With that gorgeous fall crispness in the air, I’m so excited to share this 3 ingredient pumpkin fluff recipe with you! This easy dessert requires no cooking skill, whips up in 5 minutes, and tastes great on its own, as a pie filling, or as a dip!
Pumpkin season is upon us, and it’s time to pull out all your favorite pumpkin recipes This super simple recipe is one of my go-to desserts, not only because I can put it together so fast (literally in under 5 minutes), but because it tastes so dang good. The combination of earthy pumpkin with sweet vanilla flavoring is to die for!
And this pumpkin fluff recipe is so verstatile. Need a pumpkin pie but don’t want to worry about water baths and cracks? This fluff becomes the perfect no-bake pie filling. Need a party dip? Gotcha covered. Want something light to eat out of the bowl while watching your favorite fall movie? No judgement here; this recipe is exactly what you’re looking for!
What’s in pumpkin fluff?
As with any recipe on this website, you’re only going to need a few simple ingredients! Two of these are shelf-stable, and one can stay in the freezer for months on end, so you can keep these ingredients around for whenever the snack attack hits.
- Canned Pumpkin Puree: Not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling (more on that below), this is the base of your fluff. It’s going to give you that delicious pumpkin flavor that makes this the perfect dessert for fall.
- Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix: Vanilla pudding mix adds the sweetness and some of the creaminess to this recipe. You’re going to want the larger, family size (5.1 oz) package.
- Cool Whip: Cool Whip is here to add a gorgeous lightness to your fluff. It also works alongside the vanilla pudding mix to add creaminess and sweetness.
- (Optional) Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice: While this recipe tastes great with only the base 3 ingredients, feel free to kick it up a notch by adding cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to bring out those warm autumn flavors.
Pumpkin Pie Filling vs Canned Pumpkin
For this recipe, you want to use canned pumpkin, and you do NOT want to use pumpkin pie filling. You might be asking yourself, what’s the big difference? They’re both pumpkin and they both come in cans. Why can’t I sub one for the other?
The big difference here is the flavorings and sugar. Canned pumpkin is technically a can of pumpkin puree. It’s just squished up pumpkin stuck in a can. When you use it, you get to decide how sweet you will make it or what spices you will add.
Pumpkin pie filling, on the other hand, comes with the sugar and spices already in. With the combination of the vanilla and Cool Whip in this recipe, a pre-sugared product like pumpkin pie filling can make your fluff too sweet.
That said, if you have an insatiable sweet tooth, you can consider making the substitution. Just consider yourself warned!
Making Pumpkin Fluff
Step 1 | Mix Ingredients
This might be the easiest recipe you’ll ever make. Just take your three ingredients (pumpkin purée, instant vanilla pudding mix, and Cool Whip) and mix them together in a large mixing bowl. You can do this with a wooden spoon or a hand mixer.
Step 2 | Chill
Cover your fluff and put it in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours. If you’re turning this into a pie, you can dump the pumpkin filling into the pie crust before covering and putting it in the fridge to chill.
Step 3 | Serve
Spoon the fluff out into bowls, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and serve!
- If you’re going to be hand-mixing, leave your Cool Whip out on the counter for a few minutes to let it soften. It will mix in much easier!
- Mix the pumpkin and pudding mix, then fold in the slightly softened Cool Whip to give your fluff an even lighter texture.
See an ingredient you don’t like? Want to mix things up a little? Here are some ideas for ways you can sub or change the recipe:
- For the vanilla pudding mix:
- Lighten things up or make this diabetic-friendly by subbing sugar-free pudding for the regular kind.
- Consider trying a new flavor of pudding. Butterscotch would be delicious here!
- For the Cool Whip:
- Use lite frozen whipped topping in place of regular to make this a little bit less calorific.
- Use sugar-free Cool Whip to make this a diabetic-friendly dessert.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but not particularly. As written, it’s full of sugar and comes in at 246 calories per serving. By subbing with sugar-free ingredients, you can make this low-calorie and can cut down on the sugar. Compared to many desserts, this one is a lighter option, although I wouldn’t consider it a health food.
No! All you need is a bowl and a spoon. Having a hand mixer or stand mixer makes this go a little faster, but you don’t need them at all to get a light, fluffy pumpkin dip!
Yes! As long as you use Jello brand vanilla instant pudding and Cool Whip brand frozen whipped topping, this recipe is completely gluten free. If you need to use another brand, make sure to double check. Not all pudding and whipped toppings are gluten free.
How to Serve Pumpkin Fluff
- As Pumpkin Pudding or Pumpkin Mousse: You can eat this by itself, just out of a bowl with a spoon (and you might have trouble stopping yourself!). I love mine topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- As a Pumpkin Pie Dip: Serve this in a large bowl with graham crackers, shortbread cookies, wafer cookies, gingersnaps, or any other favorite dippers at your next fall party!
- As an Easy No Bake Pumpkin Pie: Before chilling, pour your fluff into a pre-made graham cracker crust (or make your own using this recipe). Chill and then cut your super simple, creamy pumpkin pie!
What to do with leftovers
If you have any leftover dip (look at you with all that self-control!), you can store it in an airtight container for 3-5 days. When you’re ready to serve, just give the entire thing a whip with a spoon to bring back that fluffy, creamy texture.
Can I freeze pumpkin fluff?
I don’t recommend this. Freezing changes the texture of the fluff, and while it still tastes good, I just find the change off-putting.
3 Ingredient Pumpkin Fluff
- 15 oz can pumpkin purée
- 5.1 oz pkg vanilla instant pudding mix do NOT make the pudding!
- 8 oz Cool Whip
- Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
- Serve cold topped with whip cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon!