Enjoy a Friendsgiving this Year with a Recipe from Otterbein’s Top Chef 

Posted Nov 22, 2022

Tis’ the season for many upcoming holiday fun and festivities with friends and family! And for more and more people, that includes a Friendsgiving celebration.  

We asked James Akers, executive chef at Otterbein with Parkhurst Dining, about the Friendsgiving trend and to share one of his favorite recipes for any holiday get together. 

“In my opinion, Friendsgiving is all about getting together and enjoying a great meal while being festive and creating some seasonal favorites with your take on the traditions. My friend group, of course consisting of other chefs, love to get together and try new dishes that are inspired from traditional Thanksgiving recipes and see who had the most creative and delicious dish, while we make sure we have a variety of dishes and a main protein of course.  

“One of my favorite things to make is a pumpkin pecan cobbler, combining both autumn seasonal ingredients along with the barbeque staple dessert of cobbler. Have a great Friendsgiving and don’t forget the festive drinks!” 

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler by Chef James Akers  

Yield: 8 Servings  


  • ½ cup unsalted butter  
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour  
  • 1 cup granulated sugar  
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice  
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder  
  • 1 cup milk  
  • 1 cup pumpkin  
  • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk 
  •  ½ cup pecan pieces and halves  
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar  
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract  

For Garnish: 

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar  
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a small sauce pan to melt the butter. 

Step 2: Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium mixing bowl and mix until blended well.  

Step 3: Add in the milk and mix until well blended. Do not overmix.  

Step 4: Combine the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, pecans, brown sugar, and vanilla into another medium mixing bowl and mix well. 

Step 5: In a 9 x 9 baking dish, pour the melted butter in the bottom before moving on. Next, pour the cobbler mix into the baking dish on top of the butter and DO NOT MIX. Finally, take small spoon sized amounts of the pumpkin mix and distribute evenly over the entirety of the baking dish, on top of the cobbler mix and butter, being very careful not to mix any of the ingredients. 

Step 6: Mix the garnish sugar and pumpkin pie spice together, sprinkle on top of the cobbler evenly and prepare to bake.  

Step 7: Place cobbler into the oven and bake for 25 minutes and check for doneness. The cobbler should be golden brown on top and still moist.