For the Hungry Crew

Here’s a tasty holiday recipe from our friend Carolyn Shearlock at

‘Tis the Season

I’ve always liked pumpkin pie, but it just seemed like too much of a hassle on the boat — having to make a crust and roll it out on the tiny counter, then refrigerating the pie in the tropical heat (how in the world would I keep it even semi-level?).

Instead, I made pumpkin squares.  For holidays, it’s still the traditional pumpkin flavor but just five minutes to mix up and then no worries about not refrigerating them.  I’ll admit it — while I enjoy cooking, I also enjoy lots of other things about cruising and don’t want to spend all my time in the galley . . . even over the holidays!

For topping, you can use a variety of things, depending on where you are:  whipped cream (a can is easy to store if you’ve got refrigeration or even a cooler); cream cheese frosting (easy if you can buy it pre-made, it’ll take about half a can); a dollop of sweetened yogurt, frozen yogurt or softened cream cheese on each square; or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  It’s even good plain.

Pumpkin Squares

Total time: 35 minutes

Serves: 9 to 16


  • 1/2 of a 15 or 16 ounce can of pumpkin
  • heaping 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil OR 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce plus 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice OR cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare an 8″ or 9″ square or round pan by greasing and flouring. Set aside.
  3. Mix pumpkin, sugar, oil and eggs together.
  4. Mix together the remaining ingredients and then add them to the pumpkin mixture and stir until batter is smooth.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth so it is level and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. When cool, cut in squares and add any desired toppings before serving.
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