4 Homemade Upgrades to Your Store Bought Pumpkin Pie

Take it easy this Thanksgiving with the convenience of a store bought dessert and the impressive flair of homemade flavor.

Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

This blend of two fall coffeehouse favorites will have you playing your own barista.

Cinnamon chai spice and everything nice makes for a tasty take on the classic pumpkin spice latte.

When the line in Starbucks is just too long, don’t you just wish you could make your own pumpkin spice latte? Take one super-spiced sip of this take on the PSL topped with maple-sweetened whipped cream and you’ll be addicted!

Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte

Recipe by Shanna Schad

Prep: 10 minutes
Simmer: 10–15 minutes

Serves 2

For the whipped cream:
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup

For the latte:
1 cup prepared, sweetened chai tea concentrate (like Oregon Chai or Tazo)
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Whole star anise, to serve (optional)

1. For the whipped cream: In a medium mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Add in the maple syrup and whip again. Taste and add more maple syrup if desired. Chill until ready to use.

2. For the latte: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the chai concentrate, milk, pumpkin purée and vanilla extract. Whisking constantly, heat the mixture until it just reaches a simmer. Taste for preferred sweetness, adding more milk if needed. (You can strain out the pumpkin purée at this point if you prefer.)

3. Pour the latte into Irish coffee cups or large mugs, top with whipped cream, a sprinkling of ground cinnamon and a star anise if desired. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Spice Bundt With Maple Glaze

With a glaze infused with bourbon, this cake is about to become your new fall favorite.

Beautiful and boozy, this pumpkin spice bundt cake will be the perfect centerpiece for your fall table.

That crispness you sense in the air means it’s time to start thinking about your fall baking plans. If you’ve got a beautiful bundt pan you’ve been itching to use, pull it down from the top shelf and get to making this amazing crowd-pleasing cake.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake with Bourbon Maple Glaze

Recipe by Jonathan Melendez

Makes 8 to 12 servings

For the filling:
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

For the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

For the glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 tablespoon milk
chopped pecans, for topping


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. Set aside.

2. To make the filling, in a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix with your hands until the butter is brown down into coarse crumbs the size of peas. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the pumpkin purée and mix until evenly incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating between the sour cream and dry ingredients.

4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Top with the filling and then add the remaining batter, making sure to spread it out evenly. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 30 minutes in the pan. Run a knife along the edges and middle and then carefully invert onto a cake plate or stand. Allow to cool down completely.

5. To make glaze, whisk all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. If too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar, or if too thick, add a splash more milk. Pour the glaze over the cake and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Cut and serve.

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake

It's all of your favorite flavors rolled into one incredibly decadent statement dessert.

Even if you aren’t the biggest cheesecake fan, trust us—this one is irresistible.

Thick, velvety and rich, this king of all pumpkin cheesecakes sits atop a royal crust made of irresistible chocolate cookie. Top it all off with a salted caramel sauce and you’ve got a decadent experience for even the most discerning pumpkin aficionado.

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake

Recipe by Jonathan Melendez

Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 70 minutes
Cool: 30 minutes
Chill: 1–2 hours

Serves 8–12

For the crust:
25–30 chocolate wafers
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

For the cheesecake:
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk

For the salted caramel:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toffee pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cover the outside of a 10-inch spring-form pan with aluminum foil. Place in the freezer until ready to use.

2. For the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the wafers and sugar. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the butter, and then pulse once more to combine. The resulting mixture should be wet. Pour it into the prepared pan, and press down to form an even crust, just barely coming up the sides of the pan. Place the pan back in the freezer.

3. For the cheesecake: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice, and stir until evenly combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the milk.

4. For the salted caramel: In a large saucepan, mix the sugar and water until combined, and then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, untouched, for about 3 minutes, or until deep amber in color. Stir in the heavy cream (it will splatter a bit) and continue to whisk until fully combined. Stir in the butter, vanilla and salt. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

5. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour in half of the caramel on the bottom. Sprinkle with half of the toffee pieces and then pour in the cheesecake batter. Bake for about 70 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center is somewhat firm. (It should still jiggle a bit.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Chill before serving.

6. To serve, pour the remaining salted caramel on top and sprinkle with the remaining toffee pieces. Cut and serve with whipped cream.

Carnival Glass from the Early 1900s

An introduction to history's most whimsical servingware.

Orange lusterware on display

If you’ve ever been to a flea market or vintage fair, you’ve undoubtedly passed by a glistening piece of carnival glass. Produced from the early 1900s to as recently as 2011, carnival glass is easy to identify thanks to its iridescent finish.

What Is It?

Simply put, carnival glass is pressed glass that has an iridescent coating. The glass was poured into a patterned mold, pressed into shape and then sprayed with liquid metallic salts—creating its iconic iridescent coating. This simple process allowed for approximately 2,000 patterns to be made by multiple manufacturers, many of which are very similar and therefore difficult to differentiate.

Lusterware coffee mugs in blue, orange and green
Iridescent finishes were also applied to milk glass and its not-so-distant cousin, moonstone glass.

A Colorful History

Most collectors agree that Fenton Art Glass Company was the first to produce this collectible, what they originally introduced as “Venetian Art.” The beauty of this iridescent line of glassware caused Northwood Glass Company, Imperial Glass Company, Dugan Glass Company, Millersburg Glass Company and more to make their own versions of the shiny glass.

Despite its inexpensive production process, iridescent glass was originally sold for top dollar—but consumers weren’t willing to pay. With diminished value and lack of interest, the glass eventually became commonplace and inexpensive at carnivals, and a profitable market was finally found. Sold in five-and-dime stores and given away as prizes and promotions in packages of food and household products as well as in local stores, iridescent glass became a beautiful but affordable household item.

Competition led manufacturers to develop new colors and unique iridescent treatments. Orange was exceedingly popular. Makers developed their own take or finish, resulting in a range of hues from marigold to peach. Northwood became known for amethyst, cobalt blue, pastels and icy blue and green pieces.

Imperial’s biggest successes were purple, Helios (a silver-like finish on green glass), and smoke (an iridescent gray finish applied to clear glass). Red was the specialty of Fenton and experienced the height of its popularity in the 1920s.


End of an Era

With the start of the Great Depression, production of iridescent glass halted. It started to become collectible following the end of World War II, when iridescent glassware became commonly known as “carnival glass.” In the early 1960s, Imperial began rereleasing some of its patterns, followed by Fenton in 1970. New patterns emerged, but Imperial ceased production once again in the mid- 1980s. Fenton produced a limited number of items until its closure in 2011.



Royal Icing Basics

Master this traditional (and simple) icing technique and have incredible holiday cookies every time.

Royal Icing Technique
Water down the same recipe used for the outline to “flood” the inside of the design.

Seen around pretty much every holiday, royal iced cookies are particularly popular at Christmastime. From delicate intricacies to creative versatility, the art of royal icing is easy to pick up and rather difficult to perfect. This hard-drying icing is one recipe used in two different stages to create amazing and delicious edible cookie art.

Basic Royal Icing

Prep: 2 minutes
Makes 1 cup

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon water
Food coloring (optional)

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix until icing is thick and smooth.
  2. Stir in food coloring, adding small amounts at a time to make your perfect shade.
  3. Adjust the consistency with small amounts of water to thin or powdered sugar to thicken.

Royal Icing Holiday Cookies
These vintage knit patterns are anything but “ugly Christmas sweater.”

To Decorate Baked Cookies

1. Mix up a thick batch of icing (recipe follows), making an easily piped icing to outline the design of your cookie. Let it set completely.

2. Gradually add water to the thick icing until it is a more liquid consistency. Using a spoon, “flood” the inside of the outline with the icing.

3. From here, you can add swirls of color to the wet icing, or let the icing set completely before piping designs on top with colored thick icing.

4. Royal icing works well with sprinkles of all types as well, so get creative and let your cookies shine!



The Best Pumpkin Pie Topping

Top things off with the classic fall dessert: pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin pie with bourbon caramel topping and gold dragées.
Want to skip the bourbon and go for a classic caramel flavor? Swap it out with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

It’s pumpkin season! As you savor your pumpkin spice latte and make your pumpkin soup, don’t forget to top things off with the quintessential fall dessert: pumpkin pie. We could have kept it unadorned for a classic look, but instead, we opted for decadence with bourbon caramel topping. Even better? You’ve got options! This sauce is only one of four recipes for elevating a store-bought pie with home-made flavor!

Roasted pepitas give this decadent pie a rustic look and a hint of salty flavor
Roasted peptitas are an excellent alternative to gold dragées. Choose these for a hint of salt with your caramel and a more rustic look to the pie.

Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Caramel Topping

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼–½ teaspoon Kosher salt (depending on salt preference)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup bourbon (optional)
  • Pumpkin pie, homemade or store bought
  • Gold dragées, for decoration or roasted pepitas
Rich flavors call for thin slices.

What You’ll Do:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium, heat the sugar, butter and salt until the butter melts and the sugar darkens around the edges, 3–4 minutes.
  2. Whisking constantly, slowly stream in the cream until well combined (some sugar will seize at first). Let the mixture simmer until it begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the bourbon and simmer until the mixture is just below the soft-ball stage (200–225°F) on a candy thermometer, another 10 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it rest for 1 minute before pouring it on top of the pie, tilting to spread the caramel to the crust.
  4. Let the caramel set for 5 minutes; then sprinkle on gold dragées or pepitas. Let pie chill for 1 hour before serving.

The Best Pumpkin Soup Recipe to Celebrate Fall

Friends, it's pumpkin time again.

Pumpkin season is officially here once more, so ring in the fall with a delicious, savory soup. This flavorful pumpkin soup recipe will warm up your soul and even match your classic Transferware!


Pumpkin Soup with Molasses and Feta

Savory, creamy and full of flavor, this tasty pumpkin soup gets a dash of sweetness from a drizzle of molasses and a salty punch from crumbled feta.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30-35 minutes

Serves 6

What you’ll need:

1½ tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
4 cups ½-inch cubes peeled and seeded pumpkin (or substitute 3 cups pumpkin purée)
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
5-6 cups chicken broth
Blackstrap molasses, to serve
Sage sprigs, to serve
Feta cheese, crumbled, to serve

What you’ll do:

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add onions, carrots, celery and sage and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add pumpkin cubes and sea salt and sauté until pumpkin is softened and onions are golden, about 6 minutes. (If using pumpkin purée, just add the sea salt at this stage.)
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add 5 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. (Add in purée, if using.)
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the pumpkin very soft, about 25 minutes. (For purée, cook for only 15 minutes.) Let cool slightly.
  5. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a standard blender, purée the soup until mostly smooth texture. If consistency is too thick, add in another cup of chicken broth. Season soup with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve, ladle out soup into bowls. Using a spoon, drizzle or swirl some molasses on top of the soup. Finish with a sprig of fresh sage and a sprinkling of feta cheese.



A Vintage Country Kitchen Transformation

Vintage Country Kitchen
A combination of well-curated collectibles and basic furniture pieces balances this texture-packed dining area.

There’s something about a rustic country kitchen that lends a homey touch to one of the most-used rooms in your home. From colorful floral touches to simple and clean furniture pieces for balance, getting everyone together for breakfast and supper will be a delight.

5 Ways to Get the Look:

  • Cottage Dining Set. Start off with the perfect dining table and chairs. Simple farmhouse styles add the right amount of rustic flair while an all-white finish keeps its simple enough to set the stage for all colors, patterns and textures. We love this Cottage Road Dining Table ($179.99) and these Empire Side Chairs ($153.99) from Wayfair.
  • Floral Tablecloth. Beautiful linens do more than just keep your tabletop clean. With a variety of floral patterns, you can tie together your collectibles and your color scheme with the perfect tablecloth. For the best balance, go for a pattern with a lot of white space, like this Pink Morning Glory on Aqua Trellis Vintage Printed Tablecloth ($40) from The Vintage Table.
  • Red Transferware. Whether it’s a collection of dishes, creamers or tureens, this red-patterned china is distinctively country. Try your luck at the fleas or browse the large selection of patterns and pieces at nancysdailydish.net (prices vary).
  • Vintage Signage. Capture that country-store look by incorporating a weathered shop sign into your dining area. Stay on topic with Pepsicola or Coca Cola signs or general food-related pieces, like window ads or menus. If you’re not lucky enough to have a real vintage sign, you can find some great reproductions around, like this school lunch menu ($15.99), fresh and local seafood sign ($14.99) or this Pepsi dinner menu board ($64.99) from Retro Planet.
  • Painted Toleware Tray. Beautiful, hand-painted vintage trays are oftentimes a work of art in and of themselves, so display your favorites on the wall just like a painting! Pieces like this Vintage Painted Toleware Tray ($65) or this Painted Lattice Work Tray ($18) from Etsy tie together the floral patterns, color palette and dining theme.