The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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. 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!

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 here.

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: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: Overnight (14 hours - includes time for pie dough and cranberries)
  • Yield: serves 8-10; 1 cup sugared cranberries
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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.


Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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

393 Comments

  1. The pie was incredible, best pumpkin pie ever. Thanksgiving morning I added the extra pie mixture to our pancakes and we had the most amazing pumpkin pancakes for breakfast.

  2. Lori Fischer says:

    The spices and flavour was good but I moved it down from 5 star because the volume of filling is way too much for one pie. There is actually enough for two pies. I realize it was mentioned in the recipe that there might be enough for a few tarts. The recipe should be adjusted to prepare two pie crusts.

  3. Thank you for all your wonder, clear and simplistic recipes. We use this one sans crust and serve it as a side dish with fowl. Have been making it for a year and the family loves it!

  4. Hi! I love this recipe, but I messed up and accidentally baked this at 350 until it looked set – I didn’t notice until it was too late. Do I need to remake it? I think it was in the oven roughly 65 minutes.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Erin, as long as it’s cooked through (until the center is almost set and a little wobbly), you should be just fine!

  5. Great recipe thank you!

  6. Could I freeze the whole un baked pie?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amanda! No, we don’t recommend freezing the unbaked pie. Baked pies freeze beautifully, though! See recipe notes for details.

  7. Jennifer Roland says:

    I haven’t made this yet but reading the comments about there being enough filling for 2 pies made me wonder if you have a pumpkin cheesecake recipe that I could use the second half for?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jennifer! We do have a pumpkin swirl cheesecake recipe (also a no bake pumpkin cheesecake), but it uses a different recipe for the pumpkin portion. We haven’t tested swirling this pumpkin pie filling into a cheesecake.

  8. Great recipe!

  9. I made my first from scratch pumpkin pie using this recipe and it was a big success!! The steps are detailed so beginners like me can easily follow. and the result was a hit with everyone that tried it (even someone who never likes pumpkin pie!).

  10. Hi Sally! I don’t have any heavy whipping cream, is there anything I could substitute it with?

    1. Hi Ayla, unfortunately not. I’ve tried half-and-half and even evaporated milk and the two don’t compare. Use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.

  11. THANK YOU for this recipe! It’s the most flavorful pumpkin pie I’ve ever tried and anytime I bake it, people beg me for the recipe. It’s sweet, creamy, and a little spicy. Much better than the regular Libby’s pumpkin pie.

  12. Hi Sally! I made this pie last year and it was absolutely amazing!! I want to make it again for thanksgiving this year but I need to make it eggless. Do you know if this is possible? I was wondering if the eggs could be replaced with flaxseed “eggs”? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sonia, we haven’t tested this recipe with any egg substitutes, but let us know if you do! For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a recipe that is specifically formulated to be egg-free. Thank you!

  13. Just looking at the recipe and the reviews makes me excited to try out this recipe! I will be making a pumpkin pie for thanksgiving in a few weeks and can’t wait to try this! If it’s not too much to ask, I have seen people say that there is enough to make 2 pies with this recipe. This being said, would I be able to make one pie as a sort of test-pie and then freeze the rest for a few weeks until thanksgiving? I’m worried the filling is going to get messed up being frozen…

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Vanessa, It should be fine to freeze the filling. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using. Enjoy!

  14. I sprayed three ramekins with vegetable spray, filled them with leftover pumpkin pie mix. I put the pie in the middle oven, setting on a silpad, put the ramekins on either side. Baked alongside with the pumpkin pie, they seemed to bake exactly same as pie. They were not over baked. It was such a delight to pull a Ramekin out. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top or chopped pecans or whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, anyting to your taste. They were absolutely lovely. Take some of the pie crust leaves, brush with a little egg white or milk, sprinkle on cinnamon sugar, stick a couple in your ramekins. So,so lovely.
    Ps. Use a deep dish pie plate and you won’t have any pie filling leftover. I know because I did it.

  15. Kristen Windram says:

    10/10 will be creating again, I love that I made enough for two pie shells and two ramekins! I used two medium sugar pumpkins from Stew Leonard’s and it turned out amazing !!

  16. This is the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. I will never use a different recipe. Thank you for sharing. I have tried many of your recipes and they are all delicious. I have family members who are vegan and I’m curious if you have a recipe for vegan pumpkin pie.

  17. I was nervous about trying this pie recipe because Sally says its for canned pumpkin and I absolutely despise anything made with canned pumpkin. It tastes processed and artificial to me. But I love so many of her recipes so I gave it a go with Fresh, roasted and pureed pumpkin and it came out wonderfully! Anyone nervous about using fresh pumpkin should still go for it! It is a great recipe

  18. Hi Sally! I’ve been coming to your page for so many different recipes and am now taking a stab at all of your pies!! How would cooking time differ if I’m using a foil tin pan? I plan on giving pies away to friends and family and tin pans would make this easy.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Keitlen, The bake time will be slightly shorter so keep an eye on the pie in the oven!

  19. This is the best recipe for pumpkin pie. Made this and served it and EVERYONE loved it!! Now that i know there is a good amount of filling left over, i will plan to use it next time for a mini pie. I will make it for myself to enjoy since the big pie disappeared so fast!

  20. Can the Classie “pie filling” recipe be used for your Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Pie filling as well? I want to make both and am hoping the “Classic” recipe can be used for both since there appears to be plenty of it and the comments above, rave about it.
    I don’t follow why the pie filling recipes are different. Thanks!

    1. Hi Diane, yes you can use this filling recipe for the Nutella swirl version if you’d like. The Nutella version doesn’t have quite as much sugar in the filling since you’re adding the Nutella swirl. It’s also a little sturdier (thicker) so it can bake with and hold onto the Nutella swirl. Still, I’m sure this filling would work just fine. Overall, it will be quite sweet.

  21. I am looking forward to try out this recipe. Hope you can help out with a few questions to avoid me messing it up.
    1. Should I set temperature to 350F if I use conviction mode?
    2. Is it better to use conviction mode?
    3. Do I really need to weight the pie crust for baking first?
    Thanks

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maggie, All of the recipes on this site are written for conventional settings. Convection ovens are fantastic for cooking and roasting. If you have the choice, we recommend conventional settings when baking cakes, breads, etc. The flow of air from convection heat can cause baked goods to rise and bake unevenly and it also pulls moisture out of the oven. If you do use convection settings for baking, lower your temperature by 25 degrees F and keep in mind that things may still take less time to bake. Yes, we do recommend par-baking the crust with pie weights first. If pie weights are not used, the crust will shrink back from the sides. Hope this helps!

  22. Hi Sally,

    I am planning to bake this pie two days before serving due to timing and work. Do I have to refrigerate pie for those two days? And should I let it come to room temp before serving day of?
    Thanks!

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jess, Yes, you should refrigerate the pie for those two days. You can let it come to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

  23. Hi Sally,
    I love your recipes and am excited to try this one. It says light or dark brown sugar can be used. I have both, is there one that is preferred?

    Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We love using dark for extra flavor!

  24. I am happy I used this recipe to bake my first pumpkin pie. I won’t be using another recipe. This was perfect!

  25. Hi Sally, I adore your recipes! It my first thanksgiving this year and I’m planning on making your pumpkin pie for the first time. I can’t find any heavy cream anywhere, do you think I can get away with 33% whipping cream instead? Thanks for all the work you do! 😀

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Naomi, thank you so much for making our recipes! We’ve only had success using heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream) which contain 36% fat. We can’t vouch for anything with a lower fat content as it may not set correctly, but let us know if you give it a try!

  26. Wow. This is the best pumpkin pie in the world. So much flavor is unbelievable. Easy to make as I’m not very good in the kitchen. Can’t wait to try the Apple pie recipe also. This is the best site on the internet. Everything tastes great. Shared this with my relatives who loved this also. Well done. Thanks for sharing. Highly recommend this to everyone who likes to bake.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Thank you so much for your kind feedback, Richard – we’re so glad you loved this pie.

  27. Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try this out. If I don’t have a deep pie dish (just a regular one!), would the baking time be impacted? And should I just make half the filling? Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Alyse, how deep is your pie dish? If it’s a 9×2 inch pie dish you should be set. Hope you enjoy the pie!

  28. Hi – how many ice cubes would you suggest putting in the 120ml of water ?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brianna, just a few ice cubes should be plenty to help make the water cool. Since they will melt, remeasure after they have melted in the water.

  29. Yummy looks great!! Can I get two pies out of this recipe as others have commented? Also was wondering if oat milk would work for the 1/4 cup of milk. I’ll definitely be buying heavy whipping cream for the filling and topping. But we don’t drink regular milk so I don’t want to waste it for such a small amount.

    1. Hi Julie! This recipe filling is not enough for 2 pies, unless you want 2 pies with a very thin layer of filling (and you would have to reduce the bake time for that). You can use unsweetened plain oat milk instead of the whole milk, especially since you’re using the heavy cream (that’s most important!).

  30. So this recipe is enough to make 2 pie using store bought deep pie shells. I had thought it would do one so doubled it but I have enough here for 4 pies. They are in the oven still so haven’t tasted it yet!

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