Pumpkin pie filling piled high with crunchy streusel topping make up this perfectly spiced Pumpkin Crisp! It’s the perfect way to have all the best flavors of pumpkin pie with a nutty cinnamon topping that’s all crunch. We like this fall dessert even more than a traditional Pumpkin Pie, and I think you’ll love it too. It’s simple to make and can be mixed together in just 15 minutes. From there the oven does all the work filling your house with the most incredible pumpkin spice smells. This Pumpkin Crisp is naturally gluten-free, made with almond flour, and you’ll find my dairy-free options in the recipe as well.
Both Tyler and I would almost always choose an apple dessert over a pumpkin. But in the last couple of years, we’ve been head over heels for some of my pumpkin treats here on the blog. Most especially my Pumpkin Streusel Muffins, and then my Paleo Pumpkin Pie last year.
And so building on that pumpkin pie idea, I decided we really needed a pumpkin crisp. After all a pumpkin pie filling with a crisp topping has to be even better than pumpkin pie right?! Well… it sure is in our opinion, and now this is an official part of our holidays.
And really it’s a great dessert any time through the fall season, straight through winter. You definitely don’t want to wait for Thanksgiving to make this Pumpkin Crisp. It’s so easy to make with just 15 minutes of hands on time. So it’s great for any weekend you’re feeling the urge to bake.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Pumpkin purée – NOT pumpkin pie filling. You want pumpkin purée which has just 1 ingredient – pumpkin. There’s no sweetener/sugar or spices in it.
- Sweeteners – I use maple syrup in the pumpkin pie filling and coconut sugar in the crisp topping. Maple syrup is the best option for the filling and I’m not sure if honey would work. You could substitute regular sugar for the coconut sugar in the crisp topping if desired.
- Eggs – are key to bringing the pumpkin filling into the texture of a silky custard as it bakes.
- Tapioca starch – acts together with the eggs to bring the pumpkin pie filling together into the right texture. You can also use cornstarch here.
- Coconut cream – is used in the pumpkin filling and makes it dairy-free, but you can also use heavy cream if desired.
- Pumpkin spice – is used in both the pumpkin filling and can be used in the crisp topping in place of the cinnamon. It’s a mixture of spices and keeps this recipe super simple because you only need to measure out 1 spice.
- Crisp topping – is made very traditionally but with almond flour in place of all-purpose flour. I like to use butter or ghee in my crisp toppings, but avocado oil, vegan butter, and coconut oil all work perfectly for dairy-free. I love the flavor of pecans with pumpkin, but you can use your favorite nut for crisp toppings.
How to make this recipe step by step
Step 1: Start by preheating the oven, when it’s mostly heated it’s time to mix this up. First, add all the ingredients listed for the pumpkin pie filling and whisk together until completely smooth.
Step 2: Next mix together all the dry ingredients in the crisp topping. Add the melted butter/oil and mix until completely combined and moist clumps form.
Step 3: Pour the pumpkin pie filling into a greased enameled skillet or baking dish. Then carefully crumble the crisp topping over the filling taking care so it doesn’t sink too much.
Step 4: Bake until golden brown on top and the center is slightly puffed. You can also tell it’s done when it’s lightly pulling away from the sides and it jiggles a bit like jello.
Ways to serve this
- You can serve this warm, room temperature, or cold. We think letting it cool down to room temperature for a few hours gives you the best pumpkin flavor. Cold is also really good, but the crisp topping does start to soften over time.
- Try this with my Best Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Homemade Maple Ice Cream, or my Ultimate Whipped Cream.
- For dairy free serve this with my Coconut Ice Cream or Coconut Whipped Cream.
- Add this to your Thanksgiving Menu, and be sure to check out all our other favorites too.
To be on the safe side, no, it’s better to use canned pumpkin purée. You could make your own pumpkin purée, but you want to make sure it’s the same texture as canned. Too much moisture and this pumpkin filling won’t set up.
Chopped almonds, cashews, and walnuts would all work great here, or any other nut you like to add to crisp toppings.
- Store – place any leftovers in an airtight container, or tightly cover the baking dish and refrigerate for up to 5 days. The crisp topping will soften over time.
- Freeze – store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before eating. This crisp topping will be soft.
- Reheat – to re-crisp the topping, place the baking dish in the oven at 250ºF until the topping is crisp again, about 15 minutes. It will end up being a bit overcooked, so we normally just eat the leftovers less crispy.
Tips & Tricks
- Try this hot, warm, room temperature, and cold to see what your favorite is. We are big fans of room-temperature pumpkin crisp for the best pumpkin spice flavor.
- If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, an 11″x 7″ baking dish works as well.
- Try clumping the crisp topping together in your hands as you carefully place it over the filling to keep it from sinking before it bakes.
I really hope you enjoy this Pumpkin Crisp! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 1 tbsp tapioca starch - or cornstarch
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup - I used Grade A amber
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin - 1 can, not pumpkin pie filling
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk - or heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup fine almond flour
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon - or pumpkin spice
- 1/4 tsp sea salt - see notes
- 1 cup pecans - chopped
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 6 tbsp salted butter - melted, or ghee, avocado oil, vegan butter, or coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 10" enameled cast iron skillet or 11"x7" baking pan.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the tapioca starch, pumpkin spice, and maple syrup until smooth. Add the rest of the pumpkin pie filling ingredients and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the prepared baking dish, and set it aside.
- In another medium sized bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, sea salt, pecans, and rolled oats until combined. Add the butter and mix until clumps begin to form.
- Carefully add the topping over the pumpkin pie filling. Squeeze the crisp topping into small clumps as you spread it evenly over the filling. Try not to 'drop' the topping on so it doesn't sink.
- Bake the pumpkin crisp until lightly puffed in the center and the edges are just pulling away from the side of the pan. The center will jiggle slightly when you wiggle the pan, about 40-45 minutes.
- Let the crisp cool to warm or room temperature before serving. You can serve it hot, but the flavors meld together better when it cools first.