It’s that time of year again when everything pumpkin is in season! But how about a cute new twist on an old favorite…mini pumpkin pies! You’ll get all the richness and flavor of your traditional pie, but in smaller (and cuter) packages for your Thanksgiving table.
Get the kids involved and make these adorable pies in advance so you can spend more time enjoying friends and family rather than slaving away in the kitchen.
What Makes these So Great
- The custard filling is rich and creamy with all the spices you expect in a pumpkin pie.
- The optional praline topping is sinfully delicious…and was the favorite for all of my kids.
- At 4 inches around, they’re small enough to be an individual serving, but also big enough that you feel satisfied with just one pie.
- Get the kids involved and let them help with pulling together some truly creative pie crust toppings
- Mini pumpkin pies can be made days in advance, leaving you time to make another delicious dessert for that one pumpkin naysayer that always shows up. (You know who they are.)
What You’ll Need:
- Pie Crust of Your Choice
- Pumpkin puree
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Evaporated milk
- Granulated sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- Ground cloves
- Dark Brown sugar
- Chopped pecans
- All purpose flour
- Unsalted butter
A Few Notes about the Ingredients and Supplies:
*Sigh* Homemade pie crust is not for the faint of heart. I made mine with this recipe, and it just wasn’t quite right. So I’m still on the hunt for the perfect pie crust. In the meantime feel free to use your favorite family recipe or simply use the pre-rolled dough from the store. (see tips below)
Make sure you grab 100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
To make things even easier for you, I created a simple photo guide below. For all measurements and a more detailed guide, check out the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Step 1 – Prepare a pie crust of your choice.
Step 2 – Combine brown sugar, chopped pecans, all purpose flour. Stir in melted butter. Set aside.
Step 3 – In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground cloves.
Step 4 – Stir in a pumpkin puree. (Not pumpkin pie filling.)
Step 5 – Mix in the evaported milk and sweetened condensed milk.
Step 6 – Cut out several circles of pastry to fit your mini pies (See notes below)
Step 7 – Cut out your top crust pieces: mini autumn leaves, ruffled strips, and mini lattice toppings. (See notes)
Step 8 – Place the pie crust circles into the mini pie pans.
Step 9 – Pour pie filling on top of the mini crusts.
Step 10 – Top your mini pies with the mini leaves, lattice, and/or praline topping. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes.
Essential Tips and FAQ:
Don’t skip these tips – read them before baking to avoid any potential mistakes.
If You Use Store Bought Crust
Two tips you don’t want to miss:
- Let the pie crust sit on your counter for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature before rolling. This will help avoid cracks and dough that’s falling apart.
- You’ll want to have an extra box on hand. Making mini pies ends up using more crust than one large pie. Don’t get me wrong, they’re worth the effort. I just don’t want you to end up short handed right before Thanksgiving.
How to calculate your mini pie crust circles
Generally speaking, you’ll want to cut mini pie crust circles about half an inch wider than the base of the pie pan cavity.
So, for the 4″ wide mini pies you see here, I used a cookie cutter that is approximately 4.5 inches wide.
You’ll still want to roll the dough out just a bit after cutting to make sure it’s pliable and can be molded to your pie pan.
Important note: This guide only applies to mini pie pans. It does not work for full sized pie pans, as they are deeper.
You Can Also Use a Muffin Tin!
I’ve made these before using a mini muffin tin, and they were ridiculously cute 2-bite treats.
Here’s how to adapt the recipe for a mini muffin tin:
- Use a 6 inch circle to cut out your pie dough.
- Cook the mini pies for 5-10 minutes at 400˚F, then reduce the temperature down to 350˚F and continue baking for 10-30 minutes, checking frequently.
Creative Crust Ideas:
What makes mini pumpkin pies so fun? You can get creative topping them in a dozen different ways…so everyone can get exactly what they like!
Feel free to mix and match any of these beautiful toppings:
Mini Cookie Cutters
You can find mini cookie cutters in just about any shape these days. We used this set to cut out leaves, pumpkins, acorns, and pinecones.
Layer them around the edge of your pies, float one or more in the center of the pie, or even combine them with other pie crust techniques.
Pro Tip: Hold a wooden skewer or toothpick at a slight angle and use light, even pressure to create veins in the leaves. You want the marks to be deep enough to show after baking, but not so deep they go all the way through the pastry.
I don’t always add veining, but it makes the leaves so much cuter. It doesn’t even have to be anything elaborate. Just a line down the center with a few other lines shooting off is plenty.
The Easiest Way to Make Lattice
Yes, a woven lattice top is classic, and beautiful…and I always need to look up instructions so I can get the darn layering right.
Thankfully this little tool will take all the guesswork out of your lattice for mini pies. Just roll it across your dough, lift it up, and you’ve got a beautiful lattice ready to place on your pie.
A pastry wheel makes a simple strip of pie crust look instantly better.
How? Use the fluted edge to cut your rolled pie crust dough into strips and you’ll get a pretty little ruffled edge.
Bonus: You can also use the pastry wheel for other fun recipes, like homemade ravioli, and even to cut out cookie dough.
Call it streusel, or call it praline, the combination of brown sugar, butter, and pecans is simply heavenly.
Here are a few creative ways to use the praline topping included in this recipe:
- The traditional way – a full topping on the whole pie,
- Make a border of praline along the edge of the pie, or
- Pile some in the middle on top of a pastry crust.
These pies can be made a 2-3 days ahead. Store your cooked and cooled pies in a refrigerator covered with plastic.
Allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
If you liked my mini pumpkin pies, you’re going to love my pumpkin pie truffles with cream cheese. They’re a no bake, 2 bite treat that has all the all the tastiness of pumpkin pie.
Or you can check out my other desserts recipes right here.
Pie and Filling:
- Pie Crust of Your Choice
- 29 ounce can 100% pure pumpkin
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 4 eggs
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup chopped pecans
- 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat your oven to 400˚F. Prepare a pie crust of your choice.
- In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, 2/3 cup chopped pecans, and 6 tablespoons all purpose flour. Stir in 6 tablespoons melted butter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together 4 eggs, 1.5 cups granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves.
- Stir in a 29 ounce can of pure pumpkin. (Not pumpkin pie filling.)
- Pour in 12 ounces of evaporated milk and 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk. Stir to combine. Set the filling aside.
- Use a 4.5 inch cookie cutter or bowl to cut out several circles of pastry. (See notes) Roll out the dough slightly to ensure it isn't too thick, and to make the dough more pliable.
- Cut out your top crust pieces using the remaining dough: mini autumn leaves, ruffled strips, and mini lattice toppings. (See notes)
- Place the circles into the mini pie pans, pressing the dough into the pan so it molds to the fluted shape. You can use a sharp knife to cut off any excess dough that might pop out over the top edge of the pan.
- Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup pie filling on top of the mini crusts.
- Top your mini pies with the top crust pieces you cut earlier and/or the praline topping. Have fun making all sorts of cute designs.
- Bake your pies 400° for 20-25 minutes.
- Allow your mini pies to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Remember, the step-by-step photos and FAQ in the recipe post are there to help you if you feel stuck at any point.
- If using store-bought pie crust, make sure you purchase an extra box just in case, and let the dough come to room temperature before unrolling it.
- Make sure you cut your pie crust circles at least 1/2 inch wider than the width of your mini pie pans.
- These pies can be made a 2-3 days ahead. Store your cooked and cooled pies in a refrigerator covered with plastic. Allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Creative ways to top your pies:
- Use cookie cutters to cut out mini leaves, acorns, and pumpkins,
- This lattice tool makes creating a lattice top as easy as can be,
- Use the fluted edge of a pastry wheel to make ruffled strips of pie dough. Then the strips in with other toppings.
- Praline topping is my kids' favorite on these pies...but does that surprise anyone?
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Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 213mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 1gSugar: 39gProtein: 6g
__________________________________ The nutrition information provided above is estimated using an automated calculation system. Actual nutrition will vary depending on brand and measurements used in your recipe. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutrition information for any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information using the actual ingredients you used in your recipe.
This post was originally published on November 21, 2011. It has been updated with a new recipe, new photos, and helpful tips.