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These mini pecan pies are bite-sized versions of the traditional pecan pie. They are so easy to make — a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table!
Having a hard time planning your Thanksgiving menu? I totally get it. There are so many great recipes out there, but a lot of them can be pretty complex.
Well, these muffin pan pecan pies are exactly what you need! They’re small and simple to make, yet packed with comforting fall flavors.
This recipe is designed to be quick and easy, so you can enjoy Thanksgiving, spend time with family, and enjoy homemade treats without any hassle.
My tip: Whip up a big batch of these muffin pecan pies – your guests are likely to go back for seconds. They’re just that irresistible! 🤤
What Are Mini Pecan Pies?
Mini pecan pies are just what they sound like – smaller versions of the traditional pecan pie.
They’re made with the same delicious mix of chopped pecans, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and a splash of vanilla extract, all wrapped up in a flaky pie crust. 🥧
But instead of one regular-sized pie, you bake them in a muffin tin to create individual servings.
They’re ideal for times when you’re craving that pecan pie flavor but don’t want the hassle of baking an entire pie.
Pecan pies, whether the traditional big ones or the bite-sized mini versions, are considered Southern American classics and are a go-to dish in Thanksgiving celebrations.
They’re loved for their comforting taste that just feels like home.
I think these mini pecan pies are especially great for big family gatherings, offering all that classic flavor in a convenient single-serving size.
They’re easy to make and even easier to serve. Perfect for when your guests want to try a bit of everything on the table.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy Baking: If the idea of baking from scratch makes you feel nervous or lazy, no worries. This mini pecan pie recipe features simple ingredients and clear, easy-to-follow steps. It’s a great way to get in some baking practice! 💪
- Portable sweets: These mini pecan pies are easy to carry around and perfect for sharing. If you’re stacking them, place a sheet of parchment paper between each layer to keep them from sticking together.
- Make ahead desserts: Go ahead and focus your energy on those complicated main dishes because you won’t have a hard time preparing these treats for sure! They also reheat beautifully, so all you need to do is warm them up before serving, and they’ll taste as good as fresh.
- Customizable: Nothing beats classic pecan pies in miniature form, but you’re the boss in your kitchen and can always make some adjustments. Simple tweaks like including pumpkin or fall spices can help intensify the flavors while still maintaining the seasonal spirit.
What Do Pecan Pie Bites Taste Like?
These mini pecan pies strike the perfect balance between nutty and sweet.
They’re packed with a caramel-like richness and have an irresistibly gooey texture, all thanks to the brown sugar, light corn syrup, and melted butter.
And you wouldn’t miss the satisfying crunch from the pecans! Then there’s the buttery and flaky crust that just ties everything together.
I always bake bite-sized desserts for everyone here at home, and my newbie advice is this: never miss even the smallest details in this little dessert.
This recipe may only call for a small amount of vanilla extract, but don’t underestimate its impact! That dash of vanilla adds a warm, aromatic touch that really takes the overall flavor to the next level.
I bet once you experience their lush, sticky texture, you’ll realize that they are too good to save just for the holidays.
Well, this recipe uses store-bought dough, so you can easily whip this up any time you need a little pick-me-up. 😌
Mini Pecan Pies Recipe Ingredients
- Pie crust – Feel free to use a store-bought dough, but you can also challenge yourself and make a homemade crust.
- Light corn syrup – This ingredient can bring sweet flavor and a smooth texture to your mini pecan pies, much like it does to your pancakes.
- Brown sugar – Use dark brown sugar for a deeper flavor, or if you prefer milder caramel taste, go for light brown sugar.
- Unsalted butter – Adds a velvety consistency and serves as a glue that holds all the filling ingredients together.
- Egg – Just one egg can give these mini pecan pies a rich flavor and glossy appearance!
- Vanilla extract – To add a subtle depth of flavor that will make your mini desserts even more irresistible.
- Chopped pecans – These nuts’ signature crunch and buttery taste will give you a classic pecan pie experience.
Tools Needed To Prepare Miniature Pecan Pies
- Muffin tin to turn your pecan pies into delicious, single-serving treats
- Mixing bowls to prepare and combine the ingredients
- Rolling pin to roll out the pie crust
- Round cutter to cut out even dough circles
- Spoon or small ladle for filling the crusts
- Cupcake liners for easier removal of the mini pies from the muffin tin
- Wire cooling rack for cooling the mini pecan pies after baking
Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For This Small Pecan Pie Recipe
Lay those apple slices on top before baking your mini pies. These fruits naturally add sweetness and a hint of tartness that balances the rich pecan pie filling!
And, of course, by adding these, you can amp up that classic fall vibe to the dessert table.
Cinnamon will introduce a warm and slightly spicy taste to your pecan mini pies. You can infuse it into the filling by blending it with the chopped pecans and other ingredients.
Another option is to dust a pinch of ground cinnamon on top of each pie just before placing them in the oven.
Using white sugar instead of brown sugar means losing the caramel-like flavor, but it can still result in mouthwatering bite-sized desserts!
Switching can make your mini pecan pies sweeter, with a lighter color and crispier texture. It will also be less moist, but still delicious.
Instead of light corn syrup, you can use the dark-colored variant to emphasize a more intense, molasses-like sweetness.
It can also make your filling slightly thicker. Don’t worry, though! This change won’t affect how your mini pies bake up or hold together.
A nutty pie with cool, creamy ice cream? I’ll enjoy this combo even beyond the holidays.🍦 A generous tablespoon of vanilla ice cream on top of each pie should be perfect!
And expect them to become even more decadent once the ice cream begins to melt and blend into the filling.
Using maple syrup instead of corn syrup in your pecan pies can work, but keep in mind it might make the filling a bit runnier because maple syrup is thinner.
That’s not a bad thing at all – it really just comes down to how you like your pies! Some people actually love that slightly looser texture for an extra gooey dessert.
How to Make Mini Pecan Pies
- 1 ready-to-use pie crust
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 5 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 and ½ tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 and ¼ cups chopped pecans
Tools you need:
- Muffin tin
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Round cutter
- Spoon or small ladle
- Cupcake liners
- Wire cooling rack
STEP 1: Gather all the ingredients.
STEP 2: Preheat your oven to 350°F.
STEP 3: Sprinkle flour over a clean countertop and then roll out the pie crust. Cut out 15 circles using a round cutter. They should be around 3 inches in diameter.
STEP 4: Place the liners in each well of the muffin tin. Next, gently press each dough circle into the lined cups to create a shell. Afterward, refrigerate the tin.
STEP 5: Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, egg, corn syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl until well combined.
STEP 6: Next, stir in the chopped pecans.
STEP 7: Take out the muffin tin from the fridge. Next, gently spoon the pecan mixture into the chilled crusts.
STEP 8: Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the filling is firm and the crust turns golden brown.
STEP 9: All done! Let them sit in the pan for about 10 minutes to cool down a bit. Then, carefully move the mini pies from the muffin pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
What To Serve With Pecan Bites
Pecan pies are true Thanksgiving classics. You just can’t go without them during this special time with your loved ones.
But there’s something else you should think about – what to serve WITH them?! Here are some ideas that you can prepare even at the very last minute.
- Warm drinks: Serve your mini pecan pies alongside a steaming mug of black coffee. If you prefer a sweeter pairing, swirl in some pumpkin creamer. The spiced drink will match perfectly with the rich, nutty notes of these little pecan pies.
- Thanksgiving dessert charcuterie board: This year, make your spread sweeter and more sophisticated. Make these pecan bites and then arrange them in an elegant spread together with other sweets like pumpkin whoopie pies and pots de crème. This dessert board will look amazing next to our Thanksgiving appetizer spread.
- After a savory feast: Jump into these homemade mini pecan pies right after enjoying your favorite roasted turkey and squash casserole! Or, you can enjoy them after something lighter, like a sweet potato hash. These bite-sized desserts are not too heavy and offer a lovely contrast to the savory taste of your previous meals.
Tips About Making the Best Mini Pecan Pies
- Baking time: Achieving a golden-brown crust can be tricky for us newbie bakers. I know how it feels! But the key here is just to keep a close eye on your mini pecan pies as they bake. If they seem a bit soft after 25 minutes, keep calm and be patient. Just add a few extra minutes, maybe 2 to 5 minutes at a time.
- Perfectly shaped crusts: You can make your miniature pecan pies even prettier just by gently pressing the crusts into the muffin pans. By doing so, you can make more impressive pies. You can use the bottom of a glass jar or glass to help with the pressing.
- DIY pecans: Chop the nuts yourself with the help of a food processor or sharp knife. Just be careful not to overdo it and lose that satisfying crunch.
How To Store Homemade Mini Pecan Pies
- Fridge: Holiday baking is so fun because you can make as many desserts as you want and then just store them all in the fridge to stay fresh for days to come. These mini pecan pies will keep perfectly for up to a week!
- Freezer: Freeze some leftovers, or save some for yourself, because your miniature pecan pies are sure to disappear in a flash once you serve them to everyone. 😁 Wrap each cooled pie tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil, and they’ll stay delicious for up to three months.
- Thawing: When craving hits (yes, even weeks after Thanksgiving!), just move your mini pies from the freezer to the fridge. Let them thaw slowly to maintain their texture and preserve their amazing taste, just as if they were freshly baked.
- Reheating: Wrap your mini pies in foil. Then, give them a quick warm-up in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes. I’m typically hesitant about freezing desserts because I worry about them losing their perfect texture. But trust me, this simple reheating tip works wonders and can make your homemade mini pies taste like they’ve just been freshly baked.
How to Make Pecan Pie Filling Thick?
When added to the filling, they can absorb excess moisture, which helps the desserts set better during baking and as they cool.
You won’t need to replace any ingredients. Just add a little extra.
For example, 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch to the filling mix can thicken it and prevent it from becoming too watery.
This addition is especially useful if you find that your pies aren’t setting as much as you’d like.
Just whisk it into your filling mixture thoroughly to prevent any clumping, and then proceed with the rest of the recipe as usual.
How to Tell if Pecan Pie is Done?
Getting your mini pecan pies perfectly baked is crucial for that ideal texture – not too runny, not too firm! You can figure this out with a jiggle test, and by simply looking and smelling.
Start by setting your oven timer to about 20 minutes. As the timer counts down, start checking if they’re done.
Try what bakers call the Jiggle Test. Give the muffin tin a gentle shake and watch the filling.
If it moves like gelatin but isn’t runny, it’s looking good. If it’s still liquidy, they need more time.
You can also check their color for doneness. The crust edges should be a lovely golden brown, and the filling must look a little darker, not pale or transparent.
As they’re nearly done, you’ll notice your kitchen filling up with a delightful, nutty aroma – a sure sign that your mini pies are almost ready.
Does Pecan Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?
Yes! If you’re not planning to eat them right away, refrigerating your mini pecan pies is a good idea. They’ll stay delicious in the fridge for around four days.
But don’t forget, these mini pies hold up really well. You can leave them at room temperature, let’s say on the kitchen counter, for two days without any issues.
Just store them in an airtight container to keep them from drying out and protect them from any contaminants.
FAQ About Pecan Mini Pies
Can you make pecan pie without corn syrup?
Yes, it’s possible to make a pecan pie without corn syrup. Alternative sweeteners like maple syrup can be used to replicate its texture and sweetness.
Can you rebake undercooked pecan pie?
Yes, you can rebake an undercooked pecan pie. Just pop it back in the oven at 325°F for a few more minutes, but watch it closely to avoid overcooking.
Does pecan pie freeze well?
Yes, these small pies freeze quite well. Their low water content and high amounts of sugar and fat make them ideal for freezing.
Is pecan pie served hot or cold?
Pecan pies are usually enjoyed at room temperature. But you’re free to serve it cold or hot, depending on your preference.
Why is my pecan pie runny?
A runny pecan pie usually happens if it’s underbaked, which stops the filling from setting right. Just bake your pie until the filling sets and let it cool off completely to fix this.
Can mini pecan pies be frozen?
Absolutely! You can freeze mini pecan pies, and they’ll stay good for up to 3 months.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Sprinkle flour over a clean countertop and then roll out the pie crust. Cut out 15 circles using a round cutter. These circles should be around 3 inches in diameter.
- Place the liners in each well of the muffin tin. Next, gently press each dough circle into the lined cups to create a shell. Afterward, refrigerate the tin.
- Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, egg, corn syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl until well combined.
- Stir in the chopped pecans.
- Take out the muffin tin from the fridge. Next, gently spoon the pecan mixture into the chilled crusts.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the filling is firm and the crust turns golden brown.
- All done! Let them sit in the pan for about 10 minutes to cool down a bit. Then, carefully move the mini pies from the muffin pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 61mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.
This holiday season might be super busy for you, but you still deserve to enjoy delicious homemade meals. That’s exactly what this mini pecan pie recipe is here for!
The fact that it uses a store-bought crust is amazing — a great time-saver and perfect if you’re not yet confident in making baked goods from scratch.
But you’ve got some extra time and are ready for a holiday challenge, why not try making a homemade crust? It’s worth the effort!
It also serves as good practice for you, so you can make more complicated treats very soon.
Your mini pies will be just as delicious, though, even if you choose to follow this quick recipe with a ready-to-use dough.
Just tell your guests this Thanksgiving that you made everything from scratch, and they’ll think you’re either an expert baker or that you hired a chef for them. 😜
Looking for more dessert recipes that you would want to enjoy even beyond the holidays? Here are more quick, easy treats that you can make even as a newbie baker: