I’m experiencing fleeting moments of panic that an enormous, animated Thanksgiving turkey is going to bust out of our hallway closet and whack me over the head with a giant, Pilgrim-style belt buckle as soon as I make this confession. Ready? I’ve never particularly cared for pumpkin pie. But, this Pumpkin Pecan Pie? Totally different story.

a Golden Pumpkin Pecan Pie topped with pie crust leaves on a rustic wood table

Pin this recipe on Pinterest to save for later

Pin It!0

……OK, the Macy’s Day Parade-sized turkey did not materialize as I irrationally feared, but it does seem like a crime against American tradition, family values, and every grade school reenactment of the first Thanksgiving dinner to admit that the classic orange dessert does little to ruffle the construction paper feathers on my brown paper grocery bag Native American vest. (Did anyone else make those in grade school?). I digress.

a slice of perfect Pumpkin Pecan Pie on a white plate with a fork

My general attitude towards pumpkin pie is, meh (unless we’re talking about Vegan Pumpkin Pie, of course). Often bland, mushy, with a crust that is burned on the edges but soggy on the bottom, pumpkin pie seems better suited as to be a vehicle for homemade whipped cream, versus stand-out dessert.

My family agrees. Six years ago, we stopped making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner completely (although my Grammy and Poppa do have slices of pumpkin pie with bacon for Thanksgiving breakfast, a custom I enthusiastically endorse).

Instead, we put our own twist on tradition by serving a different pumpkin dessert that packs more pizzazz. Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies and Pumpkin Sheet Cake often make appearances, but this year, my vote is for pumpkin pecan pie.

An easy recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Pie  with pie crust leaves in a white pie plate

About This Dreamy Pumpkin Pecan Pie

A super-spiced, pizzazz-packed pumpkin pie filling sweetened with maple syrup, and topped with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon-toasted pecans, this pumpkin pecan pie puts the classic Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe to shame.

(FYI, the giant Thanksgiving turkey did not appear to punish me for speaking ill towards the classic Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe. Perhaps he agrees.)

  • It takes all the best features of pumpkin pie and pecan pie and combines them into a single, dreamy slice.
  • For the fans of pecan pie: you will love this recipe too. That crunchy, toasty, pecan pie topping is still intact and just as addictive as you’ve always known it to be.

Plus, this pumpkin praline pie is also ultra-easy to make, even for baking novices.

  • The pumpkin filling instructions are only one step long (stir the ingredients together until smooth)
  • The pecan layer is just as simple: toss the nuts with melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, then sprinkle them into the bottom of the crust. Pour the pumpkin filling over the top, and that’s it!

(For a bite-size holiday dessert that’s perfect for parties, check out Butter Tarts!)

Perfect Pecan Pumpkin Pie that doesn't crack or burn!

How to Make Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Even if you are a fan of classic pumpkin pie, this pumpkin pecan pie is still a must-bake, even if you omit the pecan topping.


The Ingredients

  • Pecans. Toasty, warm, and earthy. I love how the pecans add a nice contrasting crunch to the silky pumpkin pie filling.
  • Dark Brown Sugar. Light brown sugar can also be used, but I love the bold, robust molasses flavor dark brown sugar lends the pecan filling.
  • Pumpkin Puree. Make sure to grab a can of pure pumkpin puree and NOT pumpkin pie filling. They are very different products and cannot be swapped interchangeably.
  • Maple Syrup. The maple syrup gives the pie a richer flavor than the plain white sugar in the classic Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe.
  • Half-and-Half. Contributes to the pumpkin pie filling’s silky, smooth texture.
  • Butter. Enhances the flavor and adds richness.
  • Eggs. Stabilizes the filling and gives the filling its rich, luscious texture.
  • Cinnamon + Ginger. A classic pumpkin pie spice duo no pie should ever be without.
  • Nutmeg. In lieu of traditional cloves, I swapped them for nutmeg, a trick I learned from my Grammy, who as you recall has been eating pumpkin pie for breakfast for the past 20 years.
  • Pie Crust. I like to sneak in a few health points into this pie with this Darn Good Whole Wheat Pie Crust.
  • Whipped Cream. For topping. Add one dollop (or two). The limit does not exist when we’re talking about whipped cream on pumpkin pie.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Pecan Pie

The Directions

  1. Make your pie crust (if using homemade).
  2. Line a standard 9-inch pie dish with the prepared crust. Refrigerate until ready to fill.
  3. Make the pecan topping.
  4. Stir together the pumpkin filling until smooth.
  5. Sprinkle the pecan layer into the bottom of the chilled crust, then gently pour in the pumpkin filling.
  6. Tap the pie on the counter to remove any air bubbles and shield the pie crust with foil or a pie shield.
  7. Bake the pie until set.
  8. While the pie cools, prepare a few decorative pie crust leaves with remaining pie dough, if desired.
  9. Serve, garnished with pie crust leaves and dollops of whipped cream. ENJOY!

TIP!

How to tell when pumpkin pie is fully-baked: Pumpkin pie is fully baked when a knife inserted, 1 inch from the edge, comes out moist but clean

  • You can also test for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. The pie is ready when the temperature of the pie reaches 170 degrees F.
  • By appearance, when jiggled, the pie will move in the center (like jello) but should not be as liquidy as a wave. The filling may also be bubbling gently—it will calm as it cools.
A pie crust with pecan pie filling beside a mixing bowl of pumpkin pie filling.

Tips for a Perfect Pumpkin Pie

  • To prevent the bottom of your pumpkin pie from getting soggy: Start the pie at a high temperature on the bottom rack of your oven (this sets and crisps the bottom crust), then a few minutes later, lower the oven temperature and move the pie to the center rack to finish baking completely.
  • To prevent the pie crust from burning before the pie is finished baking: Shield the pie crust with foil or a pie crust guard the entire time the pie is in the oven. I use and love this adjustable pie crust shield. It’s cheap, won’t smash your perfectly fluted crust, and can be customized to any size of pie.
  • To prevent the pumpkin pie from cracking: Do not overbake! A cracked pumpkin pie is an over-baked pumpkin pie, every single time. (If you want to nerd out with me over some cool baking science, it’s because the eggs keep cooking after the pie is removed from the oven and crack the pie.)
  • And less essential but fun: For pretty decorative pie crust leaves to decorate the top, roll out extra pie crust, cut it into leaves with leaf-shaped cookie cutters, then bake the leaves separately and place them on the top of the cooled pumpkin pie.
Perfect Pumpkin Pie with Butter Pecan Topping on a plate with a fork

Although it might not be precisely traditional, I’m confident that this deeply spiced, maple syrup-sweetened pumpkin pecan pie could still earn me an invite to that first Thanksgiving dinner, construction paper costume and all.

If you’re a pecan pie fan, you’ll also love these Pecan Pie Bars.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Didn’t My Pecans Rise to the Surface?

A few factors may cause the pecans not to rise to the surface. For best results, make sure all of your ingredients room temperature prior to making the pie. Also, make sure you are using regular half-and-half and not low fat or fat free.

Could I Add Bourbon to this Recipe?

I have not tried making this a bourbon pecan pumpkin pie so it would be an experiment if you tried adding bourbon to the recipe. Alcohol can change the acidity of the pie filling and cause it to curdle, so proceed with caution if you want to try adding the bourbon. If you want to make a pie with bourbon, try this Buttermilk Pie.

Could I Use Walnuts Instead of Pecans?

I have not tried this recipe with walnuts instead of pecans, however, I imagine it could be done. The flavor will change but it should still be delicious. If you try this swap, I would love to hear about your results.

Torn between pumpkin pie and pecan pie this Thanksgiving? Make this easy recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Pie for the best of both!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

A maple pumpkin pie filling with a buttery, cinnamon toasted pecan pie topping, this pumpkin pecan pie recipe is the best of both worlds!

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 hr

Servings: 8 slices; 1 (9-inch) pie

Ingredients
  

For the Crust:

  • 1 recipe Whole Wheat Pie Crust  (this recipe will make 2 pie crusts, one for the bottom, one for the decorative leaves)
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon milk, for decorative leaves

For the Pecan Topping:

  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar light brown is OK too
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature

For the Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (one 15-ounce can) not pumpkin pie filling
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup half-and-half at room temperature (do not use fat free half and half)
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon  freshly grated nutmeg  (it’s an amazing flavor upgrade to grate your own nutmeg. I use this zester to do it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Whipped cream for serving

Instructions
 

  • Place one rack in the bottom of your oven and one rack in the center. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Prepare the whole wheat pie crust according to the recipe directions. Roll out half of the recipe (enough for 1 crust) and fit it into a regular (not deep dish) 9-inch pie dish that is at least 1 1/4-inches deep. Crimp the edges, leaving the crimp tall. Place the crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. Leave the second half of the pie crust in the refrigerator for later.
  • Make the pecan topping: In a small bowl, mix together the pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter. Set aside.
  • Make the pumpkin filling: In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients—the pumpkin puree, eggs, half-and-half, maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt—until smooth.
  • Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Sprinkle the pecan layer into the bottom of the crust (it will rise to the top when baked), then gently pour in the pumpkin filling.
  • Tap the pan firmly on the counter to allow air bubbles to escape. Wait 30 seconds, then tap once more, repeating as needed until you see very few air bubbles. With aluminum foil or a pie crust shield, shield the crust so that it does not burn while the pie bakes.
  • Place the pie on the bottom rack and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, move the pie to the center rack, then bake the pie for an additional 35-45 minutes, until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out moist but clean and the temperature of the pie reaches 170 degrees F. When jiggled, the pie will move in the center (like jello) but should not as liquidy as a wave. (The filling may also be bubbling gently—it will calm as it cools.) Let the pie cool to room temperature, then chill.
  • To make the decorative pie crust leaves: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the remaining pie crust on a lightly floured surface to a 1/8-inch thickness. With cookie cutters, cut out leaf shapes. Beat the egg and 1 teaspoon milk together in a small bowl, then brush lightly over the tops of the cut leaves. With a thin, sharp knife, draw on the leaf veins as desired. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then arrange over the top of the cooled pie. Serve pie chilled or at room temperature, with whipped cream.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Baked pumpkin pie may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve chilled or let come to room temperature before serving.
  • TO FREEZE: Wrap the baked pie tightly in plastic wrap and a layer of heavy-duty foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Note that the pie’s texture may start to change after the 2-3 week mark, however. Thaw overnight in the fridge prior to serving.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8) without whipped creamCalories: 383kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 6gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 104mgPotassium: 305mgFiber: 3gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 8702IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 2mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.

Register

More Holiday-Worthy Pie Recipes

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article

Pin0

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
5 Secrets for Cooking Tasty and Healthy
My secrets for making wholesome meals you'll WANT to eat.

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




37 Comments

Leave a comment

  1. I followed this wonderful recipe exactly but the pecans didn’t rise to the surface so it looks like an ordinary pumpkin pie .  Any tips for next time Erin?

    1. Hi Heather! Honestly, I’m not sure what it might have been. Were all of your ingredients room temperature and was the half and half regular vs. low fat or fat free? If yes, then I’m afraid I don’t have any additional. Regardless of appearances, I’m glad it was delicious! If the pecans  don’t rise next time, you could also sprinkle a few extra toasted pecans on top for decoration.

  2. Also not a big fan of pumpkin pie but make it every year. I am going to try this one this year because my family loves pecan pie. I came across a bourbon pumpkin pie recipe, and I think I will add the 3 T bourbon to your recipe. What do you think?

    1. Hi Maryann! Alcohol can change the acidity of the pie filling and cause it to curdle, so proceed with caution if you want to try adding the bourbon. If you’re interested in a pie that has bourbon already built in, this Bourbon Buttermilk Pie might be right up your alley: https://www.wellplated.com/bourbon-buttermilk-pie/

  3. Hi! This looks amazing!!?Hosting my husband’s family for Thanksgiving and couldn’t decide between pumpkin or pecan pie, so hybrid pie it is! Question–Could this be premade made the night before & cooked the morning of? Thanks!?

    1. Hi Raleigh! You can definitely make the crust in advance. I’d suggest waiting until the day of to make the filling if possible, but if you want to experiment, you could store the filling separately in the refrigerator then pour it into the crust right before baking. The finished pie also tastes good the next day, so you could always just make the whole thing in advance too! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. This recipe was screaming my name since the moment I saw it! I just pulled mine out of the oven, however, and the pecan filling never rose to the top during baking… it just looks like a pumpkin pie. Any idea why this happened?

    1. Hi Hilary! Honestly, I’m not sure what it might have been. Were all of your ingredients room temperature and was the half and half regular vs. low fat or fat free? If yes, then I’m afraid I don’t have any additional insight. Regardless of appearances, I hope you still find it delicious! You could also sprinkle a few extra toasted pecans on top for decoration.

  5. Thank you for your quick response. Yes, everything was room temperature and I followed the recipe exactly. We haven’t tried it yet, but will tonight. I’m sure it’ll still be delicious! Thanks!

  6. Well, my pecans did not rise but we had a mishap an had to get another egg out that was cold. We just put some on top. I always seem to have leftover mix, so we made some. mini pies in the muffin tin. Pretty good. We will try the full pie tomorrow.

  7. Second year making this, and while delicious my pecans again didn’t rise to the top. I made sure everything was at room temperature. Could it be because of altitude (I live at about 6000 feet)?  

  8. Erin, we tried making this pie but our pecans never raised to the top. Would you know what we did wrong? Hoping to find out so we can have a better result next time. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kelsey! Honestly, I’m not sure what it might have been. Were all of your ingredients room temperature and was the half and half regular vs. low fat or fat free? If yes, then I’m afraid I don’t have any additional ideas. If the pecans don’t rise next time, you could also sprinkle a few extra toasted pecans on top for decoration.

    1. Hi Tonna! I have not tried this recipe with walnuts, and I am afraid it could change the flavors of this recipe. If you decide to experiment with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  9. Hi, would it be okay to place the pecan mix on top, instead of covering them in pumpkin? I’m afraid they won’t rise ???

    1. Hi Feliciano! Since I have not tried this, I always recommend following the recipe steps, as this is how I’ve tested (and retested) it. If you do decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it comes out for you! You could always sprinkle on additional pecans at the end as well!

    1. Hi Linda! I have not tried this recipe with evaporated milk, so I’m afraid I don’t have any specific advice to offer. For the best texture, I do not recommend using fat free half and half. I hope you enjoy the pie if you try it!

  10. The pecans did not rise to the top per the recipe and photo. Also, the crust bottom is mostly stuck to the ceramic pie dish I cooked it in.. any tips??

    1. Hi Jenn! I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with this recipe. Honestly, I’m not sure what it might have been. Were all of your ingredients room temperature and was the half and half regular vs. low fat or fat free? If yes, then I’m afraid I don’t have any additional tips. Regardless of appearances, I hope it was delicious! If the pecans don’t rise next time, you could also sprinkle a few extra toasted pecans on top for decoration.

  11. My pie seems to have some sort of giant air bubble in the center underneath…I have no idea how this happened but I’m concerned this section (about two inches in the center) will be underbaked/soggy. Any ideas as to why this happened? Also why you don’t blind bake?

    1. Hi Bethany! Did you remove the air bubbles from the pie before baking it? If not, this may be the cause. I hope it still turned out delicious!

  12. Erin + Thanksgiving recipes… two great things! Just had a question – the pumpkin pie recipe that I usually make requires me to blind bake the pie crust first which is a hassle. Just wanted to confirm that your pie crust does not need to be pre-baked. FYI, I love that you include internal temp in directions. I’m not a good judge when food is done cooking so this is super helpful. Thanks!

  13. I do want to say I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I have a couple questions: instead of throwing the pecan mix at the bottom, would it be possible to add it on the top, right before it fully cooks through?

    Second question: I’m making this in an attempt to show my love for someone who loves pumpkin and pecans but not sweets. Is there any edits you think I can/should make without deviating too far from OG recipe?

    1. Hi Dana! Since I have not tried this, I always recommend following the recipe steps, as this is how I’ve tested (and retested) it. If you do decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it comes out for you! You could always sprinkle on additional pecans at the end as well!

  14. Hi Erin! I’ve tried a couple of your dinner recipes before but this is my first time I will be attempting dessert! I’m a stickler for sweets and am in charge of desserts this thanksgiving. Although I will be out of town and am a little worried about making the pie crust, so would it work to substitute a pre made pie crust?

  15. Just took the pie from the oven. Temp is good. Crust looks great. Didn’t need the shields. No pecans on top.☹️ All ingredients were room temp except the pecans…they were warm.