Food Guide

Deliciously Spiced Bland Pumpkin Pie Recipe: Elevate Your Thanksgiving Dessert Game!

Pumpkin pie is a classic holiday dish that’s perfect for Thanksgiving.

But what do you need to do if you’ve ever made it and found your pie to be bland?

Keep reading to find out how to fix a boring pumpkin pie.

What is a pumpkin pie?

A pumpkin pie is a dessert pie with a bottom and top crust containing cooked pumpkins and spices.

The filling typically consists of eggs, milk, light cream, sugar (brown or white), butter (or another fat), salt, and ground cinnamon.

Pumpkin pies can be made using various fresh pumpkins or canned pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin pie has a sweet and spicy flavor and more spices than other types of pies.

The process for making pumpkin pie is similar to other dessert pies, such as apple, cherry, or blueberry.

Common mistakes when making a pumpkin pie

There are many mistakes that you can make while baking a pumpkin pie.

Either with the filling, crust, or both, here are some of the common issues with a pumpkin pie and how to avoid them:

Undercooked or burnt

When the filling is not cooked enough, it will be runny and dangerous to eat if you have a sensitive digestive system.

When the pie is cooked too long, it will become hard and even burnt, and this can ruin the taste of your pie and potentially give you an upset stomach.

The point here is to find a good recipe for baking pies to follow on the temperature and cooking time.

Dry or soggy crust

  • Use too much flour: Some pumpkin pies indeed need extra flour to hold their shape and prevent sogginess, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and use no more than 1 cup at most.
  • Overmixing the dough can result in tough crusts, so be sure not to overdo it when mixing up your pie.
  • Underbaking or overcooking the crust: Depending on how you like your crust, you should bake it anywhere from 10–15 minutes at 350°F (175°C).

The bottom should be golden brown before removing it from the oven; otherwise, it will taste bland and soggy due to undercooking.

Underseasoned or overseasoned

First, let’s talk about under-seasoning.

This is an issue for many people who make pumpkin pies at home because they don’t know what the right amount of seasoning should be.

The truth is that there is no set amount for this; it depends on how you like your pumpkin pie to taste.

If you like it to be savory, use more salt than if you prefer the sweet side only (you may even want to leave out the cinnamon altogether).

However, overdosing on any ingredient can ruin your dessert—even if that ingredient isn’t usually thought of as being “bad.”

For example, too much salt will turn your pie into ashtray water and make your guests nauseous; too much vanilla extract will cause your custard to curdle and break apart as soon as it hits its warm bath of caramelized sugar; too much cinnamon will make an otherwise delicious custard taste like cough syrup!


Pumpkin pie is usually made from puréed pumpkin, and if you make it from scratch, the easiest way is in a high-powered blender or food processor.

If you don’t have one of these appliances at home, ask any friend who does if you can use theirs—it’s worth it! If you must use an old hand-crank model, consider investing in one that has been updated with modern technology for a smooth texture.

You will likely need to strain your purée after blending it into submission in order to remove any large pieces of pumpkin skin or seeds that were not ground up during processing.

This step is essential for creating a smooth texture without making your dessert too grainy.

How to fix a bland pumpkin pie?

One of the biggest problems with a homemade pumpkin pie is blandness; the bad news is that fixing a tasteless pumpkin pie is hard.

It is not like adding more spices or herbs to a bland soup or stew to save it, and you might need other ways to add flavor or make use of this flat pie:

Sprinkle some powdered seasonings

There are a lot of seasonings that can be used to spice up your pumpkin pie.

However, when your pie is already done, you need to use powdered seasonings to sprinkle over your pie and add flavor.

This will prevent grainy pies due to large pieces of spices.

Cinnamon and nutmeg are among the most common spices.

If you want to add these, sprinkle them on top of the crust before serving.

Powdered ginger has a warm, spicy kick that will make for an exciting twist on a traditional dessert recipe.

You can use about two teaspoons in each slice of pie for a milder taste or three tablespoons for something more intense!

Powdered cloves and mace are both options if you want even more spice.

Use as much as you want, depending on how much heat you’re looking for—just be sure not to go overboard!

Top with cream

To make a bland pumpkin pie taste better, you can top it with whipped cream.

If you use heavy cream and whip it yourself, it will be even better than the store-bought kind.

For an added kick, add cinnamon to the whipped cream before topping your pie.

This is great for those who love sweets but also want a little spice!

Drizzle maple syrup over it

You can add maple syrup to your pumpkin pie to help pump up the flavor.

Maple syrup is an excellent alternative to sugar in baking and adds a ton of deliciousness.

The best part is that you can use real maple syrup, not artificial, and it will taste much better.

Maple syrup is also full of antioxidants and other nutrients that can help boost your health.

You can find maple syrup in most grocery stores or online if you don’t have one near you.

Use it in other recipes

If you have a bland pumpkin pie, don’t let it go to waste! Use it in other recipes instead.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Add pumpkin pie filling to pancakes or waffles for a delicious fall breakfast treat!
  • Mix some into muffin batter or add some chopped nuts and raisins for a healthy, flavorful snack.
  • You can also use it in bread and cakes (just remember not to add extra sugar).

Make another one

Isn’t it time to make another pie from scratch if you are a perfectionist? This time, find a good recipe and use the right ingredients and spices to ensure the resulting pie is as expected.

Just be sure to use fresh ingredients, as pre-packaged ones may not be as flavorful.


When you make a pie, it’s essential to take your time and pay attention.

You should use the best ingredients possible, including fresh pumpkins and natural spices.

But if your pumpkin pie unfortunately fails and lacks flavor, don’t throw it away!

There are still some ways to save it or make use of it.

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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