This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Hillshire Brands Company. All opinions are entirely my own.
I apologize in advance for all of the photos in this post and any sweet cravings they may conjure up, but once I got going I just couldn’t stop myself!! I have always wanted to have a pie party, I so wish you could have all joined me to enjoy these pies. Maybe next year!
Ok friends, in our last holiday prep post we addressed a sensitive subject, a holiday dessert for the vegan / vegetarian / and food sensitive folks in your family. Today, we’re going to talk about something completely different!
Yep, I’m talking to all the super busy folks out there. The folks that sign up for one too many school events and offer too much of themselves all-year round, but especially during the holidays! The ones who really want to make homemade gifts and baked goods from scratch, but just don’t have the time. Folks, this post is for you!
Today, we’re going to show you three ways to dress up a store-bought pumpkin pie for the holidays. These pies won’t just look amazing, but these tips and tricks will also elevate the flavors and make them something a little extra special for you to bring to your next holiday party or family gathering.
Let’s start with the most complicated of the three pies, the two-layer salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake. I promise it’s so much simpler than it seems but this one is a multi-step process so beware of the extra time it will entail.
Two-Layer Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake
I baked my pumpkin pie the night before, then used my springform pan as a guide. I traced the circular form and cut the pumpkin pie with a sharp steak knife to ensure it was the same size and shape my cheesecake would be.
I was worried about this step going in, but since the pie was nice and cool it was really very simple. Once I made the circular cut, I cut the outlying layer into wedges and let my kids snack on them with some whip cream :) Lots of cool mom points that day!
I’ve provided the instructions and recipe below for the maple cinnamon cheesecake layer.
How to make the Maple Cinnamon Cheesecake
Maple Cinnamon Cheesecake Recipe
- 3/4 cup of Milk or Almond Milk
- Dash of maple extract
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 Packages of Great Value Brand Cream Cheese (8 oz. each)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Let the cream cheese come to room temperature on the counter for about 30 minutes.
- Mix the milk, extracts, sugar, and salt Combine the milk, sugar, extracts, and salt in a deep bowl and whisk or mix with a fork. Add the cream cheese and mix on medium speed until the all ingredients are nice and creamy, and no lumps remain. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time Beat in the eggs one at a time until well mixed and no yellow is showing
- Stir a few times by hand Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula again. Stir the whole batter by hand, being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. The finished product should be thick, creamy, and silky. Don’t worry if you see a few specks of un-mixed cream cheese here and there; they will melt into the batter during baking and won’t affect the cheesecake.
- Bake for 34 to 48 minutes or until the cheesecake is slightly jiggly when shaken. Let cool for 1 hour. Put cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but no longer than 48 hours.
When you have all your layers, assemble and I suggest adding the caramel either just before serving or freezing until you’re almost ready to serve. You can see ours starting to drip, but that just made it that much more enticing. As long as you plan for that in advance, you’ll be all set!
Note: My pie cuts weren’t perfect, so I added some caramel between the pumpkin pie and cheesecake layers (not much!) so when I placed them together the caramel oozed out and covered all the imperfections. Again, plan for this with your intended display and move the pie to the freezer immediately if you don’t plan to eat it to keep the caramel from going everywhere.
Marbled Chocolate Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie
To make your own Marbled Chocolate Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie, you’ll just need two ingredients:
– A Sara Lee Oven Fresh Pumpkin Pie (we found ours at Walmart in the frozen pies section for less than $3!)
– Great Value Hazelnut Spread
Remove the pie from the box, and place on a baking sheet. Unwrap the pie and wait for it to defrost, about 40 mins- 1 hour.
Once the pie filling is liquid-y, melt your jar of hazelnut spread in the microwave in 30 sec increments. Stirring each time until it’s a pourable consistency.
Then drizzle the chocolate hazelnut sauce around the top of your pie.
Use a knife or a toothpick to swirl the pie and sauce together to create the marble effect. There really is no wrong way to do this and I’m sure the kids would love to help you out!
Once that’s done, bake the pie following the instructions on the box.
Note: After many years of baking pumpkin pies, I can tell you they are done with the middle still shakes a little. I also wrap my pie crusts in aluminum foil to keep them from getting too brown!
Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie
It really doesn’t get any easier than this one!! All you have to do to make this showstopper is bake your store bought pie following the instructions, and when it’s done. Pour as many marshmallows over the top as you think it can handle. Then put it back in the oven again for about 10 mins or until the top of the marshmallows start to turn golden brown.
This is my children’s favorite pie in the bunch! and the marshmallows add a unique, yummy flavor to the pumpkin pie that reminds you of your grandma’s sweet potato casserole. Mmm, I miss you Grandma!
There you have it, 3 simple ways to dress up store-bought pumpkin pies! We hope you try one of these methods for your holiday desserts this year. If you do, snap a photo and share it on Instagram with the hashtags #joy2themeal, I’d love to see how they turn out! P.S., You will find lots more holiday meal inspiration in that hashtag too.
Huge thanks to our friends The Hillshire Brands Company for sponsoring today’s post and helping make my pie party dream come true. At least in virtual land! I still have big dreams of hosting a real one you could come to and hang out with me sometime very soon.
And Walmart, where we can grab simple items like premade pies and turn them into something fantastic and all our own! Which means less time in the kitchen and more time creating memorable family moments with the ones we love.
For more holiday meal ideas or if you’re just smitten with pie like me, check out these great resources