If you love homemade pumpkin pie but don't enjoy making pastry from scratch, you'll love this pumpkin pie in graham cracker crust recipe!
This easy-to-make crust only has three ingredients, but it's delicious!
As much as I love the comforting flavour of a traditional pumpkin pie, it's not something I usually enjoy making from scratch.
My pie crust skills are limited at best - despite having learned how to make it in my George Brown culinary courses.
I usually use a store-bought pastry crust when making a pumpkin pie at home. But lately, I've found that combination to be a bit bland.
The result is a creamy pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust that beats every other pumpkin pie I've ever made.
🧈 Ingredients & Substitutions
The ingredients for this recipe are straightforward.
I used heavy cream instead of the traditional evaporated milk to add a luxurious texture to the pie's filling. There's a little vanilla extract in there as well to bump up the flavour.
I chose to keep the graham cracker crust simple. There are just three ingredients: graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter.
I like to add a lot of sweet toppings to my pie, so I only added a small amount of sugar to the crust.
You could also add a pinch of cinnamon or ginger to the crust, but I kept mine plain.
- Salted Butter: If you'd rather use unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to the crust mixture.
- 35% Cream: Also known as whipping cream. Heavy cream will also work (38% cream). Evaporated milk can be substituted, though the texture will be less rich. Condensed milk can also be used, but you should use less so the pie isn't too sweet.
- Pumpkin Puree: I used pure canned pumpkin puree. You can use homemade pumpkin puree instead. Alternatively, canned pumpkin pie filling will work, but you should omit the spices in this recipe.
- Brown Sugar: White granulated sugar can be substituted instead.
- Ground Nutmeg: You can omit this if desired.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla bean paste or almond extract are good substitutes.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: Crushed digestive biscuits, vanilla wafers or gingersnap cookies should work as alternatives for the crust.
- Eggs: Important for binding the mixture together.
- Pumpkin Spice: Use store-bought, make your own spice blend, or buy canned pumpkin pie filling instead of the pure pumpkin puree.
- Salt: I always use sea salt. If you use table salt, add slightly less salt to your recipe.
Remember, while these substitutions can work well, they might slightly alter the taste, texture, or overall outcome of the recipe.
Please scroll down to the recipe card to get the full ingredient list and recipe instructions.
Note: I used pre-made graham cracker crumbs for this recipe. If you can't find graham crumbs, you can make your own by pulverizing whole graham crackers in a food processor (or by smashing them in a zip-top bag). Alternatively, you can buy a pre-made graham cracker crust at most grocery stores.
I used a 9-inch ceramic pie plate with a standard depth (1.5 inches) for this recipe.
A 9-inch glass pie plate should work just as well. I would avoid using a deep-dish pie plate, though (2.25 inches), as the quantities for the recipe may not work.
Smart Shortcuts: If you're low on time or energy, you can make this pie with a pre-made 9-inch graham cracker crust from Metro, Walmart or your favourite grocery store. You can also use a can of pumpkin pie filling instead of pure pumpkin and omit the nutmeg and pumpkin spice in the recipe. You'll have this pie ready in no time!
If you enjoy plain classic pumpkin pie, this recipe will work for you.
The sweet, crumbly graham cracker crust adds more texture and flavour than the traditional pastry crust, but otherwise, the filling tastes the same.
If you want to switch things up, here are some tasty ideas.
- Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust: Swap out regular graham crackers for chocolate ones to create a delightful chocolate twist to the crust. Can't find chocolate graham crackers? Add ¼ cup of cocoa powder to your graham cracker crumbs when making the crust mixture.
- Maple Pecan Topping: Toasted pecans combined with a drizzle of maple syrup on top of the pie adds sweetness and crunch.
- Chocolate Pecan Topping: Chocolate syrup and toasted pecans are my favourite toppings for this pie (see photo above).
- Ginger Infused Filling: Add finely chopped bits of crystallized ginger to the pumpkin filling for a zesty twist on the classic recipe.
- Swirled Cream Cheese: Add a layer of sweetened cream cheese swirls to the pumpkin filling before baking for a delightful contrast of flavours.
🥣 How to Make the Graham Cracker Crust
This crust recipe could not be easier. You're just going to mix everything in a bowl, pour it into your pie dish, and press it down. That's it!
Combine 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.
Add 4 ounces of melted salted butter.
Stir the mixture until it looks like wet sand.
Pour it into your pie dish and smooth it into an even layer.
Once you've added the graham cracker mixture to your pie dish, press it down to create the crust.
(Full instructions are in the recipe card below.)
I like to use a clean mason jar for this, but a glass or measuring cup would also work here.
Avoid just using your hands, as that doesn't work as well (and you're likely to get the crust stuck to your hands).
Use even pressure to push down on the crumbs, making an even, flat layer across the bottom and up the sides.
Tip: Be sure to build up enough crust along the sides of the pie dish to create a thick crust. Otherwise, your pie will fall apart when you slice it.
🎃 Making the Pumpkin Filling
The method for making this filling is similar to how we made the graham cracker crust.
We're just going to dump everything into a bowl, give it a good mix, and then pour it into the pie plate.
Tip: Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. This makes it easier to combine them.
Once that's done, it just has to bake in the oven, and you're ready to serve it!
All of my pies took about 50-55 minutes to cook. You want the middle of the pie to be slightly jiggly - it will set firmer as it cools.
If the edges of your crust are browning too quickly, you can wrap them in aluminum foil. This will prevent them from burning while the rest of the pie finishes cooking.
Note that overcooking the pie tends to cause it to crack. If your pie does crack, don't worry about it. A cracked pie tastes just as good as one without cracks.
This pie is best eaten fresh. The pie will keep well at room temperature for a couple of days when covered tightly with plastic wrap. Any longer than that, and the crust will start to become soggy.
You can store the pie in the fridge for up to four days, but again, the crust will eventually become soggy.
If you need your pie to last longer, I recommend baking the graham cracker crust for 10-12 minutes before filling it to remove excess moisture.
If you want to top the entire pie with whipped cream, I would wait to do that at the last minute and then store leftovers in the fridge immediately.
🙋🏽♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
No. We tested this recipe with and without putting the crust in the fridge and didn't find that it made a difference.
No. Regular milk is likely to curdle once baked due to its low fat content. Try evaporated milk instead, but note that the texture won't be as rich. Condensed milk can also be used, but you should use less as it's very sweet.
It depends. If you want your pie to last longer without the crust getting soggy, you can bake the pie for 10-12 minutes before adding the filling. You can skip the pre-bake step if you plan to eat the pie within a day or two. The graham cracker crust will cook together with the pumpkin pie filling.
I hope you enjoy making this pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or any other gathering you may have!
If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a comment with a rating below - I'd love to hear from you!
🖨 Printable Recipe
Pumpkin Pie in Graham Cracker Crust
- 9-inch ceramic pie plate, (or glass)
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs, 12 full sheets crushed
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, or white granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons salted butter, melted (4 ounces)
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 2 cups pumpkin puree, or a 15 ounce can
- ½ cup brown sugar, or white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional (a pinch is fine)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup 35% cream, (whipping cream) or heavy cream
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
Graham Cracker Crust
- In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs with brown sugar and melted butter. Stir until the mixture looks like wet sand.
- Pour mixture into pie plate and spread into an even layer across the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Use the bottom of a glass to firmly press down the mixture to make a crust.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the pumpkin pie filling.
Assembling the Pie
- Place the pie plate with the graham cracker crust onto a cookie sheet.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the empty graham cracker crust. Smooth the filling with a spatula to create an even layer.
- Bake the pie for 45-55 minutes. If your crust is browning too quickly, cover the edges with foil to prevent burning.
- Once the pie is mostly set, with just a little bit of jiggle in the middle, remove it from the oven. Allow it to cool completely before serving.
Please read the blog post for detailed tips and explanations.
Nutrition Disclaimer: this nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed.