cream and toppers and serve.