Time for Pie


With another Thanksgiving right around the corner, I figured it was finally time to make my first real pie crust instead of using one from the freezer section. I went back to this post that had all of your great suggestions for pie crust recipes to try. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you.

Not sure which one to start with, I took pieces and parts from a few that sounded good. Strike that… that sounded easy. It seems I have an irrational fear of working with dough for some reason.


To start, I made sure to get all my ingredients super cold, including the metal bowl and pastry cutter.


I decided to try out a pie crust with shortening instead of butter… no reason… just because.


And I went out to buy a pastry cutter for the task. I’m sure this wasn’t necessary, but it did work great.


I also had this pie rolling pin that I bought about a year ago. The ends are tapered so you can turn and roll out the dough in different directions easily… I think. I’m sure this wasn’t necessary either, but it gave me a little extra confidence.


Now, don’t laugh at my pie dough. I have a feeling it’s not supposed to look this rough. It would definitely help to see someone do this first. I work much better when I know what things are supposed to look like. I also think I need to see what a lightly-floured surface means, because lightly wasn’t working so much. After rolling it out one time, I had to scoop it up and try again. Definitely leaning toward the generously-floured side of flouring. It reminded me of this doughnut disaster.


But not to give up, I carefully placed my twice-rolled, tearing and stretching crust in the pie plate, repairing sections where necessary.

And it worked. YAY!


Next came the cream cheese layer. It already looks better.


Then the pumpkin layer. YUM.


When it came out of the oven, it looked like a real pie. And the crust doesn’t look so bad after all.

Rustic… yeah… I was going for rustic if anyone asks.


Halfway through baking, I added the topping made of brown sugar, chocolate, pecans and a little maple syrup.


It was so good. Just the right amount of texture to go with the creamy filling.


If you use miniature chocolate chips, the crunch will be a little more subtle. Or just tell yourself that because that’s all you have on hand.


It was really, really good. I was even surprised by how good the crust tasted.


I think I’ve opened up a new world of baking. I see more pies in my future. As a matter of fact, I think I’m gonna make up some more crusts and freeze them to keep handy.

Try out this pumpkin pie and have a Happier Thanksgiving.

Here’s the recipe in order of assembly:

Pumpkin Pecan Cream Cheese Pie
Yield: one 9-inch pie

Pumpkin Pecan Cream Cheese Pie


Pie Crust

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, cold
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, cold
  • 1 Tbsp sugar, cold
  • 2/3 cup shortening, cold
  • 4 Tablespoons water, cold

Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Pumpkin Layer

  • 15 oz. can of pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk

Pecan Topping

  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup


  1. Make the Pie dough: Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add shortening and gradually work it into the flour with a fork or pastry cutter. The mixture should be crumbly. Add cold water and stir until combined. Roll in a flat disc-shape, wrap in plastic or a ziploc bag and place in the refrigerator for about an hour or the freezer until firm.
  2. Make Cream Cheese Layer: Mix the cream cheese and sugar using a mixer. Add egg and lemon juice and continue mixing until creamy. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Roll out dough. Lightly … or more generously flour your surface. Roll out dough in a 13-14 inch diameter to fit a 9" deep dish pie plate. Carefully place rolled dough in pie plate. Try not to stretch or tear it. Fold the excess dough under or trim it and create a decorative border.
  5. Make the Pumpkin Layer: Beat pumpkin, sugar and spice with a mixer. Add eggs and beat until combined. Add milk and beat until combined.
  6. Assemble: Spread the cream cheese mixture in the dough covered pie plate. Layer the pumpkin mixture on top and try not to disturb the cream cheese underneath.
  7. Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil to keep them from getting too brown and place the pie in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes then apply the topping before baking the rest of the time needed.
  8. Make the Pecan Topping: Mix the ingredients in a medium bowl. After the pie has baked for the first 20 minutes, remove the foil and layer the topping on. Bake for another 25-30 minutes. Remove and cool. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.


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267 comments on “Time for Pie”

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  7. I made this pie for Thanksgiving. It was delicious and I got tons of compliments on it! I did cheat and used a store bought crust though.

  8. This is a keeper recipe! Next time I will use less brown sugar in the topping – it was a little too sweet. Perhaps because I did not have the mini morsels.
    But I will certainly make this pie again and again!

  9. I followed this recipe EXACTLY. However it needed about double the cook time because when I checked it at the time it said it was completely liquid in the center. I served it at a dinner party and I and my guests thought it was just okay. Pictures make it look better than it was and I would not make it again.

  10. Wondering if you could use sweet potatoes with this instead and omit the chocolate chips. I want to try this recipe

  11. I found this on Pinterest and tried it today. I couldn’t wait for it to chill for a few hours before I tried it. YUM! I can tell it will be better chilled but it was still tasty! Here are my changes: I used my own pie crust recipe; I left off the chocolate chips; I let the cream cheese mixture chill off a bit longer and then with a larger spatula, I OH-SO GENTLY sorta laid the pumpkin on top of the cream cheese mixture with. I will make this again for sure!

  12. I love making pies and pumpkin is a favorite with my family so this may be a new regular – it looks amazing! For your crust, try Mrs. Anderson’s pie crust shields – they work great. Also, in a pinch (or if you’re just lazy/always in a hurry), the refrigerated Pillsbury or Kroger pie crusts (in the refrigerated biscuit section) are also good.

  13. Are the mini pumpkin pie bites and the mini pumpkin pies the same-I know they must be about the same, but they look different and on Pinterest seem to be listed separately, but I can’t find the mini pumpkin pies. Here. Love your blog!

  14. You’re ‘Bakerella’ and you’d never made a real pie crust? I’m only 25 and I’ve probably made a hundred in my time. I don’t really consider myself much of a baker, either.

  15. I used fresh pumpkin puree. My pumpkin mixture is a bit liquidy…is that normal and will thicken up when baked or do you think I should just add extra puree? I am scared to mix it on top of cream cheese layer….yikes

  16. can i use butter for the pie crust instead of shortening???????

  17. That pie looks incredible…how many calories? HAHA! bring the ice cream!

  18. pumpkin pie recipe

  19. I made this pie for thanksgiving last year and it was a huge hit!!! No leftovers. Followed the recipe exactly. Will be making this again for thanksgiving this year. Definitely my new signature pumpkin pie. Love the cheesecake layer and delicious topping, not your boring old pumpkin pie!!!

  20. Seriously. Thank you. 1/16 of the pie was 9 weight watchers points (even using fat free cream cheese and subbing in some fat free sour cream) and worth 10 times that. I was in HEAVEN. My wife and friends were also very, very happy with the result. I did sub one tbsp of the maple syrup with molasses and that was a really tasty topping!

  21. I made two of these for Thanksgiving 2010 and now I have been assigned to make six for this year. They were such a huge hit that everyone asked for the recipe. The only thing I did different was leave out the chocolate chips. Also, next time I won’t use all of the filling. My pies were overflowing haha. Still delicious. I did take the easy way out though and bought pre-made crusts. I don’t think I have the patience or dedication to make my own.

  22. I never made a pie in my life before, which makes me kind of nervous (because my oven is hyperactive, and so even though I know I’ll have to bake it for not as much time as told, I don’t really know what pointers to look for to indicate it’s ready, other than *before it’s burnt*) but I’m definitely gonna go give this a try :)

    Wish me luck ;)

  23. This pie IS fabulous! Made one for Thanksgiving then made another one just because. My husband said it tasted like something you would buy at a fancy bakery and pay $5 a slice. Just wonderful. Will make this every year now.

  24. pie dough is one of my favorite things to make. it was the first thing we learned how to do in pastry school. we learned how to do it with our own two hands, no pastry blender, mixer, or food processor needed. try subbing in a little butter instead of shortening for a little better flavor and chilling all the ingredients may be a little excessive… chilling your fat and working quickly work just as well :)

  25. Oh My GOSH! Sweet! I will be making this pie at Thanksgivings!

  26. Last yr. I tried the pecan pie and it was so good and a huge hit. Thank you for making that so simple to do.

    I was wondering if you have done apple pies? I thought I may have over looked it if you did. I am hoping that if you do apple pie that you will post it soon if not already.
    Thanks Nancy M

  27. I made this pie last Thanksgiving and it was the best pie I’ve had in my life! I had a couple issues with the crust, but I figured it out and the whole experience was less problematic than I anticipated it to be.

    Everyone should give this one a try, it’s so delicious!

  28. I just attempted to make this and my pumpkin mixture was really runny too. When I poured it on the cream cheese layer, it went right to the bottom. It’s baking now but I’m not super confident it’s going to turn out right.

  29. Looks delish – i’m going to try it for xmas. Here’s a tip on the pie crust – use a food processor to cut in the ingredients – do the shortening first – then add the water/lemon extract or whatever you use – so easy and quick and makes it perfect every time. I just hit the blend button until it whips up all the ingredients into a ball – then i’m done. Easy peasy!

  30. I made this last night and it was amazing!

  31. Thought I’d give ya a quick update– this is my Mom’s new favorite pumpkin pie. And I, hater of all pies pumpkin, absolutely love it (especially the topping!!). It was a big hit at the Christmas party, too!!

    Happy Holidays. :-)

  32. I’m going to a Christmas party tonight and am in charge of bringing dessert.. I made Magic Cookie Bars, Peanut Butter/Kisses cookies, and two of these pies. First time making them, but I’ve been looking for an excuse (it makes me feel better about eating sweets if I have a “reason,” even if it’s an I-Got-A-New-Haircut dessert, or a My-Cat-Caught-A-Mouse dessert) ever since you posted this.

    A pumpkin pie fan I am not, but I couldn’t resist this. I LOOOOVE pecans, and brown sugar, and chocolate, and cream cheese. Surely all that goodness would cancel out the mushy texture of pumpkin pie.

    I have yet to try these bad boys, as they’re currently chillin’ in the fridge. But I’m leaving soon, and I’m excited to try them.

    My baking included dilemmas like a few other readers– I doubled the batch, and somewhere along the way I ended up with too much of *everything*… My cream cheese layer was heaping, and subsequently couldn’t use all of my pumpkin mix (although I heaped it on anyway, and it oozed over a bit), which caused me to have leftover toppings.. I see this as more of a blessing than a curse, however, ’cause that means I’ll just have to make some little tarts or pumpkin bread or something equally delicious. I’m not really sure why or how it happened– I used deep dish (pre-made, frozen) pie crusts, and did everything according to the directions.. I’m not really complaining, of course.. It’s gunna be amazing. So thanks for sharing. :-)

  33. BEST looking pie I have ever seen! Everything I enjoy all in one! Definitely going to try this recipe out… even the pie crust which I’ve never done before myself! :D Thanks!

  34. I made this pie for Thanksgiving. Sooooo good! Gonna make it again for Christmas.
    This pie tasted even more yummy when we had it again the next day, after it was in the fridge overnight.

  35. That looks delicious!! But as far as shortening goes, my mom swears by the butter flavored crisco. And she does make the best pies ever! Not that I’m biased or anything…

  36. Bakerella,

    I JUST LOVE YOU!!! You are amazing and SOOO inspiring to me. I had all but decided that I was never to be good at baking, but, lo and behold…..BANG! I stumble upon your cake pop recipe, the proposal one in fact which was such a sweet story! I decided I HAD to try this. My kids have you to thank for their new FAVORITE dessert. The love heloing make them and even more so, they love gifting them to their grandparetns, teachers, friends, and even the cashier at our local Wal-Mart lol. THANK YOU Bakerella, you have made a baker out of me afterall!!!!

    <3 Barbara

  37. your crust looks like it turned out rather nice. i have a tip for you when it comes to rolling out the dough. roll dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. it comes out perfect and no messy flour and pastry gunk to clean up.

  38. I made a praline pumpkin pie this year that was the Best yet! I didn’t think anyone could mess up a pumpkin pie, but I have had some nasty tasting pumpkin pies. A home made crust is the only way to go, only I use part butter and part shortening. The trick is to roll it between parchment paper that is lightly floured so it doens’t stick.The pie dough from the store just doesn’t cut it. I won’t even eat a pie if it doesn’t have a from scratch crust. My mom taught me the right way. She makes a mean crust!

  39. I made this pie for Thanksgiving, and it was delish — I made a few minor tweaks however after reading about people having an issue with runny pies:

    For the cheese part, I bumped the sugar down to 1/3C, and added a tsp of vanilla and a dollup of sour cream.

    For the pumpkin, I used 3/4C sugar, 2 egg whites and a yolk, 1/3C evap milk, 1/4 tsp salt, and my spices. I also cooked it @ 400F for 5 minutes, then brought the oven temp down to 375F w/o opening the door and left it at that temp for the remainder of cooking time. Mine cooked for about an hour, and was perfect.

    I loved the chocolate, but next time, I will try butterscotch chips instead, because I made pumpkin cookies with butterscotch chips, and they were great, so I think they would work well here too.

  40. OH. MY. GOSH. This looks amazing. I am definitely going to have to try this! my husband will be singing my praises for days :) I have been following you for some time now and love everything you do. Keep up the good work!!
    Where did you get those glass measuring cups? So to die for!

  41. Use your Food Processor for the pie crust. works like magic. so easy.

  42. I finally found time to make this pie and actually just got it out of the oven. I too used a store-bought shell (deep dish) and wish I’d read the post above mine about using two of them and splitting the mixture. I knew when I put in the first layer it was going to be overflowing… and yup, the topping is literally spilling over the edges. Thank goodness I placed my pie pan on a baking sheet for baking or I’d have a mess to clean for sure! The pie looks awesome and smells wonderful, and I made it exactly as the recipe directed so I expect it to be super delicious! I did have to let a cup or so of the pumpkin mixture go wasted since it just wouldn’t fit into the store-bought shell, but I’ll know to make adjustments the next time. I do make homemade crust sometimes, but at this busy baking time of year I often use the store-bought shells just to save some time. There might actually be a bit of a size difference in the store-bought deep dish pans and the deep dish glass pie plates but I’ve never noticed a difference before. I’ll try to pay better attention to that next time!

    Love your site Bakerella, and I always look forward to your recipes! Thanks for the inspiration (and the motivation) that comes with each note from you!

  43. I didn’t get to make this pie for Thanksgiving, but on a whim made it last night to bring to work today. I used store bought pie crust, 2 deep dish. I divided the cream cheese mixture and the pumpkin mixture into the 2 pie crusts, but doubled the topping. It is probably the best pie I ever had and everybody here at work keeps stopping by my office to tell me how much they like it. I will definately make it again. and I may use the topping recipe on just a regular pumpkin pie. thanks!

  44. Hey Bakerella! Just wanted to think you for this recipe! I made it for Thanksgiving and it was a hit. Mine was a little…make that A LOT uglier than yours because I think I added too much pumpkin filling and it kinda expanded while cooking BUT I am definitely going to try it again and thank you again for making me the “star” dessert maker for my hubby’s family. : )

    Have a great day! Cant wait to see what you cook up for Xmas!


  45. You are genius. And, so is the pie!

  46. Thank you for this recipe! Tried it for Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE HIT! Super delish!!! It is now on the list for Christmas too :)

  47. Some baking stores sell the fabulous round plastic crust shapers. They come in various sizes to fit different pie pans. You unzip it, flour each side, put the dough it, zip it back, and roll it until the dough is evenly spread throughout the little baggy! Then you just put the pie pan upside down over it and FLIP! It makes rolling the dough so much easier!

  48. We made your pie recipe and it turned out terrific. My son and daughter actually followed the directions with my guidance and being it was their first pie too, it was even better. We substituted honey for maple syrup. Definitely recommend!

  49. Dear Bakerella,

    Do you know how inspiring this post is?

    I’m a new reader of your blog. I’ve heard so much about your talents from other blogs, especially about your famous Cake Pops. So when I added your blog a couple days ago to my Reader, I thought, Well I’ll look on this as more inspiration than anything else. I’ll never be at her level.

    And your pictures are beautiful and tempting and wonderful. And I was calmly flipping through, wishing I could make such gorgeous and tasty masterpieces but beyond cookies and brownies, I’ve never baked anything myself. I’m very, very new to baking, and also a busy, overworked grad student, so I have limited free time in which to figure it out (though I’m trying!).

    And then I happened upon this post, in which I learned that the great Bakerella has never baked her own pie crust before. Now, neither have I, but the fact that you bought yourself kitchen utensils to give yourself confidence (me too!) and that you had to look up on the Internet and heed readers’ suggestions about the best way to go about it, was so inspiring to me. You have no idea.

    I’m in the midst of exams, so I still don’t have tons of time to devote to this. But you’ve inspired me. I’m now making a commitment to myself, to try one new baking recipe this weekend. Maybe a pie!

    Thanks for your motivation,
    M (seldomyes)

  50. I am going to read this book… can’t wait ^_^

  51. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit!
    Everyone loved it :)

  52. I made this pie, and we all loved it, but I do have to say, when I make it again (and I *will* make it again), I’m going to leave out the chocolate chips in the topping.. They were just a bit out of place. And, the pie needs a name. We were just calling it “Bakerella’s Pie.”

  53. Just wanted to let you know that my family loved this pie and I do believe it will be a yearly thing from now on. Thanks

  54. I just read this post…sounds SO good. OH MY GOSH good! Reading this post also lead me to “Doughnut Disaster”. Oh I have been there! And I’m kind of nervous to deep fry sometimes. Last winter, I found this amazing recipe for baked donuts. And since you are BAKErella, it seemed fitting to share it with you. Here’s the link. I shared these with friends in my apartment building and they went crazy ‘cuz they were so yummy. The “moaaaannn’ kind of yummy. (They’re even good gently reheated the next day.)



  55. So, I made this pie for Thanksgiving because it looked delicious…and the taste was fantastic, however, the bottom of my pie crust was soggy like it didn’t bake! I’m not sure what the deal was. I did use a refrigerated pie crust that I already had on hand and baked it in a stone pie plate, but didn’t know if this had happened to you before. We ended up just scooping it up with the pie server and eating it in a pile on our plates and it was very tasty, just not the best for texture and appearance.

  56. I tried this pie – I was obsessing about it as soon as I saw it here and told everyone – it was amazing! I learned that my pie pan is actually only 8″ and not very deep – and – that my oven needs cleaning, but wow it was totally worth it – for sure. Thanks for the fantastic food photos – sure makes it hard not to make it when you see how amazing it looks – you just have to taste it, too!

  57. Glad you successfully tackled a homemade pie crust – congrats and it looks great!

    Cooks Illustrated has a special Holiday Baking issue that devotes two pages to this very type of pie (combination pumpkin and pecan); yours looks as successful as theirs! Their main point for the filling was to add the pecan topping after baking the pumpkin so it doesn’t fall. As for the crust, they make an interesting suggestion to use half water and half vodka; the alcohol evaporates and doesn’t contribute to gluten formation – therefore making a flakier crust that’s easy to roll, versus an all-water crust. I tried this year to many high-fives!

    I suggest you try butter next time, or 1/3 margarine / 2/3 butter … the flavor is unbeatable!

  58. hey girl. Great recipe! I’m gonna give it a whirl, but with the best evah pastry crust–Pillsbury in the refridgerator section ayt my Publix!
    Name of pie, please. I guess I could call it bakerella’s virgin pie crust recipe with luscious pumpkin, cream cheese layer and pecan, chocolate, crunchy topping! LOL

  59. I’m going to make this for Christmas! It looks awesome…

    And I like the rustic look! ;o)

  60. I found this recipe a few weeks ago on allrecipes and was SOOO excited to see that you made it! SO being as today is my family Thanksgiving , a few days late but let me tell you not a bit short I made this pie today– with these changes …. 10 inch pie dish, premade crust ( sin! ) doubled the cheesecake, subbed walnuts , added coconut , and some white sugar, minus the chocolate and the maple…

    Might just be the prettiest pie I have ever seen .. I cant wait to eat it on my pseudo thanksgiving :)

  61. oh yes!!! Very good!! By

  62. Mine was runny too, because I wasn’t sure how to tell when it was done. My mom tried it and suggested sticking a knife in, like with a normal pumpkin pie. Not sure if that is what you did. I also tried to make my own pumpkin pie spice with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and apparently overdid the cloves. It was still a yummy pie though, and I will try it again!

  63. This was a HUGE hit @ our house for Thanksgiving. The cream cheese took the extra sweetness off and the chocolate chips and pecans gave it a great crunch! It’s already been requested for next year!

  64. HI there, well my pie was kinda runny too!!! When i put topping on it pumkin was still very runny, cc and pumpkin kinda all mixed in together, crust was great. My oie sure didn’t look like yours!!! But it taste great. I will try again!! I’m determined to make it work. Have you ever triedbaking banana cream pie? mmm. I will be on the loo out for that one. I made your cc and lemon bars also for thanksgiving!! Big hit!! : )

  65. I used to loathe rolling anything – cookies, pie crusts, what have you. I never got ‘lightly floured’ right. A friend of mine suggested rolling the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and voila! I’m a rolling, cutting queen!

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