If I’m being honest, I’ve loved pumpkin pie ever since I was a little girl. In fact, it was the first pie I ever made from scratch (including the filling and crust!) when I was just 9 years old.
I think there’s something to be said about nostalgia and flavor fondness, don’t you? Often we crave the food that brought us sweet memories when we were young, and now that I’m an adult I can’t help but adore any kind of pumpkin pie. Especially warm with whipped cream. JUST TOO DAMN GOOD.
Since it’s the last day of #AKPumpkinWeek 2019, I figured I would end it with something special to me: perfectly sweet yet healthy mini pumpkin pies that just so happen to be gluten free & dairy free!
Every Thanksgiving, I bake my healthy pumpkin pie and cherish it for days, secretly hoping that no one else wants a slice so I can hoard it all to myself. What can I say? It’s just really, really freakin’ good. All you gotta do is trust the pumpkin queen.
This year, I wanted to try something a little different, so I thought I’d attempt to make paleo pumpkin pie, but why stop there? What if I could combine my favorite holiday cookie and the pie together to create something even more epic?
The results were phenomenal: creamy mini pumpkin pie that are naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup, then surrounded by a fantastically spiced gingerbread cookie crust. Uhhh huh hunny.
Ingredients in mini pumpkin pies
These healthy mini pumpkin pies aren’t sweetened with the typical condensed or evaporated milk and sugar used to make traditional pumpkin pie. Instead, the filling is easily made in one bowl with simple, real, unprocessed ingredients. More importantly, these paleo pumpkin pies taste incredible and no one will be able to tell that they’re dairy free or gluten free! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Pumpkin puree: feel free to use canned pumpkin puree or make your own homemade pumpkin puree using this tutorial.
- Egg + egg yolk: yes you use BOTH — the entire egg + another egg yolk! I cannot recommend a vegan substitute in this recipe.
- Pure maple syrup: we’re naturally sweetening the filling with a bit of pure maple syrup.
- Almond milk: you’ll want to add some unsweetened almond milk for the perfect amount of moisture in the filling. Feel free to use any milk you’d like.
- Vanilla extract: for a little boost of flavor in the filling and the gingerbread cookie crust.
- Pumpkin spices: in the filling we’re adding cozy pumpkin spices — cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and allspice.
- Coconut oil: the gingerbread cookie crusts needs a little coconut oil for moisture. You could also use butter or vegan butter.
- Coconut sugar: a bit of coconut sugar helps to naturally sweeten the crust.
- Blackstrap molasses: I love love the flavor that blackstrap molasses gives the crust. It’s that true gingerbread flavor and even adds a boost of iron!
- Almond & coconut flour: to keep the crust gluten & grain free we’re using a mix of fine, blanched almond flour and coconut flour. These also add healthy fats to the mini pumpkin pies.
- Baking soda & salt: to allow the crusts to bake up properly.
- Gingerbread spices: just like the pumpkin spices in the filling we’ll be adding gingerbread spices to the crust — cinnamon, ginger and allspice.
How to make the gingerbread cookie crust
Of course, we can’t forget about the delicious gingerbread cookie crusts that these little pies call home. Here are a few helpful tips to help you with the crust:
- You’ll make a gingerbread cookie dough (that’s gluten, grain and dairy free) then you’ll divide into 12 inch dough balls and place into a greased muffin tin lined with parchment paper strips for easy removal. Please see the video below for a full tutorial.
- You’ll use your hands or a teaspoon to help you form the dough into pie crusts, pressing down and working the dough about ¾ of the way up the muffin tin. Make sure there aren’t any holes in the bottom or sides of the dough.
- Bake for 5 minutes, then remove. You’ll notice that the cookie crust may have puffed up a bit and that’s okay. Simply take a teaspoon and gently press it down on the bottom and sides while it’s still warm.
- Add your pumpkin pie filling and bake until done!
Tips for making mini pumpkin pies
- Since the cookie crust is grain free, the pie crust does get softer as the days go on so I’ve found that they are best the day they are made. If you’d like, you are more than welcome to use store-bought pie crusts in place of the homemade gingerbread cookie crust. Totally up to you!
- I do want to note that the filling for these mini pumpkin pies will NOT fill up an entire 9-inch pie pan. If you want a healthy pumpkin pie filling, then I suggest making my healthy pumpkin pie!
- Feel free to serve these cold or at room temperature with a little whipped cream or coconut cream on top.
What makes these mini pumpkin pies healthy?
- They’re naturally sweetened: this recipe calls for a bit of pure maple syrup, coconut sugar and blackstrap molasses instead of lots of refined sugar. Did you know that 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses has 20% of your daily value of iron??
- They’re dairy free: we’re not using any condensed milk in these mini pumpkin pies, which is basically regular milk that has had the water removed and often has sugar added to it. It’s used in many thick pie fillings to sweeten and give the pie texture.
- They use pure pumpkin: instead of opting for a canned pumpkin pie filling, we’re making a homemade filling with pure pumpkin puree and a blend of delicious spices.
How to store mini pumpkin pies
In the fridge: once your mini paleo pumpkin pies are completely cooled, place them into airtight containers and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy straight from the fridge!
In the freezer: to freeze these paleo mini pumpkin pies simply let them cool completely, wrap them up well and freeze them for up to 1 month. Before serving let the mini pumpkin pies thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Top with whipped cream before serving!
More pumpkin recipes to try
I hope you love these healthy mini pumpkin pies! If you make them please leave a comment below and rate the recipe. Enjoy, xo!
Mini Paleo Pumpkin Pies with Gingerbread Cookie Crust
Adorable paleo healthy mini pumpkin pies with a gingerbread cookie crust. These dairy & gluten free mini pumpkin pies are easy to make, naturally sweetened, super cute and seriously delicious! Perfect for the holiday season.
- For the pumpkin pie filling:
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- For the gingerbread cookie crust:
- 1/4 cup melted and cooled coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup packed fine blanched almond flour
- 1/3 cup coconut flour (do not pack)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For topping:
- Whipped cream or whipped coconut cream
First make your pumpkin pie filling: in a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, egg, egg yolk, pure maple syrup, unsweetened almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with 1.5-inch x 5-inch parchment paper strips, they do not need to be exact but should generally just fit in the muffin tin. Spray muffin tins (with parchment paper in them) with nonstick cooking spray and press the parchment paper strips down into the grease to help them stick to the pan -- this is also to help you get out the mini pies when they are done baking so do not skip it!
In a large bowl, mix together melted and cooled coconut oil, coconut sugar, molasses, egg and vanilla extract.
Next add in almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, spices and salt; mix well to combine and form a dough. Allow dough to sit for a few minutes to thicken up.
Next, use your hands to roll dough into 12 ( around 1-inch) dough balls. Place each dough ball into muffin tin and use your hands or a teaspoon to help you form the dough into pie crusts, pressing down and working the dough about ¾ of the way up the muffin tin. Make sure there isn’t any holes in the bottom or sides. Bake for 5 minutes.
Once done baking, you’ll notice that the cookie crust may have puffed up a bit and that’s okay. Simply take a teaspoon and gently press it down on the bottom and sides while it’s still warm.
Next add the pumpkin pie filling to the cookie cups. Each cup will get approximately 1.5 - 2 tablespoons of filling. To smooth the filling, barely shaking the pan back and forth to settle the filling.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until filling no longer jiggles. Allow mini pumpkin pies to cool completely in the muffin tin before removing them from the pan. To remove them, gently run a butter knife around the edges of the crust, then pull up on the parchment paper to remove. Serve immediately or cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
Once ready to serve, top each pumpkin pie with a little whipped cream or coconut whipped cream, then sprinkle with just a tiny bit of cinnamon. Enjoy!
Feel free to serve these cold or at room temperature with a little whipped cream or coconut cream on top. They're delicious both ways!
To freeze: simply let them cool completely, wrap them up well and freeze them for up to 1 month. Before serving let the mini pumpkin pies thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Top with whipped cream before serving!