Skip to Content

Does Pumpkin Pie Need To Be Refrigerated ? Yes, And Here’s Why

Thanksgiving preparations are always a busy time, so it’s a good idea to get all your meals ready for the big celebrations.

But can you also make everyone’s favorite pumpkin pie ahead of time and leave it in the fridge? Yes, pumpkin pie needs to be refrigerated and then eaten as soon as possible.

In this article, we find out how long you can keep pumpkin pie refrigerated and how to store it, so you can enjoy your delicious dessert for longer.

Does Pumpkin Pie Need To Be Refrigerated Yes, And Here's Why

Do You Need To Refrigerate Pumpkin Pie?

Yes, pumpkin pie should be refrigerated as it will go bad when not kept in the fridge. 

You need to refrigerate pumpkin pie because it is made with perishable ingredients, such as milk, eggs and pumpkin purée.

There are a few different reasons why you should allow your pumpkin pie to cool down in the fridge.

One of the main reasons is the ingredients. Any tart or custard pie should go into the fridge, so the custard has time to set. 

Only when the custard is set, your pumpkin pie will be ready to enjoy. 

That’s why, you shouldn’t bake a pumpkin pie for too long as the custard won’t be able to set until it comes out of the oven.

This is the reason why your pumpkin pie should be slightly jiggly in the middle when you remove it from the oven.

Allow the pie to cool on the kitchen counter. This will set the custard and you should get a smooth, delicious pumpkin pie within a couple of hours.

Make sure that you don’t put the pumpkin pie into the fridge immediately after you remove it from the oven as this could result in a cracked pie.

If you want to serve the pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving day after it has cooled down, then that is fine.

However, you can also make it the day before. Once you have taken your pie out of the oven, allow it to cool and then wrap some plastic wrap over the top.

You can then place your pumpkin pie in the fridge where it lasts for up to four days.

Why Store-Bought Pumpkin Pies Don’t Need Refrigeration

This is a question we get: why are pies from your grocery store not refrigerated? There is a simple answer for this.

Store-bought pumpkin pies contain preservatives which ensure that your pie lasts longer and it doesn’t go bad too quickly without refrigeration.

Saying this, these pumpkin pies may not need refrigeration but you will still need to eat them as soon as possible. 

Typically, the best-by date of store bought pumpkin pies are relatively short, so you will likely need to consume the pie within a few days.

In comparison, when you make a pumpkin pie at home, then this pie doesn’t contain any preservatives.

The eggs and dairy in the pie mean that this delicious dessert can spoil quite quickly.

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to keep all pumpkin pies in the fridge once they have cooled down, even your store-bought pie.

This ensures that you can enjoy your pie for a little bit longer than when leaving it on the kitchen counter.

Can You Eat Pumpkin Pie Right Out Of The Oven?

It might be very tempting to cut a delicious slice of pie when it comes out of the oven but you should wait for a few hours until the custard in the pie has cooled and set.

If you try to cut pumpkin pie right out of the oven, you will end up with a slushy center than will melt.

The pie won’t just look unsightly but it will also not taste as you expect your pumpkin pie to taste.

The custard won’t have set which means it will be runny. 

In addition, hot pumpkin pie is also still at risk of cracking, so if you want a beautiful looking pumpkin pie, then it’s best to allow your pie to rest for a few hours at room temperature.

We recommend that you leave your pie to cool for a minimum of two hours before you serve it.

How Long Can You Keep Pumpkin Pie Outside The Fridge?

It’s best not to keep your pumpkin pie out of the fridge for too long. Nutritionists recommend that you leave your pie sit out for a maximum of six hours.

This will allow your pumpkin pie to cool off and it should have reached room temperature after this time.

After six hours, you risk the ingredients in your pumpkin pie spoiling, and the whole pie can go bad very quickly.

Saying this, if your pumpkin pie is store-bought, then you can leave it sitting on the counter for a few days.

However, make sure that it’s not in direct sunlight as this may cause the eggs and milk in the pie to go bad.

Can You Make Pumpkin Pie The Day Before Thanksgiving?

Yes, you can easily make your pumpkin pie 24 hours before Thanksgiving Day. 

If you don’t want to leave it too close to the special day, then you can even make the pie a couple of days before.

Pumpkin pie is usually good for up to four days in the fridge but it’s best to eat the pie within two days after baking.

Should You Serve Pumpkin Pie Cold Or Warm?

This depends on your personal preference. Some people prefer to eat warm pumpkin pie. 

However, you should not serve pumpkin pie directly out of the oven as the custard in your pie still needs a couple of hours to set.

If you want to serve warm pumpkin pie, then allow the pie to sit for two hours. This will ensure all the ingredients are set and the pie should still be slightly warm.

If your pie is already cold, then you can put it into the microwave for a few minutes. 

Make sure that you select the lowest heat setting as a too high temperature can burn the top of your pumpkin pie.

Most people enjoy their pumpkin pie cold as it is usually kept in the fridge or it has already cooled down.

Serving cold pumpkin pie is the quickest way to make a delicious Thanksgiving dessert. You can just whisk the pie together the day before, and then serve it straight out of the fridge.

But there is also another reason why pumpkin pie is best served cold. Sweet treats, such as pies, taste much better when they are cold.

The residual heat after baking will slowly bake the inside of the cake, and it also helps the spices to develop more flavor.

This means that your pumpkin pie will taste better when you keep it in the fridge for a day.

How Long Can Pumpkin Pie Last?

Pumpkin pie is good in the fridge for up to four days after baking. However, it’s best when you eat the pie within the first couple of days as the flavors are strongest at this time.

Does Pumpkin Pie Need To Be Refrigerated Yes, And Here's Why (1)

Make sure that you refrigerate your pumpkin pie within four to six hours after you took it out of the oven. This will ensure that the pie flavors are still good.

If your pumpkin pie is from the grocery store, then it’s important to check the expiry date. You can extend the shelf life of your store-bought pumpkin pie by putting it into the fridge.

However, this will extend the shelf life of the pie only by a couple of days.

You can keep your pumpkin pie leftovers for longer if you freeze them. Saying this, it’s best to eat pumpkin pie that has been frozen within two months.

Can You Freeze Pumpkin Pie?

Yes, you can easily freeze pumpkin pie if you want to prepare your pie well in advance for Thanksgiving.

However, pumpkin pie contains perishable ingredients, so it is best not to leave your pie in the freezer for longer than two months.

If you want to freeze your pumpkin pie, then you should bake it in a disposable aluminum foil pan. 

This will allow your pie to freeze quicker keeping the smooth texture of your pie intact.

Once your pie finished baking, you need to allow it to cool down. Next, wrap the pumpkin pie in several layers of plastic wrap, and a final layer of aluminum foil.

Now your pie is ready to go into the freezer where you can keep it for up to a month.

How To Defrost Pumpkin Pie

When you want to defrost your pumpkin pie, you need to plan a little in advance. It will take at least 12 hours for your pie to defrost completely.

Remove the pie from the freezer and then remove all the plastic wrap layers. Then, place the pie into the fridge.

If you spot any liquid on the pie while it defrosts, then it’s a good idea to dab this away gently with a paper towel.

Your pie should be fully defrosted after twelve hours, so you can take it out of the freezer and leave it in the fridge overnight.

How To Tell If Pumpkin Pie Is Bad?

As pumpkin pie has such a short shelf-life, it can easily happen that your pie goes bad.

The biggest sign that your pumpkin pie isn’t good anymore is a rancid smell. This means that the eggs, milk or pumpkin in your pie have gone bad.

You can also tell if your pumpkin pie has expired from any larger moisture puddles on top of the pie.

After a while, the top of the pie will also start to go moldy but you shouldn’t wait that long until you throw your pie out.

If you spot any excessive moisture or the pie doesn’t smell good anymore, then just dispose of it.

Final Thoughts

The best way to keep your pumpkin pie taste delicious is to store it in the fridge for a few days.

Jess Smith
Latest posts by Jess Smith (see all)