Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe – Cup-Pies

Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe – Cup-Pies

pies & cobblers, fall, pie, pumpkin, vanilla
Hi, I'm Stef! Welcome to my kitchen, home to over 1000 recipes! Join me on my quest to push baking boundaries and live creatively both in and out of the kitchen.
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Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Pumpkin pie is a holiday staple. However, isn’t it the best when everyone gets their own mini pumpkin pie (cup-pies)? (Note: Mini sweet potato pies are also a favorite of mine.)

Here’s What the mini pumpkin pie recipe tasters had to say:

  • My father was in town from NY to taste the pumpkin pie recipe. If it seems like I am always having out of town guests from somewhere, it’s true. Dad said that the pumpkin pies were one of the best pastries he has ever had. This is not only because he’s my dad. He also tried the Soda Fountain cupcakes (which were picked by Bride and Groom 1.0 for their wedding) and openly admitted that he didn’t like them at all. He is not shy with opinions.
  • My mom and aunt also tried the mini pumpkin pies. They were in town the weekend after my dad. This means that the mini pumpkin pies were already a week old (I kept them in the fridge). I didn’t think they were quite as good as they were when they were fresh. However, my relatives loved them. The cup-pies, however, were not their favorite. I had frozen some Better Than Sex chocolate cupcakes for them and they both thought that nothing could compare to the chocolate.
  • Bride 2.0 said “mmmmm… pumpkin.”
  • Groom 2.0 said that they couldn’t choose them for their wedding because they weren’t actually cupcakes. Bah humbug!

The Pumpkin Pie Crust Recipe

Back in January, the St. Louis food bloggers got together and took a pie class at Kitchen Conservatory. The photo on the left is from Iron Stef’s write-up of the event. I’m the redhead in the front. Next to me is Karen of FamilyStyle Food and next to her is Alanna, the esteemed host of Pi Day. The class was a blast, however I definitely felt like the class klutz. I was the one who cut myself using the apple peeler/corer and ended up going home with a band-aid. Note that my mini pie doesn’t feature apples. Also note that I am the only one in the picture not wearing an apron. Why wear an apron when you can get flour all over yourself? I’m such the rebel!
Our instructor, Anne, had some rules that she pounded into our heads.
1. Don’t overwork the dough. (She held our hands behind our backs to keep us from touching it.)
2. Don’t add too much water.
When I made my mini pumpkin pies, I broke both of these rules. Did it effect the quality of the pie crust? Maybe, but none of my tasters could tell. I even got the thumbs up from a friend who prides herself on her pie crusts.
The details on how to make this pie crust are laid out very clearly on Kitchen Parade, complete with step by step pictures. I made one intentional modification. I refuse to use Crisco so I used all butter. My other modification was not planned. I ended up using 18 T of water instead of 2-4. I couldn’t get the dough to stick together at all without adding more and more water. My teacher would not be proud.
Lesson: Don’t worry about getting it 100% right. No one will know the difference except you.

Here is the recipe from Kitchen Parade with my modifications:

  • 18 T ice water (This was where her recipe said 2-4 T)
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 sticks (1 c) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Stir together 1 cup of flour, sugar, and salt. With hand-held pastry blender, cut 1/2 of the butter into the four until butter is dime-sized. (I didn’t have a pastry blender so I just used my hands.) Add the rest of the butter the same way. Lightly stir in the remaining flour. Add water one T at a time until the dough just sticks together. Wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Note: This is one of the few recipes that I have not made in my Kitchen Aid. I learned from Anne that butter should not be fully integrated and the Kitchen Aid would have done just that.

The Pumpkin Pie Filling Recipe

I found the pumpkin pie filling recipe on Allrecipes. It had many, many (561) fantastic reviews so I decided to give it a go. I have reprinted it with my comments below.

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites

In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. Stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold into pumpkin mixture.

The Streusel Topping Recipe

  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 T butter, chilled
  • 1 c chopped walnuts (I used pecans simply because I like them better.)

In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Blend in the cold butter with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the chopped nuts. This made almost twice as much as topping as I needed. Unless you want a ton of topping, you might consider cutting this in half.

Putting Your Mini Pies Together

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). You will not be baking at this temperature. However, you want to make your oven nice and hot. This, as I learned in my pie class, is extremely important. Line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake liners. I made about 30 cup-pies with this recipe. I baked the 24 and then the extra six. If you have 3 tins at the ready you can do it all at once. Also, I expect the number you will get to vary depending on the intricacies of dough thickness and pumpkin pie filling height.
Remove half of the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a 3 1/2 inch diameter circle cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles. If you don’t have a cookie cutter that width, see if you have a glass you can use or you can experiment with different widths. Press the center of your circle into the bottom of a cupcake liner and work the rest into the bottom of the liner and up the sides. It should come about 3/4 of the way up the side. I experimented with different heights and found this to be the most pleasing to me, but higher or lower won’t destroy anything. Repeat the same procedure with the other half of the dough.
Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the pie dough cups. Each cup should be slightly more than halfway full.
Lower the oven temp to 375. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the streusel topping over each cup-pie. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the pie is set (doesn’t wiggle around when you touch it.)

The Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting Swirl

I topped each cup-pie with a small swirl of vanilla bean buttercream frosting. The vanilla bean buttercream frosting recipe can be found here.

Pi Day Footnote

Alanna over at Kitchen Parade is hosting pi (3.14) day. Alanna is our St. Louis food blogger social director and is a mentor to me as I build this blog. I had to participate. She’s the reason why I made these mini pumpkin pies.

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25 comments on “Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe – Cup-Pies”

  1. laura says:

    I wish I could send this to bride 2.0 secretly without you seeing it, as it’s such a cute little gift for you! But hey, self bought gifts are fun too, right?

    Check out the cupcake luggage tag:

  2. Stef says:

    Aww.. thanks for thinking of me. That’s a cute item and I do certainly travel lots. I’m off to Seattle tomorrow.

  3. Kristina says:

    I love tiny pies! These look delicious!
    And, if I make it in my cupcake pan, I call it a cupcake lol

  4. laura says:

    Oooh, what is this? Off to my hometown?! You MUST stop off for breakfast at Macrina bakery (stores on Queen Ann, and 1st Ave downtown). You would appreciate it’s amazing, deliciousness.

    There are a few cupcake stores too, but none have ever rocked my world. Top Pot donut though, that’s a treat!

    Enjoy the trip!

  5. laura says:

    Oops, sorry, I forgot… (I get excited talking about seattle)

    If you want a yummy coffee shop with fairly delectable pastries, Zokas is the only way to go. But macrina still trumps all, in the food department.

    Ok- I’m done. I swear.

  6. Stef says:

    Kristina – Hah! Go for it!

    Laura – Thanks for all the food tips. I hope I have time to check that place out. We are actually heading to wedding a couple of hours outside of Seattle so I’m not sure how long I’ll have in Seattle proper. If I can fit it in though, I’ll check it out. I’ll let you know!

  7. Alanna says:

    Aiiii, you make a blogger proud, for sure. What creativity: I couldn’t for the life of me think how you were going to manage cup-pies, but you did, you did!

    Thanks so much for playing along with such spirit for Pi Day.

    As for 18 tablespoons of water: you’re kidding, right? Eighteen??

    PS Would you like some lard? Could you manage it vs Crisco?

  8. Erin says:

    I am so fascinated with these “cup-pies.” They look adorable and sound absolutely delectable. You’re so creative!

    PS: 18 tablespoons is just a cup plus two tablespoon :) I just don’t think I have the patience to count to 18.

  9. Lisa says:

    Oh, I love your post! Maybe there is hope for me and pie crust yet…

    If you can break the rules and still have yummy pies maybe I can do it too. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Sarah C. says:

    I have to admit, these look mighty tasty. 18T though? How did you not end up with pie crust soup?

  11. Stef says:

    Alanna and Sarah – Yes, it was really 18. I couldn’t believe it myself. It was not at all soupy. Seriously, it was just sort of sticking together.

    Erin – Thanks! You crack me up! I did the tablespoon measure, because I kept adding one at a time until it stuck together. I wouldn’t want to put a whole cup in at once.

    Lisa – Believe me I was nervous. I thought for sure the pie crust was going to be a bust. It was great though and I’m sure yours will be too!

  12. Nancy says:

    Perhaps the water discrepancy is due in part to the difference in texture between Crisco and butter.

    The cup-pies were yummy but I have to agree with your mom and aunt that the Better Than Sex Chocolate Cupcakes beat even the beloved pumpkin flavor.

  13. Yeah~ CupPies!! You rock for being a rebel. I’m not sure how on earth you managed to use 18T. I think the most I have ever used with that much flour is maybe 6T. I’m at a loss. Butter as substitution should not have made a difference either. When you mentioned that you were making pumpkin cuppies I started obsessing about Thanksgiving and what a great dessert this would make. Now I need some turkey and sweet potatoes- darn you!

  14. Cakelaw says:

    These look delicious – and I love the cream cheese swirl(?) on top.

  15. Stef says:

    Laura – We are going to Macrina this morning! Although, we are going to a different location. Have you been to the other location? I was going to drop you an email instead of putting this in the comments, but I couldn’t find your email anywhere.

    Nancy – I wondered about that.

    TW – I LOVE Thanksgiving! I have no idea about the 18T.

    Cakelaw – It’s vanilla bean buttercream frosting.

  16. Kimberly says:

    A belated comment … I was lucky enought to taste the pumpkin cup-pies, and while I am not a huge pumpkin pie fan, I loved these! All the yummy flavors of Autumn … great job, Stef!

  17. Stef says:

    Laura – FYI everyone loved Macrina. The pastries were fabulous!

    Kimberly – Thanks for commenting! I’m always happy to hook you up with cupcakes. :)

  18. Sophie says:

    these look great! cupcakes and pies all in one? that sounds like a winner to me, I am definitely trying these soon…maybe tonight if i have all the ingredients :).

  19. Stef says:

    Good luck! Let me know how they turn out!

  20. I’d probably eat ANYTHING with pumpkin in it……….. Sad but true!

  21. Lauren says:

    I made these for a co-worker’s birthday because I needed a pumpkin pie that could make it on a plane from D.C. to Dallas. Everyone loved them!

  22. Anonymous says:

    CUP PIES! You must be a Pushing Daisies fan! Will any filling do as long as I follow the recipe for the crust and topping?

  23. Stef says:

    Anon – Yes, you can definitely experiment with different fillings. I’ve actually never seen Pushing Daisys. ;)

  24. Anonymous says:

    Pushing Daisies has inspired me to make Cup Pies! Particularly pear cup pies with gruyere baked into the crust

  25. Alanna says:

    Funny, this just popped in a Google Alert (behind, a bit, are you Google Alerts?) and I’m glad it did for it brought back memories of that great day we had!

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