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Pumpkin Caramel Sauce with Mini Shortbread

Here's a fun, autumn-spiced pumpkin caramel sauce that's full of flavour! I've paired the pumpkin caramel sauce with cute little buttery shortbread cookies and vanilla ice cream for a unique autumn dessert. You can add this sauce to specialty coffees, ice cream, cakes, or anything the heart desires.

* Make sure to read the entire blog post. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

Pumpkin Caramel Sauce

Fall has always been my favourite season which I’ve told all of you many times here on the blog.  I just love the crisp, fresh air; wearing cozy sweaters and the changing rich colours of nature. I’m consumed with the flavours that fall brings and I crave everything earthy and spicy like squashes, soups and of course pumpkin.  My kitchen is filled with warmth at this time of year and I look forward to firing up the oven after the long summer heat.

I’ve been trying to come up with something new and exciting for Thanksgiving. I normally like to stick to classic desserts and traditions like apple pie and of course pumpkin pie.

But I really wanted to try something new and decided on making something like a deconstructed version of a pumpkin pie. What I came up with was a really fun dessert; a pumpkin caramel sauce with mini shortbread cookies!

Pumpkin Caramel Sauce with Mini Shortbread Cookies
Pumpkin Caramel Sauce with Mini Shortbread Cookies

Easy Make Ahead Dessert

This dessert is a perfect make ahead treat that will free you up for getting the rest of your meal on the table and keeping your guests happy.  Plus it will be nice to surprise your guests with something a little different to finish off that lovely traditional turkey meal that you worked so hard on to perfect! 😉 It’s also light and you can make small or large portions.

How To Make This Dessert

I shaped the mini shortbread cookies in the cutest fall shapes of leaves and acorns. Then I placed them on a pile of ice cream and paired it with homemade pumpkin caramel sauce (poured all over the top)! 


Pumpkin Caramel Sauce

  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Whipping cream
  • Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie puree)
  • Ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Salt

Mini Shortbread Cookies

  • Unsalted butter
  • Icing sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Large crystal sugar (optional)
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
Pumpkin Caramel Sauce with Mini Shortbread Cookies

Happy Fall! 


Pumpkin Caramel Sauce

This is a fun, autumn spiced pumpkin caramel sauce full of flavour! Add sauce to specialty coffees, ice cream, cakes, and desserts. Easily freeze jars of pumpkin caramel sauce for a special sweet addition to your desserts.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 8 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 28 mins
  • Yield: approx. 2 cups
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: Canadian


Units Scale
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 (54 g) Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon each – ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot add sugar and cook over medium-low heat stirring often (be careful not to spread the sugar up the sides of the pot). The sugar will start to clump and then melt to a liquid. When the clumps have melted and the liquid is amber in colour (this can take about 7-12 minutes) add butter and stir until melted.
  2. Add half of the heavy whipping cream, stir, then add the rest. Mixture will bubble up as you add the whipping cream. Turn off the heat and then stir in pumpkin puree, spices, vanilla, and salt. Stir/whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour the caramel into a heat safe jar and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Store in the refrigerator. When ready to use re-heat until caramel is the desired consistency.


Pumpkin caramel sauce will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Do not leave sugar in the pot unattended on the stove, watch carefully as it will easily burn.
Caramel needs your full attention, do not try and do more than one thing. Read the entire recipe and get all your ingredients ready before you start.


  • Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
  • Calories: 82
  • Sugar: 6.4g
  • Sodium: 44mg
  • Fat: 6.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 6.6g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.1g
  • Cholesterol: 18mg

Keywords: Pumpkin Caramel Sauce, Sauce, Caramel, Treat, Fall Recipes, Thanksgiving

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie


Mini Shortbreads

These are the sweetest, butteriest mini shortbread cookies that make the perfect addition to any dessert. Switch up the cookie cutters for any occasion.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 3 dozen 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Cuisine: British


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • large crystal sugar for sprinkling on cookies (optional)


  1. In a mixer cream together butter and icing sugar. Add vanilla, and salt, mix to combine.
  2. Then add cornstarch and mix until smooth. Next add flour and continue to mix until combine.
  3. Shape dough into a disc and cover in plastic. Place dough in the fridge to firm up, approx. 20-30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 300˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  5. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured work surface approx. 1/4 inch think. Using a cookie cutter cut out leaves and place on prepared baking sheet (approx. 1 inch apart).
  6. Sprinkle cookies with large crystal sugar and bake for 20-30 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Note: baking time varies depending on size and thickness of your cookies, so watch carefully.


  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 39
  • Sugar: 0.8g
  • Sodium: 34mg
  • Fat: 2.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 3.6g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.3g
  • Cholesterol: 7mg

Keywords: Shortbread Cookies, Cookies, Thanksgiving, Treat, Dessert

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie


Can you freeze pumpkin caramel sauce?

Yes, store pumpkin caramel sauce in glass jars and freeze for up to 3 months. Let sauce come to room temperature or reheat sauce on the stovetop.

How can I use pumpkin caramel sauce?

Pumpkin caramel sauce can be used just as caramel sauce would be used. Add sauce to specialty drinks/coffee, top on ice cream, cakes, brownies, and other desserts.

How long will pumpkin caramel sauce last?

Pumpkin caramel sauce will last 2 weeks stored in the refrigerator. Place caramel in an airtight jar for best results.

You may also like:

Buttery Cinnamon Cookies

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1 year ago
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This is my favourite holiday recipe – I make it all the way through Christmas and put it on EVERYTHING. You will not be disappointed plus it’s super easy to make!!

1 year ago
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Can’t wait to try on thanksgiving. This is going to be my to make list! Thanks for the recipe.

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I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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