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Three gluten-free pumpkin pie options

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One delicious sweet slice of pumpkin cake is never enough.

One delicious sweet slice of pumpkin cake is never enough.

Jana Stocks Brown

Pumpkin pie is one of the essential desserts of Thanksgiving. Sweet and spicy with a smooth texture, it's fun and easy, but for those avoiding wheat, it has to be crossed off the guest list.

Here are three suggestions for bringing the pumpkin pie back to the Thanksgiving table.

The crustless pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is a custard pie and, unlike fruit pies, the custard will set up nicely with or without a crust. So an easy gluten-free option is simply to omit the crust and bake the custard. The Libby’s Pumpkin website has a recipe for crustless pie, which is similar to the traditional recipe but with a lower, longer baking time. Note that you need to use a glass pie plate for best results.

The nut-crust pie. While crustless may work for some folks, others just can't give up the crunch of a crust, so another option is using a nut based crust. There are many recipes for nut crusts — most combine ground nuts, butter, sugar and spices and are lightly baked before the pumpkin custard is added and baked as usual. These don't have the exact texture of a flour crust, but they have a rich flavor and add a great contrast to the dessert.

The pumpkin cake. When neither a nut crust nor a crustless pie will do, it may be time to switch gears. Pumpkin cake is a dessert that combines a pumpkin custard with a gluten-free cake crust. This type of crust is thicker than the traditional flour crust and provides structure to the dessert with a satisfying sweet chew.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake


1 gluten-free white or yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup)

1 egg

½ cup melted butter


1 (29 oz) can pure pumpkin

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cloves

4 large eggs, slightly beaten

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk


1 cup reserved gluten-free cake mix

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup softened butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the crust ingredients and press mixture on the bottom of a 9-by-13 inch cake pan.

Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in large bowl. Mix with electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add eggs and mix on low speed for an additional minute. Gradually mix in evaporated milk. Pour pumpkin mixture over unbaked crust.

Combine dry ingredients for topping mixture together in small bowl. Add butter and mix together until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over pumpkin mixture.

Bake for 1 hour until the pumpkin cake tests done in the center. Allow to cool and serve with sweetened whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers.

— Janet Stocks

Jana Brown is a writer, wife and mother. She is an excellent cook and is in charge of the pies again this year. Find her at cornabys.com/blog or on Twitter at janastocks.