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Pumpkin Icebox Pie

This easy version of pumpkin pie doesn't rely on custard for its silky texture. Instead, a small amount of cream cheese and gelatin is used to set the filling.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 12
Pumpkin Icebox Pie

Source: Everyday Food, November 2009


For the Crust

  • 16 cinnamon graham crackers, broken into large pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Filling and Topping

  • 3 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin (from 2 packets)
  • 1 can (29 ounces) pure pumpkin puree
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar


  1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, combine graham crackers, sugar, and salt; process until fine crumbs form. With machine running, slowly pour butter through feed tube and process until mixture resembles wet sand. Press crumbs in bottom and up sides of a 9-inch square baking dish. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and fragrant, 20 minutes. Let cool completely in baking dish on a wire rack.

  2. Meanwhile, make filling: Place 1/4 cup cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin on top and let stand 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree and cream cheese until smooth. In a small saucepan, combine evaporated milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; bring to a simmer over medium. Add gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Pour milk mixture into pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely smooth.

  3. Pour filling into cooled crust and refrigerate until chilled and completely set, about 3 hours (or wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate, up to 2 days). To serve, whip cream with confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Reviews (18)

  • MrsMartian 9 Nov, 2013

    This recipe was not pumpkiny enough. My husband expected a stronger pumpkin flavor. I also thought it was too salty, and I used unsalted butter for the crust. Don't think I will make this again.

  • carolcamille 24 Nov, 2012

    This is my favorite. I cannot even imagine making any other recipe ever!

  • claritygolden 27 Nov, 2011

    I wasn't sure I would like this pie because I don't often like pies with gelatin, but this texture was perfect--set but still silky. I cut back on the sugar by a couple tablespoons but thought it was still plenty sweet. I didn't make the crust because I was making this for a group that included someone with a gluten intolerance, so instead I subbed in a crust made with rice cereal. I thought the pie was even better 2 days later as the flavors had really blended. Great recipe!

  • LindaSweets 16 Nov, 2011

    This recipe is delicious!!!! I decided to try it as a cupcake and it came out fabulous! Just press the graham cracker crust in the bottom and up the sides of cupcake papers in a cupcake pan, add the filling and refrigerate! They were a HUGE hit!

  • marymichaelmcdaniel 4 Oct, 2011

    It appears that the error in step to has been corrected. I made this recipe last Thanksgiving & have been looking forward to it again this year. It is the best pumpkin pie I've ever had. The crust is amazing....

  • RCowmeadow 26 Nov, 2010

    There's a mistake in this recipe! I have the original version of the recipe from the November 2009 edition of Everyday Food magazine, and in step 2 you're supposed to use 1/4 of a cup of water to sprinkle to gelatin on, NOT 1 cup. I made this last year and it turned out beautifully. But this year, for convenience, I just printed out the recipe from the website and used 1 cup of water in step 2, and it never set properly.

  • shandl 25 Nov, 2010

    Is anyone having trouble with this setting up? If so what do you do? Mine has been in refrigerator for almost ten hours and is still not set up. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!!

  • jericagrace 25 Nov, 2010

    I can't wait to make this for the first time today. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. This sounds like a winner in my book.

  • dhernandez3 25 Nov, 2010

    I am making this now! This pie is for my son, he can not have eggs! I found this and it looked good. Thanks Martha for an egg free pumpkin pie!

  • InProgress 24 Nov, 2010

    I just made this and must issues with this were from USER error...not the recipe. I used Gluten Free Graham Crackers, and the sides of the crust that were pushed up the sides shrunk down to flat...(I also had to use many more of the crumbs to get a wet sand texture to the crust) then I misread the recipe and used TWO WHOLE packets of gelatin instead of the 3 teaspoons called for...(I hope I dont have rubber ball icebox pie when it is set. I also reduced the water to 3/4 cup..

  • creativeT 17 Nov, 2010

    I recently made this and it was a hit with the family. I, however, thought that the pumpkin filling was not set and firm enough in the middle even though I refrigerated overnight. Is it really supposed to be a cup of water that the gelatin is sprinkled over?

  • creativeT 17 Nov, 2010

    I recently made this and it was a hit with the family. I, however, thought that the pumpkin filling was not set and firm enough in the middle even though I refrigerated overnight. Is it really supposed to be a cup of water that the gelatin is sprinkled over?

  • ChristineIvy 13 Nov, 2010

    I found this recipe very easy! However, I used ginger snaps instead of graham crackers and the crust melted in the oven (the sides didn't stay up the side of the pan). Maybe chilling crust before baking would avoid that?

  • jharmon 9 Nov, 2010

    All canned pumpkin is cooked! Canning = cooking.

  • graupma 9 Nov, 2010

    I've read this recipe several times, and I don't see where the pumpkin puree has ever been cooked. All canned pumpkin I've ever seen is raw pumpkin. Maybe I'm missing something.?

  • pmelros 9 Nov, 2010

    crw try your health food store I am sure they will have a substitute for animal gelatin, made from horses hooves. I used to buy a jello type product w/o animal gelatin. Good luck

  • crw537 3 Nov, 2010

    I'd like to try this, but can something other than gelatin be used? Gelatin is an animal product that I don't eat. Looks good though.

  • tdgutman 31 Dec, 2009

    I've now made this twice. The second time was at the request of those who had it the first's a great alternative to traditional pumplking pie!

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