This classic Pumpkin Pie recipe is perfect in every way, and you can choose to serve it with a simple homemade caramel pecan topping that takes it over the top!

Pie, glorious pie! There are few desserts I love more on this whole planet the pie (other than a good chocolate cake of course!). I’ve shared most of my favorite pie recipes with you, including my Grandma’s Lemon Chiffon Pie, and Chocolate Cream Pie.

Pumpkin Pie slice with whipped cream on top, on a a plate.

We can probably all agree that Pumpkin Pie is the most iconic of Thanksgiving desserts. I’ve tried so many different recipes and I just love the simplicity and perfect taste and texture from the traditional Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe. It’s been tried and tested by millions of people to be the best pumpkin pie recipe!

You can jazz it up by serving a slice with a spoonful of warm, delicious caramel pecan topping.  There’s no pie that deserves “Queen Bee” status more!

Pie Crust: Homemade or Store-Bought

Obviously I will always proclaim that making your own pie crust is always the best way to go!  Homemade pie crust is EASY, FAST, and uses 5 basic ingredients!  Not to mention how impressed your family will be and how proud you will feel for making it yourself.  I’ll even hold your had with step-by-step photos and a video!

How to make the best pumpkin pie:

1. Mix eggs and pumpkin, then sugar and spices. Beat the eggs and canned pumpkin puree together. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves, and add to the pumpkin mixture.

2. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Evaporated milk could be substituted with half and half or cream.

3. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake. Bake at 425 degrees F for for 15 minutes, to set the crust, then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until set.

Three process photos for mixing pumpkin pie and pouring the batter in a pie shell.

Pie Crust: Baked or Unbaked?

Pumpkin pie is made with an unbaked pie crust.  You simple make the pumpkin pie filling and pour it into a pie dish lined with uncooked pie crust.  You’ll notice we bake the pumpkin pie at a high temperature to start, which allows the pie crust to set, and then we lower the baking temperature for the remaining cooking time. Because of this, it’s not necessary to blind bake (bake the crust beforehand) for this pumpkin pie recipe.

How do you know when pumpkin pie is ready?

The easiest way to test whether a pumpkin pie is ready, or fully cooked, is to gently jiggle the pan, using an oven mit. If the center is jiggly, then it needs more time.  When it is finished cooking, the center should no longer be jiggly but may be slightly soft looking. Remember that the pie will continue to cook and settle after you take it out of the oven.

Cracks in your pumpkin pie?

The most common reason for cracking on the top of a pumpkin pie is from over-baking. To avoid cracking, check the pie after the first 55 minutes and give it a soft shake, looking for the filling to be set (slightly soft on top but not overly jiggly). Remember it will continue to cook once you’ve taken it out! Also, don’t rush the cooling process, which could also result in cracking. Simply allow it to cool completely at room temperature.

A baked pumpkin pie with dish towel, fall leaves and serving spatula on the side.

Caramel Pecan Topping:

I like to make a simple Caramel Pecan Topping for guests to spoon over their slice of pie, if they’d like. It’s made by in about 5 minutes, in a saucepan with mixing brown sugar, whipped cream, corn syrup, butter, pecans and vanilla extract. I’ve included the full recipe in the notes of the printable recipe card.

Make Ahead, storing, and freezing:

To make ahead: You can make the entire pie the day before and store it the refrigerator, or prepare the pie crust and filling the day before and store them separately in the refrigerator until ready to bake the next day.

To store: Store-bought pumpkin pies can sit at room temperature because of the preservatives added, but homemade pumpkin pie should be refrigerated if not eaten within 2 hours of sitting out.  Leftover pumpkin pie will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  Be sure to allow pumpkin pie to cool completely and then cover it loosely with plastic wrap, for storing.

To freeze: A fully cooked pumpkin pie can be frozen for up to 3 months.  Be sure that the pie container it’s baked in is freezer-safe, allow it to cool completely, then cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and then a double layer of aluminum foil.  Freeze for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the pie crust for up to 3 months. Thaw pumpkin pie overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Slice of pumpkin pie with caramel pecan sauce and whipped cream on top.

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Recipe

Pumpkin Pie slice with whipped cream on top, on a a plate.
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 5 mins
Total 1 hr 35 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
 
 

For the Pumpkin Pie:

  • 1 9-inch deep dish pie shell , unbaked
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 ounce can canned pumpkin
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl beat the eggs and pumpkin together.  In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves, and add to pumpkin mixture.
  • Gradually stir in the evaporated milk. Carefully pour mixture into unbaked pie shell. 
  • Bake at 425 degrees F for for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes longer, or until the pie is set. Check for doneness by giving the pie a gentle wiggle. The center may jiggle just a tiny bit). Or it is done when a sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely on a wire cooling rack. Serve immediately with whipped cream and caramel pecan topping, if desired.

Notes

To make ahead: You can make the entire pie the day before and store it the refrigerator, or prepare the pie crust and filling the day before and store them separately in the refrigerator until ready to bake the next day.
To store: Store-bought pumpkin pies can sit at room temperature because of the preservatives added, but homemade pumpkin pie should be refrigerated if not eaten within 2 hours of sitting out.  Leftover pumpkin pie will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  Be sure to allow pumpkin pie to cool completely and then cover it loosely with plastic wrap, for storing.
To freeze: A fully cooked pumpkin pie can be frozen for up to 3 months.  Be sure that the pie container it's baked in is freezer-safe, allow it to cool completely, then cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and then a double layer of aluminum foil.  Freeze for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the pie crust for up to 3 months. Thaw pumpkin pie overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Caramel Pecan Topping: 
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Add brown sugar, cream, corn syrup, and butter to a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and stir in chopped pecans and vanilla. The topping will thicken as it cools. Spoon topping over cooled pumpkin pie slices and top with whipped cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 5gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 251mgPotassium: 227mgFiber: 2gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 6761IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 113mgIron: 1mg

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I originally shared this recipe October 2015. Updated October 2019 with new photos and detailed instructions.

Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Pecan Topping

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Question – if I make the topping ahead of time, will it reheat to a good consistency for serving? I’d like to make the pie and topping today but serve on Thursday. Thanks!

    1. Hi Angie, absolutely! Don’t cook the topping to long on the stove the first time. It will harden as it sits in the fridge overnight. Then put it back in the saucepan for a few minutes before serving it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. 5 stars
    Fantastic pumpkin pie recipe! Made just as the recipe states. Everyone LOVED it! Will make again for Thanksgiving!

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Lauren! I’m planning on bringing this pie to Thanksgiving on Thursday, and wondered if it would be a good idea to spoon the caramel mixture over the pie before the slices are served? I would just like to limit the amount of dishes I’m taking, and want to make a pumpkin pie but don’t want to be repetitive, so I thought the topping would stand out! The only problem is that I don’t know if the caramel will set and become crunchy or if it will be too runny and go everywhere and make a mess. You’re input would be really welcome! Thank you! 🙂

    1. Hi Kelsey, do you mean to pour it over the entire pie before you cut it into slices? How long between when you add the sauce and when you serve it? Yes, I think that would work great as long as you give the sauce time to cool to room temperature, and spoon it just over the pumpkin filling 🙂 Hope everyone loves it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Lauren, this pie looks delicious. I am wondering why you mix the sugars and spices separately. I try and get away with as little dishes as possible. Why not just blend them with the eggs and pumpkin?

  5. Hi! If I prefer a crispier crust should I pre-bake my homemade pie crust? If so, should I cut out the high temp short cooking time?

  6. I have my grandmother’s recipe for pie crust which requires to be baked first and set overnight in the refrigerator. How would this affect the baking of the pie considering this recipe is for an unbaked pie crust? Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    Hi Lauren! Superfan here. Just wanted to say this pie is AMAZING and everyone begs for it. I would just like to add that for me, the pie has to bake this pie for quite a bit over an hour for it to get fully done – it could be the pie pan I use – just a tip to keep an eye out for more bake time.

  8. 5 stars
    I made this for Thanksgiving 2020 and it is absolutely delicious. I modified the recipe a bit. I put just a little over 1/2 cup sugar. And instead of cloves, I put 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and added 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice.

    Next time, instead of evaporated milk, I will use coconut milk to make it dairy free.