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9 Delicious Paw Paw Recipes

Paw paw fruit is considered the largest native fruit in the United States, and if you have pawpaw trees growing in your neighborhood, then consider yourself lucky!

Pawpaw trees, although one of the largest edible fruit trees in the country, are not easy to find.

If you really want to get close to it and reap its fruits, then you have to make an effort.

Botany & Wildcrafting Course by Herbal Academy

But once you get your hands on it – tasting the tropical, sunny and electric flavors of the fruit rich in Vitamin C and essential amino acids – you know it’s worth it!

Native to North America, pawpaw trees can grow up to six inches long, have green fruits, pale yellow to bright yellow flesh, and dark brown pawpaw seeds.

Because pawpaw is a tropical fruit with distinct and delicious flavors, most culinary experts like to experiment with them or add them to their delicious recipes.


How to Get Your Hands on Pawpaws

While you can buy fresh pawpaws at some grocery stores, you can also forage them or grow them in your own garden.

Typically, a paw paw tree begins to bear ripe fruit after two years.

But it is not only the fruits that you can chase after, but also its contribution to the beautification of your landscape.

Keep in mind that growing pawpaws can be difficult for beginners, so you should seek help from the local farmers market for advice on how to do it.

Once you have an adult pawpaw tree, a ripe pawpaw will simply drop off once it is fully ripe.

Check out this detailed post by the National Park Service on the pawpaw.

This way, there is not a lot of effort on your part when harvesting nearly ripe paw paws as their stems naturally break off over time without resistance.

Since not all of the fruits will ripen at the same time, you will have a reason to go back and check the tree again.

If you have a bountiful harvest, you may want to try some delicious ways to cook pawpaws.

If you don’t know the amazing and rich history of the paw paw, check out my favorite video from the Townsends on them!

Delicious & Simple Paw Paw Recipes

Experimenting with some paw paw recipes is fun and exciting because this one-of-a-kind fruit has flavors that cannot easily be substituted.

If you have extra paw paw fruits, one of the recipes you can try is the paw paw pudding recipe.

Pawpaw Pie Recipe


  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1½ c. pawpaw pulp (peeled and seeded)


  1. Place all ingredients into stew pan and stir together.
  2. Cook over medium heat until thickened.
  3. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake until the crust is done.
pawpaw custard recipe

Pawpaw Custard Recipe


  • 1 c. 2% milk
  • 1 c. cream
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 c. pureed pawpaw pulp


  1. Mixing the ingredients as you add them, beat together the milk, cream, eggs, sugar, and pawpaw.
  2. Pour custard into 8 custard cups.
  3. Line the bottom of a baking pan with a dish cloth, then place the custard cups in the pan.
  4. Add boiling water to the pan until it’s about 2/3 of the way up the side of the cups.
  5. Bake at 325o F for 40 to 50 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven just before the custard is set in the center. A knife inserted near the edge of the custard should come out clean.
pawpaw cookies with black walnuts

Pawpaw Cookies With Black Walnuts

(Makes about 16 cookies.)


  • ¾ c. pureed pawpaw pulp
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ c. butter
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c. black walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350o F and grease one large cookie sheet.
  2. Peel and seed fresh pawpaws and process in a food processor until fine.
  3. Sift together the flour and baking powder, and set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg.
  5. Add the flour mixture and then add the pawpaw pulp.
  6. Chop half the nuts (reserve 16 pieces) and blend them in.
  7. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet and press a piece of black walnut onto the top of each cookie.
  8. Bake 12 minutes or until brown across the top.

If you have leftover black walnuts, check out my Black Walnut Recipes post.

Simple Pawpaw Cake


  • ¼ c. shortening (or lard or tallow)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1¼ c. sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. mashed pawpaw pulp
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  1. Cream shortening and sugar.
  2. Add well beaten egg and mashed pawpaw.
  3. Sift together flour, soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Stir into the creamed mixture.
  5. Add vanilla and pour in an 8 inch square pan or two round layer cake pans.
  6. Bake at 375o F for 50 minutes.
  7. When cool, frost with cream cheese thinned with milk, or with any simple white frosting.
  8. Decorate with pawpaw slices.

Lemon Butter Pawpaw Cake


  • 1¾ c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. milk
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ c. shortening (or lard or tallow)
  • 1½ c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ c. pureed pawpaw pulp
  • ½ c. chopped pecans or hickory nuts
  • 3 egg whites, beaten stiff


  1. Sift first four dry ingredients together.
  2. Combine milk and lemon juice and set aside to sour.
  3. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, and beat until fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla.
  5. Then add dry ingredients alternately with pawpaw puree and soured milk.
  6. Fold in the beaten egg whites and the chopped nuts.
  7. Pour into two lightly greased and floured 9-inch layer-cake pans.
  8. Bake in a moderate oven (350o F) 35 to 40 minutes.
  9. Frost with:

Lemon Butter Frosting

  • ½ c. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • grated lemon rind
  • 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. cream (approximately)
  1. Cream the butter until fluffy, using an electric mixer.
  2. Blend in the lemon juice and a small amount of grated lemon rind.
  3. Add the confectioners’ sugar gradually along with enough cream to make a frosting of the right spreading consistency.
  4. Run the beaters long enough to make the frosting very fluffy.
  5. Garnish the top of the frosted cake with a grating of lemon rind.
pawpaw bread recipe

Pawpaw Bread


  • 1 c. melted butter
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c. pawpaw pulp
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 c. pecan pieces plus 16 pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 375o F.
  2. Grease two 9x4x2-inch loaf pans.
  3. Beat together butter, sugar, and eggs.
  4. Add and beat in the pawpaw pulp and lemon juice.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder together, and stir them into the batter.
  6. Stir in the pecans and scrape the batter into the loaf pans.
  7. Garnish each loaf with 8 pecan halves, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  8. The top corners of the loaf will burn, but that adds flavor and character.

Pawpaw Ice Cream


  • 1 qt. cold milk
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ c. sugar
  • 1 c. pureed pawpaw pulp, or more to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 qt. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla


  1. Scald 3 c. of the milk in the top of a double boiler.
  2. Beat eggs well; add salt, sugar, and the remaining cup of milk.
  3. Stir egg mixture slowly into the hot milk and cook over a small amount of simmering hot water, stirring constantly, until mixture just coats a clean metal spoon. (To prevent curdling, do not have the water boiling vigorously, and take care not to overcook.)
  4. Stop cooking as soon as the custard coats the spoon and remove from heat at once.
  5. Cool pan of custard in another pan containing cold water, then chill thoroughly in refrigerator.
  6. Combine pawpaw puree with the lemon juice and add to the chilled custard along with the cream and vanilla.
  7. Pour mixture into a chilled 1-gallon ice cream freezer canister and fit dasher into place.
  8. Freeze and ripen according to directions accompanying ice cream freezer, or as follows:
  9. Fill the freezer tub around the canister with finely cracked ice and salt, using 1 part ice cream salt to 8 parts of ice, or about 1 qt. of salt for a gallon-sized ice cream freezer.
  10. Fill the freezer half full of ice before adding the first layer of salt, then alternate layers of ice and salt until the tub is filled.
  11. Freeze until the ice cream stiffens (about 20 minutes with an electric ice cream freezer).
  12. Then repack the freezer tub with ice, or remove the ice cream and place it in an ice cream mold, and let the ice cream ripen for several hours before serving.
  13. To repack the freezer, remove the dasher, plug up the hole in the lid of the ice cream canister, drain out the salt water through the hole in the side of the ice cream freezer, and add fresh ice and salt to fill the freezer tub.
  14. Put cracked ice, but no salt, over the top of the canister, too.
  15. Cover the whole freezer with blankets or newspapers and let it stand in a cool place for several hours.

Pawpaw Jam

(makes about 9-19 half pints)


  • 6 cups pawpaw puree
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 packet (1.75 oz) pectin
  • 2 tsp citric acid


  1. Wash and peel pawpaws, inspecting for any bruises, and quarter fruit while removing seeds. 
  2. Mash or blend fruit pulp until it forms a puree.
  3. Heat pawpaw puree to a simmer on the stove top, slowly stirring in sugar. 
  4. Continue to heat for 8 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. 
  5. Stir in the pectin and citric acid, bring to a boil, and turn off the heat. 
  6. Pour into pre-sterilized half-pint jars that are warmed in the oven set to 200F. 
  7. Wipe rims, remove air bubbles, apply lids, and place in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from bath and allow to cool on table for 1 hour before storing.

Pawpaw Jello


  • 2 c. pawpaw pulp
  • 1 package lemon Jell-O (6 oz.)


  1. Make Jell-O according to instructions on package.
  2. Refrigerate until thickened to a syrupy consistency.
  3. Stir in pawpaw pulp. Refrigerate.

Pawpaw Milkshake

Add pawpaw pulp to your favorite vanilla milkshake recipe. One or two tablespoons of pawpaw pulp should suffice for two servings of milkshake. Pawpaw can be conveniently stored for this purpose by freezing spoonfuls of pulp on a cookie sheet, then storing them in a plastic bag after they have frozen solid.

For more awesome pawpaw recipes, check out this book:


Here are some of the tastiest paw paw recipes you can try at home!

But don’t also forget to experiment with some new pawpaw recipes.

Super simple and easy to prepare, your friends and family will surely love it!