With quicker bake and cool times, plus no need for blind baking the pie crust, there’s no denying that mini pumpkin pies are easier than the full-size version. They’re fun, festive, and baked in a mini muffin pan. This recipe uses my homemade pie crust and a deeply spiced filling like my original pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin spice potato chips (they exist!), pumpkin scented candles, and about a billion other pumpkin spice items this time of year. But where does it all begin? The Iconic Pumpkin Pie, of course.
The motherhood of everything pumpkin spice, pumpkin pie is the original source for our pumpkin fix. It’s a very popular recipe this time of year and one of the most frequent questions I receive is “how can I turn this into mini pumpkin pies?”
I’m always happy to answer this, but I figured it’d be most helpful to have a separate post dedicated to Mini Pumpkin Pies. Instead of telling you how I do it, let’s show you the process. These are FUN and let’s be honest… the cuteness is hard to resist.
You Will Love These Mini Pumpkin Pies Because:
- they’re fun to make with kids
- unlike the full-size version, there’s no blind baking the crust (YAY!)
- they’re deeply spiced and sweetened with flavorful brown sugar
- bake time & cool time are a lot quicker than regular pie
- decoration can be minimal
- they’re handheld & easy to serve
If larger pies intimidate you, try shrinking it. Or if you don’t want to mess with pie crust at all, you’ll appreciate my easy pumpkin pie bars instead.
Overview: How to Make Mini Pumpkin Pies
Have you made my mini pecan pies or mini quiches before? We’re doing the same thing here, only switching the filling. (One note, if you ever try my mini pecan pies, you need to pre-bake the crusts since the filling is so thin. Not necessary today though.)
- Make pie dough: My pie crust recipe yields 2 crusts and you’ll conveniently use both here. This crust is a staple in my kitchen, a recipe I’ve had memorized for years. I use a mix of butter and shortening to make it. Why shortening? Shortening aids in creating flakiness. Why butter? Butter adds unparalleled flavor. If you’d like, try my all butter pie crust instead. The pie dough needs to chill for 2 hours before it’s useable, so I always recommend making it ahead.
- Make the filling: I’m certain you could make this filling in your sleep– it’s that easy. Mix all the ingredients together. That’s it, you’re done. Chill the filling in the refrigerator as you work on the dough or you could even make the filling 1-2 days in advance. See make ahead instructions in the recipe below.
- Roll out pie dough & cut into small circles: I recommend a 2.5 inch cookie cutter. If you don’t own a cookie cutter that size, I bet you have a measuring cup that’ll work. I use my 1/3 cup measuring cup. Re-roll the dough scraps until all the pie dough is used. You’ll have about 24 from each crust (48 total). Work quickly because the dough becomes delicate the longer it sits at room temperature.
- Fit the dough rounds into your mini muffin pan: Grease a mini muffin pan. Press the dough flat into the bottom of the crevice and up the sides.
- Fill each with the filling: The filling is pretty thick, but you can try pouring it into each crust. Spooning it in is a little neater.
- Bake until the crust is browned: These are so much quicker to bake and cool than a full size pumpkin pie. Cuter, quicker, more convenient! Have I sold you on these yet?
- Cool & serve: As always, fresh whipped cream finishes things off. I used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe a simple star-shape dollop on each.
Filling is Adapted From My Favorite Pumpkin Pie
These mini pumpkin pies are an adaptation of my favorite pumpkin pie recipe.
- Reduced Amount: The most notable change is the reduced amount of filling. We don’t need as much filling as we would for a large 9-inch pie. These mini pumpkin pies are dough heavy– lots of crust in each bite. The filling really has to stand out, so we’ll use flavorful brown sugar and extra pumpkin pie spice.
- No Cornstarch: Cornstarch thickens the filling for the full-size pie so we’re guaranteed neat slices. We’re not slicing these mini pumpkin pies– and the crust already keeps the filling tight and compact.
- Black Pepper: Black pepper is our secret ingredient. I learned about the addition of black pepper to pumpkin pie filling over at King Arthur Flour a few years ago. I’m forever changed. Seriously! This little bit of spice turns your pumpkin pie into the BEST pumpkin pie. No one will know it’s there– all they’ll taste is a delightfully spiced flavor. I’m just going to shout it: IT’S SO GOOD.
My toddler loved to help make these. Shaping the dough was easy with a little help from mom and she could whisk the filling mostly by herself. She calls them baby pies. We still have more in the freezer and she gets especially excited when we thaw a few for our special treat. I think it’s because they’re just her size. 🙂
This recipe uses 1 and 1/4 cups (285g) of pumpkin puree and if you have more to use up, here are recipes to use leftover pumpkin puree.
More Variations of Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Pie Bars
- Pecan Praline Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
- Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Streusel Bars
- 2 unbaked Flaky Pie Crust (what I used) or All Butter Pie Crust*
- 1 and 1/4 cups (285g) pumpkin puree*
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
- small pinch black pepper (optional – see note)
- Pie crust: I like to make sure my pie dough is prepared before I begin the mini pies. Make pie dough the night before because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before using.
- Prep the filling: In a large bowl with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment– or simply using a whisk and mixing bowl– beat/whisk the pumpkin, brown sugar, heavy cream, milk, egg, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and black pepper together (on medium high speed if using a mixer) until completely combined, about 2 minutes. You’ll have about 3 cups of filling. Cover and refrigerate filling until step 6.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C). Grease two 24-count mini muffin pans. Nonstick spray is best. (If you only have 1 mini muffin pan, bake these in batches. Roll out first pie dough, shape, fill, and bake then roll out the 2nd pie dough, shape, fill, and bake.)
- Shape the mini crusts: Working with 1 chilled pie dough at a time, place the dough onto a floured work surface. Roll into a large 12-inch circle. Use your warm hands to mold any cracking edges back together if needed. From the circle, cut rounds using a 2.5 inch cookie cutter. (Sometimes I use my 1/3 cup measuring cup, which is 2.5 inches in diameter.) You’ll have to re-roll the dough scraps a few times. Work quickly, as the dough becomes much more delicate the longer it’s at room temperature. You’ll get about 24 rounds per pie crust. Repeat with 2nd chilled pie dough for a total of about 48.
- Place the dough rounds into greased 24-count mini muffin pan(s). Press the dough flat into the bottom of the crevice and up the sides.
- Evenly spoon cold filling into each unbaked crust, filling to the top.
- Bake mini pies until the center is just about set and edges are lightly browned, about 21-25 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. If greased well, the mini pies pop right out using a spoon to scoop them up. Cool, then serve at room temperature or refrigerate until chilled and serve cold. Filling deflates a bit as they cool. Top with whipped cream if desired. (Also pictured are sugared cranberries. See how to make them in my full size pumpkin pie recipe.)
- Cover leftover pies tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The pie dough can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The filling can also be made ahead of time, covered, and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To freeze, cool baked mini pumpkin pies completely, then layer between sheets of parchment paper in a large freezer-friendly container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
- Mini Muffin Pan (affiliate link): I love these Wilton Mini Muffin Pans and the Gold Touch line from Williams Sonoma.
- If using a 12-count standard muffin pan: Cut the pie dough into 3 or 3.5 inch circles. Other assembly instructions are the same. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the centers are set and edges are lightly browned. Yields about 16.
- Pie Crust: Both linked pie crust recipes make 2 crusts. You need 2 crusts for this recipe. You can use store-bought pie crust if desired. Make sure it is thawed.
- Pumpkin: Canned pumpkin is best in this recipe. If using fresh pumpkin puree, lightly blot it before adding to remove some moisture. The filling will be thinner and the bake time may be a little longer.
- Whole Milk & Heavy Cream: These are the best options to use to guarantee the filling sets up. In a pinch, use 3/4 cup (180ml) of full fat half-and-half.
- Spices: Instead of prepared pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/4 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground allspice, and ground ginger. (You will still want to use 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon in the recipe, in addition to these spices.) A pinch of black pepper adds incredible spice flavor. I highly recommend it! Use a little less than 1/8 teaspoon.
Keywords: pumpkin pie, mini pies