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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.

pumpkin pie

Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bars, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin bread, but HELLO what about pumpkin pie?? My Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe is here today.

Did you know that 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…?

But I finally 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 for this classic Thanksgiving dessert.

pumpkin pie garnished with sugared cranberries and pie crust designs
pumpkin pie filling in a mixing bowl

Pie Crust

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 video tutorial and step-by-step photos in my pie crust recipe.

pie crust rolled out with leaf cut outs
leaf pie crust designs on a baking sheet

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.
pumpkin pie

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 what makes this spiced pie so good. A pinch of pepper.

pumpkin pie with one slice missing

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.

PS: Here is my recipe for mini pumpkin pies.

slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream

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

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pumpkin pie with one slice missing

The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes (includes blind bake)
  • Total Time: 5 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: serves 810; 1 cup sugared cranberries 1x
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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. 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.



Sugared Cranberries

  • 1 cup (120g) fresh cranberries*
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 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 puree*
  • 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 ginger*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg*
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black 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


  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 has 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. You’ll have extra, but they’re great for eating or as garnish on other dishes. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  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.
  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 deep dish 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 a fork or flute the edges with your fingers, if desired. Brush edges lightly with egg wash mixture. Line the pie crust with parchment paper. Crunching up the parchment paper is helpful so that you can easily shape it into the crust. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. (Note that you will need at least 2 standard sets of pie weights to fit.) Make sure the weights/beans are evenly distributed around the pie dish. Par-bake the crust for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper/pie weights.
  6. Pour pumpkin pie filling into the warm pre-baked crust. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. (If using a deep dish pie dish as instructed, you should only have a little filling leftover. 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 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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. No need to bring to room temperature before baking.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Mixing Bowl Set, Pastry Blender, Rolling Pin, Emile Henry Ceramic Pie Dish, Pie Weights (you’ll need 2 packs), Pastry Brush, Pie Crust Baking Shield, Fall Cookie Cutters, and Silpat Baking Mat
  3. Cranberries: Use 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.
  4. Pumpkin: Canned pumpkin is best in this pumpkin pie recipe. I use and recommend Libby’s brand. If using fresh pumpkin puree, lightly blot it before adding to remove some moisture. The bake time may be longer.
  5. Spices: Instead of ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, you can use 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Be sure to still add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
  6. Pie Crust: No matter if you’re using homemade crust or store-bought crust, pre-bake the crust. (Step 5.) You can use graham cracker crust if you’d like, but the slices may get a little messy. Pre-bake for 10 minutes just as you do with regular pie crust in this recipe. No need to use pie weights if using a cookie crust.
  7. 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.
  8. Mini Pumpkin Pies: Many have asked about a mini version. Here are my mini pumpkin pies. They’re pretty easy– no blind baking the crust!

Keywords: pumpkin pie

Pie Crust Leaves

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 (affiliate link) 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.

unsliced pumpkin pie with pie crust designs

Sugared Cranberries

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 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!

fresh cranberries in a bowl of sugar syrup

sugared cranberries on a baking sheet

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I made this for Thanksgiving, and it was SO good, definitely will be my go to pumpkin pie from now on. Also loved the cranberries, super easy, and such a nice accompaniment!

  2. I have been on the hunt for a great pie crust and pumpkin pie my whole cooking life. Found both here. AMAZING pie is all I can say. We all could not stop raving!

  3. I grabbed this recipe off Pinterest to make a homemade pumpkin pie. I had already made it, and set it out on the table before I realized that it was from your site, Sally. I had learned my lesson from your wonderful Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    The pie turned out beautiful. No cracks, not under or over cooked, and the crust was buttery and flakey… well, so I have heard. My husband took the first slice, and his 2 siblings were lucky enough to get a slice before my husband went ahead and finished off the pie. Yes, my husband ate all but a fourth of the pie, by himself, sometime between finishing Thanksgiving dinner and waking up the next morning after having a full Thanksgiving meal.

    Guess I won’t be able to get away with store bought pumpkin pies anymore. I would suggest though to use the second crust to make a second pie if you are doing deep dish.

  4. I was terribly skeptical about the pepper. So much so that I left it out of the first batch but included it on the second. I wanted to have pies with and without so I’d have a backup. The first batch without was good. The second batch with was DIVINE. Don’t skip the pepper. You can’t taste pepper. It justs bumps up the flavors of the spices. I don’t usually like pumpkin pie. I cannot stop eating this pie. It’s so good. We’ve gone through three of them since Thanksgiving. Yum! Thanks for the delicious recipe!

  5. OMG sooo delicious! I’ve nrver made your recipe this is a first but I used Hubbard squash instead! I found out Hubbard squash is sold as pumpkin pie in the can ! What false marketing! But they taste very much the same. The pepper is a great addition…. I always thought salt was the IT! I’m adding you to my list of cooking people I loved it so much! Thanks for a great and easy pie, I’ll tell others ! Again DELISH!!!

  6. Dear Sally,
    My friend was looking for a new twist on pumpkin pie so I sent her your recipe. She was THRILLED when she WON her family’s annual pie contest but she said the best part was TRULY the pie. Her family was crazy about the texture and flavor. Your blog and cookbooks are my GO TO’s for great recipes! Keep ’em coming:-)
    Melissa Richardson

  7. Thank you so much for this recipe … and my husband thanks you!
    I have never made a pie from scratch before attempting this one. I don’t have a pastry cutter (but will be getting one now) so the two fork trick worked ok.

    My husband loves this pie and I’m not much for a pumpkin pie but I love how the flavor turned out. I used 1 1/4c whole milk instead of heavy cream and regular milk because I didn’t have cream on hand.

    Thank you, awesome pie 🙂

  8. I made this for Thanksgiving. I used a refrigerated pie crust and skipped the sugared cranberries, both in the interest of time. The pie was fluffy and YUMMY! Thanks so much for sharing. I am making it again for Christmas by request.

  9. Hello! I was wondering if i could prep the pie by filling it the night before and then just be able to throw it in the oven the following morning. I have done this once before on a homemade cherry pie and it was still wonderful. Just wondering if it will be okay for this recipe. Thank you!

    1. The filling can be made the night before. In fact, I prefer it that way. It gives the spices, pumpkin, and brown sugar flavors a chance to infuse and blend. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  10. My husband LOVES pumpkin pie. And I live in a place where you can not get pumpkin pie, so I was unsure but delighted to try this recipe for thanksgiving. And it was AMAZING! My husband took a picture of my pie and still has it as his screen shot for his phone. 🙂 and now he’s asked me to make it for his birthday; no cake this year, just sally’s amazing pumpkin pie, complete with her crust! Thank You!!!

  11. I made this using your pie crust recipe at thanksgiving and it was the best thing I’ve ever baked, not to mention the best pie I’ve ever had. Anyone thinking of making this should take the extra time to make the crust from scratch. Its so easy. I stick the dough in the freezer for a bit instead of waiting hours or over night.
    I just made the crust again but used vodka just to see the difference and I’ll be darned if it wasn’t even better! Love your stuff! 

  12. This recipe makes me so excited for fall! In the past my mom has always made the recipe on the back o the Libby’s can of pumpkin puree (I think it’s still there?). She uses sweetened condensed milk, and it always turns out delicious! Oh, and she mixes the entire pie filling in a blender, which has worked great for pouring right into the crust. However, this recipe has convinced me to branch out and try something classic and indulgent. It’s so interesting–I love this book I have called “The Flavor Bible”, and I use it all the time to pair flavors. I just re-looked up the pumpkin section, and sure enough, black/white pepper is listed as a frequently recommended pairing for pumpkin… though I’m not sure they imagined it in pie. So creative! Thank you so much for sharing!

  13. Yuuuuuuuum!  I made this with my kids today, using pre-made Pillsbury gluten-free pastry dough for the crust because my husband has Celiac Disease. Oh EM GEEE!  It was delicious!  One slight modification was that I left out the 1/4 Cu of milk, as the filling seemed the right consistency without it.  It baked up in 50 minutes.  It really is the most flavorful pumpkin pie I’ve had.  Thanks for the great recipe!

  14. Hi Sally!
    Love your blog, love your recipes!  My 4 and 12 year old love pumpkin pie!  Trying this recipe for sure!  Have you ever used eggnog in place of the heavy cream or maybe in a past recipe that you made prior to this delicious  “get the heck out of town” pumpkin pie? 🙂
    Thanks for sharing and Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. I haven’t tried it! I feel like it would be absolutely delicious. Maybe reduce the sugar a bit in the filling? I’d have to test it out!

  15. Hi Sally!
    This is my first Thanksgiving as a newly wed and I am so excited to try this pumpkin pie recipe next week for my family’s Thanksgiving with my new husband! I have never baked my own pie crust and am excited to try your recipe since everyone says it’s so delicious. I love baking but am new to the pie world (I am really wanting to master the art!!!) This might be a silly question but is it okay to make ahead of time? and keep it in the fridge overnight before thanksgiving?? 

    Thanks Sally!!!

  16. I made this pie including the crust a few weeks ago and it was absolutely DELICIOUS!! I have found my new go-to pumpkin pie recipe! It is so tasty, and the texture was airy yet thick as it should be. The crust was so flaky! And not a single crank, which is quite the achievement for any baker.  I did just as the recipe said, but I was unaware of blind baking the crust until I was in the middle of making it. I don’t own pie weights and have never blind baked a crust in any pie I’ve ever made, including pumpkin. Sally: is it really necessary to blind bake the crust for this pie? What will happen if I don’t?

    1. It’s not necessary in my opinion. In fact, I’ve only pre-baked the crust a handful of times when making this pie. Usually I skip the step! I only do it because it bakes the crust just a little more. I find the crust to be a little more moist and a little less firm if I skip the pre-bake.

  17. I LOVE pumpkin pie and I have to say this is the absolute best pumpkin pie I have ever had. The filling is absolutely delicious; I think letting the filling set overnight is genius.  I am not very good at crusts and I was worried about this one because it wasn’t rolling out very well. . .but turned out very light and luscious.  

  18. Perfect recipe!! I even made the sugared cranberries and free-hand cut leaves. Rave reviews from all on Thanksgiving!!

  19. I have never commented on a recipe before, but felt I needed to after successfully baking my very first pie! Thank you for your detailed steps and tricks – I cannot believe my first pie turned out so amazing. From the pastry to the filling, everything was perfect. I can’t say that it looked anything like your photos, but it tasted amazing. My grandma would have been so proud of me. Wish she could have tasted it. Thank you again! I’ll send all the pie-making newbies I know to your site. 

  20. Hi Sally! Yesterday, I baked this pie but it ended up having kind of a mushy consistency w/ the filling the crust was perfect tho… Any idea of what might have happen and how to fix it? Thank you 🙂

    1. Marie, do you think the filling was underbaked? It sounds like it wasn’t set up all the way.

  21. Hi Sally if I am substituting the pumpkin pie spice how much do I use? I don’t have all the spices As you listed thanks

  22. Hi Sally! I just came across this recipe, and I am in love! I cannot wait to make this pie! I was just wondering though, do you think that the pie would stand well if I swirled some chocolate ganache in with it? And instead of doing sugared cranberries, would raspberries work? Just some thoughts I had! Thanks, I love your blog! 

    1. Oh my gosh the chocolate ganache swirl would be delicious. With sugared raspberries? You’ve got a beautiful and delicious pie on your hands. Try it and let me know!

  23. Is this recipe able to be doubled? I am hosting my husbands family for Thanksgiving and want to make two pies with the two crusts your recipe provides. If so, do I just double each ingredient? Thanks!

  24. Hi Sally, I’m reading all of your instructions (very carefully!) and I’m wondering the difference between a ceramic and a glass pie dish. In your notes you say to use a glass one because it cooks more evenly and you can see the bottom of the crust. But in all of your pictures, I see you used a ceramic dish. I only have a ceramic dish and I could get a glass one, I just don’t want to go buy one if I don’t need it.

    1. Hi Caryn! Glass is absolutely my preference because you can see the bottom of the crust– if it’s beautifully brown, that’s a great sign! But it’s not necessary. I believe I used a ceramic dish in these pictures and video because my glass was being used for another recipe. Ceramic is perfectly fine too!

  25. Hi Sally,
    The pie is in the oven and already I can tell it is by far the best I have ever tasted! I could literally eat the batter with a spoon (which really isn’t typical of pumpkin pie batter). I CANNOT WAIT to eat this!!! I’m making this for Friendsgiving this weekend and traditional Thanksgiving on Thursday. I was going to try 2 different recipes, but there really is no need. Seriously, I’m impressed. Thank you so much. You are a pie-genius!

  26. Hi Sally,

    Regarding the sugared cranberries — how do I store them? I’m going to make the pumpkin pie the night before Thanksgiving and refrigerate it. Can I top the pie with the cranberries and allow both to refrigerate overnight? Or do the cranberries need to be stored separately and added to the pie the next day?


    1. You can store them in the refrigerator overnight then decorate the pie with them the next day.

  27. Thank you for sharing this most wonderful pumpkin pie recipe with the rest of us. 
    I always thought I made pretty great pumpkin pies, and I did. But now, thanks to you, I make the best! This is my 2nd year using your recipe  and it will be my 6th pie. I have to make extra for my guests to take a slice home.
    And the cranberries are so delicious.  I put them on everything! 

  28. This is THE best pumpkin pie recipe I have ever found! This will definitely go in my heirloom recipes that my family loves! My children and sister all RAVE about the sugared cranberries as well; takes the traditional pumpkin pie up a notch! Again, LOVE IT! And thank you for such a wonderful recipe! I put home made whipping cream on mine.

  29. 8 times!! I have made this pumpkin pie recipe 8 times since Thanksgiving! Thank you! I had to make my Dad 3! The first time the crust came out very hard however, I definitely have it down now. I am not super creative so I did not make this with the leaves or the cranberries but hey, maybe I will try it someday. This is now my “go to” and will now be our traditional pumpkin pie. Thank you again.

  30. Sally, I’m new to baking pumpkin pies, and wanted your take on the difference btn using condensed milk and evaporated milk, vs using heavy cream in pies. Does it taste different? Or is it the texture? Or just that it is richer and less sugary?

    1. You got it– a much richer filling and less sweet. Heavy cream is my preferred liquid.

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