A fun twist on the classic! My easy pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust is all the cozy flavor of the traditional, with a cookie crumb base. If you're tired of shortcrust or don't fancy dealing with pastry, this is for you!
- Why you'll love this pie
- Equipment Notes
- Ingredient Notes for the Crust
- How to Make Brown Butter Graham Cracker Crust
- Ingredient Notes for Filling
- How to Make Spiced Pumpkin Custard Filling
- Expert Tips
- Making Maple Whipped Cream
- Substitutes and Variations
- Storage Advice
- More Pumpkin Inspiration
- Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
Why you'll love this pie
- Brown butter graham cracker crust - I don't know about you, but I love a cookie crumb crust! Graham crackers are one of my favorite bases for pies and cheesecakes and work brilliantly with a pumpkin pie!
- Creamy spiced pumpkin custard pie - a classic seasonal pie filling, my pumpkin custard is packed with a mix of spices for a warming finish.
- Maple whipped cream - you can't have a pumpkin pie without some cream! My easy maple cream is super quick to whip up and top off your pie.
To make this recipe, you'll need:
- Deep 9" pie pan - you can use other sizes, however, different sizes and shapes will impact how the recipe fills the pan. Smaller pans may mean that you have too much crust/filling, so you may need to adjust and leave some out to avoid overfilling.
- Small saucepan - to melt your butter and create the brown butter that gives a nutty accent to the crust.
- Mixing bowl - in the course of this recipe, you'll need to mix up the base, filling and topping. You can realistically use the same bowl for all three, just with a bit of cleaning in between. Or, you'll need a few large bowls.
- Whisk - standard balloon whisk works best for this recipe.
- Hand held electric beaters - you can whip cream by hand, but I'm far too lazy for that! So, I recommend have an electric beater or whisk to whip when the time comes!
Ingredient Notes for the Crust
You need just 3 ingredients for this simple graham cracker crust:
- Graham cracker crumbs - either the pre-prepared crumbs or blitz graham crackers into crumbs using a food processor. The 2 cups called for in this recipe is roughly two packets of the crackers as they come in the box (so about 18 sheets of crackers).
- Butter - unsalted butter. This doesn't need to be softened at room temperature as you'll be melting it down. You can use salted here, but it will add saltiness to the overall flavor of the crust.
- Brown sugar - light brown sugar, measurements firmly packed. Sugar is important to a graham cracker crust as it not only adds a bit of sweetness, but helps to bind the crust together so that it is sliceable and not too crumbly.
How to Make Brown Butter Graham Cracker Crust
So, I should start off by saying, you don't have to brown the butter to make a graham cracker crust. It's a nice extra step to add a nutty accent to the flavor. But don't be put off if you don't have time or inclination to add the extra step!
But, if you want to give it a go, this is what you'll need to do:
Step 1: Start off by putting your butter in a saucepan and cook this over a medium heat, until the butter is melted. Then brown this by continuing to cook, stirring and swirling the butter frequently. It will begin to foam and sizzle, but keep it moving. After several minutes (about 8-10) it will darken and brown specks will form. Take this off the heat before it blackens.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Then pour the browned butter into the mixture and stir until the crumb is lightly moistened and packable.
Step 3: Pour the crust mixture into the base of your pie plate and press to pack into the edges and up the sides of the pie pan.
Step 4: Set the pie crust aside while you prepare your filling. This can be kept at room temperature or refrigerated if preparing further in advance.
Ingredient Notes for Filling
This filling is an adapted version of the classic Libby's pumpkin pie. You'll need:
- Pumpkin puree - this recipe uses a full standard sized can (15oz) of pumpkin puree. It is important to use the puree and not pumpkin pie mix as pumpkin pie mix will have other ingredients and flavorings added.
- Vanilla extract
- Sugar - granulated sugar or caster sugar.
- Eggs - large eggs, ideally at room temperature.
- Evaporated milk
How to Make Spiced Pumpkin Custard Filling
This recipe couldn't get easier!
Step 1: Start off by preheating your oven to 425℉ and then whisking your eggs in a large mixing bowl. This is mainly just to break them down.
Step 2: Add the sugar and then your spices and vanilla, whisking to combine.
Step 3: Next add the pumpkin puree. Whisk the mixture until smooth.
Step 4: Slowly add in the evaporated milk, while whisking. This helps your custard to stay smooth and avoids lumpiness forming.
Step 5: Pour the mixture into your pie pan on top of your crust. If using the recommended deep 9" pie pan, this will just about fill the pan.
Step 6: Place the pie in the center of your preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes before turning the oven down to 350℉ to bake for a further 40 minutes.
Step 7: Remove from the oven once the pie passes a jiggle test, similar to a cheesecake. The center should wobble lightly (a bit like a jell-o jiggler) but it shouldn't slosh about as though there is substantial liquid under the surface.
Step 8: Allow to cool and refrigerate for about 4 hours to chill thoroughly. Once chilled, you can decorate with the whipped cream.
Whether you're a pro at pies or this is your first go for the festive season, we've got you covered! My top tips for this pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust are:
- When pressing your crust into the pie pan, try using a flat based measuring cup to help press evenly. Depending on the exact style/shape of your pan, this might meet with more or less success, but the flat based cup will firmly pack a more even layer than working freehand.
- Adding the evaporated milk slowly is key to ensuring an evenly mixed custard without lumps!
- Don't forget to reduce the baking temperature! Starting off with a high temperature and then reducing it is really important to a well set, but not cracked or burnt pumpkin pie.
- The high temp at the start does mean that any exposed graham cracker crust may start to catch depending on how your oven cooks. If you notice it browning rapidly, you can try to shield it with some aluminum foil or turn the pie in the oven, if this is happening on one side more than another.
Making Maple Whipped Cream
My pumpkin pie with a cookie crust is best topped with a homemade maple whipped cream! To make this, you'll essentially just follow the steps and process of my Stabilized Vanilla Whipped Cream. You'll need:
- Heavy cream - this is sometimes called whipping cream or double cream. Cream whips best when chilled, so ideally make your whipped cream with the cream straight from the fridge.
- Powdered sugar - just a little powdered sugar will help your cream stabilize. This makes it pipeable if you wish, but even when dolloping, it is useful for letting it hold shape.
- Maple syrup - instead of vanilla extract, this cream uses maple syrup for a hint of sweetness and flavor. Maple syrups will each have their own unique qualities, so be sure to pick a good one, that you enjoy!
Simply whip the ingredients together in a mixing bowl or in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Once thickened and soft peaks form, this is perfect for dolloping onto your pie. Or whisk to stiffer peaks for piping!
Sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs on top!
Substitutes and Variations
- Biscoff crust - if you're looking to up your pie game, this recipe works well using a Biscoff cookie crust in place of the graham cracker one. Lotus Biscoff Cookies have a caramelized flavor that pairs super well with the spicing of the pumpkin custard and the maple in the cream. Try using my Biscoff Cookie Crust recipe here.
- Classic short crust - you can of course substitute the cookie crumb crust with the pie-season staple: short crust. My All Butter Pie Crust works a charm with this recipe, won't require any pre-baking and can be used as the recipe directs.
- Pumpkin pie spice - you can substitute the spice mix I make in this recipe with one of your own devising or with the store bought classic pumpkin pie spice mix. This is really up to you and your tastes/preferences.
- Booze - if you want to give this pie a bit of an adult kick, try adding a tablespoon of bourbon to the whipped cream (before beginning to whip it). You can also add booze directly to the pie itself, but due to the baking process, most of the punch will be cooked off.
Best practice for storing this pie is to keep it in the refrigerator. As any good custard style pie, this needs refrigeration and is best served slightly chilled.
This doesn't mean you can't have it on a dessert table for a little while, if you've got a party or other festive spread!
Pumpkin pie will keep well for several days - up to about 4 in the fridge. Any longer and you may notice that it starts to dry out and separate from the crust.
My easy graham cracker crust pumpkin pie keeps for about 4-5 days in the refrigerator. It's a great make-ahead dessert and is best the day after baking. This gives it the perfect amount of time to chill down before serving.
Absolutely! If you, like me, are a cookie crumb crust lover, this version of the classic pumpkin pie is for you. Made with a quick and easy graham cracker crust, livened up with some browned butter and then topped off with maple whipped cream. A fun new take on the autumnal favorite!
Yes, pumpkin pies freeze quite well. Personally, I'd say, freezing leftovers is preferable to freezing the whole pie to make far in advance, but that's just because I don't always trust my freezer!
To freeze the pie whole or as leftovers, let this chill overnight. Ensure the pie is in a pan or plate that is freezer safe (something to consider at the start of baking if you're planning to freeze!). Once well chilled, place uncovered in the freezer until solid, usually a couple hours. This will make wrapping it or placing it in a storage bag easier.
Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
More Pumpkin Inspiration
Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
- deep 9" pie pan
- mixing bowls
- Small saucepan
- hand held electric beater
Ingredients for the Browned Butter Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- 5 tablespoon unsalted butter
Ingredients for Pumpkin Custard Filling
- 15 oz pumpkin puree this needs to be pure pumpkin puree, do not use pumpkin pie mix
- ¾ cup granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs ideally at room temperature
- 12 fl. oz. evaporated milk
Ingredients for Maple Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream or double cream
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Instructions for the Crust
- To make the browned butter, start off by putting your butter in a saucepan and cooking this over a medium heat, until the butter is melted. Then brown this by continuing to cook, stirring and swirling the butter frequently. It will begin to foam and sizzle, but keep it moving. After several minutes (about 8-10) it will darken and brown specks will form. Take this off the heat before it blackens.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Then pour the browned butter into the mixture and stir until the crumb is lightly moistened and packable.
- Pour the crust mixture into the base of your pie plate and press with your hand to pack into the edges and up the sides of the pie pan.
- Set the pie crust aside while you prepare your filling. This can be kept at room temperature or refrigerated if preparing further in advance.
Instructions for the Filling
- Preheat the oven to 425℉ (220C/200C Fan) and place your then whisking your eggs in a large mixing bowl. This is mainly just to break them down.
- Add the sugar and then your spices and vanilla, whisking to combine.
- Next add the pumpkin puree. Whisk the mixture until smooth.
- Slowly add in the evaporated milk, while whisking. This helps your custard to stay smooth and avoids lumpiness forming.
- Pour the mixture into your pie pan on top of your crust. If using the recommended deep 9" pie pan, this will just about fill the pan.
- Place the pie in the center of your preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes before turning the oven down to 350℉ to bake for a further 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven once the pie passes a jiggle test, similar to a cheesecake. The center should wobble lightly (a bit like a jell-o jiggler) but it shouldn't slosh about as though there is substantial liquid under the surface.
- Allow to cool and refrigerate for about 4 hours to chill thoroughly. Once chilled, you can decorate with the whipped cream.
Instructions for the Maple Whipped Cream
- Place the cream, powdered sugar and maple syrup in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
- Using a hand held electric beater or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whisk until thickened and soft peaks form.
- Dollop the cream on top of the pie and sprinkle with spare cookie crumbs.