Crustless Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pecans

published Aug 10, 2021
Crustless Pumpkin Pie

In lieu of crust, this crustless pumpkin pie gets its crunch from chopped candied pecans.

Serves6 to 8

Prep10 minutes

Cook1 hour

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a whole, round, Crustless Pumpkin Pie, with whipped cream, cinnamon and nut topping
Credit: Laura Rege
Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Fall is a time to indulge in all things pumpkin, and usually that means baked goods. Whether you’re someone who enjoys the pie filling more than the crust or you’re always on the hunt for delicious gluten-free desserts, this crustless pumpkin pie will hit the spot. 

In lieu of crust, we added a bit of crunch with chopped candied pecans to complement the creamy, seasonally spiced pumpkin pie both in flavor and texture. If you’re looking to explore other crunchy toppings, try any toasted and chopped nut — bonus points if it’s candied. A surprising (and equally tasty) option: granola. Flavor-wise, we love putting together our own spice mix, but pumpkin pie spice mix is obviously a win as well.  

What’s the Difference Between Pumpkin Pie Filling and Canned Pumpkin?

Don’t be tricked at the grocery store. For this recipe, you want to buy pure pumpkin purée — not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling is already spiced and ready to go. Pumpkin purée (aka canned pumpkin) can be doctored up for more homemade creations.

What Makes Pumpkin Pie Weep?

Pumpkin pie weeps when the custard is over-baked. It’s important to know the correct cooking cues when you’re baking custard based pies; once you have it down, you can apply it to a variety of dishes. When the pie is set on the edges and slightly jiggly in the center, remove it from the oven. It will continue to set as it cools out of the oven and this prevents the weep.

More Topping Ideas

  • Swap the candied nuts for crunchy granola.
  • Try dusting the cake with espresso powder for PSL vibes
  • Drizzle with melted chocolate.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

In lieu of crust, this crustless pumpkin pie gets its crunch from chopped candied pecans.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 1 hour

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • Cooking spray

  • 1 cup


  • 3/4 cup

    plus 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract, divided

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more for the whipped cream

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    pumpkin purée

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    finely grated orange zest

  • 1 cup

    cold heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup

    candied pecans


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Coat a 9-inch pie plate (not deep dish) with cooking spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

  2. Place 1 cup half-and-half, 3/4 cup the packed brown sugar, 3 large eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the vanilla extract, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add 1 can pumpkin purée and 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest and whisk until well-combined. Pour into the pie plate.

  3. Bake until just set in the center, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours more.

  4. To serve, place 1 cup cold heavy cream, the remaining 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Beat with the whisk attachment until medium-firm peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. Dollop the whipped cream onto the center of the pie. Dust the top with more ground cinnamon. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup candied pecans and sprinkle over the pie.

Recipe Notes

Pumpkin pie spice: You can use 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

Make Ahead: The pie can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated. Make the whipped cream just before serving.

Storage: Wrap leftover pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Note that the whipped cream will deflate a bit.