The holidays are upon us. I say it every year, but seriously, wasn't the 4th of July like five minutes ago? I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to dive into the shop-til-you-drop abyss just yet. I need a minute to warm up the ol’ holiday spirit engine.

Besides filling our calendars with holiday parties and writing endless to-do lists, this time of year has many of us reminiscing about family traditions. I love the ceremony of prepping and cooking holiday dinners with my mother. I enjoy eating the usual suspects – roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, and buttery rolls. And I love sitting around the table after dinner telling stories about years past.

Even though I am obnoxiously nostalgic about tradition, I am quite the opposite when it comes to one tradition in particular: dessert. If you told me to eat a chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting on Thanksgiving, I wouldn't think twice. Wait. Do you have some, by chance?

Traditions are important, but sometimes it’s fun to color outside the traditional lines. That’s why these Pumpkin Cola Floats with Candied Pumpkin Seeds are the perfect holiday combo. You still have traditional pumpkin and whipped cream, but why not jazz your dessert up with a splash of Coke? A little effervescence will float you right into the new year. Cheers! 

About the Author

Lauren Grier is the author behind the Climbing Grier Mountain (CGM). CGM is all about embracing curiosity. She thinks of her kitchen as a playground full of endless opportunities to make dishes that reflect life's experiences and shenanigans. Her recipes are fresh, flavorful, and adventurous. 

Lauren is one of our food bloggers for The Openeran exclusive, invite-only contributor network that will bring the best food, culture, and innovation writing to the pages of Coca-Cola Journey.



  • 3 Cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1/3 Cup pumpkin puree, plus 3 extra tablespoons
  • 1 Tablespoon whole milk
  • 2 Bottle Coca-Cola (in 8-oz. size)
  • Maraschino cherries
  • 1 Cup whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoon granulated sugar, plus an extra teaspoon for the pumpkin seeds1
  • 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon hot water


  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  1. For the float: Place vanilla ice cream, pumpkin puree, and milk into a food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Pour pumpkin mixture into a container with a lid and place in freezer at least an hour or for better results, overnight.  For the whipped cream: In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place the whipping cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk on high until light and fluffy.  For the pumpkin seeds: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Place pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven to cool.  To serve: Pour 1/3 cup of the cola into a tall, chilled glass. Scoop about a cup of the pumpkin mixture and place it in the glass. Add more cola and fill to the rim. Garnish with whipped cream, pumpkin seeds, and a cherry! Cheers!