If you love the taste of pumpkin pie but hate the effort it takes to peel, deseed, chop, steam and mash the pumpkin (before you even get started, mind you!) – this recipe for sweet stuffed pumpkin is for you!  If you aren’t a fan of pumpkin in desserts (or at all), you may just be intrigued to try this (or at least read it) when you realise this rice and pear pudding stuffed pumpkin contains all 5 food groups in one pretty reasonably healthy dessert.  Saying that, I liked serving this with ice cream just to defeat the notion of it being 100% healthy and in my humble opinion … ice cream does make most desserts better.  :p

Even though I made this back in July at the peak of pumpkin season in Australia and at a time when a nice warm and comforting desert was in order due to the chilly nights, I was only inspired to blog about it this week when I came across an article on serious eats that mentioned custard filled baked pumpkin was a traditional desert in Cambodia. I did not know that! The Cambodian dish is known locally as NUM SANG KHYA L’PEOU.  The pumpkin is scooped out and filled with a mixture of egg yolk, coconut milk and palm sugar before being steamed or baked and served with coconut cream.

Therefore, I was amazed at how similar it was to my July creation when I simply challenged myself to make a dessert that covered all 5 food groups during my instagram challenge associated with the release of my eBook (Afternoon Tea: The Next Most Important Meal of the Day).

  1. Egg (Meat and Meat Alternatives)
  2. Pear (Fruit)
  3. Pumpkin (I’m calling it Vegetable – now don’t get all technical with me!)
  4. Rice (Cereals and Grains)
  5. Milk (Dairy)

Finally, I thought I’d share it with you now in honour of this week’s #teachthemtheworld challenge by the world and kids.  Bailee talked about Angkor Wat, Cambodia, in her vlog this week. You can have a watch here:

Variety of pumpkin to use:

My recommendation (and what we call them in Australia) are Jap pumpkins.  You could also use small Kent and baby Queensland blue pumpkin varieties.  A large Queensland Blue (nearly 5kg) and Jarrahdale pumpkin would be best cut through the belly. Using these whole large pumpkins would take much longer to bake and I wouldn’t be guaranteeing consistency of the pudding. I’ve based the recipe on having a cavity of about 1 cup in size. If butternut pumpkin (sometimes known as squash) is your only pumpkin option, that should work fine – just use lop off the top and use bottom part (that can be hollowed out) if it were standing on it’s base.

Although the picture shows the lid of the pumpkin, it cooks quicker without the lid on.  I baked the lid alongside for the effect of the picture.  I also toasted the cleaned up pumpkin seeds with some coconut oil, cinnamon and brown sugar.  The crunch they give to the dessert as a topping is awesome for sensory cravers like me!  Kids that like crunchy or sweet foods may even be tempted to learn about these sweet pumpkin seeds.  My girls love toasted pumpkin seeds as a snack so I never throw the seeds away.  If you do toast up the pumpkin seeds alongside baking the sweet stuffed pumpkin, and want to eat them another time, keep them very dry in an airtight container at room temperatures (not in the fridge) and consume them within a few days.

Pear and Rice Pudding Stuffed Pumpkin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
5 food groups in one dessert!
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 6 serves
  • 1 Full Jap Pumpkin (see note above about pumpkin varieties to use - This recipe is based on the cavity being approximately 1 cup in size)
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tbsp Basmati Rice
  • 1 Very Ripe Pear, peeled and cubed to about 1cm x 1cm (about ½ a cup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon or All Spice (depending on your flavour preference)
  • Milk
  1. Cut the lid off of the pumpkin and scoop the seeds out of the middle
  2. Preheat the oven to 180oC
  3. Prepare a baking tray
  4. Rub the inside of the hollowed out pumpkin with the brown sugar
  5. In a small bowl combine the egg, rice, pear, vanilla and cinnamon.
  6. Add this to the inside of the pumpkin and top up with milk.
  7. Bake for at least 1hr (checking to see when the pumpkin is cooked through and the filling has also cooked through). Use a skewer to check the pumpkin is cooked.
  8. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into wedges to allow the rice pudding to fully set.
  9. Optional (but highly recommended): Serve with icecream :p


I hope you enjoy making this.  If you like pumpkin desserts, this is the link to my Honey and Pumpkin Baked Donuts.  Or if you don’t have a sweet tooth or you are looking for something easy to make with the lopped off top of your butternut, this is a simple tomato, basil and pumpkin soup recipe that my kids love dunking into with garlic bread.

What do you like to bake with pumpkin?

x Simone


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