The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It’s rich, smooth, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust and served with whipped cream.

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin bread, but HELLO what about pumpkin pie?? My Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe is here today. Say hi to this pie.

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

I spent the majority of my incredibly awesome week last week testing pumpkin pie recipes. And when I say awesome, I really mean frustrating because testing the perfect pumpkin pie recipe is a lot more challenging than one would assume! Fresh pumpkin, canned pumpkin, ginger, no ginger, brown sugar, white sugar, cornstarch, flour, no cornstarch, no flour, and O-M-G how do I decorate it and make it look pretty for my blog?

But I think I cracked the pumpkin pie code. I grew up in a house of pumpkin pie lovers and absolutely no Thanksgiving was complete without a nap and a massive slice of pumpkin pie. What I’m trying to say is, my pumpkin pie standards are high. When it comes to this Thanksgiving classic, I’m a huge snob. And now that I’ve found the best pumpkin pie recipe, I can rest easy at night. And you can too! 😉

How to make pumpkin pie from scratch on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I made three of these pumpkin pies, just to be sure this recipe was the best of the very best. Let’s start with the pie crust. Every pumpkin pie has to start with a stellar pie crust. My homemade pie crust uses a mix of shortening and butter so you get the most buttery tasting, tender, flaky (so flaky) pie crust. It’s easy to make. And I have a ton of step-by-step photos here.

Decorate your pies with pie crust leaves! On sallysbakingaddiction.com

Decorate your pies with pie crust leaves! On sallysbakingaddiction.com

Fresh or Canned Pumpkin in Pumpkin Pie?

I tested this recipe with both and I truly liked the pie using canned pumpkin better. The canned pumpkin pumpkin pie (say that 3 times fast) was a little more sturdy when baked for the same amount of time. The pie baked with fresh pumpkin puree tasted grainy and a little… herbaceous? I prefer using fresh pumpkin puree in savory recipes, not desserts. This is your call, you can use either fresh or canned pumpkin.

Other Ingredients in Pumpkin Pie

  1. Eggs. Eggs set up the pumpkin pie filling. They give the filling its rich, luxurious texture.
  2. Heavy cream. Heavy cream makes pumpkin pie luxurious and silky smooth. It’s thick, creamy, and absolutely heavenly in this pumpkin pie recipe. I use 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 cup of milk. I found that 1 and 1/4 cups of heavy cream (or more) was simply too much. Too thick, too gloppy! You can also use the heavy cream to make homemade whipped cream for the topping.
  3. Cornstarch. A starch thickener is one of the most important ingredients in a pie filling. I use a touch of cornstarch in my pumpkin pie because it helps set up the pie. Makes it a little sturdier and firm, while keeping everything smooth.

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

My Secret Ingredient

This sounds so incredibly weird. But I add freshly ground black pepper to my pumpkin pie filling. It’s bizarre, I know. But I’m being serious. I got this tip from the genius kitchen crew over at King Arthur Flour. And I am forever grateful. Because this little addition turns your pumpkin pie into the BEST pumpkin pie. No one will know it’s there! Except for you. And they will all be wondering how this spiced pie is so damn good. A pinch of pepper.

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Avoid Cracks in Pumpkin Pie

Silky yet thick, this pumpkin pie cuts beautifully as long as it is baked for the right amount of time. The bake time is about 55-60 minutes. At this time, the center of the pumpkin pie will be slightly wobbly. It will set as it cools. Careful not to overcook; overcooking it will cause the filling to crack.

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

So from my kitchen to yours, enjoy The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe.

The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The pie crust leaves are purely for decor, you can leave those off of the pie and only make 1 pie crust. You can also leave off the sugared cranberries.

Ingredients:

Sugared Cranberries

  • 1 cup (120g) fresh cranberries1
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) water

Pumpkin Pie

  • Homemade pie crust (full recipe makes 2 crusts: 1 for bottom, 1 for leaf decor)
  • one 15oz can (about 2 cups; 450g) pumpkin puree2
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger3
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg3
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves3
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (I use 1% - any is fine)
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk

Directions:

  1. For the cranberries: Place cranberries in a large bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of sugar and the water to a boil and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour sugar syrup over the cranberries and stir. Let the cranberries sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight (ideal). You'll notice the sugar syrup is quite thick after this amount of time. Drain the cranberries from the syrup and pour 1 cup of sugar on top. Toss the cranberries, coating them all the way around. Pour the sugared cranberries on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and let them dry for at least 2 hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  2. Make the pie crust through step 5 according to my directions, tips, and pictures. Or use store-bought.
  3. For the pumpkin pie filling: Whisk the pumpkin, 3 eggs, and brown sugar together until combined. Add the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cream, and milk. Vigorously whisk until everything is combined. Filling will be a little thick.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  5. Roll out the chilled pie crust: Remove 1 disc of pie dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Make sure to turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. With a small and sharp knife, trim the extra overhang of crust and discard. Crimp the edges with your fingers, if desired. Brush edges lightly with egg wash mixture. Using pie weights, pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes.
  6. Pour pumpkin pie filling into the warm pre-baked crust. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. (Use extra to make mini pies with leftover pie dough scraps if you'd like.) Bake the pie until the center is almost set, about 55-60 minutes give or take. A small part of the center will be wobbly - that's ok. After 25 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a pie crust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. Check for doneness at minute 50, and then 55, and then 60, etc.
  7. Once done, transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely for at least 3 hours. Decorate with sugared cranberries and pie crust leaves (see note). You'll definitely have leftover cranberries - they're tasty for snacking. Serve pie with whipped cream if desired. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Make ahead tip: Pumpkin pie freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. Pie crust dough freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. If decorating your pie with sugared cranberries, start them the night before. You'll also begin the pie crust the night before as well (the dough needs at least 2 hours to chill; overnight is best). The filling can be made the night before as well. In fact, I prefer it that way. It gives the spices, pumpkin, and brown sugar flavors a chance to infuse and blend. It's awesome. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Fresh cranberries, not frozen. The sugar syrup doesn't coat evenly on the frozen berries, leaving you with rather ugly and some very plain shriveled cranberries!
  2. 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.
  3. About 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice can be used instead of these spices.
  4. No matter if you're using homemade crust or store-bought crust, pre-bake the crust. (Step 5.)

For the pie crust leaves: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the balls of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Roll out into any shape you really want (doesn't matter) and 1/8 inch thickness. Using leaf cookie cutters, cut into shapes. Brush each lightly with the beaten egg + milk mixture. Cut leaf veins into leaves using a sharp knife, if desired. Place onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool before decorating pie.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Hi, it’s me again. Making this post even longer. Two more things:

Pie crust leaves are easy.

My pie crust recipe makes enough for two crusts. So with the extra dough, you can make adorable leaves for decoration on your pumpkin pie. Or any pie, really. I’ve seen the pie crust leaves baked directly on top of the rim of the pie – and I tried that – but was not thrilled with the results. Too much uneven baking. The underside of the leaves weren’t really cooked through and the tops got a little burnt (even through my pie shield). So, to make things easier, just bake the pie crust leaves separately and place them on top of your pie before serving. You can also sprinkle them with a little cinnamon-sugar right before baking. I was going to do that, but I forgot.

My leaf cookie cutters don’t have “veins” so I made leaf veins myself using a sharp paring knife. It’s tedious, but if you want authentic looking leaves you can go ahead. Don’t worry if your veins aren’t perfect. That’s a weird sentence.

My directions for the leaves are in the print-out recipe above.

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s talk about those sugared cranberries! I like to use them on pumpkin pie because they give a vibrant, fresh pop of color to the very brown and very orange pie. Plus, they’re tasty. And so festive. Simply prepare a sugar syrup, let the cranberries soak in the syrup overnight, drench in sugar (so dentist-approved) and let dry for a couple hours. My recipe for sugared cranberries is in the print-out recipe above, too!

How to make sugared cranberries on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make sugared cranberries on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let me know if you try my pumpkin pie. Happy baking!

SHOP THE RECIPE


Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Melamine Mixing Bowl Set | Pastry Blender | Rolling Pin | Emile Henry Ceramic Pie DishPie Weights | Pastry BrushPie Crust Baking ShieldFall Cookie Cutters | Silpat

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pays me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Sugared Cranberries for your holiday baking and pumpkin pie-- these are so simple!
I call this the GREAT pumpkin pie recipe because it's my absolute favorite recipe for this Fall dessert!
Here's how to make adorable and festive pie crust leaves for your homemade pies! #pumpkinpie #applepie

652 Comments

  1. Hi Sally! I am planning on following your recipe for this pie, but we wanted to make a “Fireball” version with Fireball whiskey added. How much whiskey would you suggest adding, and would I need to adjust any of the other ingredients (like the cornstarch) due to the extra liquid being added? Also- in your recipe you say to pre-bake the homemade crust for 10 mins, but then in one of your answers to someone in the comments section who had a question about blind-baking the crust ahead of time, you stated that for the best results you should pre-bake the crust..so do you mean the crust should be pre-baked fully or pre-baked for just the 10 mins? I am planning on starting the crust today. Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks so much!

    1. Hi Alyssa! Pre-baked meaning partially baked. Just anywhere around 10 minutes is plenty. 🙂 I’m unsure about the whiskey addition; I’ve never tried it. Curious how it turns out if you try anything!

  2. Hello, just wondering if you can freeze this pie in individual slices after it’s been baked? It’s only my husband and me for Thanksgiving and while I’m not against eating a whole pie over the weekend, my waistline would disagree.

  3. This recipe was so awesome! It tasted amazing, and we used the individual spices instead of using the pumpkin pie spice. Word of advice, get a deep dish for your pie, because the top WILL burn; however, the little pies that we made in the ramekins looked better than the huge pie, though they both tasted good. We didn’t use the crust recipe on here, seeing as my daughter is gluten free, so we used a gluten free graham cracker one. Overall, great recipe, we loved it! Best pumpkin pie we’ve had!

  4. Hi Sally! I just made this recipe for my family and it was a huge hit. Pumpkin pie is always a favorite and we will be making it again it went away so quickly! What drew me to it specifically was the simplicity in the decoration that is absolutely beautiful. Great recipe!

  5. Hi – Recipe looks great, I am not a huge pumpkin pie fan but my family is. Making this tonight, can you clarify what exactly I should look for to know when pie is done? Thanks!

  6. Hi Sally, I’ve made this recipe in the past and I made it again tonight for Thanksgiving. My most recent pie kind of caved in in the middle while it was cooling. Any idea why this happened? I’m thinking I maybe undercooked it (I was trying to avoid cracks), but wanted to get your opinion. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Caroline! Any time a pumpkin pie sinks in the center, that means it was not fully baked. It’s no problem at all– the pie will taste extra creamy that way. 🙂 Sometimes I prefer it!

  7. Hey Sally! I always make your pumpkin pie and cheesecake for thanksgiving, and mix the leftovers of the fillings in cupcake tins to make pumpkin cheesecake swirl bites. This year, I wanted to try pecan pie instead of the cheesecake, so I wasn’t able to make my mini cheesecakes with the leftover filling. Instead, I mixed the leftover pumpkin pie filling with about 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 tbsp baking powder and 1/2 cup milk and I baked it at 350 for 20 mins. It made THE most delicious and moist pumpkin muffins. Sooooo good. 🙂

  8. Hi Sally, great recipe! I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and it’s always a hit wherever I take it :). Seems like there was a heavy cream shortage in my area as I was unable to find any heavy cream the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving :/ can I use half and half instead?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Hi there!
    I made this last year for my family and everyone was raving about it and requested that I baked it again this year. I am currently in the process of making the filling and was wondering if I could use heavy whipping cream instead of heavy cream?

  10. I made this wonderful pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkin that I baked in the oven for one hour. It came out so delicious that my children actually tried pumpkin pie for the first time and loved it. I made homemade whipped cream to top it off. The only thing I changed was that I added1/4 tsp of ground cloves instead of 1/8. Loved it and I am making two more today!

  11. This is my new and ONLY pumpkin pie recipe!!! Hands down, the best flavor! Be sure to use fresh spices for the greatest flavor! I will never again use the recipe on the can of Pumpkin.

  12. Hi Sally
    Filling was super and cranberries as well. Great rounded, mellow, but rich flavor. I made for Thanksgiving, and it really was 1st pumpkin pie I have made. Thank you for that recipe! I gave you credit at the Thanksgiving table;)
    My question: Im not sure why preface crust for only 10 minutes? I did this with pie weights and foil, and when I removed the foil, my crust stuck to the foil. It put a dent in what had been a really pretty crust.
    Have you tried NOT using 10 minute prebake? Thanks in advance for your answer.
    Carol

    1. Hi Carol! I’ve baked this pumpkin pie WITHOUT the crust pre-bake and honestly… it’s just fine!! You can skip that step if it’s giving you problems. I pre-bake the crust for extra insurance to ensure the crust isn’t mushy.

  13. Thanks for a great recipe and helpful tips and tricks! My sister gave and nephew gave me a can of pumpkin puree and said “can you please make something out of this?”. So I turned to your trusted blog, and boy was it a success! The pie had perfect texture and pungent with spices. My (non American) family loved it, and the leaves are perfect for all the crust lovers to get some extra crunch. Whipped cream is a must, if you ask me.

  14. I just made this recipe for Thanksgiving and it turned out amazing. I added 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract and 4 teaspoons of Cinnamon. I know it sounds like a lot of cinnamon and vanilla extract but everyone loved it, even the people who hate pumpkin pie. The cinnamon did not over power any of the other spices like you might think it would. I also added a strudel on top and used 1/4 cup walnuts, 1 cup quick oats, just 2 Tablespoons flour, and 3/4 cup Sugar in the Raw. I of course added 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract. The quick oats gave it so much more flavor than flour does and it’s better for you. Thanks for the recipe. Janet P.

  15. I made the pie filling for Thanksgiving and it was the best! Sorry, I used a premade pie crust. The pepper brought all the seasonings together. My sister-n-law liked the pie and she does not care for pumpkin, she asked for the recipe.

  16. Hi Sally, I’m Dee. well I made your delish Pumking Pie, and Crust! 1st time crust maker. I made two pie’s with the family we have. usually buy store bought crust, and you’re right, the homemade taste better. so to get it over with, I made five disk, and they’ll be used for christmas. thank you so much for all your great recipes

  17. This is the best pie in my recipe collection so far. I’ve lost the recipe I normally use, and had to find a replacement. Picked this one and… this is amazing! I was famous for my pumpkin pies, but this one is soo much better than my traditional recipe was! I used my classic pie crust recipe instead of the one suggested here though – not because I didn’t like this one, just my recipe is already tested for my family’s taste.
    Also for me (I made a 9-9.5 inch pie) it did yield about 30% more filling than needed, but I simply froze it. After defrosting it looks just as good. Making this pie again today 🙂

  18. Hi Sally,

    I am just wondering if you know which type of pumpkin would be the best to use?
    Australia has around six different types of pumpkins, but there is also sweet potato which could be used as well.

    Queensland Blue Pumpkin, Butternut Pumpkin, Golden Nugget Pumpkin, Jarrahdale Pumpkin.

    Thanks
    Tyrel

    1. Hi Tyrel, Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with most of those names for pumpkins. I’d suggest checking with a trusted local source or even asking in our Facebook group since there are people from all over the globe in the group!

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