Classic Pumpkin Pie

I know pumpkin pie recipes are a dime a dozen these days, what with it creeping closer to Thanksgiving here in the States and all, but I wouldn’t be any kind of friend if I didn’t share my personal favorite recipe. I’ve been tweaking it over the years but the last time I made it a few weeks ago, we pretty much all declared it in the category of: perfected (or in other words, don’t keep messing with a good thing).

Classic Pumpkin Pie

It’s creamy, lightly sweet, perfectly spiced, and well, it’s just my favorite pumpkin pie recipe.

In the interest of full disclosure, pumpkin pie isn’t really the food of my dreams (like, I don’t crave it in March and would probably rather have a decadent chocolate pie or maybe even banana cream pie any other time of the year) but when it comes to Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie better be there. And it better be good.

Classic Pumpkin Pie

And, since I now have pie on the brain, here are a few of my other much-loved pie recipes:

Banoffee Pie
Toffee Crumble Caramel Apple Pie
Coconut Cream Pie
Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Pie
Sour Cream Lime Tart {or Pie}

In other news, stay tuned tomorrow for a life changing Thanksgiving recipe that totally took me by surprise (as in, I had no plans to post a recipe like this but couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t).

Classic Pumpkin Pie

One Year Ago: Smoky Corn Chowder
Two Years Ago: Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes {My New Favorite Breakfast!}
Three Years Ago: New York-Style Crumb Cake

Classic Pumpkin Pie

Yield: Makes 9-inch pie

I like to prebake the pie crust; it helps eliminate some of the gummy bottom crust common in pumpkin pie but if that doesn't bother you, you can forego that step and pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell. If you do that, still refrigerate the pie crust for an hour or so after placing it in the pan so it doesn't shrink while baking.

Also, if you are using homemade pumpkin puree, make sure it is as smooth as possible (run it through a blender or food processor again).


  • 1 single crust pie shell for a 9-inch pie plate (this is my favorite pie crust recipe)
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups (or 15-ounce can) pumpkin puree (see note)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk or half-and-half


  1. Roll out the pie crust (see this post for a step-by-step) and gently place it into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming and fluting the edges. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to a day or so).
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line the crust with foil and pour in dried beans or pie weights (I've even used wheat berries) until completely full. Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Gently remove the foil and weights (or beans) and bake another 10 minutes until the dough no longer looks raw on the bottom. Remove from the oven while preparing the filling.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugars, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and vanilla until well-combined. Add the eggs, cream and milk and whisk until smooth (don't overmix or the pie will have a tendency to crack).
  4. Place the pie shell on a baking sheet and pour the filling into the warm pie shell.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, without removing the pie, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 45-55 minutes longer until the pie is set and golden on top. If the crust starts to overbrown, cover it with foil strips or a pie shield partway through baking.
  6. Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

33 Responses to Classic Pumpkin Pie

  1. Niki M says:

    Mel, I don’t know if you respond to these posts after they have been posted awhile. ‘U pumpkin pie is currently cooking in the oven. Few questions, when I was precookinf the pie crust (your recipe), I lined it with foil and filled it with beans to weight it down like it says. When I went to remove the beans the crust kind of stuck to it and there was condensation all over then pie crust. Also some of it was puffed up, even using the weight. I used heavy duty foil (I can’t stand the other stuff, it’s so flimsy), wondering if the lighter foil works better for this with the weights. What do you use? And do you get the condensation? Also after removing the foil and putting back in for the 10 minutes before putting in the filling the crust was really brown, I had to tent it before I put it back in with the filling, has this happened to you? Also one more question, when researching your pies I noticed you always have a pie dish. I only have owned a metal one, so I went on a search and could only find 9.5 inch Pyrex pie dishes everywhere I looked (the store and online) are your plates actually 9.5? With that, my pumpkin filling did not fill up to the top of the crust at all, not sure if it’s because it’s the 9.5″ dish or if the dish is too deep. But when I shopped around that was the size of all the pie plates I saw.

  2. Nita says:

    This is the best pumpkin pie I’ve had! It has great flavor, and a wonderful texture. I preferred it cold. I had too much filling for my 9inch pie dish , so I put the rest in two small ramekins and baked them. Those were delicious as well. I am about to make another pie right now!

  3. Evelyn says:

    Just made your pumpkin pie recipe for the first time today. I used real pumpkin puree from pie pumpkins (that was a first, too!). Between the fresh puree and your awesome recipe…I’m converted: I’ll never use the canned stuff or it’s recipe again!

  4. Melanie says:

    Yummy recipe. I did my grandmothers trick for pumpkin pie though. You bake the crust before, cook the filling on the stove as you would a custard. Put it in the finished crust right before serving. No soggy bottom.

  5. Jen says:

    Thank you, Mel! I made this for Thanksgiving and got “5 stars” from my family. The filling was light and creamy, more like custard than the traditionally dense (flat) canned recipe. Just a side note, every recipe I’ve used from your site has been excellent.

  6. Viktoriya says:

    Can this pie be baked the night before and stored in the fridge overnight to be served the very next day?

  7. Ruth says:

    My little boy really wanted to make a pie from a real pumpkin, so we did the whole process and used this recipe. We both loved it, but it was even better the next day after being chilled overnight. Perfect to do in advance before the holiday dinner. Thanks for the amazing recipes!

  8. Sheila says:

    My family too placed this pumpkin pie in the category of perfect! Thank you so much for the instruction to put the pie crust in the fridge for an hour before baking to decrease shrinkage. My crust (actually yours) has never came out of the oven so pretty in much the same shape as it was before putting it in the oven. This will be my covered dish for our first covered dish Christmas party invited to early December. Your gifts of delicious food, humor, and experienced motherly wisdom add such wonderfulness and delight to me and my family.

  9. melanie says:

    Same recipe my grandmother would make. Her secret though was to make the filling on the stove top like a custard.chill in fridge. On thanksgiving she would put it in the baked crust right before serving. No more soggy bottom crust.

  10. mary says:

    my sweetie says: absolutely the best pie i have ever had and the crust (yours mel) is superb!

  11. Nancy says:

    Not my fave, but do enjoy this time of year if it’s really cold and topped with whipped cream. Hubby loves it along w/his fave Pecan! Usually do the Libby’s recipe, but will try yours this year

  12. Paris says:

    Could I use Pumpkin Spice instead of spices listed? And if so, how much?

  13. SharonK says:

    Thank you for adding vanilla to your pumpkin pie recipe. That was always my mom’s “secret ingredient”, and it made the pie taste so much better than any I have ever tasted. I will definitely try your recipe this Thanksgiving, and I am so sure it will not disappoint! Thanks, Mel.

  14. Sheila says:

    Your pies are the very best! Two of our very favorites are the Banoffee Pie and the Sour Cream Lime Tart. Decisions, Decisions! I was going to make your Toffee Crumble Caramel Apple Pie but maybe now I should make this highly recommended pumpkin pie. I don’t have time to do both. How can you be so wonderful, Mel, yet cause such upheaval in my life?? 🙂

  15. That pie looks really similar to my Grandma’s recipe, which is my absolute favourite pumpkin pie recipe! This looks really close though which is kind of funny!

  16. Ruth Higham says:

    My kids didn’t like pumpkin pie, until Aunt Myrtle told me how to make it yummy. Follow the recipe on the Libby pumpkin can, then melt one stick of butter and stir it in. Now the kids love pumpkin pie. Hope you will try it. We love your recipes.

  17. Alicia says:

    Mel, I could just hug you right now! I am in charge of making some pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and checked your blog last week and was panicked when I didn’t find a recipe! When I saw your post today I knew you had read my mind of needing a fabulous pumpkin pie recipe!!! Thank you, thank you!!!

  18. Hannah says:

    Could I sub all cream for the equivalent (or slightly less) milk? Husband is allergic to dairy, so my go-to milk must be almond, cashew, or coconut. Yes, I could probably sub full-fat coconut milk but the results would be coconut pumpkin pie, not pumpkin pie. 😉

    Thank you, Mel! Your recipes are repeat winners! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried it that way but I think you could definitely try it. The cream definitely gives a luxurious creaminess so I wouldn’t sub that out.

  19. Barb says:

    There is nothing like the classics. However—- I can’t stop thinking about pumpkin cheesecake, since you posted that a little while ago.

  20. We adore pumpkin pie all year long, so this one looks like a must try….and if it’s as perfect as your perfect yellow cake, well, it must be wonderful!

  21. Sarah says:

    Thank you! I don’t prefer pumpkin pie, but my husband loves it. We are doing Thanksgiving with my family this year, and we never have it, but he had begged me for it. I asked my MIL for her recipe, and it turns out she just buys canned filling. I am glad to now gave a tried and true recipe from a trusted source! Thanks for saving me and helping me win brownie points:-)

  22. Laurel says:

    I just love when recipes show up and it happens to be exactly what i need. That happens a lot by the way. You’re amazing!

  23. I feel the same way… pumpkin pie is not my top choice of pies, but the month of November isn’t the same without a big ole’ slice. My brother, on the other hand, loves pumpkin pie, in fact it is the *only* pie he will eat (so it often makes an appearance in the spring at Easter dinner)!

  24. Cyndi B says:

    Mel, i know you found the perfect pumpmpkin pie and i will try your recipe. But, i recently made a pumpkin pie that used mascarpone cheese in place of the usual evaporated milk or cream. Totally sublime! I thought that i found my new favorite pumpkin pie recipe. However, your recipes have never ever failed me and now i must ,in the interest of fairness, try your pie. My thighs do not thank you, but i do.

  25. Kim in MD says:

    This looks delicious, Mel! I’m not a huge pie fan, but my Thanksgiving menu wouldn’t be complete without pumpkin pie. I usually buy one, but I’m going to make your recipe this year! Thanks for all the hard work you do perfecting your recipes!

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