Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

A slice of pumpkin pie on a plate with whipped cream.

If you’re gearing up for the holidays, a classic pumpkin pie is probably on your to-do list. This Thanksgiving pumpkin pie with gingersnap crust goes beyond any “back-of-the-Libby’s-can” recipe, especially when topped with maple bourbon whipped cream and pine nut brittle. This holiday pie is a must for every table.

FULL DISCLAIMER: Scott (my husband)  doesn’t like pumpkin — especially pumpkin pie.  For him it’s the clove-forward spices and texture of the pumpkin custard that turns him off.  I didn’t even bother asking him to taste it, because a squinched-up face and tongue sticking out  is his ingrained Pavlovian response to the mere mention of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Despite his staunch opposition, there were plenty of other holiday pie connoisseurs, more than happy to taste test my pumpkin tart recipe… and loved the gingersnap crust.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a simple butter pastry, and your favorite would certainly work in this recipe, but if you want to amplify that holiday flavor, try this gingersnap crust.

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How To Make Gingersnap Crust:

For this one, pulverize the gingersnap cookies in a food processor, then add powdered sugar and melted butter until you have a mixture the consistency of wet sand.  Press the crust into the bottom of an 11″ tart pan (with removable bottom) or into a standard pie plate if you don’t have a tart pan.  Press the crumbs into an even layer along the bottom and sides using a one-cup dry measuring cup. Bake the crust for 7-8 minutes, just until set.

(Pro Tip: Place the tart pan on a parchment lined baking sheet to par-bake the crust — and later, the pie.  It will catch any spills and protect against any inadvertent oopsies with the tart pan’s removable bottom — yeah, it’s happened.)

The filling for the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie is quickly whisked together in a single bowl, with a can of pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, spices and evaporated milk. Pour into the gingersnap crust (that’s still resting on the baking sheet) and transfer the whole deal to the oven.  Bake the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie for about 15 minutes before reducing the oven temperature to 350° and continue baking until the filling is set. {The tart takes less time than a regular pie, because the tart pan is wider in diameter, adding to the surface area and reducing the cooking time.  If you’re making this in a regular 9-inch pie plate, I’ve included cooking instructions in the recipe card.}

How To Make Pine Nut Brittle:

While your holiday pie is baking, make the pine nut brittle.  This might sound like a complicated thing, but it’s actually really simple to do.

  1. Melt sugar in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and let it go from a light golden color to a darker amber, but not quite scorched.
  2. Add the pine nuts and stir quickly until the pine nuts are coated with the molten sugar — (be careful not to burn yourself — and get the little kids out of the room as you do this).
  3. Pour the nut brittle onto a large piece of parchment paper and let it cool, until it’s hardened.
  4. Break the pine nut brittle into shards.
  5. Pine nut brittle can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

How To Make Maple Bourbon Whipped Cream:

Finally, there’s the maple bourbon whipped cream, which is so good, you’ll want to make a double batch.

  1. Chill the bowl and beaters for 10-15 minutes before you make the whipped cream.
  2. Pour the whipping cream into the bowl and whip until thick and creamy, but not to the soft peak stage.
  3. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and whip for another 30-45 seconds.
  4. Add the maple syrup and bourbon and continue to whip to soft peaks, just bordering on stiff peak stage.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Every component of this holiday pie are eyes-rolling-back-in-your-head-good.  From the gingersnap crust to the spiced pumpkin filling, the pine nut brittle and maple bourbon whipped cream which gild the lily of this Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Cooking Schedule for Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie:

You can certainly make this holiday dessert in one day, but if you’re a planner, here’s how I would break down the components:

  • Two Days Before: Make the pine nut brittle. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • One Day Before: Make the gingersnap crust and pumpkin pie. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.
  • The Day Of:  Make the whipped cream, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

While this recipe has several components, the hands-on effort is only about 1 hour total time — and definitely worth it for the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving 😛 .

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Serving a slice of pumpkin pie with gingersnap crust.
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4.64 from 30 votes

Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

A standard pumpkin pie, taken up a notch with gingersnap crust, maple bourbon whipped cream and pine nut brittle. 
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword pie, pumpkin, pumpkin pie, thanksgiving
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10



  • 8 ounces gingersnaps (about 2½-3 cups whole cookies)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 7 tablespoons butter melted


  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree (can be homemade or canned) (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk not sweetened condensed


  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup pine nuts


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon



  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Place an 11″ tart pan on a parchment lined baking sheet. (You can also use a regular pie plate — but the cooking times will change… see note at the bottom of the recipe.)
  • Add the ginger snaps to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs.  Add the powdered sugar and butter and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.  
  • Transfer the crumbs to the tart pan and spread evenly in the pan. To finish, use the bottom and sides of a dry measuring cup (one with straight sides) to tamp down the crumbs into an even layer, as well as the sides so that the crust is sturdy.
  • Bake for 7 minutes or until just set.  Remove from oven and cool.
  • Increase oven temperature to 425°.


  • In a large bowl, combine the canned pumpkin and eggs.  Whisk together until well combined.  Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.  Stir in the evaporated milk until you have a homogeneous batter.
  • Pour the batter into the tart shell and bake for 15 minutes. REDUCE THE HEAT TO 350° and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until firm, but still slightly jiggly in the center. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Add the sugar to a small, clean, heavy-bottomed saucepan and shake slightly, so that the sugar is in an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat to medium high and let the sugar start to melt and caramelize. 
  •  Do not stir until the sugar begins to melt and starts to take on a golden color. When all of the sugar has melted and the color of the caramel is a dark golden, stir in the pine nuts until well coated. (Be careful not to burn yourself — caramelized sugar is like molten lava.)
  • Pour the pine nut brittle in a single layer onto the parchment paper and let cool to room temperature. Break up the pine nut brittle into shards. Store in an airtight container.


  • Chill a glass bowl and beaters for 20 minutes before making the whipped cream.  I usually just stick it in the refrigerator when the tart comes out of the oven — giving the pie time to cool before garnishing with the cream.
  • With the hand mixer, beat the chilled whipped cream until soft and pillowy.  Add the powdered sugar and beat a bit more until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add the bourbon and maple syrup and beat to soft peaks.


  • Slice the pie into servings and put each on a plate. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a few shards of the pine nut brittle.


YouTube video


For 9″ pie in a regular pie plate, bake for 15 minutes at 425° then reduce the heat to 350° and continue baking for 35-40 minutes. Until center is just slightly jiggly, butRemove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until firm.


Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 372mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 7375IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 2.9mg

Pin “Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust” For Later:

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  1. Matt Freund says:

    5 stars
    I never had a pie with gingersnap crust. I love pumpkin pie and with this crust I bet it is totally delicious. At some point I’m gonna have to try this. I totally love the idea.

    1. Gingersnaps just amplify the flavors in the pie! Glad you like it.

  2. Pat Thomson Stoddard says:

    I just baked a pie pumpkin then pureed it in the food processor. Have you ever used fresh pumpkin? I’m not crazy about pumpkin pie but this recipe sounds delicious so I’m going to make it for Thanksgiving.

    1. Thanks, Pat. Yes, I have used fresh pumpkin — and I love it in soups. My husband doesn’t like pumpkin pie either — and this didn’t change his mind… because despite the gingersnap crust, nut brittle and flavored whipped cream, it’s still a pumpkin pie. If you’re not a pumpkin fan, I’d opt for Pecan or my Cranberry Apple

  3. 5 stars
    That pine nut brittle is such a nice finishing touch! It sounds so easy to make, too. Those little touches are what make a holiday dessert table all the more special for your family and friends. I’m sure everyone will be talking about this pie!

  4. 5 stars
    Maybe I’m weird, but the crust is totally my favorite part of any pie—but especially pumpkin pie. And this crust just takes everything to a whole new level of awesome. The zing from the ginger and the warming spices in the pie are meant to be together. Love at first bite <3

  5. 5 stars
    Serve me anything with that whipped cream and pine nut brittle and I’ll be happy! I love those topping ideas. And, you’re right, I will be making a pumpkin pie for the holidays. I’ll have to try this out!

  6. 5 stars
    Unlike your husband (I’ll have his slice), I was on board with this from the get-go. I love pumpkin pie. I love everything about it. And when I saw the way you worked with the incredible pine nut brittle and the gingersnap crust, I was even more excited. This is pie to be reckoned with. And when I say reckoned, I mean… like, eaten in one sitting before passing out on the couch for a couple of days.

  7. 5 stars
    How did your husband manage to resist trying this pumpkin pie? This looks amazing from the gingersnap crust to the deeply colored filling to the pine nut brittle. Though I’ll admit you had me at maple bourbon whipped cream. Yum!

  8. 5 stars
    My husband is like that too. I just gave up pleasing him on certain things like veggies and Indian food. Every time I serve him Indian food, he says ‘This is okay but do you know what would be really good? Thai green curry’ :/ The ginger snap crust is genius! I love ginger snap and I can tell this amps up the level of the pumpkin pit. Everything looks so pretty with the pine nut brittle and whipped cream. Excited to share this, thanks Lisa!

  9. 5 stars
    This is the perfect Thanksgiving flavour combo! You had me at that gingersnap crust – my favourite holiday cookie of all time! Can I invite myself over the next time you make this? It’s sounds so good!

  10. 5 stars
    I love pumpkin pie, buuuuuut I think you’ve sealed the deal with this gingersnap crust AND pine nut brittle. Just WOW! This takes holiday dessert to a whole new level. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I wish we were neighbors, Lisa 🙂 Just pinned this recipe, of course!

  11. 5 stars
    My mouth is watering as this pie looks like the epitomy Thanksgiving decadence. The gingersnap crust is brilliant, along with the elegant pine nut brittle, and then the cream. This is a great recipe that will be on my table this holiday season. I really like that you break down the preparation into a totally doable timeline.

    1. Well, at Thanksgiving, I always have a plan on what to do — and it usually starts the weekend before the event… LOL!

  12. 5 stars
    This whole pie is next level. That crust is sooo much better than the regular ol’ butter crust. And that maple bourbon cream on top my husband flipped over. He asks for it on everything, now!

  13. Oh my Lord!! What a beautiful looking dessert! You have explained it so well that I am tempted to give it a try 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    OMG….where to start? That brittle topping takes this pumpkin pie into another level all together. I can see making that pine nut brittle all by itself…an awesome snack. I’ve always made my pumpkin pie with a regular crust but that gingerbread crust looks amazing. Going to give it a shot this year.

  15. 5 stars
    Well you certainly have ALL my favourite flavours in ONE pie. I am a PUMPKIN fanatic…and gingerbread is next. I can just imagine the aroma as this bakes….it would drive me insane….SOOOO good! This would disappear in a flash, so I would have to make 2….just so that I could have a couple of pieces leftover…FOR ME!!

  16. 5 stars
    The pumpkin pie looks fabulous..ginger snap crust sounds interesting…those pine nut brittle are awesome too!

  17. Beth Neels says:

    5 stars
    Wow! This pumpkin pie has so many flavors going on with it! The pine nut brittle and the maple bourbon whipped cream really take it over the top! Glorious!

    1. Individually, I would eat every component on it’s own and be happy — together it’s a mouthful of OH-MA-GAWD!

  18. 5 stars
    I think this is pretty brilliant to add that gingersnap crust and is a great addition to the pumpkin filling!

  19. 5 stars
    Swoon…my boyfriend doesn’t like pumpkin either which is crazy to me. But I LOVE it. Especially with that gingersnap crust. OMG I am just so in love with this!

    1. Thank you, Danielle! Your boyfriend and my husband can have a bag of Oreos. The pie is for US!