Thai Pumpkin Custard

Nina Gallant / Getty Images
  • Total: 95 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6 or more
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
525 Calories
22g Fat
73g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 6 or more
Amount per serving
Calories 525
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 15g 77%
Cholesterol 312mg 104%
Sodium 180mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 73g 26%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 12g
Calcium 64mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This special Thai dessert is spectacular to look at and wonderful to eat. Makes a great Halloween or Thanksgiving dessert recipe and a nice alternative to pumpkin pie. Don't be put off by the long baking time—it's actually a really easy recipe to make!

A small pumpkin (or pumpkin-like squash) is filled with an easy Thai custard—a healthier and lower calorie version than traditional custard. Serve warm with a splash of maple syrup or brandy and a cup of strong tea or coffee.


  • 1 pumpkin (or squash that resembles a pumpkin, 6 to 7 inches tall by 8 to 9 inches wide)
  • 9 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Garnish: maple syrup (to serve as needed)
  • Optional: Brandy (or other liqueur)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.

  3. Wash and dry the pumpkin or squash. Cut a "lid" in the top, as you would do in order to carve a jack-o-lantern. Slice off the seedy part, so that you're left with a clean lid or hat. Set aside.

  4. Scoop out the seeds and "guts" of the pumpkin. Save seeds to roast or discard.

  5. Break eggs into a large mixing bowl. Using a fork or whisk, beat by hand until fluffy, about 1 minute.

  6. Add the coconut milk, vanilla, and half the sugar. Beat again for 1 minute, or until well mixed.

  7. Add remaining sugar, stirring to dissolve into the egg mixture. Note: This may seem like too much sugar, but the custard does need to be sweet in order to compensate for the slightly bitter taste of the pumpkin.

  8. Pour or ladle the egg mixture into the pumpkin. If you spill some on the outside of the pumpkin, wipe it away with a cloth. Fill to about 1/2 inch from the top of the rim. The egg mixture will rise a little out of the opening.

  9. Set the pumpkin and the lid beside it in a roasting pan. Pour a little water (1/4 to 1/2 inch) into the bottom of the pan. Carefully place in oven. Bake 1 hour and 30 minutes.

  10. After 45 minutes, the lid should be soft and cooked. Remove from oven and set aside.

  11. After an hour, you should see the custard rising like a bubble out of the pumpkin. After 90 minutes, or when the custard appears firm, try inserting a long cake tester down into the custard—it should come out clean. If the custard hasn't set, or if the pumpkin/squash is still too firm to eat, return to oven and bake another 15 minutes.

  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes.

  13. Using your hands, lift the pumpkin out and place on a plate. The pumpkin can be sliced and eaten when cool enough. Note: The custard may "drop" a little—this is normal.

  14. To serve, replace the lid of the pumpkin, or set it slightly askew so you can see the custard. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the pumpkin into slices and place them on serving plates (it is especially nice served warm). Pour a little maple syrup over each piece. If desired, you can also pour over a little brandy or other favorite liqueur. Another nice topping favorite of mine is caramel sauce.