In The Kitchen - Dessert
November 9, 2021

Pumpkin Handpies and Cakes

Need an easy delicious treat to share at fall gatherings? Here are two simple ideas to add a little whimsy and spice to your fall feasts.

10 min read

For the fall, break out a pumpkin cookie cutter to make personal size pumpkin pies or use mini bundt spice cakes sandwiched together to make mini pumpkin cakes.  Don’t have much time, use a store bought spice cake to make a dozen mini bundt cakes - 6 cakes for pumpkin tops and six for the bottoms.  After cooking, invert the pumpkin “bottom” cakes and ice the flat surface, then add the “top” pumpkin, right side up to form a small, spice filled gourd.

Small pumpkin hand pies are another easy yet striking go-to treat for gathering. I love hand pies.  They come together quickly, are individually sized for easy serving, and can be modified to fit the season (like fall caramel apply hand pies or these 4th of July minis).  Below is the recipe for these simple hand pies (and again, if you need to save time, pick up store bough crusts and pumpkin pie filling to keep it simple).

Pumpkin Handpies and Cakes

Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min

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For the crust:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup Crisco shortening
  • 12-15 Tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

For the sprinkle coating:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


For the filling:

  • In your mixing bowl, cream together the pumpkin puree and brown sugar.
  • Add eggs, cream cheese, and spices and combine.

For the crust:

  • Mix the flour and salt.  
  • Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside.  
  • Cut shortening into the first mixture.  
  • Mix cold water with the reserved mixture.  Stir to combine.
  • Add the reserved mixture to the Crisco mixture.  
  • Roll to desired thickness on floured board, rolling from the center to the edge.
  • Using a pumpkin cookie cutter, cut 20-24 pumpkins.  With a knife, cut curved vents on half the pumpkins (I cut mine to resemble ridges on the pumpkins).  These vented pumpkins will be the ‘top’ pumpkins or the crust to your mini hand pies.
  • Place about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of filling on the unvented bottom pumpkins.  
  • Cover the filling with the vented top pumpkins.  With your finger, add a touch of water around the edges of the pumpkin pies to help seal them, then press the edges all the way around the perimeter with a fork to seal.
  • Combine the sprinkle ingredients.
  • Coat each pumpkin pie lightly with egg white, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top.
  • Bake for ~12-14 minutes.
Pumpkin handpies

Love baking? Then check out Brian Hart Hoffman’s Bake From Scratch (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4) which include recipes from Bake from Scratch Magazine and Sally McKenney’s Sally’s Baking Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes, and Desserts for more great recipes! And for more of my recipes, check out my In the Kitchen page.

Wishing you warm kitchen wishes and fond fall memories!


Pumpking handpies on table