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Brenda Watts’ Pulled Pork Pumpkin Cornbread Torta is a Carolina Eats Sweepstakes finalist

Carolina Eats Sweepstakes finalist

Brenda Watts of Gaffney is among the four finalists in the Carolina Eats Holiday Homestyle Recipe Sweepstakes presented by Ingles, entering her Pulled Pork Pumpkin Cornbread Torta with Pepita Pecan Cranberry Topping.

A resident of Gaffney, Watts enjoys entering recipe contests and sweepstakes and was a finalist in the Carolina Eats March Hoops Sweepstakes back in March. She says her Pulled Pork Pumpkin Cornbread Torta was a hit the first time she made it.

“My husband loved it and when he wanted me to make it again very soon after he ate it for the first time, I knew I had a winner,” Watts said.

The four finalists in the Carolina Eats Holiday Homestyle Recipe Sweepstakes receive a $250 Ingles gift card. The grand prize winner, drawn at random, will receive a $500 gift certificate from Bob Burnett’s Appliance & Bedding Center in Spartanburg to be used toward the purchase of anything in the store. Finalists also appeared in person or via Zoom with Jamarcus Gaston and Ingles Chef Jasmin Queen on WSPA’s Your Carolina show.

Pulled Pork Pumpkin Cornbread Torta with Pepita Pecan Cranberry Topping

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  • 1 cup Yellow Plain Cornmeal
  • 1 cup Bread Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup solid pumpkin from a 14 1/2-oz. can)
  • 1/2 cup whole sour cream
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups cooked prepared BBQ pulled pork (keep warm)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pepita seeds, (aka pumpkin seeds, found in international food isle of grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup prepare barbecue sauce (optional)


  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Spray the bottom and sides of, two non-stick 9-inch round baking pans, with non-stick cooking spray: set aside
  • In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together till blended
  • Add pumpkin, sour cream, brown sugar, vegetable oil and eggs, and using an electric mixer over medium speed, beat the ingredients together for 2 minutes, or until batter mixture is blended and creamy
  • Pour and evenly spoon equal portions of batter mixture into the two prepared baking pans
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until baked through and golden brown
  • Place both over a wire cooling rack and let cool slightly, about 8 minutes
  • Carefully remove cornbread from pans and set aside
  • Place one of the cornbread, top side down, evenly centered onto a serving plate or platter
  • Spoon and evenly spread the warm prepared pulled pork over top of the placed cornbread on plate to cover
  • Carefully place the remaining cornbread evenly over top of the placed pulled pork on cornbread
  • In a small bowl, mix toasted pepita pumpkin seeds, pecans and cranberries together, tossing until blended for topping
  • Spoon the topping ingredients evenly over the top edges of torta to cover and also add a little spoonful over the top center to complete
  • Cut completed assembled torta into even portion slices and serve with spoonful’s of barbecue sauce for optional added flavor and enjoy

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