Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Hand Pies

by butter basil & breadcrumbs

Fall is here and the holiday parties will soon be in full swing. Whether you’re prepping for a ghoulish Halloween Party or just want some festive fall snacks for the kids, these adorable jack-o-lantern hand pies are sure to get you a well-deserved thumbs up from everyone who tries them. 

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Pie Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vinegar

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 – 15 oz can pumpkin 
  • (pure pumpkin, not pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature and cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg, beaten



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pie Crust

  1. In a small bowl, mix the milk and vinegar together. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, blend the flour, shortening, and salt together until mixture is in pea size crumbles. Pour the milk and vinegar mixture into the flour mixture and stir. The dough will be sticky.
  2. Roll out on a generously floured surface, to about 1/8” thick.
  3. To make the pumpkin heads, I cut the pastry in half, and placed on half on top of the other. That way, when I cut the pumpkin heads out, there would be two that fit together perfectly. Cut the circle part about three inches in diameter, making sure to cut a stem into the top. Don’t worry about being perfect with the circles, because pumpkins are perfectly imperfect!
  4. Cut a face onto one of the halves, and leave the other half whole (that will be the bottom of the hand pie).
  5. You should get about 16 – 20 full pumpkin hand pies (both top and bottoms!)

The Filling

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, and ground cloves. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until the pumpkin begins to bubble.
  2. Remove from heat, and whisk in the vanilla, cream cheese, and egg. Whisk until the cream cheese has melted into the mixture.
  3. Cool completely. I like to spread it on a plate, and stick it in the freezer for about 10 minutes or so. It gets nice and thick, and easy to work with!
  4. Once cooled, place about 1-1/2 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture onto each solid pumpkin bottom. Top with the matching face.
  5. Press a fork into the dough all around the edges of the pumpkin 
  6. to seal.
  7. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Let cool completely.


Here’s an idea!

Not a fan of pumpkin? Try a different filling such as apple cinnamon. For a more savory approach try stuffing with pepperoni and cheese or maybe a spinach and cream cheese mix.

For more great holiday inspired recipes visit www.butterbasilandbreadcrumbs.com. 

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