This is our all-time favorite Pumpkin PieRecipe with a simple buttery crust. This pie has a few “secret” ingredients that truly take it to the next level!
What Makes This Pumpkin Pie Recipe Unique
There is no shortage of pumpkin recipes on this site, both sweet and savory (shout-out to our fave Pumpkin Soup and these tasty Pumpkin Bars). But somehow, over the past 8 years of sharing recipes, there has never been a stand-alone pumpkin pie.
Sure, there is this No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake that everyone loves, but that’s a frozen treat. (Besides, it’s more the texture and flavor of Pumpkin Cheesecake than a pie.) Then there is this Pumpkin Pecan Pie (pumpkin pie made with condensed milk), but that’s a mash-up of pumpkin pie and pecan pie, so not quite a stand-alone pumpkin pie either.
So, finally, after years of trying pumpkin pies that rated anywhere from un-memorable to completely unmemorable, I’m sharing what we consider the best pumpkin pie recipe ever. It has a few unique ingredients, but truly it’s just as easy as any pumpkin pie to make.
Pumpkin Pie Filling Ingredients
So what are those “secret” ingredients anyways?
- Mascarpone cheese. If you aren’t familiar with mascarpone cheese, it’s similar to cream cheese, but uses a base of whole cream rather than milk (so you know this is going to be good!). It’s a fresh cheese and can be found usually in one of three places in the grocery store: the deli counter, in the dairy section (near the cream cheese, sour cream, etc.), or in the specialty foods section (near fancier cheeses like brie). If you have a grocery store app, I recommend using that to quickly locate it in your specific store.
- Canned pumpkin. Good-quality canned pumpkin (like Libby’s®) contains cooked pumpkin and nothing else. We don’t want a water-down or spice-filled pumpkin pie mix for this recipe.
- Powderedsugar. Most pumpkin pie recipes use white, brown, or a combo of both sugars. The powdered sugar lends a wonderful sweetness and delivers the best silky, smooth texture.
- Heavy cream. Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe uses evaporated milk (which is phenomenal in this Baked Mac and Cheese), but in testing pie recipes, we preferred the richness and flavor from heavy cream instead.
- Pumpkin pie spice. By using a spice blend, we can greatly cut down on added spices. Or, make a big batch of homemade pumpkin pie spice yourself and use it in this and other recipes.
You may remember using mascarpone cheese in our favorite Baked Ziti recipe, these Salted Caramel Cookies, or this Honey and Banana Sandwich (sounds strange, but a complete favorite of mine!). These recipes all benefit from the richness and unique flavor. If you buy a container of mascarpone and have some left over, consider making one of these recipes to use it up!
How To Make Pumpkin Pie
- Start with the crust. If you want a truly simple pumpkin pie recipe, grab a store-bought pie crust instead! Alternatively, check out our recipe for this Pie Crust, where you’ll find all the tips and tricks to perfecting a homemade pie crust. A lot of pumpkin pie recipes blind-bake the crust first. In testing, we didn’t find that necessary — this pie bakes long enough and the crust comes out great!
- Whip together the filling. This pumpkin pie filling from scratch is so easy to make — if you have a hand mixer or a stand mixer, it will whip together in mere minutes!
- Fill and bake. Pour the filling into the crust and then tap the pie 3-4 times on the counter. Why tap? This helps release any air bubbles! Bake the pie — see the “quick tip” box below for doneness cues to look for.
- Chill. The chilling is very important to the pie’s texture, so don’t try to rush it. Pumpkin Pie needs a good 4-6 hours to fully firm up before slicing!
You know a pumpkin pie is done baking by gently shaking the pie in the oven. If it’s done, it will have a slight jiggle or wobble in the center, but won’t be at all liquid-y.
Making Pumpkin Pie Ahead Of Time
Pumpkin Pie does great being made ahead of time. In fact, we like it even better the next day!
Make sure to fully cool it at room temperature and then chill uncovered, for 4-6 hours. After that, cover the pie tightly and refrigerate it until ready to serve. Pumpkin Pie is best served chilled, straight from the fridge.
Vanilla Ice Cream Or Whipped Cream?
The age-long debate — which is better? The answer? Whatever you like best!
We’re partial to maple whipped cream, and here’s how to make it:
Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for 1-2 minutes or until starting to thicken. While whipping (at medium speed), gradually drizzle in 3-1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup. Add a tiny pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Increase speed to high and continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Spoon on pumpkin pie slices and enjoy!
Pumpkin Pie Recipe Notes
- Make a crustless Pumpkin Pie by following the recipe and just leaving out the crust! Generously grease the baking dish, pour in the filling, and bake! Note that glass baking dishes (without a crust) require a cooler oven and typically a longer baking time.
- Use the right pie tin. We’ve tested this recipe in both a 9- and a 9.5-inch deep-dish glass pie pan. Be sure to get a deepdish (1.75 to 2 inches) pie pan. If using a smaller pie dish, don’t add all the filling. Fill the crust only 3/4 full and reserve leftovers for Miniature Pumpkin Pies.
- With differences in pie pan sizing, bake time can vary quite a bit. Bake until the center has a slight jiggle, checking for doneness at 45, 50, 55 minutes, etc. until finished.
- Fresh pumpkin pie recipe. We prefer making a pumpkin pie recipe from canned pumpkin, but if you’d prefer to use fresh pumpkin instead, use a sugar or pie pumpkin (not mini pumpkins).Here’s how to make your own puree. Add 15 ounces or 425 grams for this recipe.
Pumpkin Pie FAQs
1What is pumpkin pie filling made of?
Pumpkin pie filling contains spices, water, sweetener, and other ingredients so that it’s ready to be made into a pie.
This recipe is tested with pure canned pumpkin — we don’t want to use the already prepared pumpkin pie filling, because then the pie would be overly sweet and too seasoned.
When using canned pumpkin products, take care to note how they’re labeled. 100% pure pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling (also called pumpkin pie mix) are not the same things.
2Does Pumpkin Pie need to be refrigerated?
Yes. Homemade Pumpkin Pies need to be stored in the fridge — they aren’t safe at room temperature (unlike some commercial bakery pumpkin pies are, because of preservatives included).
After the pumpkin pie fully cools, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 2-4 days.
3Can you freeze Pumpkin Pie?
Yes, you can!
Here’s a phenomenal resource on how to properly package, freeze, and thaw your pie.
4What is in pumpkin pie spice?
Pumpkin pie spice is a delicious combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. Instead of using all these spices, we cut down on ingredients by just using the blend plus a little extra cinnamon.
Pumpkin pie spice is pretty versatile. It’s not just for pie!
5What is the Pumpkin Pie bake time?
This Pumpkin Pie recipe bakes for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F and then 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees F. The time may vary depending on the size of pan used and the fluctuations of individual ovens.
More Fall-Time Treats
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cookieswith a cream cheese frosting
- Apple Crumblewith a thick and sweet streusel topping
- Pumpkin Bread with Streusel Toppingand a simple glaze
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Balla fun and unique dessert
- Apple Nachoswith lots of ideas for topping the apples!
- 1pie crust (Homemade or store-bought) Note 1
- 1can (15 oz.)canned pumpkin pureeNote 2
- 1package (8 oz.)mascarpone cheeseNote 3
- 2teaspoonsvanilla extract
- 2teaspoons each:ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spiceNote 4
- 1/2teaspoonfine sea salt
- 3cupspowdered sugar
- 1/2cupheavy whipping cream
- Optional: 1 tablespoon milk and 1 large egg
- Optional (for serving): maple whipped cream (Note 4)
CRUST: Prepare the crust if making homemade. If not, put the prepared crust in a pie pan and crimp edges (optional) or press down edges with the tines of a fork. Optional: Whisk together an egg and milk and brush over the edges of the pie crust. Place crust in the freezer while preparing the filling.
OVEN: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Position rack in the middle of the oven.
FILLING: In a very large bowl, combine pumpkin puree and mascarpone cheese. Beat, on low speed, with a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer with whisk attachment) until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined. Finally, add in the heavy whipping cream and mix until smooth.
BAKE: Transfer all of the filling into the prepared pie crust. If using a smaller pie pan, you may not use all of it — the pan should be about 3/4 full. (You can save leftovers to make miniature pumpkin pies). In this pie tin, we use all the filling. Place pie on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 45-55 minutes. The center should have a slight jiggle, but not be liquid. If the crust is browning too much, cover the edges with a pie crust shield or foil. Check for doneness at 45, 50, 55, etc. minutes until finished. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean, but wet (if there is batter clinging to the toothpick, keep cooking).
COOL: Remove from oven and let cool completely at room temperature; then transfer to the fridge (uncovered) and cool for 4-6 hours before cutting and serving. To get clean slices, run a very sharp knife under hot water for a few seconds, wipe to dry, make 1 slice, and repeat. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (maple whipped cream is our favorite!).
- 1 and 1/3 cups (158g) all-purpose white flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 7 tablespoons (100g) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2-3 tablespoons (28g) ice water
Add flour, salt, and powdered sugar to a 10-14-cup food processor. Pulse twice. Add cubed and cold butter and pulse 10 times in 1-second increments or until butter is the size of frozen peas. Add in the egg yolk only (no whites!) and 2 tablespoons water. Pulse until dough comes together. Add the last tablespoon if needed. Pour the mixture out onto a clean surface. Without kneading at all, press the dough together into a round flat disc. Touch as little as possible! Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour, preferably 2-3 hours. When ready to use, roll out and position the crust over the pie pan. (Much more detailed instructions and step-by-step photos in this pie crust recipe.) Par-bake if using homemade if using store-bought pie crust, you don’t need to par-bake. (To par-bake with a homemade crust: preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare crust then place 2 large pieces of parchment paper on top of the pie crust to fully cover. Fill with dried beans or pie weights to weigh down the paper. Bake for 15 minutes then remove. Carefully pull off the paper and bake for 5 more minutes then remove from from oven and immediately pour in the pumpkin pie filling.
Note 2: Pure canned pumpkin: Good-quality canned pumpkin (like Libby’s®) contains cooked pumpkin and nothing else. We don’t want a water-down or spice-filled pumpkin for this recipe (don’t use pumpkin pie filling).
Note 3: Mascarpone cheese: If you aren’t familiar with mascarpone cheese, it’s similar to cream cheese, but uses a base of whole cream rather than milk (so you know this is going to be good!). It’s a fresh cheese and can be found usually in one of three places in the grocery store: the deli counter, in the dairy section (near the cream cheese, sour cream, etc.), or in the specialty foods section (near fancier cheeses like brie). If you have a grocery store app, I recommend using that to quickly locate it in your specific store.
Note 4: Pumpkin pie spice: By using a spice blend, we can greatly cut down on added spices. Or, make a big batch of homemade pumpkin pie spice and use it in this and other recipes. Alternatively, use 2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
Note 4: Maple whipped cream: Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for 1-2 minutes or until starting to thicken. While whipping (at medium speed), gradually drizzle in 3-1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup. Add a tiny pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Increase speed to high and continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Spoon on a pumpkin pie slice and enjoy!
We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.