Pumpkin pies are some of the most popular desserts to enjoy on Thanksgiving as well as Christmas.
While pumpkin pies are delicious, they can sometimes look bland without proper decorations, and that’s where this article hops to the rescue!
Today, we’ll show you how to decorate pumpkin pies in 7 unique methods, so that your pie is as festive as you are! Let’s dive right in!
Let’s start with one of the easiest and most popular ways to decorate your pumpkin pie!
If you want to compliment the looks of your pie without taking a lot of time or effort, this method is for you!
For this method, make sure that you use a regular pumpkin pie that has been chilled in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours (until it reaches the ideal firmness). Here’s how to do it:
- Outline where you’re going to cut the pie into wedges. You can easily do that by pressing skewers into the pie surface, then cutting them with a sharp knife.
- Once you have nicely shaped pie wedges, it should be easier for you to decorate them separately.
- Pull out each wedge and create a small mound of whipped cream on top. You can also use a piping bag with petal tips for improved looks.
- Put equal amounts of cinnamon powder and powdered sugar into a small sieve or strainer, and shake it over the whipped cream to improve aesthetics and add flavor.
For this method, you can use fresh whipped cream, store-bought whipped cream, maple whipped cream, buttercream icing, or any other type that you prefer.
While whipped cream is the most popular topping for pumpkin pies, you can easily swap it out for other alternatives.
The best part about using other toppings is that they come in different colors and textures that double as a decoration simply by coating the pie.
For instance, you can use sweetened cream cheese with coconut flakes and slivered almonds using the following method:
- While baking the pumpkin pie, place 10 ounces (2 packs) of unwrapped cream cheese in a microwave-safe plate, and microwave it on High for 20 seconds, or until softened.
- In a small bowl, add one egg yolk (room temperature), 1/4 cup of white sugar, and the softened cream cheese, then combine the mixture thoroughly.
- Once the pumpkin pie is halfway baked, take it out of the oven, spread a layer of the sweetened cream on top, then let it bake all the way.
- Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup of large coconut flakes with chopped slivered almonds
- Let the pumpkin pie rest, chill in the refrigerator, then evenly garnish it with coconut-almond mix when you’re ready to serve.
Another incredibly easy method to create attractive pumpkin pie decorations is to use pie crust cutouts.
What we also like about this method is that you can use all scrap and leftover pie dough for this decoration, so you’re not using additional ingredients or leaving anything behind.
To make the decorations more festive, you should go for cutouts that match the season, such as fall leaves, pumpkins, turkeys, etc.
We highly recommend that you use pie cutters that are designed for that purpose, and they’re typically available in stores and online. Here’s how to do it:
- Put the dough scraps together, and spread them with a roller over a lightly floured surface
- Use the pie crust cutters to create the cutouts of desired shapes
- Place the cutouts in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to hold up in the oven. (use a lined baking sheet so they don’t stick)
- Once they’re ready, take them out and brush them with an egg wash (eggs and milk mix), then bake at 350 F° until they’re golden brown (about 10 to 15 minutes).
- Place the cutouts over the chilled pie in your style.
An assortment of mixed nuts is another excellent method to decorate your pumpkin pie with relative ease.
Not only that, but mixed nuts can also add some nutritional value to the pumpkin pie, as they’re often rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are great for your heart health!
While you can use any nuts you like, here are some of the best options to add unique textures and colors:
- Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Crushed Hazelnuts
- Slivered almonds
- Candied pecans
- Whole walnuts
If you want to take your whipped cream decoration to the next level, you may want to fully cover your pumpkin pie with rosettes!
The best way to do this is by using freshly prepared whipped cream, which is made by mixing the following in a mixer:
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon of skimmed milk powder
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons of powdered sugar
Once the mixture thickens and creates soft peaks, remove it from the mixer and load it into a piping bag with a large petal tip. Here’s how to create the petals:
- Place the piping tip at the center of the pie so that the narrow end is facing away.
- Slowly push out the frosting while rotating in concentric circles until it covers the center, then stop piping.
- Allow a space equal to the previously made rosette, and repeat the process.
This may take some trial and error at first, so make sure that you practice on a flat plate before trying it on the pie.
You can also leave the centers open and add some sprinkles or chocolate chips if you like.
If you want to decorate your pumpkin pie without adding a lot of texture to it, this method will work out nicely for you.
You can use any kind of chocolate powder you like, including crushed chocolate shavings, or even other types of flavored powders, such as cinnamon/brown sugar powder, edible glitter, etc.
In order to create stable shapes with the powder, you can use the pie cutters as a template.
Also, make sure that you dust the powder through a sieve and create a very thin layer that is held together by the moisture from the pie.
Lastly, if you want some advanced icing on top, you should definitely try the meringue. Here’s how to do it:
- Beat 2 room-temperature egg whites with a pinch of salt in a glass bowl using an electric mixer at the lowest speed until frothy.
- Add 1/8 tablespoon cream of tartar, and increase the mixer’s speed
- Once the mixture creates bubbles at the edge, start adding sugar in small increments and allow them to combine.
- Continue adding and beating at high speed until the mixture fluffs up and forms stiff peaks.
- After around 8 minutes, add 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract and combine.
- Use a piping bag to decorate the pie with the meringue, then use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue until the edges are golden brown.
There you have it! A brief guide that shows you how to decorate pumpkin pie in 7 amazing methods.
As you can see, these decoration techniques can completely transform your pumpkin pie or even add a unique flavor or nutritional value to your pie!
Not only that, but some of them are also incredibly easy to make, so you don’t need to have serious decoration skills to get them done!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.