Make-Ahead Mini Pumpkin Pies

Last year I decided to experiment with our regular pumpkin pie recipe and create some mini ones that I could make ahead and gift to people in our neighborhood. I knew they were going to spend Thanksgiving alone so I hoped these would bring a little joy to them. These little pumpkin pies with their various decoration and the praline topping were very gratefully received and I’ve been asked by a few people to share the recipe so here they are my delicious mini pumpkin pies.

Dessert recipe for Mini Pumpkin Pies Pinnable Image of the pies on a wire wrack cooling

Mini Pumpkin Pies

When I found out last year that so many of our neighbors would be spending Thanksgiving at home, far away from their family and friends due to the pandemic, I wanted to share a little bit of Thanksgiving with them each. So I rustled up these mini pies that were ideal for them to enjoy.

They are made with homemade pie crust, pumpkin pie filling and even my favorite delicious praline topping!

small serving from a mini pumpkin pie for thanksgiving gifts to neighbors

Each pie is just 4″ in diameter and we made them in a Wilton’s 4-Cavity 4” pie pan. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to make that pie pan anymore but they do make 4-Inch Mini Individual Pie Tins which would be ideal to make these in.

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Are you making this for Thanksgiving? Then check out some of our other Thanksgiving Recipes for the Family including easy recipes for that leftover Turkey.

Pie Crust Tips and Recipe

Although we love our simple pumpkin pie recipe it does taste delicious for these pies I decided to go back to my grandma’s traditional pie crust recipe.

homemade pastry pie crust on a pie mat with a rolling pin

This meant shortening, cold hands and making very sure not to over-knead the pie crust dough so it doesn’t break the gluten bonds.

If your kitchen is particularly warm you can cover in saran wrap and place and refrigerate for around 20 minutes to cool the pastry down.

I still use my grandma’s pastry rolling pin, it’s a marble one so keeps cool and doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.

pie crust in a mini pie tin for 4 4" pumpkin pies

You’ll need to cut your pie crust around 1/2″ larger than your pie tin so I cut ours at 4 1/2″ which was perfect for making these little tasty Thanksgiving desserts.

How many Individual Pumpkin Pies Does this Make

Although I’ve called these mini pumpkin pies, each one is the perfect size for an individual to although could be shared.

mini pumpkin pies cooling on a wire cooling wrack with different toppings on

The recipe for the pie crust and filling makes 12 pies, which I bake in 3 batches.

Topping the Pumpkin Pies

making lattice pastry using a lattice tool for a pumpkin pie topping

With a little extra time on my hands as my kids were doing remote schooling so no school runs I decided to decorate them with different topping.

chopped pecans to make a praline topping for pumpkin pie for thanksgiving

A latticed pastry topping, cute fall shapes which I used my fall cookie cutter set for, and a homemade praline topping which I’ve included in the recipe for you as well.

pumpkin pies topped with a lattice and praline topping ready to go in the oven

Making Ahead

As I said the kids were on remote learning so I had some extra time before Thanksgiving with no school runs. I was able to make these ahead and leave them covered in the refrigerator to chill for a couple of days before taking them to our neighbors.

pumpkin pies for neighbors for Thanksgiving with homemade pie crust, filling and different toppings

How to Make Mini Pumpkin Pies

So here we go the full recipe (including that praline topping I promised) for some mini pumpkin pies. Perfect for sharing with neighbors this year.

Yield: 12 individual pies

Mini Pumpkin Pies for Thanksgiving

a wire cooling wrack holding a slice of mini pumpkin pie with other pies behind ready to be gifted to neighbors that are spending thanksgiving alone

How about making some of these delicious mini pumpkin pies this Thanksgiving and sharing them with neighbors and friends that are on their own this year.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


Filling Ingredients:

  • 29 oz can 100% pure pumpkin
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp cloves

Pastry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup shortening
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 10-12 tbsp cold water

Praline Topping Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 6 tbsp butter


For the Filling

  1. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
  2. Blend in pumpkin.
  3. Then mix in sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk until thoroughly combined, creamy, and smooth.
  4. Set aside.

Praline Topping

  1. Melt butter in a small pan.
  2. Chop the nuts.
  3. Then mix together brown sugar, flour, and pecans in a small bowl.
  4. Stir in melted butter.
  5. Set aside.

Pie Crust Pastry

  1. Mix flour and salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Blend in shortening with a pastry cutter until pea-size pieces form.
  3. Add in cold water, a little at a time, and use a fork to toss the flour and water together.
  4. When the pastry can be picked up without crumbling, and formed into a ball, it's ready to roll.
  5. Spread some flour on your surface and roll the dough to ¼” thick.
  6. Use a 4 1/2” diameter pastry cutter to cut several circles. You will need 12 for the bottom and some to make complete toppings for a couple of the pies.
  7. Before placing the bottom circles in the pie pan, roll it out a bit more to thin and stretch the circle.

Making the Pumpkin Pies

  1. Fill each mini pie with filling.
  2. Use the lattice cutter to create some pie tops.
  3. Use small fall cookie cutters to add fun accents to the pies (brush a little water on the underside to help it stick to another piece of pastry).
  4. Sprinkle in the praline topping for a yummy pie.
  5. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes.
  6. These pies can be made a couple of days ahead and stored covered in the fridge.
  7. Set out at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
  8. Top with whipping cream.
  9. Enjoy!


Each pie does 2 to 3 servings but I've set a serving size as 2 for the purpose of the nutritional information below.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 412Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 376mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 1gSugar: 32gProtein: 7g

Did you make this recipe and loved it?

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More Recipe Ideas for Thanksgiving

If you are looking for more delicious recipes for Thanksgiving including what to do with that leftover Turkey here are some of our favorites.

a stack of delicious pumpkin pie waffles with maple syrup and whipped cream for thanksgiving breakfast or dessert
stack of cranberry filled cake bars with a crumble top on a wooden chopping board with pecan pieces around them
casserole dish full of Turkey Terrazini topped with cheesey breadcrumbs ready to serve
Pinnable image for a dessert recipe for thanksgiving for 2 serving mini pumpkin pies

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