Wheat-free Pumpkin Pie comes back!

Well, the holidays roll around once again! Here is a reminder of how us wheat-free folk make a wonderful and delicious pumpkin pie that is wheat-free. Without wheat, it does NOT stimulate appetite, does NOT send blood sugar sky-high, does NOT add to arthritis/joint pain, acid reflux, irritable bowel symptoms, leg edema, depression, moodiness, migraine headache, hypertension, dementia, heart disease, or cancer. You can just have your nice big slice of pumpkin pie, even with a big dollop of whipped cream . . . without worries!

The pumpkin puree poses only a slight potential carbohydrate challenge. The entire pie contains 36 grams carbohydrates; if divided into 8 pieces, that yields 4.5 grams carbohydrate per slice–a tolerable level for most people. Heck, even two pieces yields about the same carbohydrate load as half an apple.


Pie crust
1 1/4 cups ground walnuts (or pecans or almonds)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg
4 ounces butter or coconut oil, melted

Pie filling
2 cups pumpkin puree
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk (canned variety)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Sweetener equivalent to 1 cup sugar (e.g., 6 tablespoons Truvia)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, mix together ground walnuts, flaxseed, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. In small bowl, whisk eggs and add butter or coconut oil. Pour liquid mix into dry mix and blend by hand thoroughly.

Grease a 9-inch pie pan with coconut oil or other oil. Transfer mix to the pie pan and spread evenly along bottom and up sides. If mixture is too thin, place in refrigerator for several minutes to thicken. For ease of spreading, use a large metal spoon heated under running hot water. Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine pumpkin, cream cheese, eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly by hand. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and sweetener and continue to blend by hand.

Pour pumpkin mix into pie crust. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until toothpick or knife withdraws nearly dry. Optionally, sprinkle additional nutmeg and/or cinnamon, top with whipped cream or whipped coconut milk.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Darlene

    Dr Davis,
    I’ve tried this recipe & it’s fantastic! Will be making it again tomorrow night. I wondered if there is a wheat-free recipe for cut-out cookies that will be coming our way? My husband is already stressing about the “cookies of Christmas past” that we will NOT be having this year! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, you can have cookies, Darlene!

      Here’s a recipe for Gingerbread Cookies. There are many other ways to make delicious Christmas cookies, but this basic recipe can serve as a starting place. And thanks for reminding me: Think I’ll whip up a batch myself!

  2. Sharon

    Yay that looks yummy and easy which is great! I plan to make this and the Apple cranberry crumb as well.
    Thank you for all that you do and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    With much gratitude,

  3. Kathy

    Wow! My mouth is watering. Is this a bad sign?
    Serious question, though – Is it possible for one’s blood glucose to rise just thinking about a treat?

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, it is. But I wouldn’t sweat it.

      Minus wheat, you should perceive a marked reduction in appetite over time. It brings back discussions of “Am I too skinny?” and “Why am I not hungry?”

      • Little off topic here, but something I’ve been pondering…

        Physiologically, this is so true. My appetite has decreased tremendously. But it should be acknowledged that behaviour and patterns of ‘ways of being/behaving’ are not always so easily changed. I would argue (because I’m proof of it) that decreased appetite does not always or easily change ingrained habits around overeating and desiring food for comfort. Right now my weakness is pad thai (rice noodles and gluten free) – I literally don’t seem able to not eat the whole thing (take-out, big portion) – it’s likely the carb load that is spiking my physical appetite, but the simple habit and routine of a lifetime of eating poisonous wheat and thus overeating in general is not so easily conquered…

        I’ve been wheat free and LOVING IT for two months – have lost only about 9-10 lbs (because of pad thai..seriously, I think that’s it – we don’t have it often, but still)…

        Just my (likely misplaced) two cents..

        And I can’t wait to try that delicious-looking pumpkin pie! Yum.

        • JIllOz

          I was thinking along simlar lines recently!! :)

          Just keep proactively modifying things and putting the WF to the fore.

          I keep forgetting to use stevia and othrer things. BUt certain new habits I have set in stone eg
          -coconut oil for cooking
          -“breadless baguette” – a chicken salad I used to order in a baguette, now baguette free and still tasty!! I get compliments when people see my plate!!
          – now when i SEE wheat in something I groan but begin to look for alternatives.

          My biggest issue is still deaLing with moods (improved a bit)and asthma. I find the healthier I feel the easier it is to make a healthyy decision.
          If I feel terrible my decisions get poorer, but then I find that certain habits have taken hold, others are bigger and need refining.

          It takes time.

          • i found that eating coconut butter whenever I got cravings for sweets satisfied my sweet tooth and helped my moods. It’s a fact that coconut oil is processed in the liver and is delivered to your system in a rapid way and doesn’t have to go through the regular digestive system. Coconut oil feeds the brain. It is used to treat alzheimer disease. Coconut oil speeds up the metabolism. Coconut butter is the whole coconut. I eat it right out of the jar. It taste a lot like a coconut macaroon. very low in carbs and sugar.

        • Dr. Davis

          Yes, I don’t believe we could argue that wheatlessness counteracts ALL overeating. It just removes the extremes that the gliadin opiate induces, which is a very big effect.

          Even in our health transformed wheat-free world, there will be occasional people, for instance, who cannot stop eating Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia!

          • Thanks, Dr. Davis and Jill for your replies…

            YES to all you said. My moods have become much more stable since giving up wheat. I try to mindfully fight with each desire to overeat with logic – and I tend to reach for avocado or nuts. Part of being a busy mom has been eating quickly and thus overeating…but giving up wheat has been tremendously beneficial in all areas of my life. I’m going to commit to giving up more grains and eliminating all refined sugar (almost there…)

            Delicious pumpkin pie – impressed the socks off of my mom and dad :)

    • Annie

      I would say it’s more like a graham crust. It tastes absolutely delicious, and i prefer the most the crust made with pecans…

    • Dr. Davis

      No, it’s a bit different.

      There are certain characteristics that we cannot reliably recreate with healthy, non-wheat baking: flakiness, bendability, and the potential to ruin your gastrointestinal health, joints, and brain!

      • JIllOz

        DR Davis, these are properties that will provide interesting new directions for the new industrial uses of wheat!! :)

    • Helen

      It’s sort of like graham cracker but with more “body.” We use it for most of our pies now, very very rarely we’ll buy a frozen gluten-free crust.

    • Boundless

      > … sucanet or rapadura as a sweetener?

      These are merely “whole cane sugar”, “evaporated cane juice” or “ordinary sugar with molasses added back in”, depending on who’s making the claim, or blowing the whistle.

      In any form, it appears to be 80% sucrose (which is sky high glycemic). So it’s unhealthy except in homeopathic concentrations. Of course it would also be 40% fructose, and to be avoided on that basis alone.

      And you pay 5x the price of ordinary refined sugar for the privilege.

      It’s another case of “is natural free range organic hemlock safer than refined hemlock”? :)

  4. Kathy Hussey

    I was just thinking today about how much I was going to miss pumpkin pie and I come home from work and look what I’ve found! Thank you Dr Davis. I am making out my grocery list right now and can’t wait to try this recipe. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow (former) Wheat-Belly buddies. FYI, down 25lbs as of today. Yay!!

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes: Life is good without wheat, Kathy, once you figure out the ropes!

      And pile it high with some real (organic) whipped cream!

      • I use organic everything, but I’m curious about why you specify organic (I want to be able to properly defend myself against my many skeptics!)


        • Dr. Davis

          Well, it differs with different foods, a discussion all in itself. (The recent study “proving” that organic foods provided no benefit was misquoted and misrepresented by the media, and also a bit too heavily promoted by the researchers. It showed essentially nothing.)

          For instance, with organic dairy it means much reduced estrogen content and no bovine growth hormone. With produce, it is about reduced exposure to potential carcinogens and endocrine disrupters.

  5. Nancy

    I have made this at least once a month since last Thanksgiving. I wrote to Dr. Davis last year that my husband would not touch a pumpkin pie before and now he asks for this at least once a month, if not more often. It is really good and I will be making it tomorrow for our Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t plan to tell any of our 24 guests
    that it is a healthy desert, I just plan on watching them eat it!!

  6. Bill Schafer

    Dr. Davis.
    You are the man. While I can’t make trip to Tibet to learn the Bio Feed Back method they use over there I certainly can try this pumpkin recipe. I’m not sure I will have it for breakfast as I heard someone else did but I will have it for lunch & dinner. Thank you for all you have done for me during the last 9 months. It has been a delight to be one of your patients and learn so much from you. I will continue to improve and do my best to reach our new goals. Your recipes will make this fun. I can’t wait to taste this one.


  7. carole medley

    Dr. Davis,
    Forgive me for entering these recipes under the Pumpkin Pie recipe entry vs. the one that covered seasoning packets, but I thought more people would see it here, having moved on from the Chili one. But here are a few of the seasoning packet recipes (adapted for wheat-free/low-carb) that I mentioned in my last comment. ALL of them had some form of grain used as thickener, and often sugar as well. I took the sugar out of them all, that was easy. Some of them I just left the thickener out of, others I used a bit of xanthan gum. Feel free to tweak them to suit yourselves; they are not complicated in any way. And DO check out bulk spices at specialty markets or health food stores, spices in small jars at the grocery store are very expensive.
    Spaghetti Seasoning Mix:
    1 T. dry minced onion
    1T. dry parsley
    2 t. dry bell pepper flakes
    1 t. salt
    1/4 t. dry minced garlic
    3/4 t. Italian seasoning
    1 t. xanthan gum
    (This is the only one of the mixes that I do not bother to make. I will send a recipe for Italian Cooking Sauce that you make in a large batch, divide and freeze that is truly a delicious sauce and very convenient once you’ve filled your freezer with it)
    1 lb. ground beef
    16 oz. tomato sauce
    6 oz. tomato paste
    2 3/4 c. tomato juice or water
    1 recipe of the dry mix.
    Brown meat, drain if desired, add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook 10 or more minutes.
    Italian Cooking sauce:
    29 oz. can Petite diced tomatoes
    29 oz. can tomato sauce
    2 c. water
    12 oz. can tomato paste
    2 T. dry minced onion
    2 T. dry parsley
    1 T. salt
    4 t. dry bell pepper flakes
    1 t. dry minced garlic
    1 1.2 t. Italian seasoning
    2 t. fennel seeds, bruised (either in a mortar/pestle, or wrap in waxed paper and smash with a hammer slightly)
    Generous amount of chopped fresh basil and oregano if desired
    1/2 c. red wine (cheap is fine)
    Combine all ingredients, simmer 15 mins.
    Divide into freezer containers of a size that will make sense for your family. Makes approximately 3 quarts. You can use it as it is, or brown up some meat and add.
    I use it for spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, lasagne, eggplant parmesan, chicken cacciatore, etc. using NON-WHEAT ingredients, of course! Like zucchini ribbons for spaghetti pasta, cauliflower crust for the pizza, zucchini ribbons for the lasagne noodles (can also make egg “crepes” from scrambled egg mixture; just cook in a thin layer like a crepe and cut to size), and for eggplant, I merely coat in beaten egg and fry in olive oil, no breading is required.
    Sloppy Joes
    Dry mix:
    1 T. dry minced onion
    1 t. dried bell pepper flakes
    1/2 t. salt
    1/2 t. dry minced garlic
    1/4 t. dry mustard
    1/4 t. celery seed (don’t omit this, it really adds something)
    1/4 t. chili powder
    1/2 t. xanthan gum

    To cook:
    1 lb. ground beef
    1 recipe of the mix
    1/2 c. water
    8 oz. tomato sauce
    Brown meat, drain if desired. Add remaining ingredients, cook at a simmer for 10 mins.
    Good on a bed of shredded lettuce with grated cheese and a few chopped pepperoncini thrown on top. Also good on Oopsie rolls.
    Taco Seasoning Recipe
    2 t. dry minced onion
    1 t. salt
    1 t. chili powder
    1/2 t. dry crushed red peppers
    1/2 t. dry minced garlic
    1/4 t. dry oregano
    1/2 t. ground cumin

    Taco filling:
    1 lb. ground beef
    1/2 c. water
    1 recipe taco seasoning
    Brown meat, drain if desired. Add water and seasonings, bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 10 mins.
    This really does make a great taco filling, and it is marvelous sprinkled dry on boneless pork ribs to cook on low in the crockpot. Try these ribs with coleslaw.
    Chili seasoning:
    2T. dry minced onion
    1 1/2 t. chili powder
    1 t. seasoned salt
    1/2 t. dry crushed red peppers
    1/2 t. dry minced garlic
    1/2 t. ground cumin
    1/2 t. xanthan gum

    To cook:
    1 lb. ground beef
    2 15 oz cans beans, drained. Use pinto, kidney, black, etc. Feel free to mix to your taste.
    29 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
    chili seasoning recipe
    Water to your liking.
    Brown beef, drain if desired. Add remaining ingredients, cook at a simmer for at least 10 mins.
    Or brown beef, add remaining ingredients and cook in a slow-cooker on low for 4-6 hours.

    Best Ranch Dressing Ever
    Dry mix:
    2 t. dry minced onion
    1/2 t. salt
    1/8 t. garlic powder
    1/8 t. dry dill
    1 T. dry parsley, crumbled

    1 c. buttermilk
    1 c. real mayonnaise
    1 recipe dry mix
    Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid. Shake until well blended. Chill at least an hour before using, longer is better.
    Yes, using fresh vegs/herbs would probably taste better, but as the dried things reconstitute they thicken the dressing to a perfect degree. One of my sons came over for dinner the other night and told me that he NEVER has Ranch dressing as good as my homemade version, so do try this one.

    • Dr. Davis

      Wow, excellent, Carole!

      I will post in future as a blog post so that others see! Thank you for doing all this.

    • Ev Barney

      I am a sucker for blue cheese dressing. Actually, I’m a sucker for blue cheese, period! I’m going to try the ranch recipe and add blue cheese. THANK YOU!

  8. Lynda (Fl)

    Thanks for the mix recipes, Dr. Davis. They all look delicious. I may have to worry about gaining weight after all!!
    Thanks to everyone else, too.

  9. Cathy

    What about using small amounts of honey? Since being wheat free, we do not taste or miss sweets, except for this PUMPKIN PIE recipe. I’m not sure how it would taste without sugar, does anyone know?
    What the heck is Erythritol, rebiana and natural flavors, the ingredients listed in Truvia. It’s distributed by Cargil. ECK!
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    • Have you tried Xylitol?
      It’s my favorite sugar substitute. You use it in the same amount as you would sugar.
      It’s a natural sweetener derived from birch. Sounds gross but it’s tasty.
      I get Xyla by Emerald Forest, at the health food store.

    • Boundless

      > What about using small amounts of honey?

      It can easily contain as much fructose as ordinary table sugar.
      And the sugar fraction that isn’t fructose is glucose, which merely spikes the blood sugar instantly.

      > I’m not sure how it would taste without sugar …
      Just fine, with judicious selection of an alternative sweetener.

      • Helen

        Pre-Wheat Belly, I was approaching diabetes, so I wouldn’t touch the glucose spike from honey with a 10-foot pole. Honey also has an interesting flavor that I’m not sure would complement pumpkin. If my blood sugar were of no concern I’d use maple syrup. I know from history that works really well with pumpkin. TOO well, LOL.

    • Helen

      Xylitol, which I get under the brand name “Ideal Sweetener” is a tad less sweet, cup to cup, than real sugar, so I go half and half – if a recipe calls for 1 cup of artificial sweetener, we’ll use half a cup Stevia in the Raw and half a cup xylitol. All the sweet, very little ‘aftertaste’ and no blood sugar spike. The half and half concept also makes Dr. Davis’ chocolate chip cookies darn near heavenly, it does something to their texture that is just amazing. I need to try it on the gingerbread cookies : ) (which, the next day, have the taste and texture of gingerbread, it’s fantastic).

  10. Brad

    I just prepared the pumpkin pie but found that it took well over 40 minutes–closer to 75–for the filling to firm up. I double checked the ingredient list and I didn’t miss any thing. Any thoughts from the crowd?

  11. Johnny

    I am making the pie right now, it smells and the “pumpkin” taste delicious, but I am having oil rise to the top of the crust edges and the pie is taking over an hour to bake….anyone have this issue? My measurements seemed right, only difference was that I used cocunut milk from a carton rather than the can.

    • Dr. Davis

      The carton variety of coconut milk just has more water, less solid, so it can add to the cooking time. The toothpick technique really helps you gauge when your pie is done.

      I wouldn’t sweat the oil rising: This often happens in any sort of baking, receding on cooling.

  12. Pat

    My pie also took about 75 minutes. I was concerned because it seemed to still be a bit soft in the center after that amount of time but I didn’t want to risk baking it any longer. I let it cool and then refrigerated it overnight. Keeping fingers crossed I told my husband that I wasn’t sure how it was going to be but he was willing to play “guinea pig”. Not to worry – it was DELICIOUS!! He says this is his favorite pumpkin pie ever.

  13. Diane

    I made this pie and love it! I was grateful to have a guilt free pumpkin pie. I even had a piece for breakfast! Next time I will add some sweetener to the crust. I used almond flour, and I would like it a little sweeter. But, it is truly a WINNER! Thanks for posting the recipe!

  14. Richard Gutheil

    Sorry, I didn’t read through all the comments but I would just comment that you can dispense with the crust altogether. Just put a healthy coating of butter, about 2 tablespoons, on the pie plate and then dust with coconut flour, fill with a standard mix using sugar substitute if you like, bake, and enjoy. Once it cools the pie will cut and lift out like a slice of regular pastry-crusted pie. Better yet , it tastes great. This worked for apple pie as well with a modified crumb top.

    • Cammie

      The coconut flour/butter techniques sounds very interesting. I suppose it might work well in small ramekins, too, seems like it would be easier not to have too thick a crust.

      RE the crust, I found the butter foamed up, also, and somewhere on this blog, someone suggested using a deep dish pie pan, which I did, and which totally solves the problem, preventing any butter from spilling into the oven and smoking.

      Re how long to bake, mine also took over an hour. Once a knife comes out clean, the pie is done. If you think the crust is getting over cooked, just take it out and once it cools it will firm up perfectly.

      I took this pie to a Thanksgiving potluck and everyone loved it. People were surprised it contained no wheat. My husband loves it, too. Also the pie filling is excellent as a custard without the crust. I baked it in small custard cups and leave it in the fridge for a little treat.

      This is an excellent recipe. If you don’t like mixing by hand, it also works well in the cuisinart, which will get rid of any cream cheese lumps.

  15. mellissa furnia

    Hello, I’ve been glutten free for about 6 weeks..I haven’t lost a single pound?????? I really need to lose 50 lbs. I am anal about reading recipes & tend to jusdt make everything from scratch….what am I doing wrong???

  16. Help! The pumpkin pie recipe sounds delicious, but I have several members of my who have lactose, whey and casein intolerances. Could I use the canned coconut milk only and leave out the cream cheese?