Mini pumpkin pies for a small Thanksgiving celebration, made in a muffin pan. Two-bite small pumpkin pie recipe that is perfect for a small Thanksgiving for two dinner menu. Add a squirt of whipped cream on top, along with an extra sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice!
I’m updating this recipe from 2013, because I feel like we are all doing small Thanksgiving for two menus this year, and small pumpkin pies are just so fun. The recipe doesn’t need any changes—7 years, going strong on these creamy custard-y pumpkin pies with flaky crust.
This recipe is from the time when my husband and I were living far away from family, and decided to fly out last minute to Los Angeles for a small celebration with his family. There weren’t quite enough adults to warrant a giant turkey (we opted for this small Thanksgiving turkey tenderloin instead), and we wanted a taste of pumpkin pie, but not the whole thing. These bites went fast from the dessert table!
I still make these mini pumpkin pies when we have pumpkin pie cravings. This recipe makes 10 pumpkin pie bites, but can easily be doubled. If you’re looking for something even easier, try my crustless pumpkin pie.
How to make mini pumpkin pies:
- First, we’re going to make the crust. If you’re using a sheet of store-bought crust, skip right over this step. Eat a cookie while you enjoy saving yourself time! In a bowl, add the flour and salt. Dice the butter and shortening, and add it to the bowl. Use a pastry blender or your finger tips to work the fats into the flour mixture. You’re done when the pieces are evenly distributed–a few lumps are okay.
- Next, add cold water to the dough mixture, and stir with a fork. Is it clumping together nicely? If not, add another tablespoon of water. It should be soft and easy to roll, without cracking much.
- Press the dough into a disk, tightly wrap with plastic wrap, and allow it to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven and have ready your muffin pan. This muffin pan is my favorite.
- Make the pumpkin pie filling: whisk together the sugar, spices, pumpkin, milk and eggs.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll it out into a large circle between 1/8” and 1/4” thick.
- Use a 4” round cookie cutter to cut out 10 circles.
- Press the dough circles into the muffin pan–no need to spray the pan first. Use your fingers to work the dough and bring it up the sides of the muffin cup. You can crimp or flute the edges, but I just leave them plain. I like the rustic look, heh.
- Distribute the pie filling into the cups and bake for 10 minutes at 400-degrees F, and then lower the oven to 325-degrees F and bake another 10 minutes. Starting at a high temperature gives you perfectly cooked, flaky golden pie crust, and finishing at a lower temperature ensures the pumpkin custard cooks perfectly. Don’t worry about any small cracks–we’ll cover them with whipped cream.
If you look inside a cut-open mini pumpkin pie (photo below), you can see why I opt for using pie crust in muffin pans. There’s a big, thick bite of pumpkin pie in each cup! If you use the store-bought pie shells from the freezer section, they just don’t hold as much filling.
This is the right crust: filling ratio for a pumpkin pie bite.
Can I use store-bought pie crust?
Oh gosh, YES! Please use any and all store-bought help when making Thanksgiving dinner. My homemade small-batch pie crust recipe results in incredible flaky and delicious crust, completely worthy of eating on its own, but one sheet of pie crust from the store is great, too!
Can I double this recipe to make more mini pumpkin pies?
Yes, this recipe is pretty straight-forward, and I have doubled it successfully in my kitchen, many times. If you’re looking for an incredible full-size pumpkin pie, check out my deep-dish Orange Spiced Coconut Pumpkin Pie.
Can I make these mini pumpkin pies ahead of time?
In our house, we prefer our pumpkin pie cold, so I make these the night before and chill them overnight. I add the whipped cream just before serving, however.
For the crust:
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
- 3 tablespoons cold shortening, diced
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cold water
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 large eggs
- freshly whipped cream, for serving
- In a medium bowl, combine the butter, shortening, flour and salt. Blend the butter and shortening into the flour using your fingertips. Pinch the dough through your fingertips for the flakiest results. When the fats are evenly distributed, sprinkle the cold water on top. Stir the dough together with a fork. It may need more water, but try not err on the dry side.
- Bring the dough together into a ball, press it into a disk, then wrap and refrigerate it for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Stir together all filling ingredients with a whisk. Set aside.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and flour a work surface. Roll the dough out to a rough 9" circle, using more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Use a 4" round cookie cutter to cut out 10 round pieces of dough. You'll need to gather scraps and re-roll to get 10 circles.
- Fit one dough circle into each cup in the muffin pan, and use your fingers to gently push it into the cup. You can flute the edges with your fingertips, or just leave it plain and rustic.
- Divide the pumpkin filling mixture between the cups.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 325° for another 10 minutes.
- Let mini pies cool in pan completely before removing. You may need to run a knife around the edges of the pies to pop them out of the muffin pan. Serve with whipped cream.
You may use refrigerated roll-out pie dough crust instead.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 174Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 137mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g