Pecan Praline Pumpkin Pie

This freezer-friendly and make-ahead pecan praline pumpkin pie combines my tried-and-true flaky pie crust, smooth and spiced pumpkin pie filling, and a sweet/salty crunchy pecan topping. It’s salted pecan pie meets pumpkin pie— in the best way possible! Use my helpful video tutorial to walk you through each step.

pecan praline pumpkin pie

As far as Thanksgiving desserts go, pumpkin pie is an icon. And this pecan praline pumpkin pie is a fun twist on my traditional pumpkin pie recipe. I won’t call this rendition an “upgrade” since you can’t mess with perfection, but the crunchy praline topping definitely adds a tasty contrast to the smooth and spiced filling below. If you ever craved a little crunch with your pie, this recipe is for you!

pecan pumpkin pie

3 Parts to Pecan Praline Pumpkin Pie

  1. Pie Crust
  2. Pumpkin Pie Filling
  3. Pecan Praline Topping

For the ultimate finishing touch, I recommend topping this pecan pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of sea salt. The crunchy salt helps cut the praline’s sweetness and whipped cream is ALWAYS a good idea with pie. Agreed?


Praline Pumpkin Pie Video Tutorial


pecan praline pumpkin pie

Partially Blind Bake the Pie Crust

Like my traditional pumpkin pie recipe, today’s version includes partially blind-baking the pie crust which means that we are pre-baking the crust before adding the filling. Do you know how to blind bake pie crust? Let’s review:

  1. Make pie dough ahead of time, then refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to make the pie. Pie crust must chill for at least 2 hours before rolling out. You can use my favorite pie crust or my all butter pie crust recipe. I prefer the shortening/butter blend in my pie crust because the shortening promises that prized flaky texture. If needed, you can use a graham cracker crust or gingersnap crust instead. See recipe note.
  2. Roll the dough out, then fit into a 9-inch pie dish. Crimp or flute the edges. My trick to beautiful edges– don’t trim the excess pie dough. See step 2 in the recipe below.
  3. Chill the shaped pie crust for at least 30 minutes. This prevents shrinking. Remember that pie dough must be cold when it hits the oven. You can chill the shaped crust before or after you fill with pie weights (next step).
  4. Fill with pie weights. As the pie dough bakes, its fat will melt. The melting fat causes the pie crust to shrink down the sides of the pie dish. To prevent the pie dough from completely losing its shape, weigh it down with pie weights. Carefully line the pie dough with parchment paper first, then pour in pie weights or even dry beans. (Note: 2 packs of these pie weights* is needed.) *affiliate link!
  5. Bake until the edges are relatively set, about 12 minutes.
  6. Remove pie weights, then pour in the pumpkin pie filling and bake.

Some recipes, like my coconut cream pie and banana cream pie, require a fully blind baked pie crust because the filling doesn’t go into the oven. With this pecan pumpkin pie, however, we’re only partially pre-baking it. (Which is even easier!)

blind bake pie crust

Pumpkin Pie Filling + Secret Ingredient

If you’ve made my beloved pumpkin pie recipe before, you know how good this filling is! To make room for the pecan praline topping, I reduced some of the ingredients so the filling doesn’t overflow. Instead of 3 eggs, we’ll use 2. I also reduced the sugar and liquids, too. This recipe uses an entire can of pumpkin, which is always convenient. I kept the spice amount the same, so we’re getting extra spice flavor in each bite.

Speaking of spices, I add a pinch of fresh ground black pepper to pumpkin pie filling. I got this tip from King Arthur Flour and pumpkin pies are NEVER the same without it. The black pepper brings out the pumpkin pie spice flavors and no one ever realizes it’s hiding in there. (They’ll just ask you why your pie is so good!)

pumpkin pie filling

Don’t Forget the Egg Wash

You don’t have to wait for the partially blind baked pie crust to cool down before pouring in the filling– it can still be warm! To prevent a pale and lackluster crust, brush the partially blind baked pie crust with egg wash. Egg wash, a mixture of egg and milk, promises a golden sheen on the edges of your pie.

Pie Crust Shield: Do you notice the edges of your pie crust browning too quickly? Sometimes the crust edges are finished baking before the filling. A pie crust shield helps prevent over-browning. (I link to my favorite one in the recipe notes below.) You can also use aluminum foil. Fold a 12-inch piece of aluminum foil in half, then cut a semi-circle out from the folded edge. Unfold the foil to reveal a circle. Remove the cooking pie from the oven, then carefully place the foil on top so the center is exposed and edges are covered. Return pie to the oven.

pie crust with pumpkin pie filling

Let’s almost fully bake the pie before we add the praline topping. Why? First, the topping would burn if it’s in the oven that long and second, we could risk under-baking the filling if it’s hiding under the topping the whole time.

Pumpkin Pie Praline Topping Ingredients

As the pie bakes, make the 3 ingredient praline topping. You need:

  • Chopped Pecans: This is a pecan praline topping, which is reminiscent of my favorite pecan pie filling. If you don’t like pecans, feel free to substitute with chopped walnuts or pistachios. Or instead of using 1 cup of chopped pecans, try 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup pepitas. Yum!
  • Brown Sugar: Praline is the mixture of cooked sugar and nuts, so we can’t have a praline topping without sugar! I recommend brown sugar, which pairs with the brown sugar in the pumpkin pie filling.
  • Honey: We need a sticky liquid sugar for this praline topping. The honey cooks and melts down, creating a delectable sticky crunch. If needed, you can substitute the honey with light corn syrup or even maple syrup.

Top the pie with the praline topping, then return to the oven for about 15 more minutes.

praline topping for pumpkin pie

praline pumpkin pie

How to Make Ahead + Freeze Praline Pumpkin Pie

Pecan praline pumpkin pie is perfect for entertaining because (conveniently!) it needs to cool completely before serving. I always make pumpkin pie the day ahead of time, let it cool, cover it with aluminum foil, and refrigerate overnight. You can bring to room temperature before serving or serve cold.

Freezing: You can also freeze the baked and cooled pie. If freezing, I recommend baking your pie in a disposable aluminum pie dish because its thin weight will help prevent ice crystals from forming on your pie. Cool the baked pie completely, then wrap the whole thing– pan included– in plastic wrap or Press & Seal, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. This is how to freeze cakes, too. Freeze for up to 3 months, then keep pie in the wrapping and thaw in the refrigerator before topping with whipped cream and serving.

  • You can also freeze the semi-baked pie before adding the praline topping. To maintain the praline topping’s crisp texture, this is what I recommend. Follow the recipe below through step 7, cool the pie, follow the freezing and thawing instructions above, then bring the pie to room temperature. Continue with step 8 in the recipe below. This way your praline topping is fresh!

praline pecan pumpkin pie

I honestly don’t know which is the best: the crunchy sweet/salty topping, the creamy pumpkin filling, or the flaky pie crust. But who has to pick favorites? LET’S EAT IT ALL.

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pecan praline pumpkin pie

Pecan Praline Pumpkin Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 70 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 hours, 10 minutes (includes pie crust)
  • Yield: one 9-inch pie
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This pecan praline pumpkin pie combines flaky pie crust, smooth and spiced pumpkin pie filling, and a sweet/salty crunchy pecan topping. For recipe success, read my recipe notes and watch the helpful video tutorial above before you begin.


Ingredients

Crust

Filling

  • one 15oz can (about 2 cups; 425g) pumpkin puree*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (8gcornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) heavy cream*
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk*

Praline Topping

  • 1 cup (130g) finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) honey*
  • for garnish: sea salt and whipped cream

Instructions

  1. For best success, read the recipe in full before beginning.
  2. Pie crust: I like to make sure my pie dough is prepared before I begin making pecan praline pumpkin pie. Make pie dough the night before because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling out and blind baking (next step).
  3. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the disks of chilled dough (use the 2nd pie crust for another recipe!). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is completely smooth. To make a lovely thick edge, I do not trim excess dough around the edges. Instead, fold the excess dough back over the edge and use your hands to mold the edge into a nice thick rim around the pie. Crimp the edges with a fork or use your fingers to flute the edges. You can see me do this in the video tutorial above. Carefully line the inside of the pie with two pieces of parchment paper, as shown in the photos and video above, then pour in the pie weights. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish. Chill the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 30 minutes– this helps prevent the crust from shrinking. (You can actually fill with pie weights before or after chilling, it doesn’t make a difference.)
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  5. Pre-bake the crust: Bake the cold pie crust (with weights!) for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes as you prepare the filling. You can pre-bake the crust up to 3 days ahead of time. Cover cooled crust tightly and refrigerate until ready to fill.
  6. Whisk the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, cream, and milk together in a large bowl until completely combined and smooth. If desired, you can use an electric mixer for this step.
  7. Remove pie weights (and parchment) from crust. Pour filling into warm crust. Brush edges with egg wash. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the center is no longer jiggly. It can still be a little sticky in the very center on top, just as long as it no longer jiggles when you slightly tap the pan. During bake time, if you find the edges of the pie crust are browning too quickly, apply a pie crust shield or a ring of aluminum foil to protect it.
  8. Topping: Remove pie from the oven and add the topping. I like to make the topping as the pie bakes so I have it ready. Using a fork, mix the pecans and brown sugar together. Drizzle in the honey and mix until combined. Spoon on top of the pie, then *very* gently press it down with a spoon or fork so it sticks on the filling.
  9. Return pie to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Use a pie crust shield to protect the crust from over-browning, if needed.
  10. Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely, at least 3-4 hours. If not serving right away, cover cooled pie and store at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  11. Serve room temperature or cold with a sprinkle of sea salt and whipped cream. I used Ateco 849 piping tip for the whipped cream, but you can just use a spoon to top each slice with a dollop.
  12. Cover and store leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: See post above for detailed make-ahead and freezing instructions.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Pastry Blender, Rolling Pin, Pie Dish, Parchment Paper, Pie Weights, Pastry Brush, Pie Crust Baking Shield
  3. Pie Crust: Both linked pie crust recipes make 2 crusts. You only need 1 crust for this pie, so freeze the 2nd half for another use. If using store-bought pie dough, you still need to pre-bake it. If needed, you can use a graham cracker crust or gingersnap crust instead of traditional pie crust. Pre-bake the cookie crust at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes. No need for pie weights if using a cookie crust.
  4. Pumpkin: Canned pumpkin is best in this pumpkin pie recipe. If using fresh pumpkin puree, lightly blot it before adding to remove some moisture. The bake time may be longer.
  5. Spices: About 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice can be used instead of ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
  6. Heavy Cream & Milk: Do not substitute a lower fat milk– the fat in whole milk is needed. Feel free to use 1 cup of half-and-half instead of heavy cream + whole milk.
  7. Honey: If needed, you can substitute the honey in the praline topping with light corn syrup or even maple syrup.

Keywords: pumpkin, Thanksgiving, pie

209 Comments

  1. My coworkers and I loved the pie (as did my cat who snuck a bite when I didn’t get the pie put away fast enough, whoops). Made a wonderful treat during some long nights at work!

    Thanks to your monthly baking challenge, I now have another way to connect with my sister who is off in another state at grad school.

    Thank you for the fun and delicious challenge!

    1. I’m so happy you loved this recipe! What a treat for your coworkers to sample 🙂 I appreciate you participating in this month’s challenge!

  2. Challenge complete! The filling and the topping were simple to assemble and straightforward, but boy did I struggle with the crust. I seemed to be a bit short of dough and didn’t have enough for the tall boarder. I took another ball of dough from the freezer and used cutouts to make a nice edge on my crust. After reading some reviews, I used my Pyrex deep dish pan and it was a perfect fit. I made the pie for an auction so unfortunately I didn’t get to taste it, but I know it’s excellent because all of Sally’s recipes are.

    1. Way to go, Susan! A delicious addition to the auction 🙂 Thank you for participating this month!

  3. I love this recipe because it is a mash up of two favorite pies. The combination of pumpkin and pecan praline creates a winning recipe!

    1. Thrilled you loved this pie, Destiny!

  4. Jessica Jannone says:

    I’ve made this twice now and it’s been a huge hit with myself and my whole family. It’s absolutely delicious!! I will definitely be making this again.

    1. YAY! I’m so happy this pie was a hit!! Thank you for participating in November’s baking challenge 🙂

  5. Letitia Maynard says:

    Very easy and beautiful to make. I used the flaky crust(which is going to be my new go to crust for pies) the crust came out very beautiful and easy to roll. I usually have a hard time with crust. The usually crumble when i roll them. This one did not. The pumpkin pie cooked within 50 minutes and looked so yummy. I cant wait to dig in and try it. I made it for thanksgiving dinner. Very easy and quick to make once the crust is ready. I will be making this again.

    1. I’m thrilled you had success with my pie crust recipe! 🙂 Thank you for participating this month!

  6. My husbands tradition every year is to make pumpkin pie, so this year I convinced him to try this recipe. He made it with my stepdaughters help, and it came out very good! I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie, but I did like it a lot!

    1. Thank you so much for including my recipe in your Thanksgiving celebration! So happy you enjoyed this pie, Erin 🙂

  7. Loved this pie! It is spicy and creamy and the crunchy, chewy topping is the right amount of sweetness! I highly recommend it if you want something different than plain pumpkin pie!

    1. Thanks so much for your positive feedback, Kelly! Thrilled you enjoyed it!

  8. This recipe was a huge hit!! Everyone loved it! The 3 textures were delicious.

    1. A texture lover’s dream 😉 Thanks for your positive feedback!

  9. Challenge completed! Had his today for Thanksgiving and everyone LOVED it!! I loved the amount of spice to it- It was perfect! The pecan topping was the perfect crunch on top! (Instagram name: aniac25)

    1. I’m so happy this was a hit at your Thanksgiving celebration! Thank you for participating this month 🙂

  10. Melissa Mahon says:

    This is such a delicious recipe! Adding,that pecan topping to the pumpkin pie may have just bumped this up to my favorite Thanksgiving dessert!

    1. YAY! Love reading this, Melissa 🙂

  11. I can’t say enough about this pie. With plenty of pumpkin pie recipes out there, this one takes pumpkin pie to the next level. The pecans add a nice texture and really make this pie sing. Sally’s instructions and video are easy to follow and don’t disappoint. Thank you Sally for another amazing recipe. This is will now be on our Thanksgiving (desert) table every year!!

    1. So sweet, thank you Marcy! I LOVED reading your review and am so happy this will be part of your Thanksgiving menu every year 🙂

  12. This recipe was super delicious, and I am sure I will be making it again. My crust was a little short so there was no top crust but my husband says he preferred it this way because of the way the brown sugar and honey sort of candied on the side crust. Sally’s flaky buttery pie crust was easy to make and baked up beautifully. I am usually a little pumpkin pie with my cool whip/whipped cream kind of girl, but this didn’t need it. It was delicious just as it was. It was the perfect pumpkin pie! Thanks Sally for another wonderful recipe.

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Terra! Thanks for participating in November’s baking challenge 🙂

  13. Made this pie with a gingersnap crust, out of this world delicious. My dad is a huge pecan pie fan and he loved this pie. Will be making this again and again.

    1. YAY! So happy it was a hit! Thanks for participating this month, Melissa!

  14. This was so delicious and is a great alternative to traditional pumpkin pie

    1. Thrilled you loved this pie, Courtney!

  15. Sally you did it again! I used to not be a pumpkin fan but your crumb cake pumpkin muffins changed my mind…I was excited to have a crunch with my pumpkin pie since I love varying textures. This pie was the perfect addition to our thanksgiving dessert table. Thank you!!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Sarah! Thanks for participating in November’s baking challenge 🙂

  16. Earl C Williams says:

    A great pie that we all enjoyed on Thanksgiving. We had people who do not like pumpkin just devour this pie. It was wonderful.
    Have to admit that we did not add enough water to the dough so it was pretty flat and dry but we are determined to conquer the pie dough recipe.

    1. Love that this was a hit with non-pumpkin pie lovers!

  17. I was unsure how I’d like the addition of pecan praline on pumpkin pie, but it turned out delicious!! I love the added flavor and texture from the topping.

    1. Thank you for participating in November’s baking challenge! Thrilled you enjoyed this pie, Caitlin 🙂

  18. Amazing recipe! It was a hit for thanksgiving. I was so disappointed when there were no leftovers! I also made mine with gluten-free crust because I have celiac disease. Still turned out great and no one could tell the difference. Definitely making this again!

    1. I’m so happy you were able to successfully make this GF! Thanks for including my recipe in your Thanksgiving celebration 🙂

  19. Anne Hazelwood says:

    Hubby said this was the best pumpkin pie he’s ever had!! SO good!

    1. Made this delicious pie for Thanksgiving! My family loved it! We have a new Thanksgiving pie tradition! Thanks Sally! Love your website and recipes! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

      1. This makes me so happy to read, Randi!!

    2. YAY!!! Thanks, Anne 🙂

  20. Absolutely delicious! I have never been a fan of pumpkin pie, but this was great! Our guests brought cheesecake and the two were an amazing pair! I did have issues with my crust shrinking while blind bakingz and I had some butter leak out. I’m guessing my butter just wasn’t incorporated well enough. Any other thoughts or suggestions? Thank you for another great recipe!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Jeannie! For shrinking crusts refrigeration is key. Before or after you fill with pie weights, chill it in the refrigerator or freezer for a good 30 minutes. (freezer is best) That’s always my #1 tip for blind baking. In a glass pyrex dish, it’s totally fine. I do it all the time.

  21. I always like to try new recipes for the holidays and this one was a big hit with the family. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I’m so glad your family enjoyed it, Lisa!

  22. How can I ever go back to regular pumpkin pie, Sally?! This was so good. We had a great night making this pie and eating it the next day. I wasn’t sure about the pecans as I expected them to be liquidy going on top (whereas they are more like a crumble) but it turned out perfect.

    Thank you!

    1. Yay! I’m thrilled you tried it and enjoyed it so much, Amanda!

  23. Kaitlin Buchanan says:

    This pie turned out beautifully! Everyone loved it for Thanksgiving dessert this year 🙂 It was the perfect twist on traditional pumpkin pie!

    1. I’m so happy it was a hit at your Thanksgiving celebration! Thanks for participating in November’s baking challenge 🙂

  24. Thank you so much for your positive feedback, Brenda! I bet fresh pecans made it absolutely delicious 🙂

  25. Sherry Gammon says:

    Everyone’s favorite pie was the Praline Pumpkin pie W/ your buttery crust on Thanksgiving! I ran out of almonds and had to use walnuts…I was worried, but it tasted Fantastic! I love everything about this recipe. So tasty and easy to make. I even used a butternut squash that had been cross breed with a pumpkin! Absolutely fabulous!Thank you so much for sharing your Talents!! Nowhere near as pretty as yours, but yummy, nevertheless!

    1. Thrilled you enjoyed this recipe, Sherry! Thank you for participating in November’s baking challenge 🙂

  26. Stephanie Tucker says:

    This Pecan Praline Pumpkin Pie is out of this world! Although how can you go wrong combining the two best pies together?! 5 stars!

    1. This is a wonderful pie! My sister is a retired pastry chef, and said the flavors were terrific. Fresh Georgia pecans added to the praline topping. Thanks, Sally!

      1. What a compliment! I bet it was delicious with fresh pecans 🙂

    2. Love reading this, Stephanie!!

  27. Caren Grokulsky says:

    It was super rich!! Thanks for a fun combo recipe.

    1. Thank you for participating in November’s baking challenge, Caren!

  28. Love this Praline Pumpkin Pie! The pecan praline topping goes so well with the pumpkin and the spices in the filling are so flavorful. The best pumpkin pie I ever made. Thank you Sally for sharing your recipe

    1. This makes me so happy! Thank you, Kristen 🙂

  29. So yummy! My husband (not a sweets guy) even said it was his favorite part of the whole thanksgiving meal!

    1. LOVE reading this! Thank you for participating in November’s baking challenge, Maddie 🙂

  30. This pie was the best of both worlds! We love pumpkin pie and pecan pie so the two combined was so yummy! I love the creamy pie filling and the sugary crunch of the praline. The crust was super flaky, but obviously I need to perfect my crimping skills. I don’t make pie crust very often so I’m not very good at it. :0) Super recipe and everyone loved it!!

    1. Thrilled this was a hit, Heather! Thank you for participating in November’s baking challenge!

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