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Your search for the perfect pumpkin pie has just come to an end. This classic recipe is so easy and yields simply irresistible results. Full of pumpkin flavor and fall spices, it’s sure to become your new favorite Thanksgiving dessert.
The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Rich and creamy, but not too heavy this pumpkin pie is the best I have ever tasted. I love the subtle, natural sweetness of the pumpkin paired with the perfect blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. It’s full of autumn flavor and nostalgia and is sure to be the talk of your Thanksgiving gathering this year. Plus, it’s one of the easiest pies to make. There’s little to do before you pop it in the oven and wait, all while enjoying the lovely aroma as it bakes.
Not all pumpkin pies are equal. They vary quite a bit in taste and texture. Some are ok, some are good, and some are just heavenly. After a lifetime of taste-testing pumpkin pies holiday season after holiday season, I decided it was time for me to create my own recipe. I tested and tested, playing with spices, sugars, the number of eggs, and different kinds of milk. This recipe is what I came up with and, trust me, it was worth all of the trial and error. The result is pure perfection. Try it. You’ll see.
Why You’ll Love This Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie is one of the best things about fall (if you ask me) and this recipe delivers the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. Here’s what makes it so amazing.
- So easy. This recipe is SO easy to execute. It’s really just a matter of combining all the ingredients in order and pouring them into a pie crust to bake (you’ll want to blind-bake the pie crust first, but we’ll get to that).
- The BEST flavor. The natural sweetness of the pumpkin combined with the perfect amount of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves creates a symphony of warm, aromatic flavors that will have you diving back to the dessert table for seconds.
- Texture. I finally figured it out. I used heavy cream and just a splash of milk in this recipe and I swear it creates the loveliest texture. Creamy and rich but not too heavy. It’s perfect.
- Nostalgia. A slice of this pie will transport you back to cherished memories of family gatherings and cozy evenings by the fireplace, making it more than just a dessert.
What You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll need to make this outstanding homemade pumpkin pie. Be sure to scroll to the recipe below for exact measurements.
- Pie crust – You can use store-bought or a homemade pie crust. I used to use store-bought, but now I just love my pie crust recipe. So easy to make too!
- Pumpkin puree – I highly recommend that you use a canned version as opposed to fresh. It is just much more consistent in texture, moisture, and sweetness. Libby brand is my preferred one.
- Eggs – The eggs should be at room temperature. They will incorporate more smoothly and easily with the other ingredients.
- Light brown sugar – I like the light brown sugar here. Dark brown sugar has a strong molasses-y flavor that is just too much for this pie. Conversely, granulated sugar doesn’t add quite enough depth.
- Spices – Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves create the perfect blend and flavor.
- Salt – To amplify the other flavors in the pie.
- Heavy whipping cream – Be sure that the heavy cream is at room temperature. It will mix more smoothly and evenly into the filling, helping prevent you from over-mixing and thus incorporating excess air into the filling.
- Milk – The milk should also be at room temperature so that it combines more easily with the other ingredients.
What Kind of Milk to use in Pumpkin Pie
During my testing of pumpkin pies, I tried lots of different milk options – heavy whipping cream, regular milk (I used 2% in my testing), sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Ultimately, I found heavy whipping cream to be the best. It produced the creamiest pie in my opinion. Milk was a little blah for me. The sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk seemed fairly similar to me and were good, but I preferred the flavor given by the heavy cream. Ultimately, I used mostly heavy whipping cream and a touch of milk to keep it from getting to be too much and it was just right.
How To Make Pumpkin Pie
Tie on your apron and hop in the kitchen. Here’s a quick overview of how to make this delicious autumn treat. For more detailed instructions, scroll to the recipe card below.
- Blind bake the pie crust. Place the pie crust in a deep dish 9-inch pie pan and crimp the edges. Pre-bake the crust according to package directions.
- Make the filling. Whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, and light brown sugar. Then, mix in the remaining ingredients.
- Bake. Remove the crust from the oven, fill it with the pumpkin pie filling, and bake it at 375 degrees F for 40-50 minutes. Add a pie crust shield after 20 minutes.
- Cool. Remove the pie from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool for 1-2 hours. Cover the pie and transfer it to the fridge. Allow it to chill in the fridge for 4-5 hours before diving in.
Why did my Pumpkin Pie Crack?
Pumpkin pie is a custard-based pie and as such, has a tendency towards cracking. It can be hard to say exactly why a pie cracked, but here are a few things to keep in mind to help keep that from happening.
- It was over baked. Over baking your pie is one of the biggest reasons for cracking. You want the edges to be set and the middle few inches to be set, but still jiggly when you take it out of the oven. It will continue to bake as it cools, so it’ll actually be over baked if the middle is fully set when you take it out of the oven.
- It cooled too quickly. Let your pie cool at room temperature. Similar to how I slowly cool my cheesecakes (which are also custard-based), you don’t want too quick of a temperature change for pumpkin pie. Allow it to cool at room temperature until it reaches room temperature, then refrigerate it.
- Cold ingredients. Be sure to start with room temperature ingredients. This may be the most important tip for this particular pumpkin pie. Start with room temperature (or slightly warmer) ingredients. Not cold.
Tips for Success
If you’re like me, you’ve had countless pumpkin pies in your life. They are usually pretty good (it’s hard to go wrong with sugar and spice and everything nice) but some are outstanding, like this one. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you take your pumpkin pie game from good to the talk of the town today.
- Blind bake your crust. Be sure to bake your crust a bit before filling it (this is called blind baking). This will result in a much flakier, crispier crust. Line the pie crust with parchment paper and weigh it down with pie weights or dry rice before baking for 15 minutes or so. When the time comes, remove the pie weights and the parchment paper and fill the crust with pumpkin pie filling.
- Use canned pumpkin puree. While I am often all for homemade, from scratch everything, this is not the time or place. Canned pumpkin puree is just so much more consistent in texture, moisture, and sweetness than fresh pumpkin puree, making it a much better choice for producing a predictably delicious pie.
- Room temperature ingredients. Be sure your cold ingredients are all at room temperature before beginning. Using cold ingredients is the biggest cause of cracks in this pie.
- Follow the recipe. This recipe instructs you to mix together the ingredients for the filling in a specific order. Do not waver from that order. Believe it or not, changing it can actually cause cracks in the baked filling.
- Don’t over-mix. Over-mixing can incorporate too much air into the pie filling. The air will bubble up to the surface of the pie as it bakes, causing it to crack.
- Use a pie crust shield. After about 20 minutes of baking, place a pie crust shield over the pie to keep the crust from browning too much.
- Don’t over-bake. Overbaking can cause the filling to crack and can yield an unpleasant texture. So bake the pie just until the edges are set and the center is still the tiniest bit jiggly. It will continue to firm up a bit as it cools.
Got questions? You’re not alone. Here are some of the questions I run into most frequently when the subject of pumpkin pie is on the table. If you have any additional questions, don’t be shy! Leave them in the comments at the bottom of the page.
I actually didn’t use either (I opted for a blend of heavy cream and whole milk instead) but if you choose to use sweetened condensed or evaporated milk, just note that each will produce different results. Sweetened condensed milk is thicker and contains added sugar, so you won’t have to add extra sugar and the filling will be very rich. Evaporated milk is unsweetened and has a thinner consistency. This means that you will have to add some extra sugar and that your pie will have a lighter, airier filling. Both options are delicious. You just have to decide which fits your taste preferences better.
I highly suggest blind baking the crust. This means partially baking the crust before adding the filling. Line the crust with parchment paper or foil, and fill it with pie weights or dry rice. Bake it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until the crust’s edges are lightly browned, but just barely.
Yes. Hands down. Canned pumpkin puree just has a more predictable texture, sweetness, and moisture content than fresh pumpkin puree, which can vary greatly in those qualities. You want that predictability if your goal is to make a perfect pumpkin pie every time.
While pumpkin pie is divine as is, sometimes it looks a little lonely all by itself. So dress it up with one (or several) of these tantalizing accompaniments.
- Whipped cream. The combination of pumpkin pie and whipped cream is pretty unbeatable. Grab some whipped cream at the store or make this easy Homemade Whipped Cream from scratch and pipe a generous dollop over your slice of dreamy pumpkin pie.
- Sauce. Dress your slice up with a drizzle of Easy Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce or Salted Caramel Sauce.
- With a festive beverage. Curl up some pumpkin pie and a warm cup of spiced cider or a cozy mug of hot cocoa. Try my Homemade Apple Cider or this delicious Hot Chocolate Mix.
- Refrigerator. Once the pie has cooled, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. It will remain at its best for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezer. Let the pie cool completely before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and sealing it in a freezer bag (this second layer of protection will help prevent freezer burn). Store the pie in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
More Pumpkin Desserts
It’s fall y’all and you know what that means. Pumpkin everything. Here’s a list of the best pumpkin desserts ever. Please try all of them. And don’t forget to let me know which is your favorite.
- Pumpkin Roll Cake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Pumpkin Layer Cake
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Pancakes
- Pumpkin Pound Cake
- Copycat Chunkin’ Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Layer Cake
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Layer Cake
- Pumpkin Bread
- Cinnamon Streusel Pumpkin Coffee Cake
This Classic Pumpkin Pie is easy to make and full of pumpkin flavor and Autumn spices! It’s the perfect pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving!
- Refrigerated or Homemade pie crust
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup (225g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60ml) milk, room temperature
- Place the pie crust in a deep dish 9 inch pie pan (I use this one) and crimp the edges. Pre-bake (see my tutorial for blind baking) according to the temperature and time of the package directions. I like to use pie weights to keep the crust from puffing up when baking.
- While the crust bakes, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs and light brown sugar in a large mixer bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until well combined.
- Remove the crust from the oven when done baking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Pour the pie filling into the hot crust, then place back in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. After about 20 minutes of baking, add a pie crust shield to keep the crust from browning too much.
- When the pie is set around the edges and the center is just set but still jiggly, remove the pie from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 1-2 hours.
- Carefully cover the pie and place the pie in the fridge to cool completely, 4-5 hours. Pie can be made 1-2 days ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Be sure to use room temperature ingredients where indicated, as cold ingredients can lead to a cracked pie.
- Serving Size: 1 Slice
- Calories: 256
- Sugar: 18.3 g
- Sodium: 206.9 mg
- Fat: 13.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 31.3 g
- Protein: 3.7 g
- Cholesterol: 69.7 mg
Keywords: pumpkin pie, homemade pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie recipe