in , ,

Piloncillo and Pumpkin Recipe

Pumpkin in syrup1

Sharing is caring!

Pumpkin in syrupCalabaza en Jarabe is pumpkin in syrup. This is a tasty old-fashioned Mexican dessert that you can serve for Halloween or any time in late summer or autumn.

Piloncillo is the traditional cone shape of unrefined sugar commonly used in Mexican cooking. Piloncillo (which means little pylon) is made when sugar cane is crushed, the juice is collected and boiled then poured into pylon-shaped molds.

Piloncillo is hard. It requires grating, chiseling or pounding, but the flavor is intense.

Try this calabaza en jarabe, pumpkin in piloncillo syrup, with apple slices or cream or both.

Piloncillo and Pumpkin

Yield 6-8 servings


  • 1 two-pound pumpkin
  • 1 pound piloncillo (or ½ pound each light and dark brown sugar)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch salt


  1. Cut pumpkin into wedges. Remove seeds and strings. Cut wedges into 1½ to 2-inch pieces; peel.
  2. Place piloncillo inside a double plastic bag and pound—you might need a hammer–to break up (or substitute the light and dark brown sugar).
  3. Cut off ends of orange, then cut into thin slices.
  4. In a 3-quart saucepan, layer peeled pumpkin pieces, broken up piloncillo or brown sugars and orange slices. Add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, water and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer gently 2 hours. Boil gently uncovered 30 to 40 minutes longer to reduce syrup. Do not stir.

Courses Dessert

Squash articles at Harvest to Table:

How to Grow Summer and Winter Squash

How to Plant and Grow Pumpkins

Squash Seed Starting Tips

Pumpkin Seed Starting Tips

How to Harvest and Store Summer Squash

How to Harvest, Cure, and Store Winter Squash

How to Harvest and Store Pumpkins

Eight Ways to Cook and Serve Summer Squash

Seven Ways to Cook and Serve Winter Squash

Five Ways to Cook Pumpkins

How to Make Pumpkin Ice Cream

How to Make Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin With Coconut Curry

Piloncillo and Pumpkin

How to Cook and Serve Squash Blossoms

Squash Growing Problems: Troubleshooting

Squash Vine Borer Organic Pest Control

Squash Bug Organic Pest Control

Corn, Beans, and Squash: The Three Sisters

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

How To Grow Tomatoes

How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes

Fritters corn1

Vegetable Fritters and Tempura

Mushroom oyster sauteed1

Oyster Mushroom Sautéed in Garlic