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Pumpkin Pie Filling: Homemade vs. Store-bought

A dish of homemade pumpkin pie filling.

Everyone loves good old American pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Most cooks will buy a mix from their local grocery store rather than take the time to try and make their own from scratch and actual pumpkins. But have you ever thought of how that might turn out?

In this post, we’ll examine the pro’s and con’s of making homemade versus store-bought pies (especially when it comes to pumpkin pie) as well as how to add a touch of “homemade” to any pie you make, whether it’s all homemade or not.

Made From Scratch Pumpkin Pie Filling

Pumpkin Pie made from Scratch

Rada’s own Kristi Kay made a pumpkin pie using a store-bought can and baked with her mother, who made a pumpkin pie using an acutal pumpkin. They then compared the two.


  • There are no “unknown ingredients or preservatives” added.
  • Homemade pie is economical. If you grow your own pumpkin the filling is more or less “free.”
  • You get the wonderful satisfaction of making a pumpkin pie from “scratch.”


  • A homemade pumpkin pie takes 1 to 1 ½ hours to bake.
  • You may not have enough filling from one pumpkin to make just one pie.
  • You have to add 10 to 12 ingredients and spices to make a homemade pumpkin pie after your pumpkin.

Store-Bought Pumpkin Pie Filling

Pumpkinn Pie overhead

Kristi Kay used Libby’s Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix.


  • Only 2 extra ingredients are needed.
  • Store-bought mixes are fast and easy to make and bake.
  • In our opinion, store-bought pumpkin pie mix tastes better than made from scratch (might be the cook, however!).


  • A can of filling can cost anywhere from $3.00 to $5.00.
  • A store-bought mix may have added preservatives or fructose (not in the brand we used).
  • You can’t brag that you made it from “scratch.”

How to Add Touches of “Homemade” to a
Store-Bought Pie Mix

Kristi Kay found that the store-bought pie mix tasted better than a pumpkin pie made from scratch and using a real pumpkin. But she wanted to add some touches of homemade to her pie – so she made the pie crust from scratch.  Homemade pie crust adds so much to the quality of the pie and is not that hard to make if you follow the pie crust recipe below.

Homemade Pie Crust

You only need these ingredients to make your  homemade pie crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening (we used Crisco)
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  •  9″ pie plate (stoneware is recommended such as the Rada Stoneware Pie Plate)

You can follow the rest of this recipe by heading to our Homemade Pie Crust Blog Post which includes step by step pictures and an instruction homemade pie crust video!

Dough pie decorations

Another way to add some personal touches to your pie is to put a dough decoration on its top. Kristi Kay used a real leaf to make this cute crust topper for her pie. She simply traced the leaf onto some dough and baked it over the top of her pie.

Pumpkin is the New Super Food

Pumpkin Carving

Pure pumpkin is rich in antioxidants, fiber, low fat and is filled to the brim with Vitamin A. Fiber helps protect your body from heart disease and certain types of cancers and pumpkin provides 20% of your daily requirement.  Vitamin A promotes healthy eyes, skin and bones.

Just one serving of pumpkin provides more than 100% of your daily allowance. 80% of the Vitamin A comes from beta-carotene-the deep orange pigment in ripe pumpkins.  Pumpkin is versatile ingredient and can be used in desserts, main dishes, side dishes and breads.

Visit Wikipedia to learn all about pumpkins!

Other Pie Recipes & Products

Flaky Pie Crust

Visit the Rada Blog to find more great recipes. Here are some of the pie recipes we have done:

Here are some great Rada pie products you might want to use to get the best results with your pie:

Black Raspberry Pie

Stoneware Pie Plate – This pie plate doesn’t need to be sprayed and it makes flakier crust.

Serrated Pie Server – This pie server is designed to help you both serve and cut your pie. It takes one less utensil!

You can purchase these items at the Rada Kitchen Store, from your local Rada Reseller or Rada Fundraiser.

About Rada Cutlery

Rada Mfg. Co. has been manufacturing Rada Cutlery fundraising products and helping non-profit groups fundraise since 1948 — last year working with over 19,000 churches, schools, teams, and clubs. Visit to learn more about us, our 100% Made in the USA products, and our unique opportunities for fundraisers.