All the delicious flavors of a traditional pumpkin pie and more! This pumpkin pie crumble combines a shortbread crust with a delicious pumpkin pie filling and then it's topped with a cinnamon spiced crumble.
Your friends and family will fall in love with this dessert and they never have to know how easy it is to make!
What I love most about this recipe is that the crust and crumble topping provide a nice crunch that compliments the smooth pumpkin pie filling. Each bite is perfectly balanced with flavor and texture.
Similar to my pecan bars, these pumpkin pie crumble bars are ideal for a Thanksgiving dessert or any time you want a pumpkin dessert, but a whole slice of pie is a bit much.
When I'm entertaining, I like to provide a variety of desserts to my guests and making desserts that are able to be cut small allows the guests to sample a little of everything and this recipe is perfect for that!
Suggested Kitchen Tools for Pumpkin Pie Bars
- (affiliate link)9x13 baking dish or (affiliate link)8x8 baking dish for a half batch
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Parchment Paper
- (affiliate link)Shallow Container for the Crumble
- Sharp Knife
Ingredients & Substitutions
There are three components to this Pumpkin Pie Crumble: the shortbread crust, the pumpkin pie filling, and the streusel topping.
There are variations and substitutions that you can make to each layer and my suggestions are listed below.
The crust uses a combination of all-purpose flour, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. It is really easy to make, so even if you haven't made shortbread before give it a try! You don't need any special equipment to make the crust, but using a stand mixer or an electric mixer does make it a little easier.
If you didn't want to make the shortbread crust, you could use sugar cookie dough instead and press that into the pan and bake it for about 5-7 minutes at 350℉/175℃ or until it just starts to set.
The other option is to make a graham cracker crust and I would bake that just for a few minutes at 350℉/175℃ just to set the crust.
I have not tested the recipe with gluten-free flour, but if you want to try it I recommend using a gluten-free flour that is a 1:1 ratio to all-purpose flour and that is specifically for baking. I have read that Bob's Red Mill has a good one and you can find it on Amazon, here is the link: (affiliate link)Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour
Pumpkin Pie Filling
This recipe uses canned pumpkin, but you can certainly use your homemade pumpkin puree as long as it is as thick as the canned kind. If your puree is a little thinner, cut back on the evaporated milk a bit.
The canned pumpkin is combined with eggs, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and all those warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice for the perfect balance of flavors.
Canned pumpkin is different than Pumpkin Pie Mix which already has the evaporated milk, sugar and spices in it. I have not tested the recipe with the pumpkin pie mix, but you would need about 60 ounces of it if you wanted to substitute it for the puree.
I use a combination of brown sugar and white sugar in this recipe because the brown sugar gives a wonderful flavor and the white sugar helps to create a rich dark pumpkin pie filling. You can use all brown sugar if you prefer.
Although I have not tested the recipe using a sugar substitute, I think it will work fine as long as you use a variety that is a 1:1 substitute for real sugar.
In my opinion, this is what takes this recipe to "over-the-top" good! The buttery crumble on top provides an extra bit of texture and crunch which is perfect with the smooth pumpkin pie filling and something I really miss on traditional pumpkin pies.
However, if you are not looking for that crunch on top, you can use a simple whipped cream topping or a cream cheese frosting if you prefer.
You can also crush up your favorite cookies and add them to the top just before serving.
The ingredients in the crumble topping are simple: butter, flour, and sugar.
Some streusel toppings use oats and you can absolutely do that by substituting ¼-½ cup of the flour for oats.
If you have specific dietary restrictions, I would look for a streusel topping that meets your needs and substitute it for the one in the recipe.
How to Make Pumpkin Pie Crumble
While I like to make this in an (affiliate link)8x8 or (affiliate link)9x13 pan and cut it into bars for serving, you can also make it in a regular pie pan or a springform pan if you want more traditional slices versus squares.
I recommend using a deep dish pie pan and cutting the recipe in half for one pie.
Put a few smears of soft butter under the parchment paper to hold it in place when lining a pan or cookie sheet before baking.
Mise En Place (Prep)
The prep for this recipe is pretty easy.
- Preheat your oven to 425℉/215℃
- Prepare your baking pan by lining it with parchment paper
- Make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature.
- Melt the butter used in the crumble topping
I hold the parchment in place by smearing a little butter in a few places on the pan, then cut the corners so I get a nice smooth fit.
Trim any excess paper and your pan is ready to go!
Making the Shortbread Crust
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl if you want to use a hand mixer or a wooden spoon, combine the butter and sugar.
Use the paddle attachment on the stand mixer and blend on low until the sugar starts to combine with the room-temperature butter. If your butter is colder, this will take longer and you might find that instead of being creamy, it all clumps to the paddle. This is what happened to me when filming the video because my house was pretty cold and the butter wasn't as soft as it should have been.
Do not worry! just continue to blend on low to medium speed and add in the vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
When the butter and sugar mixture is combined, scrape down the sides and you will get a feel for how light the mixture is. You want the butter and sugar to be as light and fluffy as you can get it without over-mixing and making it greasy.
Once the butter, sugar, and vanilla are light and fluffy, it's time to add the flour mixture.
Combine the flour and salt and mix well. I usually do this while the butter and sugar are mixing.
Add about ¼-⅓ of the flour mixture at a time and mix on low until combined. The mixture will become very crumbly and that is what you want.
When all of the flour is mixed in and you have course crumbles, turn the mixture out onto a clean, flat surface like a countertop or cutting board.
Bring the crumbly mixture together like you would biscuit dough. Press and fold, but try not to handle it too much. The warmth of your hands will help the dough come together, but we don't want to warm it up too much and have the butter turn greasy.
Once of cohesive ball of dough is formed, you will break it into pieces and begin pressing it into the prepared baking pan.
I like to start at the edges and work my way to the center. You want the crust to be about ¼" thick and as even as possible.
Bake in the preheated oven at 425℉/215℃ oven for 10 minutes or until the shortbread crust just starts to turn golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a cooling rack. Let it sit to cool while you make the pumpkin pie filling.
Reduce the oven temp to 325℉/165℃ so it is a lower temp for baking the pumpkin pie layer
Making the Pumpkin Pie Filling
In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, or a large mixing bowl if you are using a hand mixer or a whisk. Blend the eggs together until the whites and yolks are well combined.
Next, add in the white and brown sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract or paste, and the evaporated milk. Using the whisk attachment on the stand mixer or a hand mixer or whisk, blend the ingredients together.
Mix your spices together in a small bowl and make sure there aren't any clumps. If your spices have clumps in them, break them up with a spoon or use a sifter to make sure none get into the pumpkin pie filling. If you have little balls of spices after sifting, use the back of a spoon to press them through because you want all the spices in the filling!
Clumps of spices don't break up once added to the filling, so this is pretty important to do.
Whisk until the spices are well combined into the pumpkin pie filling.
Pour the filling over the cooled shortbread crust. The shortbread can still be warm to the touch, but it should be cool enough that when you gently press your finger onto the top it does not create an indent.
Quick Tip: Streusel Topping
Mix the topping while the pumpkin pie layer is baking so it has time to chill in the refrigerator and harden.
Put the baking pan into a preheated 325℉/165℃ oven and bake for 45-55 minutes. You can tell it is done when the very center has just the slightest jiggle to it. If the pumpkin pie mixture is visibly moving around when you gently shake the pan, it is not done.
Remove from the oven to put the crumble on top or you can pull out the rack and add the crumble to the top.
Making the Streusel Topping
You want to make the streusel Topping while the pumpkin pie filling is baking so it has time to harden in the fridge.
My technique for making this crumble or streusel topping is probably different from what you are used to, but it is the most amazing topping ever!
Melt the butter if you haven't already and let it sit to cool slightly while you mix the dry ingredients.
Use a shallow container so you can spread the topping into a thin layer for it to harden.
Combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in the container. I use a fork to "whisk" it all together.
Pour in the melted butter and mix together until you have a thick paste.
Spread the paste over the bottom of the container and put it in the fridge until about 5-10 minutes before you want to add it to the top of your pumpkin pie crumble.
Using a butter knife or other utensil, scrape the hardened topping so it breaks up a bit and comes off the bottom of the container.
Pour the white sugar over the hardened crumble. I do this for two reasons; the first is because it helps with breaking up the crumble and prevents the butter from getting too soft as you use your fingers to crumble it and because the white sugar caramelizes and creates a beautiful look and texture to the crumble.
Using your fingers, break the crumble up into small pieces about the size of the tip of your pinky finger. They all don't have to be the same size, but you want to avoid really large pieces.
Sprinkle the crumble over the top of the baked pumpkin pie filling and place the pan in the oven. Bake at 375℉/190℃ for 15 minutes.
You do not have to remove the pan from the oven after baking the pumpkin pie layer. You can pull the oven rack out and put the crumble on top while it is in the oven. Just don't forget to increase the oven temp!
Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack. This will take at least an hour. Put it into the refrigerator for a few hours before serving if you like it chilled. If not, then carefully lift the pumpkin pie crumble out of the pan using the parchment paper and place on a flat surface like a cutting board.
Cut into 2" squares and serve. You will get about 48 squares from a 9x13 pan and 24 from an 8x8 pan.
How to Store Pumpkin Pie Crumble
The pumpkin pie filling is egg-rich, meaning there are a lot of eggs in it and, even though they are cooked, this dish does require refrigeration for food safety.
You can leave the pumpkin pie crumble out at room temperature for up to two hours.
The pumpkin pie crumble should be stored in the refrigerator and will last at least a week. I recommend freezing for longer storage.
You can either freeze the individual squares or a larger piece of the pumpkin pie crumble.
What I recommend doing is placing what you want to freeze on a parchment lined tray and freeze without covering until it is completely frozen. Then you can transfer the frozen piece or squares to either a vacuum seal bag and vacuum seal or place it in a freezer container or bag that is air tight.
You can freeze them for up to 6 months, but I recommend up to 3 months for best quality.
I also recommend removing them from the bag or container to thaw and placing them on a wire rack over a plate or tray to thaw fully in the refrigerator. This will prevent the crust and topping from becoming too soggy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sure! You would want to bake the pie as directed on package and when it has a bout 15-20 minutes left to bake, add the crumble topping.
You can cut all the ingredients in half and that will make enough of each layer to make an 8x8 pan which will give you 24 squares that are approximately 2" x 2".
I don't recommend doubling the recipe. Instead, I would make a single recipe twice. Doubling the dough ingredients and the pumpkin pie filling will make it a little more difficult to handle. You can double the crumble topping, just make sure you use a big enough tray or container to get a thin layer of the crumble.
Fun Dessert Recipes for a Crowd!
When choosing desserts for a party or get-together, being able to make it ahead of time, controlling serving sizes, and making something that is easy to eat are so important.
Here are some of my favorite dessert recipes when I'm entertaining guests!
Pumpkin Pie Crumble Recipe
- 1 cup butter salted, room temperature
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 2 cups all purpose flour
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 6 Large eggs
- 30 ounces pure pumpkin puree
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon fine grind sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup butter salted, melted and slightly cooled
- ¼ cup white sugar
Prep for the Recipe
- Line a 9x13 pan with parcment paperPreheat the oven to 450℉/220℃Melt the butter for the crumble topping
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix until the vanilla is incorporated.1 cup butter, ⅔ cup white sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Add about ⅓ of the dry mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until the flour is incorporated. Repeat for the other 2 additions of a ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. The mixture will be very crumbly and that is what you want.2 cups all purpose flour
- Pour the crumbly mixture onto a clean cutting board and press together with the palms of your hands. Turn the dough and keep pressing it together until it forms a ball of dough that stays together.
- Press the dough into the prepared pan by breaking off pieces of the dough and pressing it into the corners and outer edges and then filling in the center until the entire bottom of the pan is covered. You do not need to go up the edges of the pan. The thickness will be about ¼-½".
- Bake in the preheated 425℉/220℃ oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on a cooling rack while you make the pumpkin pie filling.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- Set the oven temperature to 325℉/165℃.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, whisk together the eggs on low to medium speed until the yolks and whites are combined.6 Large eggs
- Add in the remaning filling ingredients and mix on low to medium speed until all of the ingredients are well mixed.30 ounces pure pumpkin puree, 1 cup brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar, 12 ounces evaporated milk, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste, 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1½ teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, ½ teaspoon fine grind sea salt or kosher salt
- I recommend making the crumble topping while the pumpkin pie filling is baking.
- I a shallow container, mix together the flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Pour the metled butter over the dry mixture and mix with a fork until a thick paste is formed. Spread the paste over the bottom of the shallow container and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.1 cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup butter
- Remove the container from the fridge and the paste should be hardened. Loosen it from the bottom of the container with a butter knife. Pour over the white sugar and break it up into small crumbles about the size of the tip of your pinky finger up to the size of a dime. They all do not need to be the same size, but try not to make them too small or too large. Use the crumble as directed in the instructions below.¼ cup white sugar
Assembling & Baking
- Pour the pumpkin filling on top fo the cooled shortbread crust and place in the oven. Bake at 325℉/165℃ for 45-55 minutes or until the center is barely jiggly when you gently shake the pan.
- Spread the crumble topping over the top and increase the oven temperature to 375℉/190℃ and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour on a cooling rack and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Lift the pumpkin pie crumble from the pan using the parchment and cut into 2" squares. Serve & Enjoy!
How to Store Pumpkin Pie CrumbleThe pumpkin pie filling is egg-rich, meaning there are a lot of eggs in it and even though they are cooked, this dish does require refrigeration for food safety. You can leave the pumpkin pie crumble out at room temperature for up to two hours. Refrigeration The pumpkin pie crumble should be stored in the refrigerator and will last at least a week. I recommend freezing for longer storage. Freezer You can either freeze the individual squares or a larger piece of the pumpkin pie crumble. What I recommend doing is placing what you want to freeze on a parchment-lined tray and freeze without covering it until it is completely frozen. Then you can transfer the frozen piece or squares to either a vacuum seal bag and vacuum seal or place it in a freezer container or bag that is air tight. You can freeze them for up to 6 months, but I recommend up to 3 months for best quality.
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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