Healthier Pumpkin Pie is an easy recipe made from scratch using real pumpkin, maple syrup, and dates to sweeten. It's a healthy, homemade pumpkin pie with a wholegrain crust that's even better than the classic! Best of all, this refined sugar free pumpkin pie is super simple to make!
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I think when it comes to pumpkin pie there are either lovers or haters.
If you are a hater I don’t understand you, but I DO appreciate you because I get to eat your slice of pie.
Pumpkin Pie is the best pie, because you can eat it for dessert, but I think that the lovers can all agree that there is no better breakfast than a leftover slice. It is SO good.
And honestly, it’s a pretty darn good breakfast. You’ve got pumpkin, eggs, milk, spices, and not all that much sugar.
Even better, THIS Healthier Pumpkin Pie is naturally sweetened with dates and a little bit of maple syrup, so you can feel smug and healthy about eating it at pretty much any time of day. It's got that perfect pumpkin spice flavor, great texture, and is absolutely perfect with a dollop of whipped cream on top or a scoop of ice cream on the side.
If you’re looking for a refined sugar free pumpkin pie recipe, this is the one you’ve been waiting for! It's perfect for Thanksgiving, or Thursday or anything you feel like pie. I’m going to show you how easy it is to make this recipe, with step-by-step photos below.
What’s in this recipe?
Only good things, my friends! Time to gather up your ingredients - here’s what you’ll need for this healthy pumpkin pie recipe:
- Pumpkin purée --> I use my homemade pumpkin purée, but canned is totally fine too!
- Dates --> Go for nice soft medjool dates please.
- Maple syrup --> Just a little bit of the good stuff.
- Eggs --> Three big guys are going in here.
- Milk --> We’re using whole milk today, my friends.
- Cinnamon --> Your pumpkin pie spice start.
- Ginger --> Pretty sure it’s illegal to make pumpkin pie without ginger.
- Nutmeg --> A little bit goes a long way. A pinch of cloves is nice too.
- Salt --> Just a smidge.
- Pie crust --> We’ll discuss your options below!
I make this pumpkin pie filling using my food processor, because it does a bang up job of mixing the dates and everything up into a very smooth filling.
If you don’t have a food processor I think that a high-speed blender would likely do the job just fine. Alternatively, you could roll up your sleeves and mince / mash the dates into a very fine paste.
What kind of pie crust is best?
So many options, you guys! You could use:
1) A wholegrain pastry crust. This is what I’ve used in these photos. I made a spelt flour pie crust that comes from one of my favourite whole grain baking books, but this recipe looks really similar.
2) A frozen pie crust. Pro tip: transfer it into your own pie plate and no one will ever know you didn’t make it from scratch! Need a gluten-free crust? Go for it!
3) A ginger cookie crumb crust. This option is easy and delicious! Just crush up ginger cookies into fine crumbs, mix with enough butter to hold them together, and press into the bottom of your pan.
4) Make a crustless pumpkin pie. All you need to do is butter the bottom of your pie dish before you pour in the filling and you’re good to go.
Whichever option you choose, you need to prepare the crust BEFORE You make the filling.
If you’re making a wholegrain pastry crust or using a frozen pie crust, you will need to blind bake it before you add the pumpkin pie filling. Blind baking sounds scary, but it is not.
Just be sure to thoroughly chill your pie crust before baking (I throw mine into the freezer for 30 minutes first) and use pie weights or dried beans to prevent shrinkage.
You’ll find easy instructions for how to blind bake a pie crust here.
How to make this recipe
Start by pre-heating your oven and blind-baking your pie crust if you’re using one. Then, we’ll make the filling!
Step 1: (above) Combine the pitted dates and maple syrup in your food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the dates, then run the food processor until the mixture is well combined.
It won’t be totally smooth at this stage. This is normal.
Step 2: (below) Add ½ cup of pumpkin purée to the date mixture and run the food processor until combined. This will help to break up the dates and smooth it out a bit more.
You’ll need to scrape down the sides once and then run the food processor again.
Step 3: (below) Add the remaining pumpkin purée, spices, and salt.
Run the food processor, scrape the sides and bottom, and run once more.
Step 4: (below) Add the eggs to the food processor, and run until they’re well combined.
Step 5: (below) Add the milk.
Note! Depending on the size of your food processor the bowl may be very full at this point. It’s completely fine to transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in the milk with a whisk instead.
Step 5: (below) Pour the pumpkin pie filling into your prepared crust.
Step 6: (not pictured) Bake your pie! Depending on how deep your pie crust is, it will bake for around 35-40 minutes.
Note! Your pie is done when the sides are firm and there is still a bit of jiggle to the middle. It will continue to cook as the pie cools, and over-baked pumpkin pies are prone to splitting down the middle.
Now all you need to do is let your pie cool, slice, and serve. How easy was that?!
What do I do if my pumpkin pie cracks?
Funny you should ask, because the pumpkin pie in these photos had a HUGE crack down the middle once it cooled. You can see the before photos here.
If your pie cracks, please rest assured that it will still be completely delicious. So your easiest and most straightforward option is to just serve it as is.
If you do want to perform a repair job on your cracked pie, use a HOT metal offset spatula to gently pull the filling into place and reform the top of the pie. If you do this while your pie is still warm the results will be the best, but I’ve done it with a totally cold pie the next day and all was well.
Then, if you have extra pastry on hand, you can disguise your repair job with cute pastry cutouts.
NOW YOU KNOW MY SECRETS.
Can I make dairy-free pumpkin pie?
You sure can! Replace the whole milk with full-fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk and you’ll be good to go.
What about vegan pumpkin pie?
Can I make this recipe in advance?
You can and you should. Your healthier pumpkin pie will taste best if it’s chilled overnight in the fridge.
This naturally sweetened pumpkin pie will last 3-5 days in the fridge, but is best served within two days.
Can you freeze pumpkin pie?
YES YOU CAN! Leftover pumpkin pie is great frozen in individual slices, or you can even freeze whole pies. Just let them thaw before serving.
Is pumpkin healthy?
Glad you asked!
Pumpkin, and other yellow fleshed winter squash, are jam packed full of carotenes, including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and other carotenoids. These are the compounds ultimately responsible for their bright yellow and orange colours, and also is a pre-cursor to Vitamin A (you need that so you can see).
Winter squash (including pumpkins) are also rockstars in the B vitamin department, with high amounts of vitamin B6, and a good amount of vitamin B2, vitamin B3, folate, and pantothenic acid.
Pumpkin also contains a good dose of dietary fibre, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese.
Other pumpkin recipes you might enjoy:
Healthier Pumpkin Pie
- 1 pie crust see post for notes on options
- ½ cup soft medjool dates ½ cup packed with chopped, pitted dates
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- Preheat your oven to 350 F / 180 C.
- In the bowl of a food processor pulse the dates and ¼ cup maple syrup together. It will seem like a chunky, sticky mess at first, but have faith.
- Add ½ cup of pumpkin puree to thin it out a bit, then run the food processor until the mixture seems smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
- Add the rest of the pumpkin, and the spices and salt, and puree until smooth.
- With the motor running, add the eggs one at a time until each is well incorporated. Add the milk, and mix until it is thoroughly blended in.
- Pour the filling into a blind-baked pie crust right up to the very top of the crust.
- Place the pie into the oven and bake for 40 - 45 minutes. The filling will be puffed up, and shouldn't be too jiggly when you give it a bit of a shake.
- Remove your pie from the oven and cool for about an hour, then place it in the fridge to cool for a few more hours, up to over night (I always think pumpkin pie tastes better the next day). Enjoy!
- Nutrition values are an estimate only and will vary depending the type of crust used.
- The pumpkin pie pictured in the photos is a deep dish pie and used 1.5x the recipe.
- Please see the post for crust options.
This recipe was originally published November 20, 2012. It was retested, rephotographed, and republished on October 8, 2019.