What Are Cinderella Pumpkins? (2024)

Cinderella pumpkins are a type of winter squash with a mild, sweet flavor and moist texture that makes them great for soups, sauces, purees, and curries. They can be roasted, baked and steamed, and used for ornamental purposes.

What Are Cinderella Pumpkins?

Cinderella pumpkins are a large, flat member of the squash family (Cucurbitaceae) with a sweet, edible flesh that is useful for cooking and baking. They are widely cultivated in France, where they are known as Rouge Vif D’Etampes, which refers to its bright red color and the town of Etampes, in the Île-de-France region in the north-central part of the country where they originate. They were introduced to the United States in the 19th century, where they later came to be called Cinderella pumpkins, since their shape resembles that of the pumpkin depicted in the 1950 Disney film.

A winter squash, the Cinderella pumpkin has large, deep ribs and commonly reaches weights of up to 20 pounds or more. Its turns from yellow to bright red when it is ripe, and the flesh is orange-yellow. They are sometimes referred to as "cheese pumpkins," although this term refers not to its flavor, but rather its flat shape, which somewhat resembles a wheel of cheese.They are also sometimes called "soup pumpkins."

Cinderella pumpkins are a cultivar of the species Cucurbita maxima, which can be traced back to South America. Its thick, tender flesh is suited for pureeing as for soups, as well as gratins, casseroles, jams, and chutneys. Some cooks find it too watery for making pies and other baked goods, but if drained properly, it can work for these types of preparations as well.

Cinderella pumpkins spend 95 days on the vine, followed by another 10 to 14 days of curing, which helps the shell harden and thus prevent spoilage. That curing time also ripens and improves flavor.

How to Cook With Cinderella Pumpkins

Cinderella pumpkins are big: A 15-pound pumpkin will yield a gallon of soup, which is arguably the best use for them. Because of their higher water content, they might not be the best choice for making pies, since the excess moisture can seep out during cooking and make the crust soggy. But for dishes where the extra moisture is not an issue, like in soups, stews, and curries, they are a great choice. Roasting helps to cook off excess moisture and enhance the pumpkin's natural sweetness.

One trick to cooking with Cinderella pumpkins is cook, puree, and then drain the puree before using. Simply line a large colander with paper towels and scoop your pureed pumpkin into it, and let it drain for at least 30 minutes, or longer. You can place a bowl underneath if you're curious to see how much water you're extracting; otherwise, just let it drain into the sink.

Drained in this manner, Cinderella pumpkins can be used for making pies, cookies, quick breads, cakes, and muffins.

To roast Cinderella pumpkins, slice it into wedges using the outer ridges as a guide, then scoop out the seeds and pulp. Lightly brush the pumpkin flesh with olive oil, season with salt, and roast in a 400 F oven for about 40 minutes, turning once during that time. When the flesh can be easily pierced with a fork, it is done.

What Are Cinderella Pumpkins? (1)

What Are Cinderella Pumpkins? (3)

What Do They Taste Like?

Cinderella pumpkins have a mild, sweet flavor with a smooth, creamy texture. When roasted, they develop additional sweetness as the starches caramelize and turn to sugar.

Cinderella Pumpkin Recipes

You can substitute Cinderella pumpkin for practically any recipe that calls for winter squash, including butternut, acorn, and kabocha.

  • Spicy Sambal Roasted Pumpkin
  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Kabocha Squash Gnocchi

Where to Buy Cinderella Pumpkins

Cinderella pumpkins can be found at farmers' markets and supermarket produce departments during the autumn and winter months.


A whole Cinderella pumpkin will keep for up to 6 months when stored in a cool place away from sunlight. The best conditions are temperatures around 50 F with humidity of around 60 percent. Colder temperatures than that will cause it to soften and rot. Once it is sliced, it will keep for up to a week in the fridge. Cooked pumpkin will last 2 to 3 days in the fridge, and pureed pumpkin can last 3 to 6 months in the freezer.

Nutritional Value

A 100-gram serving of Cinderella pumpkin is about 90 percent water, and provides 34 calories, 1 gram of protein, 9 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of fiber along with negligible fat. It is also a source of vitamin A and beta carotene.

Cinderella vs. Fairytale Pumpkin

Because of their names, and their similar shapes, Cinderella pumpkins are often confused with fairytale pumpkins. Fairytale pumpkins, also known as Musquée de Provence, are similar shape to Cinderella pumpkins, but they have an orange-brown color as opposed to the bright red-orange color of Cinderellas. Additionally, fairytale have a richer, more buttery flavor than Cinderella, and they're less watery, making them better choices for baking.

15 Winter Squash and Pumpkins Varieties

What Are Cinderella Pumpkins? (2024)


What are Cinderella pumpkins? ›

Cinderella pumpkins are a type of winter squash with a mild, sweet flavor and moist texture that makes them great for soups, sauces, purees, and curries. They can be roasted, baked and steamed, and used for ornamental purposes.

What is the significance of the pumpkin in Cinderella? ›

So, the pumpkin represents the transition of Cinderella. them into some horses, servants, and even a coachman. the lower class.

Are Cinderella's carriage pumpkins edible? ›

Cinderella pumpkins are best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, baking, and steaming. Their sweet flavor and creamy texture make them ideal for use in baked goods and desserts such as pies, bread, muffins, cookies, and cakes. They can also be pureed and used to make pumpkin ice cream.

Can you eat seeds from Cinderella pumpkins? ›

You can eat the seeds from any pumpkin variety.

What is the difference between fairytale and Cinderella pumpkins? ›

Cinderella pumpkins, also known as Rouge Vif d'Étampes, are a similar shape to fairytale pumpkins, but they have a bright red-orange color as opposed to the orange-brown of a fairytale. Additionally, Cinderella are less flavorful and more watery, making them less suited for baking.

Where did Cinderella find the pumpkin? ›

She took her into her own room and said: "Go into the garden and pick me a pumpkin." Cinderella went out to the garden and picked the finest pumpkin she could find. She took it to her godmother, although she could not imagine how a pumpkin was going to help her get to the ball.

What Cinderella's pumpkin transformed into? ›

Cinderella ran into the garden and picked a big, orange pumpkin. The fairy godmother touched the pumpkin with her magic wand and it turned into a golden carriage.

Who turns into a pumpkin in Cinderella? ›

The Pumpkin Coach was a carriage made for Cinderella by her Fairy Godmother so she could attend the ball. At the stroke of midnight, it turned back into a pumpkin.

What were pumpkins called before Cinderella? ›

The word "pumpkin" showed up for the first time in the fairy tale Cinderella. A French explorer in 1584 first called them "gros melons," which was translated into English as "pompions," according to History. It wasn't until the 17th century that they were first referred to as pumpkins.

How do you pick a Cinderella pumpkin? ›

Harvesting Cinderella Pumpkin

Pumpkins are best harvested at peak ripeness. This is typically when they have turned their appropriate color and when their skin can not be easily pierced with your nail.

Can you eat Cinderella pumpkin skin? ›

Some folks even eat the skin or “guts” (the stringy part) or use them in making veggie broth. If you're lucky enough to have access to some other heirloom varieties, there are some delicious specialty pumpkins such as Blue Hubbards or Cinderella Pumpkins that are especially delicious.

Can you carve a Cinderella pumpkin? ›

The best pumpkins for carving

Large pumpkin varieties like the Cinderella pumpkin are easier to work with, but they aren't very good to eat. Smaller edible pumpkins, such as the Hokkaido, are much tastier, but more difficult to carve.

What is another name for a Cinderella pumpkin? ›

Cinderella Pumpkins, or their correct name- Vif D'Etampes, are an heirloom French pumpkin. They were popular in the French markets back in the 1880s.

When should I plant Cinderella pumpkins? ›

Pumpkins can be planted after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to 60– 65°F/16–18°C. The soil can be pre-warmed by covering with black plastic 2–3 weeks before planting.

Can you carve Cinderella pumpkins? ›

The best pumpkins for carving

Large pumpkin varieties like the Cinderella pumpkin are easier to work with, but they aren't very good to eat. Smaller edible pumpkins, such as the Hokkaido, are much tastier, but more difficult to carve.

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