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!
- 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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