Skip to Content

Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha) for #SundaySupper

Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha) | Magnolia Days

Pumpkin is classic symbol of Halloween. Jack O Lanterns glow throughout the night. Homes, businesses, and yards are decorated with all types and sizes. What I discovered recently is what some consider pumpkin is really squash. It depends on where you are too. All winter squashes are called pumpkins in many parts of the world. So it can be confusing that Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha) is made with a winter squash that is also called a pumpkin.

So what lead me to posting about pumpkin? It all started with the announcement of a Halloween event for Sunday Supper. I wanted to do something different. That lead me to searching for Day of the Dead recipes. Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that coincides with Halloween. I found where candied pumpkin is one of the dishes commonly served for Day of the Dead. I became very excited about the recipe because it gave me the opportunity to cook with ingredients I haven’t used before.

Ingredients for Candied Pumpkin - Calabaza en Tacha | Magnolia Days

What are those ingredients? First is the pumpkin or rather squash… let me clarify. It’s calabaza squash which is a winter squash also known as West Indian pumpkin. I’ve only seen it used to decorate with and never imagined cooking one. Then there is Piloncillo which is pure, unrefined cane sugar formed into cones. It tastes similar to brown sugar with a slight molasses flavor. A new sugar to try? Oh yea! Finally is the large Mexican cinnamon sticks. These sticks are much thicker than the ones typically found in the spice section at the grocery store. I found both the Piloncillo and cinnamon at a Latin market. The only ingredient I’ve used before is an orange.

Notes on the candied pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha): If you make this for one reason only it will be for the syrup. When you reduce down the cooking liquid into the dark brown syrup you will have something special. I will use it for much more than drizzling over the squash. And speaking of the squash… I thought baked acorn squash topped my list however this now ranks higher. The sweet, tender, cinnamon-infused pumpkin is a real treat for sure. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream and it’s perfect for the season. Oh, one other other note: you will need a big, heavy-duty knife to cut the squash. It’s hard like butternut squash.

Candied Pumpkin - Calabaza en Tacha | Magnolia Days

Are you looking for Halloween recipes? Scroll down to find ones by Sunday Supper bloggers. They have really outdone themselves with fun, spooky, tasty, and delightful recipes for your celebration. Big thanks to Kathia of Basic N Delicious for hosting the event. Also, check out my Vampire Delight Martini for a great beverage to enjoy.

Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha)

A recipe for candied pumpkin aka Calabaza en Tacha. Calabaza squash (West Indian Pumpkin) is cooked in a sweet syrup and served with whipped or ice cream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Author Renee


  • 1 calabaza squash or other winter squash like butternut or sugar pumpkin 4-5 pounds
  • 2 cones brown sugar cane Piloncillo
  • 1 orange zested and juiced
  • 3 to 4 Mexican cinnamon sticks
  • Whipped cream or ice cream for serving optional


  1. Cut squash in half. Scoop out and discard seeds and stringy flesh. Cut squash into 12 wedges or 3-inch pieces.
  2. Add 8 cups of water to a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add brown sugar cane cones and bring to a boil.
  3. When sugar dissolves, stir in orange juice, zest, and cinnamon sticks.
  4. Add the squash wedges and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Loosely cover and simmer until squash is completely tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Transfer the squash to a platter using a slotted spoon. Cover squash with foil.
  6. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks. Strain liquid into a bowl to remove cinnamon bits, zest, and any solids.
  7. Pour the liquid back into the pot and bring to a boil.
  8. Cook until liquid reduces to a syrup (similar consistency to maple syrup), about 30 to 45 minutes.
  9. Serve squash warm or at room temperature. Drizzle squash with syrup and top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

Calabaza squash is also called West Indian Pumpkin.

Recipe adapted from one on the Goya website.

More Halloween recipes by Sunday Supper bloggers:





Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can find more information and sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement

Recipe Rating

Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen

Friday 1st of November 2013

WOW this sounds so good! I am smack in the middle of a huge pumpkin obsession right now so this will be happening at my house soon!!


Saturday 2nd of November 2013

Well, if you are in a pumpkin obsession then you must make this. You will really enjoy it.

Leigh @ The Kitchen Table Revolution

Wednesday 30th of October 2013

I cannot wait to try this recipe. It looks like an amazing autumn dessert!


Wednesday 30th of October 2013

It sure is Leigh and thanks!

Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere

Wednesday 30th of October 2013

This sounds delicious, and I just bought a butternut squash!


Wednesday 30th of October 2013

Oh great! I want to make this with butternut squash too.

Jane's Adventures in Dinner

Tuesday 29th of October 2013

Amazing! I just made pumpkin pickles and now I know what to use the rest of my pumpkins for C:


Tuesday 29th of October 2013

Pumpkin pickles? I'm so curious. I hope you are posting them on your blog.

Anita at Hungry Couple

Tuesday 29th of October 2013

Wow, that looks great. I've never had anything like it.


Tuesday 29th of October 2013

It was a first for me and it won't be the last time either. So good!