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candied pumpkin (calabaza en tacha)
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Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha)

Candied pumpkin, or Calabaza en Tacha, is one of the best fall desserts to enjoy as a merienda or snack. A Cinderella pumpkin is cut into thick wedges and simmered slowly in piloncillo, cinnamon, clove, and orange peel.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 163kcal
Author Dora Stone


  • 1 small (4 -5 lbs.) Cinderella pumpkin
  • 1 lb. Piloncillo (2 cones)
  • 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick
  • 1 Clove whole
  • 1 strip Orange peel
  • ¾ cup Water


  • Place the piloncillo, water, cinnamon, clove, and orange peel in a large pot or dutch oven set to low heat. Let the piloncillo slowly dissolve, stir frequently.
  • In the meantime, rinse the pumpkin well to remove any dirt. With a small knife cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin. Almost like you are carving a jack-o-lantern. Remove the stem and pull out the seeds and flesh attached to it. Leave the rest if the seeds and flesh inside.
  • Following the natural vertical grooves of the pumpkin, cut it into wedges from top to bottom. The wedges should be about 2 ½ “ wide x 3 “ long. You do not need to remove the seeds, but you can if desired. Score the skin of the pumpkin wedges with a small knife to help them absorb the syrup.
  • Once the piloncillo has completely dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and layer the pumpkin wedges skin side down on the bottom of the pot. Once you have covered the bottom of the pot completely, add a second layer of pumpkin wedges flesh side down, so that the pumpkin is touching flesh to flesh.
  • Cover the pot and set it to medium- low heat. Let the pumpkin simmer for 1½ hours. Don’t worry about not having enough liquid in the pot. As the pumpkin cooks it will release a large quantity of water.
  • Uncover the pot and let simmer for ½ hour more or until the pumpkin is a dark brown color and is completely submerged in the syrup. Take off the heat and let cool.
  • Serve hot or cold and top with coconut whipped cream. (see note)


If you cannot find Cinderella pumpkins, use a sugar pumpkin instead. Here is  a super easy recipe for coconut whipped cream.


Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 2mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg