5 Ways To Spice Up Your Holiday Pumpkin Pie

Whether carved, decorated, or cooked, pumpkins are a popular staple used during the four calendar months ending in "ber." From the pumpkin patches in all 50 states to decorated holiday porches, we as a whole have incorporated pumpkin into so many fall activities. Perhaps a yummier use of pumpkin involves baking it into a pie and topping it with copious amounts of whipped cream. In fact, that's probably the preferred use of pumpkin in the United States, as nearly 50 million pumpkin pies are consumed during Thanksgiving alone (via Good Housekeeping).

But what do you do if you're a bit bored of serving the same traditional pumpkin pie every year? Or, perhaps you are part of the 21% of Americans who don't even like pumpkin pie  — per ABC —and are looking for ways to make them tastier. Whether you buy your pumpkin pies from Costco, or bake them yourself, there are several ways you can spice up your holiday pumpkin pie to kick your dessert game up a notch this holiday season.

1. Dress it up with deliciously pretty decorations

For those who want to serve a traditional pumpkin pie but prettier, this is a great option — and you most likely already have the supplies you need in your kitchen. All it involves is taking small cookie cutters with leaf or pumpkin designs, cutting out bits of pie pastry crust, and placing them on top of the pie before baking it. If the pie is pre-bought, Taste of Home recommends baking them for 8-10 minutes and sticking them on top. You can even add food coloring and raw egg yolk to the shapes for a bit of color.

2. Contrast the creaminess with a streusel topping

Pumpkin pies have soft, creamy centers that don't require a whole lot of munching and crunching. However, with a delicious crumbly streusel topping, the contrast of the soft center and the buttery topping adds a fun and yummy twist. The streusel topping from Betty Crocker's recipe calls for only three ingredients: oats, brown sugar, and butter. For store-bought pies, it's recommended to bake the streusel separately in the oven, then sprinkle on top (via The Kitchn). Easy and delicious!

3. Drizzle caramel on top — because what doesn't taste better with caramel?

Perhaps the easiest way to spruce up a traditional pumpkin pie is to add a caramel drizzle on top. While dozens of caramel drizzles are available at the store, you can easily make your own at home with ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry. This 30-minute recipe from the Food Network has a baking level of "easy." Put the kids to work this Thanksgiving by encouraging them to make the caramel drizzle — yummy and fun for the whole family.

4. Add some crunch with sprinkled candied nuts

Candied nuts on top of a pumpkin pie provide the same sort of texture as the streusel topping — except the thicker nuts take it one step further. Whether you prefer pecans, walnuts, or peanuts, a crunchy topping adds that extra oomph that your taste buds will thank you for. According to Countryside Cravings, all this recipe calls for is brown sugar, butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and of course, your selected nut. You can bake this with the pie or add it to a store-bought pie by candying the nuts separately and sprinkling them on top.

5. Swirl in some cream cheese

Adding cream cheese to a pumpkin pie recipe not only gives it a unique marbled look that you simply wouldn't find in a traditional pie, but it tastes phenomenal as well. According to a recipe shared by Very Best Baking, it takes about an hour to make a pumpkin cheese-filled pie and is very easy to do. Someone wrote a review of the recipe, giving it a glowing 5-stars, commenting on the post that this recipe has quickly become a Thanksgiving tradition for her family — maybe one of these ideas will do the same for you!