The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe – Two secret ingredients that improve the flavor and texture! Oh and by the way, it’s a slab pie, much easier and fun to make!

Pumpkin Pie Recipe #ASpicyPerspective
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The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe

I have not always been a pumpkin pie lover.

Around the holidays, when other family members were reaching for the pumpkin pie, I would likely go for chocolate or apple pie. To me, pumpkin pie was dense and bland.

One Thanksgiving I decided to try to make a pumpkin pie that I would enjoy… Something lighter in texture with a bit more punch.

After quite a few test runs, I found that just a couple minor alterations created what I considered the best pumpkin pie.

One that didn’t even need whipped cream to make it worthwhile!

Pumpkin Pie Recipe #ASpicyPerspective

The Secret To These Pumpkin Pie Ingredients

That’s where the secret ingredients come into play for today’s Secret Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Recipe.

This secret ingredient amplifies the earthy pumpkin flavor in a major way.

Instead of using traditional pumpkin pie spices, I added Chinese Five Spice, a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and szechwan peppercorns.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe #ASpicyPerspective

The cinnamon and cloves provide a touch of tradition, while the fennel, star anise, and szechwan peppers add a bit of pop!

Chinese Five Spice is the perfect complement to this pumpkin pie recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients #ASpicyPerspective

Secret ingredient #2 easily fluffs-up the texture of pumpkin pie. This is done by adding cream cheese to the mix. Not so much cream cheese that you end up with a pumpkin cheesecake, mind you. Just enough.

The cream cheese gives this Secret Ingredient Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe an ultra luxurious texture that is hard to resist.

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients #ASpicyPerspective

What Is Slab Pie?

Instead of making classic round pies, this Pumpkin Pie Recipe makes one large shallow rectangular pie also know as a Slab Pie.

A shallow cookie sheet would be the perfect pan for this recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients #ASpicyPerspective

Why Make Slab Pie?

  • Slab pies take less time to bake than traditional pumpkin pie recipes.
  • They take less time to cool as well.
  • Slab pies are easier to cut.
  • And easier to lift out of the pan without breaking the crust.
  • You get a better crust-to-filling ratio, in my opinion.
  • One slab pie can feed a crowd!

Slab Pie #ASpicyPerspective

How Many Servings Does This Recipe Make?

Our Secret Ingredient Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe makes 24 servings, so it’s perfect for parties!

You could also cut smaller or larger pie pieces if you wanted a smaller or larger snack!

The smaller you cut them the more servings you’ll have and the fewer calories. Just sayin’.

Slab Pie #ASpicyPerspective

What If I Want To Make This Pumpkin Pie Recipe In Normal Round Pie Dishes?

You can totally do this! This recipe would make two 9 inch deep-dish pies.

Make sure to bake it longer since the filling is thicker in the pans… Approximately 45-60 minutes.

Slab Pie #ASpicyPerspective

If you’ve never been a big fan of pumpkin pie, give this slab pie a try. I think you’ll find the slight changes are just enough to make you a convert!

See the recipe card below for how to make the Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe. Enjoy!

If you’re not a pumpkin pie lover here are some other holiday pie recipes you might like:

Secret Ingredient Perfect Pumpkin Slab Pie Recipe | #halloween #thanksgiving
5 from 11 votes

The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr

The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe is due to two secret ingredients that improve the flavor and texture! Oh and by the way, it's a slab pie, much easier and fun! 

Servings: 24 Servings
Nutrition Facts
The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 316 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 60mg 20%
Sodium 303mg 13%
Potassium 137mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 15g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 105.4%
Vitamin C 1.6%
Calcium 4.6%
Iron 9.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Pie Crust
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold (16 tablespoons)
  • 8 tablespoons shortening, cold
  • 2/3+ cup ice cold amaretto liqueur
Pumpkin Filling
  • 3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese Five Spice (or pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. For the pie crust: In a food processor add the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Then cut the cold butter and shortening into cubes and place in the food processor. Pulse again until the mixture resembles small peas.

  2. Add 2/3 cup ice cold amaretto and pulse again. If the dough looks too dry add 1-2 more tablespoons and pulse. Dump the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Press into a rectangle shape and wrap well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese on high until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and add a few spoonfuls of pumpkin puree and beat again. Add the remaining pumpkin puree little by little, as the mixture beats, to ensure the mixture comes together without clumps of cream cheese.
  4. Add in the brown sugar, followed by the egg, cream, Chinese Five Spice, and salt. Scrape the bowl again and beat until smooth.

  5. Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Cut 25% of the dough off one end. Wrap the smaller piece of dough and place back in the fridge. Place the larger section on a well-floured piece of wax paper. Roll into a large 12 X 17 inch rectangle. Carefully flip the dough over onto a 10 X 15 inch jelly roll pan  and peel off the wax paper. Roll the edges under and crimp with a fork.

  6. Pour the pumpkin filling into the prepared crust and smooth out evenly. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until its set in the middle when lightly jiggled.

  7. For decoration, roll out the remaining piece of dough and use a pumpkin cookie cutter (or leaf shape) to cut out 24 pieces. Bake on a separate baking sheet for 5-10 minutes until golden. Once the pie is cool, cut into 24 squares and top each piece with a pie crust pumpkin!

Recipe Notes

This pie can be made and chilled up to a week before serving. Cover well.


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36 comments on “The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe

  1. Aliciaposted November 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm Reply

    Hi there, in the middle of making this and realized the instructions call for mixing in vanilla but that is not included in the ingredients. Can you let me know how much please. I am hoping a teaspoon. Thank you.

    • Sommer Collierposted November 20, 2018 at 10:37 pm Reply

      Hi Alicia,

      No vanilla is needed in this recipe, but if you add a teaspoon or two, it won’t hurt! :)

      • janeposted November 21, 2018 at 12:18 pm

        This pie is my fav

      • Aliciaposted November 21, 2018 at 1:33 pm

        Hi Sommer,
        Since I was in the middle, I included a teaspoon of vanilla. This was a test run to try it out and YUM, YUM, YUM. The five spice in place of the pumpkin pie spice is a real surprise….not to mention the cream chesse, scrumptious all around. This is definitely a keeper! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Sommer Collierposted November 22, 2018 at 8:51 am

        YAY! I’m so glad you liked it!:)

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  3. Janposted November 17, 2018 at 2:02 pm Reply

    Regarding instructions for the slab pie, an edit is required: “Carefully flip the dough over onto a and peel off the wax paper.” I want to make this pie and wish to be precise on the instructions. Thanks.

    • Sommer Collierposted November 18, 2018 at 9:39 pm Reply

      Hi Jan,

      Thanks for pointing this out. We are in the middle of moving our recipes to a new format, but there have been some glitches. The recipe is fixed. :)

  4. Erinposted November 7, 2018 at 10:06 pm Reply

    I see that pumpkin pie spice is listed in the ingredients- would you use the same amount of pumpkin pie spice as Chinese 5 spice (are they interchangeable?)? Thank you! 

    • Sommer Collierposted November 8, 2018 at 5:29 am Reply

      Hi Erin,

      Yes! The Chinese Five Spice just adds a little kick. :)

  5. De Malerposted November 5, 2018 at 2:04 pm Reply

    Loved, loved, loved: “until its set in the middle when lightly Giggled ” The ‘Giggled’ made me laugh, and I so needed that today. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Sommer Collierposted November 8, 2018 at 5:57 am Reply

      LOL! Thanks for the note. We’ll get that fixed. :)

  6. CindyKposted October 29, 2018 at 12:21 am Reply

    I know you said to roll out the dough into 12 x 17 but I could not find what size pan to use. Most slab pies are made in a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan. Thank you so much. I am not being critical, I just want this to turn out for a holiday potluck next month. God bless!

    • Sommer Collierposted October 30, 2018 at 10:14 pm Reply

      Hi Cindy,

      Yes, you roll the crust out larger than the jelly roll pan so you have enough crust to go up the sides and crimp. Does that make since? Just use your regular jelly roll pan. :)

  7. apkpureposted December 1, 2017 at 9:37 pm Reply

    How irrational can a grown woman be! I love your description of this johnny cake and love even more that it’s not fried. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks

  8. Tiffany Wheetposted November 27, 2017 at 11:01 pm Reply

    Hands down the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever tried! Great smooth texture and wonderful flavor.

  9. Jewelposted November 26, 2017 at 7:56 pm Reply

    I love this idea, I always think punkin pie needs more spice , I love where you went with it and can’t wait to try it ! I’m gluten free, would this work if I used a nut crusted bottom instead . Maybe a pecan and cashew crust ? 

  10. Laurenposted November 20, 2017 at 3:43 pm Reply

    Made this last year for Thanksgiving. Making again this year. EXCELLENT!

    • Sommerposted November 21, 2017 at 4:28 pm Reply

      Hi Lauren,

      YAY! I’m so very glad you liked it. :)

  11. Angelaposted November 10, 2017 at 3:03 pm Reply

    I used this recipe last year and loved it, but this year I just need round pies, so you have directions for that by chance?

    • Sommerposted November 17, 2017 at 11:15 pm Reply

      Hi Angela,

      I am going to take an educated guess that this recipe would make two 9 inch deep dish pies. Happy baking!

  12. Yvetteposted October 31, 2017 at 8:06 pm Reply

    Can you use sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin?

    • Sommerposted November 6, 2017 at 8:57 am Reply

      Hi Yvette,

      I haven’t tried that with this recipe, but in theory, yes! You will need to add in a little extra liquid (cream or milk) because sweet potatoes are so much more starchy than pumpkin. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

  13. Pingback: Thanksgiving Potluck Recipes That Will Make Everyone Grab Seconds – Today's News

  14. Gaby Dalkinposted November 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm Reply

    I never thought about adding cream cheese! I love the twist you added on this classic pumpkin pie recipe!!

  15. Karen Wyattposted November 10, 2016 at 1:59 pm Reply

    What can you use in place of the amaretto?

    • Sommerposted November 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm Reply

      Hi Karen,

      You can substitute milk or cold water. :)

  16. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookieposted October 28, 2016 at 10:21 am Reply

    Oh I love that there is cream cheese in this pumpkin pie! And I’m intrigued to try the chinese 5 spice in it.

  17. Naomi @BakersRoyaleposted October 24, 2016 at 8:27 am Reply

    I think I could eat the whole pan all by myself!

  18. Heather Bposted October 23, 2016 at 9:00 pm Reply

     How would you suggest turning this into a regular pie? Maybe just cut the recipe in half? The Chinese five spice is a fun idea and I really look forward to trying it out. 

    • Sophia Butlerposted November 7, 2016 at 10:45 pm Reply

      Normally, slab pies are made with double the crust and 1.5 filling of a regular pie. Looking through the recipe this seems to be the case here too.
      So, reduce all ingredients by a third for the pumpkin mixture and by half for the crust

  19. Maria Lichtyposted October 21, 2016 at 9:20 pm Reply

    What a great idea, and so cute!

  20. Mary Pisarkiewiczposted October 21, 2016 at 11:50 am Reply

    What a great updated version of a pie. it is perfect to bring to a get together.

  21. Pingback: Secret Ingredient Perfect Pumpkin Slab Pie | My Meals are on Wheels

  22. Heather Christoposted October 21, 2016 at 10:12 am Reply

    Wow- it’s genius to serve pumpkin pie in a slab like this!

  23. Emily @ Life on Foodposted October 21, 2016 at 7:56 am Reply

    Right in time for Thanksgiving. I love the little pumpkins!!.