This homemade pumpkin praline pie recipe has the best of everything! It's a creamy spiced pumpkin pie with a sweet, crunchy pecan topping. No need to choose between pecan pie or pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, make this one instead! It's the best of both worlds.
Once you see how easy it is to make this pecan pumpkin pie from scratch, you'll think twice about ever buying one ready-made EVER again!
This decadent holiday dessert recipe has been in my family for decades and I can guarantee you it's a crowd-pleaser.
Pumpkin pie is delicious on its own but with a homemade praline pecan topping, it raises the bar to a whole new level! Add some whipped cream and maple syrup and you have one extraordinary dessert!
One of the things I love about this pumpkin pie recipe is that if the top cracks, it's covered up with the pecan praline topping.
If you're thinking about trying some more new recipes to complete your Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, you might also like my Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing, Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham, and southern-style Green Beans with Bacon.
If desserts are needed, have a look at our favorite Fall Pie Recipes. I think you'll be glad you did.
Why You Will Love Pumpkin Praline Pie
- The perfect combination of creamy pumpkin and sweet, crunchy pecans.
- Easy to make with simple ingredients.
- Make it ahead! Great for the holidays when you have lots to cook. It can be made up to 2 days ahead.
You probably already have most of the ingredients to make this praline pumpkin pie, especially if you'll be doing some holiday baking. Let's take a look at the main ingredients you need.
- Pie crust: Use a store-bought, frozen pie to make things easier or make your favorite pie crust recipe.
- Pumpkin puree: Use canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling which already contains some sugar and spices.
- Brown sugar: Gives perfectly balanced sweetness to the pie.
- Pumpkin pie spice: A combination of fall spices to give your pumpkin pecan pie the best flavor.
- Evaporated milk: Gives the pie a rich, milky consistency but is less expensive and a bit lower in fat than heavy cream. Make sure you don't confuse it with condensed milk.
- Eggs: Give the pie its custard-like texture.
- Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Pecans: Works great with pecan pieces which are a bit cheaper than pecan halves.
- Corn syrup and sugar: Combine to create the praline topping for the pie.
How to Make Pumpkin Praline Pie
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making this decadent pecan and pumpkin pie. For the complete instructions, check the printable recipe card further down on the page.
Step 1: Pumpkin Pie
- Prepare the store-bought pie crust according to package directions or make your favorite pie crust recipe.
- Use a handheld or stand mixer, to combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary and blend until smooth; about a minute or two.
- Cook the pumpkin mixture in a large skillet, over medium to medium high heat until it thickens and slightly darkens; around 5 minutes. Stir constantly. When it's ready, remove from the heat.
- Add the evaporated milk into pumpkin mixture and mix well.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until incorporated.
- Pour the filing into the cooked, warm or hot pie crust and bake for 55-60 minutes.
- The pie will crack and the filling will look cooked in the center when it's ready.
Step 2: Make the Praline Pecan Topping
TOP TIP: To save time later, prepare the pecan topping while the pie is baking in the oven.
- Combine the pecans, sugars, and salt in a bowl and stir to mix up. Then add corn syrup and vanilla.
- Use your fingers to mix the ingredients together. Yes it's a bit messy, but this way works best.
- Once blended together, set the pecan mixture aside.
- When the pie comes out of the oven, spread all the pecan praline mixture over the top.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture all over top of the pecans evenly.
- Return the pie to the oven for another 10-12 minutes. Bake until the pecan mixture is bubbling around the edge of the pie.
- Allow the finished pie to cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream!
Substitutions and Variations
Don’t have the correct ingredients on hand? Or want to change something up? Here are some helpful tips for you to change this homemade pumpkin pie recipe.
- Pumpkin Puree: You can replace the canned pumpkin puree with homemade pumpkin puree.
- Pie Crust: Swap the ready-made pie crust with your homemade pie crust.
- Pecans: Use walnuts or a nut mix, instead of pecans.
- Use a cookie crust or even a delicious gingersnap crust!
- Add some cardamon. About ⅛ teaspoon of ground cardamom gives the pie an exotic flavor.
Refrigerator: Cover the cooled pie and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Wrap the pie tightly with plastic several times, until it is well sealed. Then wrap it in aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn, and to make sure it doesn't absorb other odors in the freezer. Store on a level shelf for up to one month.
Reheat: Thaw the pie in the refrigerator overnight. To serve warm, heat in a 350 degree F oven until heated through. You may need to cover the edges of the pie crust to prevent over-browning.
- When making this pie ahead wait to add the topping on the day you plan to serve.
- If you notice the edges of your pie crust browning too much. Make a pie crust shield with aluminum foil.
- Don't worry too much if the pie cracks since you'll be adding the praline topping, it will cover it right up!
Do you have questions about making this praline pumpkin pie recipe? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions.
Evaporated milk is fresh milk that has been heated until about 60 percent of its water content has evaporated. This process results in a smooth creamy texture. Do not mistake evaporated milk with sweetened condensed milk which has been sweetened.
The short answer is yes. Unlike unrefrigerated pies you see in the bakery, homemade pumpkin pie does not contain preservatives. Therefore, homemade pies require refrigeration. Since the pie contains eggs, the USDA recommends refrigeration two hours after baking.
The difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling is that the pumpkin pie filling contains spices and sweetener.
More Pumpkin Pie Recipes
If you're interested in seeing more pumpkin pie recipes, here's a few to consider!
The way this praline pumpkin pie smells when it comes out of the oven is almost indescribable! The aroma is so tantalizing, everyone knows what's coming and expectations are high.
Waiting is the hard part. If you've never made this before, you can't relate.
If you have, you know exactly what I'm talking about!
Sometimes a video says it all. Take a peek if you've got a minute. I think you'll be glad you did!
Grandma's Praline Pumpkin Pie Video
Homemade Pumpkin Praline Pie
- 1 9 inch pie shell
- There are two options. Make your homemade pie crust recipe or store bought and bake it. I buy a frozen 9 inch pie crust, poke a lot of holes in it with a fork and bake according to package directions. As your pie crust comes out of the oven, time it so your pumpkin mixture is ready to fill it so it can go right back into the oven to bake. Leave your oven at 350 degrees to bake your pie.
- In a large bowl, using your handheld or stand mixer, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary and blend until smooth, just a minute or two.
- In a large skillet, over medium to medium high heat, cook pumpkin mixture until it thickens and slightly darkens; around 5 minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from heat.
- Add evaporated milk into pumpkin mixture. Next add eggs and vanilla and stir until incorporated.
- Pour into warm or hot pie crust. Bake 55-60 minutes. This pie will crack and the filling will look cooked in the center.
PRALINE PECAN TOPPING
- As your pie is baking in the oven, prepare the pecan topping. In a medium sized bowl combine pecans, sugars, and salt. Then, add corn syrup and vanilla. Use your fingers to mix ingredients together. Yes it's a bit messy but this way works the best. Once blended together, set aside.
- In a small bowl combine sugars and cinnamon. Set aside.
MAKING YOUR PIE
- Once your pie begins to crack and the center looks almost cooked, spread pecan mixture all over it. Use all of the pecan praline mixture. It should cover the entire surface of the pie.
- Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture all over top of the pecans. You don't need to use all of it, but make sure sugar is distributed as evenly as possible.
- Put pie back inside your oven for between 10-12 minutes. Bake until the pecan mixture is bubbling a little around the edge of the pie.
- Allow pie to cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours.
This post was originally published in October 2018. It has been updated with new images and content.