These easy healthy Vegan & Grain-Free Pumpkin Pie Cups are just like your favorite fall or Thanksgiving dessert but in a smaller, 6 ingredient form!
There have been Halloween monsters and Halloween movie tie-ins and plenty of pumpkin things to pick from. But it’s here, it’s here, it’s finally Halloween! The pumpkin-est day of the whole month, the whole season woohoo! (Actually National Pumpkin Day was last week apparently, but I think that’s a lie. October 31st still wins in my book.) All the spooky stuff has been leading up to this. So what to post…?
Ghost cookies? I somehow misplaced my ghost cookie cutter, could only find the bat one.
Caramel apples? Been there, done that, (really need to update those photos…truly frightening?).
Candy? I think this day has enough of that already.
An edible 3 story haunted house made entirely of cookies and candies complete with operable doors, illuminated windows, and marshmallow ghost residents? So predictable.
No, I was thinking something more sophisticated…
In my mind, the October to November transition marks the transition from funky frightening Halloween foods to the slightly more wholesome Thanksgiving foods that evoke thoughts of gratitude and…cornucopias?? Okay thanksgiving needs more mascots. Halloween has pumpkins, ghosts, witches, bats, mummies, etc, while all Thanksgiving has is the very un-vegan turkey and leaves pretty much!
Anyways…the one thing that I think bridges both holidays is pumpkin pie! Most other pumpkin desserts fall more into the Halloween category it seems, but pie somehow slips through. Personally I think it should be a year-round thing, as always-in-season as brownies, but two whole months is good too.
This Date-Sweetened Pumpkin Pie is my favorite full-sized pumpkin pie! Heck I love it so much I would happily make it and write a whole post about it all over again. But I think that would be weird for both of us. So instead I went smaller and simpler–Pumpkin Pie Cups! They qualify as fun because they are muffin-cup sized, but they also qualify as Thanksgiving table elegant because I didn’t paint jack-o-lantern faces on them with melted chocolate? Restraint.
The crust. I went in a slightly different direction than my usual style. I’ve made plenty of oat flour crusts before, but they are just never my favorite. Oat flour is a bit too chewy for the pie-crust job. Far from the ideal, flaky, perfect pie crust texture.
On a whim, I experimented with an almond flour + maple syrup crust combo and it turned out beautifully! Golden brown, flaky, and maple-sweet. I found using all maple syrup for the wet ingredients to be a little too sweet, so I swapped in water for some of it and the flavor was perfect. Plus you can’t beat the ease of a 2-ingredient press-in pie crust.
The filling. I was going to say this filling is inspired by these Pumpkin Pie Parfaits, but it’s really not inspired by so much as exactly the same. That creamy dreamy pudding bakes up into a perfect pumpkin pie texture–holding it’s shape when sliced but still with a creamy rich consistency. And no starch or thickener necessary.
Two ingredient crust. Four ingredient filling. In pie math that adds up to one really easy recipe!
Vegan & Grain-Free Pumpkin Pie Cups
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup baked and mashed sweet potato
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Mix together the crust ingredients with a fork until well combined. It should be crumbly but stick together when pressed.
- Spray your muffin pan with oil and place a strip of parchment paper in each for easy removal. Or line with paper liners.
- Press the crust into the muffin tins, covering the bottom and sides evenly. Wetting your fingers can help if it is too sticky. You should have enough crust for 4 pie cups. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Blend the filing ingredients until smooth and creamy.
- Pour into the crusts, and smooth the tops.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 375F.
- Cool then chill overnight (or at least 8 hours.
- Enjoy! Keep in the fridge.
For the brown rice flour crust option, mix 1.5 cups brown rice flour with 1/4 cup maple syrup and 4-6 tbsp water until the texture is crumbly but sticks together when pressed.
For a full size version, follow THIS recipe
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Harriet Emily says
These are so cute Natalie! They look absolutely perfect, and I love all of the tasty natural ingredients! Perfect for Autumn! Yum!
Thank you! I really love the flavor of the sweet potato snuck in there, barely detectable but so much extra natural sweetness 🙂
Do you think the sweet potato could be avoided? All pumpkin maybe?
Hi Kim! I do not reccomend leaving out the sweet potato, that is what makes the filling really thick and creamy but still low fat. Pumpkin is much more watery and will not work by itself. Sorry!
Becky Striepe says
These look so perfect for Thanksgiving!
Thanks Becky! I’m not really sure what month pumpkin pie is most appropriate, so I vote all of them 🙂
Nisha / @rainbowplantlife says
What an easy and delicious recipe! Love it, Natalie!
Thank you for popping over here to see them Nisha! Happy Halloween 🙂
Leah M | love me, feed me says
Sweet little bundles of joy and coziness <3 these are beautiful!! The crust looks so perfect. Swooning so hard.
I might have to start working on one of those edible three story haunted houses for next Halloween's post 😉 giggled so much at that.
Love these and love you, lady! Happy Halloweeeeeeeen!
Oh well now I have to rename them because I like your name a LOT better! Yes better get started now. The cookies may be a little stale by then, but it will no doubt look spectacular 😀 Happy Halloween my dear! xo
Kaila @ Healthy Helper Blog says
Is it bad that I want to make the crust on it’s own and eat it all up!? It looks so flaky and delicious!! The filling is pretty amazing too! Luckily, I JUST got almond flour for the first time in forever!!!
Hahaha!! Just toast it like granola–nope sounds very good to me too 😀 I haven’t used almond flour in a really long time either, but it’s awesome for some things!
I love your recipes with pumpkin ❤️ But i have some question: If i want to this but i don’t have pumpkin how can i replace? Also, it works if I replace maple syrup with coconut sugar? Thanks ??
The pumpkin puree is a pretty essential ingredient here, it makes up most of the filling, but you could sub another squash puree instead. And if you use coconut sugar you will probably have to add some sort of nondairy milk because the maple syrup is the only liquid ingredient in the filling so it won’t blend without it.
The golden crust on these sophisticated little pies look amazing, Natalie!! I can’t believe it’s just almond flour and maple syrup??? I can almost taste how buttery and delicious it is! ?? Hahahaha!!! You are absolutely right! Thanksgiving needs more mascots…I hate that turkey seems to be the official one and explaining that to a vegan kiddo is not easy. I think we need to brainstorm a mascot idea! ? But back to these little bites of deliciousness…I’m in love with them!! I’m pretty sure these will make an appearance at our family get together for thanksgiving – I know they’ll be a big hit! ❤️
“Sophisticated”–well thank you! I needed to class it up a little after that last post? I think the copper measuring cups are probably 10 times more sophisticated than everything else going on here, but oh well. I am loving experimenting with almond flour lately (better for me than oats, still not great) and this might be my favorite crust I’ve posted ever, but the number of questions about subbing oat flour on this one already…oh man? I feel like a squirrel is the obvious choice for the thanksgiving mascot. They are cute, they pair well with acorns and leaves–I mean what more could you ask for??? Thanks for watching the mini pie making <3
Oh! And were you using copper measuring cups/spoons??? Love them! Just showed my mom the video and she said, “oh, we have to make these!”
Ohh wow Natalie watching this video and reading this recipe make me so hungry. I bet they taste amazing.
Would love to try them when I’m back in my kitchen. SOO SOO good.
Thank you for taking the time to come over and check them out Annelina! I hope you are enjoying your wandering travel time right now, pie making can wait 🙂
I’m so excited to try these! It’s perfect for using up my leftover pumpkin. Unfortunately, I don’t have sweet potato on hand, is there anything I can substitute for it? Banana?
Hi Rachel! If you don’t have the sweet potato, then I would recommend just making this date-sweetened filling recipe: https://www.feastingonfruit.com/fruit-sweetened-pumpkin-pie/ or this banana one: https://www.feastingonfruit.com/banana-pumpkin-pie/ and using that in the little cups instead!
The Vegan 8 says
Natalie, these are so freaking adorable! I love how simple they are and I LOVE that you used almond flour. You know I’m a big fan! It’s my #1 flour to use because it gives so much buttery moistness without any drop of oil. And I of course love these little pumpkin pies! I put sweet potato in my pumpkin pie too and it’s infinitely better than JUST pumpkin, haha! These would be so dangerous to have because you would just want to keep eating one and popping it into your mouth, over and over! Super cute and I love your video!! So perfect for Fall!
Yes yes yes!! It is amazing for moistness with no oil, which is perfect for pie crust. Heck I barely had to add any liquid ingredients at all, I was totally shocked. It will not be my last time using it, although I can’t even tell you how many questions I’ve gotten about substitution already lol. And the sweet potato in the pumpkin pie thing too–so much better that way. Naturally sweeter? So this post was pretty much just me discovering that I agree with you on all counts haha 😀
These look perfect for my household! We have some food allergies — what would be a good substitute for Maple Syrup?
Hi Jill! Most any liquid sweetener would work–honey, agave, date syrup, etc. Or you can even use a granulated sweetener and add a couple extra tablespoons of water to the crust and 1/4 cup non-dairy milk to the filling to make up for the liquid difference. Hope that helps!
That is very helpful! I’m new to cooking in general and very new to cooking “clean” and allergy free.
Hi Natalie, these look AMAZING!!! We are a high allergy family, and unfortunately we are allergic to nuts too. Is there any thing that you could recommend for a replacement flour? Looking forward to trying these soon. Thanks!!
Hi Bethany!! I made a note at the bottom of the recipe for subbing in brown rice flour instead of the almond, that one seems to have the most similar texture after baking. But honestly most flours will work here, you will have to adjust the amount of maple syrup and water though to get that same crumbly/sticky texture.
Deryn @ Running on Real Food says
These are so cute, I can’t wait to make them! I love, love, love how simple they are because I’m such a lazy cook/baker…these might be a little too easy though..could be dangerous. I guess I’ll have to share so I don’t eat them all. I haven’t used almond flour before either, this seems like the perfect place to start! Thanks!
As easy as possible (and still super yummy of course) that’s my favorite kinda treat! Haha well luckily the batch is small so even if you don’t share it’s not too risky 😀 I am really loving almond flour lately ever since I started experimenting with it. It adds so much moisture to things, definitely worth trying out. Thanks Deryn!
Hi !! I know this is last minute but hope you can get back to me in time ! I’m going to make hear for thanksgiving tomorrow and was confused on how many they make ?! Does this recipe only make 4 or when you say 4 servings do you mean 16 ? Basically just wondering how many cups it makes thanks!!!!
Hi Susie! Sorry for the confusion, the recipe literally only makes 4 muffin-sized cups so you will probably need to double or triple it to serve as a thanksgiving dessert. I hope they turn out perfectly and you have a wonderful holiday 🙂
Thank you so much !! Hope you have a great holiday too!!
2 things: I’m doing the candida cleanse and cannot have maple syrup or sweet potato. These are making my mouth water!!!! What can I substitute for those 2 things?
No maple syrup or sweet potato, that sounds tricky! If you can eat dates, you could use this pumpkin pie filling recipe (https://www.feastingonfruit.com/fruit-sweetened-pumpkin-pie/) that is date sweetened instead, but still use the crust recipe and size of the cups. Let me know if that works!
I cannot have dates either.
Are there any sweeteners you can have? If not I think making pie is going to be rather difficult :/
Lol yes, i can have stevia.
Ah yes stevia–I forget about that one since I don’t use it often. The sweet potato is still going to be hard to replace though since it is essential for the thickness of the filling, perhaps you’d be better off finding a stevia sweetened pumpkin pie filling recipe and then just using that along with the almond crust from this recipe. Like this one maybe: http://www.rickiheller.com/2014/11/grain-free-pumpkin-pie-vegan-sugar-free-candida-friendly-paleo/ For the crust you could easily sub in stevia for the maple syrup and just add a little extra water if need be. Hope that helps!
I didn’t read through all the steps until I put them in the oven, excitedly thinking I had just 30 minutes to go until I could try one, and found out they needed to chill for 8 hours! Haha. It was worth the wait though. Delicious! They are rich and light at the same time. I can’t wait to try this crust with other pies, especially chocolate pie. Thanks!
Oh no!! Ugh the patience part of pies is always the hardest for me, but I am glad that you waited it out. Warm pumpkin pie tastes kinda gross in my opinion (and there are not many desserts I say that about) I actually just posted a chocolate mousse cake recipe that is essentially a chocolate version of these pies with that same crust, so we think alike 🙂
Hi Natalie! These look delicious, and I’m so excited to make them! Unfortunately, it’s really hard to find Japanese sweet potatoes where I live and they’re rather expensive. Could I use regular orange sweet potatoes, or would those not be sweet enough? Thanks!
Absolutely Rachel! They will work perfect with the orange ones too 🙂 Enjoy!
Karlyn Bauman says
If I wanted to make this into an actual pie using a pie pan do you happen to know how many times I would need to double or triple the recipe? I would be using a 13” pie pan.
It looks sooo yummy! And I’m gluten & dairy free so yahoo!
Okay I did it once last year, trying to remember the math…🙈 I’m pretty sure you will need to double the crust ingredients and 2.5 the filling. I think I tried doubling both and the pumpkin part didn’t quite fill the crust, so 2.5 should be good. Hope that works and comes out extra delicious 🙂
What if I used butternut squash instead of sweet potato?
Should be fine! Butternut puree can be a little a little bit more watery, especially if you use the canned stuff, so if it seems really thin then maybe add an extra 1/4-1/2 cup sweet potato 🙂
So I made these last night for a gathering today, and for some reason the crusts are completely stuck to the pan. I cant even get it out by chiseling it with a knife 🙁 It tastes great but its a mess! I followed the recipe perfectly and even baked it less time because my oven is strong.
Oh no!!! Did you grease them really well? I’ve never had that issue with these, although i do usually use a silicone pan. I’m so sorry that happened, next time try it with muffin liners just to be safe!
Can these be made ahead of time then freeze?
Hmm I haven’t tried freezing these. I worry the filling texture would be very weird and icy after defrosting though, so I really don’t recommend it. Sorry!
Can this be made into a full sized pie? If so, how long would it cook?
This recipe is basically the same filling with the measurements already adjusted for a full-size pie, so I’d just recommend following this instead: https://www.feastingonfruit.com/sweet-potato-pumpkin-pie/
Have you tried making this into a whole pie? Did it work?
Right here! https://www.feastingonfruit.com/sweet-potato-pumpkin-pie/
Gabby Griffin-leon says
Hi! Can i make one whole pie instead of mini ones with this recipe?
I think this recipe may be exactly what you are looking for: https://www.feastingonfruit.com/sweet-potato-pumpkin-pie/
Molly Butler says
I just saw Sarah’s post and I had the same problem with the crust. I guess I didn’t realize we had to grease the pan. I just put strips of parchment paper down. The crusts burnt a little, too, but my oven is wonky, so maybe it was too high and I couldn’t tell. Also, the filling didn’t really come out looking like yours. I used an orange sweet potato…not sure if that matters. The filling wasn’t very creamy, once I blended it. It was more like the consistency of the pumpkin puree. My blender isn’t great, so I used my mini food processor. Would that make a difference? I’ve made pumpkin pie in the past, when I still consumed dairy, so I know it’s supposed to be on the runnier side. Not sure what happened. Maybe add a little water?
Thanks – Molly
Hi Molly! The crust will stick if you don’t spray them or use a silicone pan. The strips of paper are just there for easy removal, but won’t keep them from sticking completely. Over-baking could cause the crusts too burn if your oven is too hot, so maybe check them 5-10 mins earlier next time. I do think the filling consistency issue has to do with your blender/food processor. Orange sweet potato is fine, but you do need to blend it really well to get it smooth. This filling is supposed to be much thicker than the traditional non-vegan kind because it doesn’t use eggs or starches to thicken. I do not recommend adding more liquid or they will not set properly after baking. I hope that helps and answers all your questions!
Molly Butler says
Thanks so much for the reply. I will definitely keep and eye on my stupid oven. Ha! I also got a fancy new blender, so fingers crossed on that front.
Tammie Snyder says
I’m ready to jump in and try these. My only issue is a kid that isn’t supposed to eat almonds. Or rice. Or flour-even gluten free. I typically use coconut, but I bet it won’t be moist enough. Also- no maple syrup or agave, so I usually just use honey instead. Suggestions? Thank you! Tammie
Hi Tammie! So for the easy part, yes honey will be fine instead of the maple syrup. As for the crust can oats or eggs work? If so I can point you to crust recipes using either of those. If not, what about a date + coconut crust like this https://www.feastingonfruit.com/pumpkin-pie-magic-cookie-bars/ but with shredded coconut instead of the pecans. Or if there is a nut you can use feel free to use that instead. Let me know!
Hi! I looked at all the comments and I didn’t see that anyone else has asked this already. Are you supposed to peel the sweet potato? Thank you!!
Yes definitely need to peel it first! Sorry, I should’ve specified that 🙂
Hi Natalie…I am slowly working my way through baking as many of your yummy & healthy desserts as possible for my family. Everything I try is so good that I make them more than once, er okay perhaps more than a handful of times and so this is a deliciously slow process. These are perfect for rushed school mornings. I make them often! Thanks a bunch!