Pumpkin pie topping without nuts?

I'm planning to make a pumpkin pie with nuts as a topping but one of my friends is allergic to nuts (AND CHOCOLATE!) Is there any substitute? Or are there any Thanksgiving-y recipes that are chocolate and nut-free? (and that can also impress the guests?)

  • Posted by: Teresa
  • November 20, 2017


Nancy November 20, 2017
Or make one of
Erin McDowell's Pithivier with cranberry filling, and let the crunch come from the puff pastry top crust.
Apple (pull apart) babka
Some fruit crumble - apple alone, or mix with other seasonal fruits- and top with a cornflake streusel for crunch
Nancy November 21, 2017
Links for babka & fall-fruit crumble with cornflake streusel
Nancy November 21, 2017
Omit the almond topping from the apple babka.
If you want color and crunch on top, use instead dried fruit, cold cereal and/or toasted oats
AntoniaJames November 20, 2017
Do pine nuts work? You could make a toasted pine nut brittle which would give you both a bit of crunchy texture and the lovely flavor of pine nuts. Chop it finely before sprinkling on. Frankly, I'd go with whipped cream + a chopped brittle for maximum effect. Or you could make brandy snaps - just the cookie part - or another hard, crunchy cookie; let them cool until very crisp, and then blitz in a food processor or very finely chop.
Teresa November 20, 2017
That sounds lovely, thank you!
Hana A. November 20, 2017
Hi Teresa - thank you for your question. There are many delicious options for you! If you want to continue the pumpkin pie route, why not top it with roasted or toasted sunflower, pumpkin, or other squash seeds? If you'd like to try something else, here is a great roundup of impressive desserts that are nut-free (as well as dairy-, gluten-, and many chocolate-free):
https://food52.com/blog/20929-thanksgiving-desserts-without-nuts-dairy-gluten - hope that helps!
Teresa November 20, 2017
Thank you both for the answers, unfortunately seeds are also out of the equation. I can try the whipped cream!
Stephanie B. November 20, 2017
It's a classic addition that doesn't need much fussing on an already busy cooking day! You can sweeten it lightly to keep it ultra minimalist, add some vanilla extract, or even a splash of brandy or rum.
AntoniaJames November 20, 2017
Greek yogurt lightly sweetened with good maple syrup also makes a wonderful topping - easier than whipped cream and its gentle tartness works magic on sweet desserts. It's my latest favorite topping for fruit crisps, which tend to be sweeter than I like, even when less sugar is used with the fruit itself and the topping. ;o)
Stephanie B. November 20, 2017
Personally, simple whipped cream is my favorite pumpkin pie topping. But if you want a bit of crunch, what about pepitas?
HalfPint November 20, 2017
You can make a pumpkin seed brittle and use that to top the pie.
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