I know, I know. It’s Thanksgiving Day and I’m kind of late to the pumpkin pie party. But this one was totally worth the wait: chilled with a crunchy graham cracker crust, cream cheese and pumpkin pudding layers, all topped off with whipped cream and toasted coconut. Need I say more? By the way, happy Turkey Day from Minimalist Baker!
This is a recipe that’s been passed down in my family, starting with my aunts to my mom and then to my sister and I. Now, consider it yours. It’s my absolute favorite pumpkin pie because it has a crunch from the graham cracker crust, a lightly sweetened cream cheese layer followed by a perfectly creamy pumpkin pudding layer, and it’s all topped off with a healthy dose of whipped cream. It literally does not get better than this.
I loved this dessert so much as a young girl that my Aunt Donna used to make me my own separate pie so I could have one all to myself at both Thanksgiving and Christmas! How ridiculous is that?
Thinking back, my aunt either did this because A) she wanted to fatten my string bean self up, B) she truly did love me like a daughter, OR C) I was causing dissension at Thanksgiving by claiming 3/4 of the pie before dinner even started. All three good reasons if you ask me. Either way, I scored an entire pie out of the deal.
The other awesome part about this pie because the fact that it’s insanely delicious? It’s so, so simple to put together. No baking required if you buy a pre-made graham cracker crust. Even if you already have a pumpkin pie recipe in mind this Thanksgiving, why not make a second? I hear pie goes fast around the dinner table, at least in my family (wink, wink).
Creamy Pumpkin Pie
- 1 large box instant vanilla pudding mix (large box is usually 5.1 oz)
- 1 3/4 cups cold low-fat milk (divided)
- 8 ounces 1/3 fat cream cheese (one pkg is ~8 ounces)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (divided)
- 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or buy a pre-made graham cracker crust)
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- Whipped cream or coconut whipped cream (for topping)
- If making crust from scratch, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, half of the sugar (1/4 cup as original recipe is written), melted butter, and coconut oil and mix until moistened. Transfer to an 8- or 9-inch pie plate (adjust number/size of pan if altering batch size) and press it on the bottom and sides as evenly as you can.
- Bake for 7 minutes and then set in the fridge on a towel to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Wipe out mixing bowl and add the cream cheese, remaining half of sugar (1/4 cup as original recipe is written), and 1/4 cup milk (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Mix with a handheld mixer until smooth, then spoon into the bottom of the pie crust and carefully smooth the top. Set back in fridge.
- Rinse out mixing bowl and add pudding mix and milk. Beat on high for 2 minutes and then set in the fridge for 5 minutes.
- Remove pudding from fridge and add pumpkin puree and pie spice. Whisk until well combined and then add to the top of the cream cheese layer (all of it may not fit). Smooth top with a spatula or spoon.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours. It will take several hours to firm up so leave overnight if you can. Top with whipped cream or whipped topping and toasted coconut (optional) before serving.