How to make pumpkin fritters

8.3.21 | Recipe by Renz

If you ever wanted to figure out how to make pumpkin fritters, then this easy recipe is for you. This Caribbean-style fritter uses fresh pumpkin and aromatic spices to create the perfect breakfast or snack.

Pumpkin fritters drizzled with icing sugar on a white plate with a green napkin

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We just love using pumpkins in the Caribbean. I mean we use it in soups, make drinks, ice creams, and even desserts. Sooo delicious!

These Caribbean pumpkin fritters can be the perfect breakfast option or as a snack.

And then they become even more amazing dusted with some powdered sugar just like I do with my banana fritters.

The main pumpkin we have in the Caribbean is called calabaza. It is also referred to as the West Indian pumpkin.

It is a winter squash that comes in various sizes. You can find some very small ones to some as large as watermelons. The color on the inside can vary from light orange to a very deep orange color.

I find personally, that the ones I get here in Florida are not as sweet in taste as the ones I used to get back in Tobago.

They are extremely difficult to peel and cut up. They are very firm in texture and the skin is thin. So you have to be careful when peeling them.

They are a few places that sell it already cut up, but not peeled, but that's a good start.

If you do happen to get a whole calabaza, I suggest first cutting it into half, or even pieces that are more manageable to handle. Then using a knife, cut the skin off carefully. Then cut those pieces into smaller cubes.

Peeled and cubed calabza pumpkin

Ingredients for pumpkin fritters

Cutting up is the hardest part. After that, it's an easy road.

As is typical, a lot of our recipes use a lot of basic pantry items. We hardly really use fancy ingredients in our food (especially the older traditional ones that we refer to as "grassroots" food). They just use simple ingredients.

So there are a lot of pantry staples on the list.

  • Flour - all-purpose flour is fine here. I've never used any other type of flour with it. But I guess it will affect the texture of the mix if at all
  • Pumpkin/canned pumpkin purée - Fresh is best but using canned puree is fine if you cannot get fresh
  • Vegetable oil
  • Brown sugar - this can be substituted with granulated sugar if needed
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract - or you can even use mixed essence
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground ginger
  • Raisins - these are optional. I don't really like them in there but I've had a few from other people that had raisins.
  • Icing sugar/powder sugar/castor sugar/confectionery sugar

How to make pumpkin fritters?

Once you have boiled the pumpkin to tender, in a large bowl you want to mix it with the egg, sugar, spices, and extract.

Make sure you mash up all pieces of pumpkin into a puree during this time. We don't want any lumps.
Mixture of pumpkin puree, eggs, and spices

To the mashed pumpkin mixture, gradually add in the flour and the milk (at room temperature) and whisk till combined.

This recipe does not have baking powder. Some people like to have a light fluffy fritter but for these I prefer them to be dense.

Bowl of mixed pumpkin puree with dry ingredients

Get your oil ready. I use medium heat to medium-high heat. I sometimes have to lower the heat as the batch is going down.

I also use the wooden spoon in oil trick to know when my oil is ready to go.

I do not use a lot of oil to deep fry these. I prefer to flip them. I am also unashamedly afraid of hot oil, so I prefer to do half oil because I feel I have more control.

I use a kitchen tablespoon to put the batter into the oil. You can also use a measuring cup. I think a 1/4 cup is a good size, but you can make these any size that you prefer. The size difference would determine how much you get.

When the sides are getting golden, then flip them. Each side should take about 2 - 3 minutes to be golden in color.

A test to see doneness would be to poke the middle with a toothpick and see if cooked.

If they are not cooked but they are getting golden, then lower your heat a little bit. My first one usually burns since I'm testing to get the best temperature at that time too.

Spoonfull of fritter batter with other fritters frying in the background

It's good to use a slotted spoon to take these out when they are completed. It helps in not picking up excess oil when taking them out.

As you take out pieces from the oil, have a plate covered with a napkin or even brown paper so that more excess oil can be absorbed while you go through the other batches.

Drizzle with some icing sugar or castor sugar. And eat these delicious fritters hot.

Pumpkin fritters sitting on a papertowell to remove excess oil

How To Store Fritters

I would not encourage the storage of these at all. They are definitely best eaten fresh and hot. But if you just happen to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

I also would not let them stay there for more than the next day. And I definitely do not suggest freezing them.

A stack of fried pumpkin fritters

How to reheat fritters

To be honest these are best eaten fresh. If you do happen to have any leftovers, put them in the fridge in an air-tight container. I would not suggest freezing them.

These can easily be reheated in the microwave. I wrap them with a paper towel and heat them in 15 seconds spurts.

You can also put them in your toaster/oven on a baking sheet and heat them for about five minutes till warmed through.

A full plate of fried pumpkin fritters, drizzled with sugar.

And if you love pumpkin like I do, here are some of my other favorite recipes that use it:

And if you want to try more Caribbean-style fritters:


  1. This look absolutely delicious! Here in Panama we call those pumpkins "zapallo" (there's also calabaza but I think those are the bright orange ones used for Halloween, and those aren't grown here).

    My trick to peel them is to roast them in the oven. I try to buy zapallo at least cut in half, so I don't have to cut it, but I've also roasted it whole. This is what I do: take either the halved or whole zapallo, rub some oil all over it (I usually use olive oil because it's what I have, but coconut oil would be good, too), and then put it in the oven on a baking sheet, for about 45 minutes or so, checking the flesh from time to time to see if it's tender. Then I take it out, let it cool down, and scoop the flesh right off. Would work wonders for your recipe! I'm dying to try it soon.

    1. Oh Tess.. You just might have given me the best tip ever. I'll be trying that for sure. Yes that would be perfect for doing that and would also add another level of flavor "roasted". Thanks for sharing.

      The halloween pumpkins are Luminas I think.


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