Pumpkin Pudding (a.k.a. No-Pie Pumpkin Pie)

November 21, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

My family’s Thanksgiving always included “pumpkin pudding.” I wish I could say that the pudding starts with a freshly baked pumpkin, lovingly mashed and blended with fresh cream, eggs, spices. In reality, it was (and still is!) canned pumpkin purée and evaporated milk, mixed with spices exactly as directed in the recipe on the can of Libby's pumpkin, but baked in a dish instead of a crust. I can say that we have never stooped to buying cans of that already-spiced pumpkin pie filling instead of straight pumpkin purée -- because we do have our standards (and our spice drawer). The pudding is served chilled, scooped from the dish and topped with whipped cream. Real whipped cream. The whole business is divine. People ask for the recipe.

This pudding can and should be baked the day before Thanksgiving—both texture and flavor are enhanced with a night in the fridge. I make a lot of pudding, as my mother always did, because we are devoted to leftovers. We eat pumpkin pudding with a side of Bea's No-Peel Apple Crisp for as many days and meals as it lasts, starting the day after Thanksgiving. It would not be possible to eat so much, especially with whipped cream, if both the pumpkin and the apple had crusts. So, you see, ditching the crust is quite brilliant: It’s not just an emergency, last-minute, no-time-to-make-a-crust kind of crisis thing, but a good plan to have from the start. A triple recipe for filling (three regular 14-ounce cans or one large 28-ounce plus 1 regular can of pumpkin purée) will fill two 2- to 2 1/2-quart baking dishes. Baking time will be somewhere between 55 and 65 minutes at 350° F—use the knife test for doneness.

Alice Medrich

Makes: 8 servings


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • Whipped cream for serving (optional)
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
  3. Pour into glass or ceramic baking dish. A good thing to know is that you can fill a baking dish deeper than a pie crust, but it’s best not to exceed a depth of about 1 1/2 inches. Baking times vary with depth, size, and type of baking dish, so you just have to watch and check (see note above). Bake until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack, then refrigerate overnight, until ready to serve. Serve with whipped cream.

More Great Recipes:
Pie|Pudding|Pumpkin Pie|Clove|Milk/Cream|Bake|Fall|Thanksgiving|Winter|Gluten-Free|Dessert

Reviews (52) Questions (0)

52 Reviews

Sarah A. November 20, 2018
Has anyone done this with coconut milk instead of condensed milk? I’ve found that the condensed milk pies make my family, well, to be honest, gassy. Like not fit for company gassy.
starving_artist November 3, 2017
I found the text sort of grainy. I used the whole foods 365 pumpkin purée. Anyone else have rugs issue?
starving_artist November 3, 2017
Ugh auto correct! That should read: I found the texture sort of grainy. And Does anyone else have that issue?
Ahdah November 4, 2017
America's Test Kitchen reviewed canned pumpkin puree and recommended Libby's. Some of them they said were grainy, you might want to give it one more try.<br />
Ahdah November 3, 2017
I baked mine in a deep glass pie plate. I then was able to slice it like a pie and serve. Delicious! I used less sugar because I am on WW and used a can of 2% evaporated milk. I have all the ingredients ready to take with us to HHI on Sunday.
jpriddy October 9, 2017
I have been making Pumpkin Custard for my granddaughter since she was tiny. Pumpkin or Delicata or other rich squash plus a small amount of brown sugar, milk or cream or full fat coconut milk, plus spices, and eggs.
Merry December 14, 2016
In a rectangular glass dish, I've found it takes right at one hour. I do always check it and have sometimes added a few additional minutes.
Denise G. December 13, 2016
How long do you "roughly" bake it? Say in a rectangular glass casserole dish?
Cindy L. November 29, 2016
Once baked, how long will this last in the refrigerator?<br />
Merry November 29, 2016
We've eaten it over four days with no problem. Also like the addition of some "candied" walnuts crumbled over the top.
Steph November 4, 2016
Great recipe! Although mine has a curdled texture. Any ideas why this happened? Thanks
Barbara October 13, 2016
Barbara<br />I love the fact that this is a grain-free recipe. I added a little nutmeg to the spices, which is my favorite.
judy February 23, 2016
This has been a staple dessert in our household for years. I am not very good at piecrust and we don't miss the calories, either. My sons still want an extra pie when they come over so that there is some for breakfast the next morning.
Merry November 27, 2015
Just tried this for the first time and thought it was terrific. Pie crust isn't at the top of my list, so we didn't miss it at all. Will definitely be making again (killer breakfast with an espresso).
Karen November 27, 2015
Thank you for doing the right thing! I know my comment about the citation caused a little commotion, but it is the correct thing to do. Whenever I share a recipe I have made I cite where I obtained the original recipe as a point of reference!
Bee November 27, 2015
Hi, Karen, I'm "Right There With You" in linking to any original recipe. Too often, especially in Classic Recipes, the newer listing will leave out CRITICAL information, or they just plain got "copied incorrectly." Worse of all, is when a truly Classic Recipe from a very trusted source, such as "Russian Tea Ball" cookies from Betty Crocker, will have been "improved" with horrid results! Then, people like you and I have to link back to the original recipe, which is Never Fail, to counteract all the negative reviews the New & Improved version is collecting. At least if a recipe is shared and linked back to the source, you have NO ONE to blame for screw ups if you switch out/substitute new ingredients for the original. :D Happy Baking, Karen!
Bee November 27, 2015
Since this recipe was posted, I've had the pleasure of making it twice: once as it's posted 'HERE, and then with an addition, that was suggested by a 4 year old grand-daughter. When she had the eaten the pudding, she said "I like it but miss the "crunch", meaning the crust. So, the second time I made it, I served it Parfait-Style (in a tall, clear glass) by alternating layers of Crushed Cinnamon Graham Crackers, then the pudding, then whipped cream, and then repeating this layering, with a sprinkling of crushed crackers on top of the piped whipped cream. Not only did it look INCREDIBLE in the parfait glasses but everyone who ate it agreed, that the "crunch" made it truly seem like they were eating P.I.E.! This will now be our Go-To recipe for the holidays and I no longer need to blind bake any more crusts! THANK YOU for adding to our holiday joy. :D
Nancy C. November 27, 2015
Bee November 27, 2015
Nancy: YOU are adorable! :D <br />Thanks for your "Like". It means a lot and I'll share your comment with my wee grand daughter, who despite being only 4 years old, is so tech savvy that I won't need to explain to her what it means. <3
Nancy C. November 27, 2015
haha.. I will have to "like" that as well. I told my husband about your solution for crunch so we are going to try it. Thanks!
Bee November 27, 2015
I'm glad and happy to be of help, Nancy. With grandkids always around, we are a household filled with every version of graham cracker, possible. Initially, I tried the ordinary and beloved Honey Graham but it was waaaay too mild to hold up to the spices in this filling. The added *punch* of the Cinnamon-Sprinkled Graham Crackers added that extra 'zip' to the needed crunch, creating a perfect counterpoint to the spices. I'm hoping that my wee 4 year old continues her opinions and talent in baking, adding to the 5 generation line of bakers in our family. :D
Nancy C. November 27, 2015
Wonderful! Thank you again. Enjoy baking with your charming granddaughter. We will try the cinnamon ones. ❤️
cacampbell November 27, 2015
I don't care where you got this recipe. It's fantastic. I could eat the whole thing myself. Never would have thought of using the recipe on the can. So glad you did. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving<br />
Katie O. November 24, 2015
I realize this goes against the crustless spirit of this recipe, but I think I'll bake the pudding into Dorie Greenspan's chocolate tart shell...
Bee November 22, 2015
Oh, Good Grief! If you're going to steal a recipe, completely, just provide the link to the original! https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/141287/Crustless-LIBBYS-Famous-Pumpkin-Pie/ This links gives you ALL the details possible, including baking time for a myriad of baking pan sizes.
Sarah J. November 23, 2015
Hi Bee,<br /><br />We're really sorry about this—it's an editorial oversight. In Alice's original article, she states that the recipe comes from the can: https://food52.com/blog/11797-no-pie-pumpkin-pie. Last year, at the time the article was posted, we decided to upload the recipe so that readers would know exactly what to do, but we should have stated more explicitly that it's from the Libby's can.
Bee November 27, 2015
Hi, Sarah,<br />Thanks SO much for coming back to update not only my observation about the recipe's origin but other people's identical comment. For over a decade, I had the wonderful job of being a moderator at a major food-based website. Besides "keeping the peace" and making sure that there were no offense posts, we also had the task of making sure that member's claims of "an original recipe" were indeed, "Original" and not "Copy & Paste's" of famous recipes. All we asked of members was to "site the source", even if you subbed out Soy Milk for Evaporated Milk from the original recipe. What this did for the website was prevent 100 re-postings of the identical recipe since we prided our website as being recipes created by passionate cooks/bakers. So, I thank you, again, for coming back to comment and indeed, siting the source. :D Many blessings to you and the other people who run this fine webpage. Bee
Luisa November 21, 2015
Instead of evaporated milk... Can it be soy milk?
Nancy C. November 21, 2015
Sure, or coconut milk.
Barbara November 22, 2018
Coconut milk works fine. I use the reduced fat kind since the docs now count total fats, not good vs. bad cholesterol.
Nancy C. November 21, 2015
This does seem to be Libby's recipe, but, I prefer less sugar and more cinnamon. (brown sugar is nice too.) I make crustless pumpkin pie in order to avoid the calories from the crust.<br />Yes, butternut is a good substitute.
Karen November 22, 2015
The bottom line is, if this is just the Libby's recipe without the crust, I believe the citation should have been made. It is THE recipe....
Sarah J. November 23, 2015
Yes, we're very sorry about this oversight! As I said to Bee, above, Alice's original article states that the recipe comes from the can: https://food52.com/blog/11797-no-pie-pumpkin-pie.. Last year, at the time the article was posted, we decided to upload the recipe so that readers would know exactly what to do, but we should have stated more explicitly that it's from the Libby's can.
Karen November 15, 2015
This recipe is the libby's pumpkin pie recipe baked without the crust. That sure is genius!
DJM October 29, 2015
I have made a similar pumpkin pudding for years. Yes it is lovely. A palmier or two on the side is a bit of crunch with the pudding.