15 of Our Favorite Creative Pie Crust Designs and How to Achieve Them
Wow your crowd with these stunning and intricate toppings.
If cookies are synonymous with the holiday season, then pie is a staple dessert on Thanksgiving and Easter. But that doesn't mean you need to save your favorite pie recipes for special occasions—pie can also be a staple for weekend brunches, birthdays, and "just because" desserts. It's crowd-friendly, ever-changing with the seasons, and guaranteed to wow. Still, it's important to remember that a seasonal fruit filling or creamy chocolate custard is just part of what makes a pie stand out; it's just as important to have a flaky, buttery crust that will stop traffic. These creative and intricate pie designs will certainly take your dessert to the next level.
One of the most introductory—while still beautiful—pie crust designs is a lattice topping. This style, which often tops apple and blueberry pies, is made by weaving strips of dough over and under one another. Not only does it look elegant, but it also creates dozens of small vents, allowing steam to escape and preventing the filling from bubbling over and exploding. That's right, it's not just for looks.
Once you've mastered the basics, feel free to take things up a notch. Our Brown-Sugar Butternut-Squash Pie features not one, but two eye-catching pie crust designs—the pie crust rim resembles a fishtail braid and is made with 15 strips of dough. An assortment of hand-cut leaves, crescent moons, and diamonds crafted from pie dough overlap each other on one half of the dough and are dusted with powdered sugar after the entire pie has baked and cooled. It's absolutely picture-perfect. If you don't feel like you're quite there yet, that's perfectly fine, too—keep things simple by using a small aspic cookie cutter to create cut-out hearts, stars, or circles in an eight- or nine-inch round of pie dough. The results will still be beautiful, even if you're strapped for time or want to keep the design a bit understated.
Ahead, we're sharing some of our favorite pie crust designs to add some oomph to your bake.
Stencil Pie Crust
While this precise stenciled top crust looks complicated to recreate, it's actually an incredibly easy pie crust design to create using wooden popsicle sticks. They're arranged on top of the dough, which is then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, leaving thin strips of dough untouched.
You'll need your braiding skills for this intricate pie crust design—strips of dough are weaved into three large fishtail braids, which decorate the circumference of this fall pie. As a finishing touch, cut out dozens of stars, snowflakes, and crescents from the pie dough.
Diamond Pie Crust
Cookie cutters can be used to create serious magic, especially when it comes to creating a pie crust design that will wow. This version is made by stamping out 16 dazzling diamonds from a 13-inch round of pie dough and arranging them on top of a classic apple filling.
Lattice Pie Crust
If you want to take your pie crust design up a notch, a woven lattice pattern is the pie topper for you. This particular version is created using both double and single strips of dough, which are laid on top of each other going diagonally across the top of the pie.
Pinwheel Pie Crust
Peek-a-Boo Pie Crust
You don't need any special equipment to craft this peek-a-boo pie crust design, which is created by using a paring knife to make two-inch slits across the top of the dough.
Leaf Pie Crust
While we certainly love creating a buttery pie crust by hand, using store-bought puff pastry is just as delicious (and so much easier!). Use a paring knife to create leaf-like formations in the dough, which will puff up and make the pie crust design even more pronounced as it bakes.
Cut-Out Pie Crust
Whether you want to keep it simple with small circles or festive with hearts or stars based on the occasion, use a small decorative cookie cutter to create evenly spaced cutouts all around the top layer of dough. The finishing touch? Powdered sugar, of course!
Patriotic Pie Crust
Linzer Pie Crust
Instead of an intricately cut pie crust design, sprinkle part of the crumbly shortbread crust on top, mimicking a lattice pattern. It's an easy, no-fuss design to go along with this low-maintenance sheet-pan pie.
Simple Pie Crust
This pie crust design is one of the simpler styles on the list, but it's just as beautiful as its more detailed counterparts. Just cut five leaf-shaped vents in the top crust, insert a cinnamon stick in the center as a stem, freeze, and bake for an autumnal design.
Covered Cut-Out Pie Crust
Use a fluted cookie cutter to cut out as many rounds of pie dough as possible and scatter them—delicately, of course—all across the top of this juicy, slightly earthy berry pie.