Apple-Butter Pumpkin Pie

Here's a special two-for-one pie, half pumpkin and half naturally sweetened apple butter tucked into a graham cracker crust and dolloped with homemade whipped cream. I like to think of it as a "kissin' cousin" to Thanksgiving's apple and pumpkin pies, the best of both worlds. The recipe comes from my family's cookbook and my sister says that people who don't like pumpkin pie like this! (Wait! There are people who don't like pumpkin pie?! Poor souls!)

Apple-Butter Pumpkin Pie ♥, a 'cousin' to Thanksgiving's apple pie and pumpkin pie, combining naturally sweetened apple butter and pumpkin purée. Just gorgeous!

A Stellar Pie, At Once Traditional & Inventive. A Long-Time Family Favorite. Budget Friendly. Potluck & Party Friendly.

  • "... it was a huge hit, even with teenagers. I made it without any added sugar (perfectly sweet enough as is)" ~ Denise

About This Recipe: Apple-Butter Pumpkin Pie

  • This pie weds apple butter with pumpkin, a happy marriage that creates a naturally sweet filling with no (or a small amount) of added sugar. It starts with a graham cracker crust. The filling is a mix of pumpkin and either homemade or store-bought apple butter which is baked until firm. Once the pie cools, it's topped with a cinnamon-spiced whipped cream. My sister reports that people who don’t like pumpkin pie bite into this with approval. No such evidence in my life, everyone I know loves pumpkin pie!
  • This recipe is a long-time family favorite but I first shared it online in 2009 when the word on the street – wait, you know that 2009's "street" was Twitter, yes? – was that canned pumpkin was in short supply. Frantic bakers were searching from store to store, anxious to nab a can or two for Thanksgiving pies or a cartful to hoard for year-round baking. A recipe that relied on only part pumpkin really made sense.
  • Distinctive Ingredients = Graham Cracker Crust + Apple Butter + Pumpkin + Cinnamon + Cloves + Whipped Cream
  • Ingredient List for the Crust = graham cracker crumbs or sheets + butter + sugar + cinnamon
  • Ingredient List for the Filling = 2 eggs + butter + milk + flour + cinnamon + no-sugar apple butter + canned pumpkin purée + brown sugar + ground cloves + salt
  • Ingredient List for the Homemade Whipped Cream = heavy cream + powdered sugar + vanilla + cinnamon
  • This is a time-friendly recipe. Allow about a half hour of hands-on time to make the crust, filling and whipped cream plus the baking time and cooling time. All told, the pie is ready to serve in about three hours.
  • The filling has a rich dark color, that's thanks to the spices in the apple butter. It's quite dramatic when dolloped with whipped cream.
  • This is pantry-friendly recipe, even the cracker crumbs and apple butter are easy to keep on hand.
  • The recipe makes an 8- or 9-inch pie.
  • I hope you love it!

  • If you like the idea of combining pumpkin pie with another Thanksgiving favorite, consider my Pumpkin Pecan Pie, a combination of (you guessed it) pumpkin pie and pecan pie or No-Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie, part pie, part cheesecake in a gingersnap crust.
  • Not quite what you're looking for? Check out my other recipes for pies & tarts.
Apple-Butter Pumpkin Pie ♥, a 'cousin' to Thanksgiving's apple pie and pumpkin pie, combining naturally sweetened apple butter and pumpkin purée. Just gorgeous!

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

Can We Really Make a Pie Filling Without Added Sugar. Yes. Or Maybe. Or It Depends.

The first time I made this pie, alors, I had no brown sugar in the house and no interest in substituting white sugar.

A taste test was in order: good news, the unbaked filling mixture tasted plenty sweet.

But could I really get away with making a pie without adding sugar? Was it possible to rely only on cider-sweetened apple butter and unsweetened pumpkin puree?

I whisked that pie into the oven and sure enough, none of us missed the sugar in the filling, especially because it’s sandwiched between a sweet graham cracker crust and dollops of frothy whipped cream.

That said, the second time I made the pie, I missed the sweetness – fixed by another dollop of whipped cream. Perfection.

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this intriguing recipe a pumpkin and apple butter inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Apple-Butter Pumpkin Pie ♥, a 'cousin' to Thanksgiving's apple pie and pumpkin pie, combining naturally sweetened apple butter and pumpkin purée. Just gorgeous!


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 2-1/2 to 3 hours
Make 1 8-inch or 9-inch pie to serve 8
  • 5 tablespoons (70g) salted butter, very soft but not melted
  • 1-1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 4 tablespoons (half stick/2oz/56g) salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups no-sugar-added apple butter (see ALANNA's TIPS)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar, optional (see TIPS)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (don’t skip)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (assumes table salt, use more if using unsalted butter or another salt)
    (For dolloping around the outer edge of the pie as pictured, make half a batch of Homemade Whipped Cream. For spreading across the entire pie, make a full batch.)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat the oven to 425F/220C.

CRUST Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl until it becomes the texture of wet sand. (See TIPS.)

Spread the crumb mixture across the bottom of a shallow pie pan, no precision is needed here, you're just distributing the crumbs, staging them for the next step. With the back of a spoon, first press the crumb mixtures up the sides of the pan, then evenly across the bottom, don't worry about perfecting the crust yet, just distribute the crumbs. Finally, make one or two more rounds around the sides and the bottom, pressing the crumbs tight, evening the crumbs out. At the very end, "tighten" the top edge with the side of a finger and the spoon. See? So pretty and you did it yourself!

Chill the crust while mixing the Filling.

PUMPKIN-APPLE BUTTER FILLING In a large bowl (you can use the same bowl, no need to wash it), whisk the eggs. Whisk in the remaining Filling ingredients well. Gently pour the Filling into the crust, filling right to the top of the crust (see TIPS).

BRIEFLY BAKE AT HIGH TEMPERATURE Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425/220C.

FINISH BAKING AT LOWER TEMPERATURE Reduce the heat to 350F/180C and bake for an additional 50 – 75 minutes (see TIPS) or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

COOL Let the pie cool completely.

HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM With a mixer, whip the cream and other ingredients until stiff peaks form. Just before serving, spoon the Whipped Cream into a ziplock bag, snip off the corner and squeeze out in dollops around the edge. Otherwise, spread the Whipped Cream evenly across the pie.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

CRUST If you're starting with graham cracker sheets, just measure out 70 grams, break into pieces, then run through a mini food processor. (Alternatively, smash the sheets into crumbs inside a plastic freezer bag.) Once the sheets are turned into crumbs, go ahead, throw the butter, sugar and cinnamon in to finish the mixing job. If you're new to making your own graham cracker crust, check out My Favorite Graham Cracker Crust. That recipe would be a great substitute here but mostly, the post has pictures of the technique used to shape the pie crust right in the pie pan. Cinnamon works great in this pie but I'm also a looooong-time fan of Penzey's Baking Spice and Cake Spice, blends that are just so good, I keep at least one if not both on hand all the time.

FILLING For apple butter, I’ve used both a no-sugar added commercial apple butter and my own recipe for homemade Apple Butter that’s naturally sweetened with apple cider, not sugar. Graham cracker crusts have a tendency to burn along the top edge but this can be prevented by making sure the filling goes right to the top. If the edge happens to burn during baking, just scrape if off and cover up the evidence with whipped cream! TIMING The first time I baked this pie, it baked perfectly in 55 minutes. The second time, it needed another full 20 minutes in the oven for the color to darken in the center and the knife to come out clean. I haven't kept track since then but be sure to gauge doneness by color and the knife test.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
Per Slice (assumes 8 slices, pie made with sugar but half the topping ingredients/all topping ingredients): 354/408 Calories; 79/84g Tot Fat; 12/19g Sat Fat; 109/129mg Cholesterol; 287/292mg Sodium; 38/39g Carb; 1/1g Fiber; 33/34g Sugar; 3/4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 13/15 & future WW points

Per Slice (assumes 8 slices, pie made without sugar and half topping ingredients/all topping ingredients): 302/356 Calories; 79/84g Tot Fat; 12/16g Sat Fat; 109/129mg Cholesterol; 283/289mg Sodium; 25/26g Carb; 1/1g Fiber; 20/21g Sugar; 3/4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 12/14 & future WW points

A NOTE Call me shocked at how calories add up in this pie. It’s one of the reasons why I so encourage other recipe publishers (the food magazines, the food network, and yes, food bloggers) to calculate nutrition information for their recipes. As long as I’ve been calculating nutrition estimates, every once in awhile, one takes me aback. THIS is one — even with naturally sweetened apple butter and leaving out the added sugar and using half the whipped cream! Yikes! However! This pie is truly delicious and I do recommend it, taste-wise. For a lower-calorie pumpkin pie, see my Honey Pumpkin Pie.
Adapted from a recipe from my sister Adanna published in our family cookbook. Thanks, 80KD!

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I really don't care for pumpkin pie. It's something about the combination of temperature and texture. I never thought of putting a pumpkin pie in a graham cracker crust but that might actually make a big difference by adding a little crunch. Does the texture of this filling vary at all from that of a traditional pumpkin pie?

  2. Okay, so, well then, I DO know someone who doesn't like pumpkin pie! I actually loved the graham cracker crust with this pie, it really worked. The texture is closer to a custard-y apple butter than the density of a typical pumpkin pie. So maybe, maybe? it would work?

  3. Hi Alanna, we had this for dessert for our family's early Thanksgiving dinner last night and it was a huge hit, even with teenagers. I made it without any added sugar (perfectly sweet enough as is), and it baked for 55 minutes. My only suggestion is to foil around the top of the crust, which I did half-way thru baking, as it was getting too dark. I mentioned it and a link to your site on my new blog. Hope that's okay!

  4. Denise ~ Welcome to food blogging! And an especially warm welcome to the community of St. Louis food bloggers. E-mail me and I'll add your address to our mailing list, we do occasional gatherings and workshops. And we're DUE!

    PS Oh! So glad you enjoyed the pie, it's a good one! The foil isn't needed if the filling actually goes right to the very top of the crust but otherwise, yes, it's a good idea.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna