All the mouthwatering recipes in our series “The Main Ingredient” have one thing in common: They all contain cookies.

One thought always enters my mind whenever I’m around gourmet cookies: I wonder how they would taste as a pie crust.

Pumpkin cookies ad

Okay, maybe not everyone thinks that; most people just want to eat the cookies and be done with it. But bakers like me love a good cookie crust, for three simple reasons:

  1. They’re easy to make.
  2. They’re a great way to enhance the flavor of a pie.
  3. They’re versatile: You can use them in both baked and no-bake desserts.

Of course, once you decide on a crust, you then have to think about what kind of filling should go in it. My go-to, especially around the holidays, is chocolate pudding.

A modern spin on a family classic

My paternal grandmother, a phenomenal baker, always had one of these pies chilling in the refrigerator for her grandchildren whenever we went to her apartment for a celebration.

Like many women of her generation, Grandma Min baked from recall, measuring with her eyes and hands. Unfortunately, because of that, she never wrote anything down, and her no-bake chocolate pumpkin pie recipe was lost when she passed away. But it wasn’t difficult to recreate — especially with the ease of instant pudding — or modernize with the addition of pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice flavors.

This seasonal — and sensational — deep-dish, no-bake Pumpkin Cookie Chocolate Pudding Pie starts with Cheryl’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies and ends as a delicious dessert that is simply irresistible. Making this, I can bring myself back to my beloved grandmother’s table any time I like, and just as easily share it — and my grandmother’s memory — with family and friends.

With unmistakable and aromatic pumpkin spice notes hitting the palate first, followed by rich and decadent chocolate, this dessert is a winner for those who just can’t decide which flavor to go for at holiday time.

The solution? Go for both!

No-bake Pumpkin Cookie Chocolate Pudding Pie

Prep Time 30 minutes
Chilling and Setting 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes



  • 6 Cheryl's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar (optional)
  • 4-5 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)


  • 1 3.4-ounce package instant chocolate pudding (optional: use two for a more chocolatey flavor or a heavier set)
  • cups heavy cream (optional: double the amount of cream if you use two packets of pudding)
  • ½ can pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup cream cheese
  • 4 ounces (about half the container) frozen whipped topping (defrosted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix (see recipe below or you can buy one already made)

Pumpkin Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice


  • 4 ounces (about half the container) frozen whipped topping (defrosted)
  • 2 Cheryl's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies (divided)


  • In a food processor, pulse 6 Cheryl's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies until they are crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl. Add the sugar (omit if you like a less sweet crust) and melted butter. Mix until incorporated. Press the cookie dough into a 9- or 10-inch deep-dish pie pan and put it in the refrigerator to set while you make the rest of the ingredients. (This can be made 1 to 2 days in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.)
  • In a food processor (or standing mixer), mix a packet of instant chocolate pudding with the heavy cream on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until very thick. Add pumpkin puree, cream cheese, frozen whipped topping, vanilla, and pumpkin spice. Mix on low until all ingredients are incorporated.
  • Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and fill it with the pumpkin-chocolate mixture. Cover lightly and return to the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • In a food processor, pulse one Cheryl's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookie. Place the crumbs in a plastic baggie and snip off the corner with scissors.
  • Remove the pie from the refrigerator. Ice it with the remaining frozen whipped topping. Place one Cheryl's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookie decoratively in the center of the pie. Holding the plastic baggie of crumbs with the hole facing downward, make a concentric ring with the cookie crumbs at the outer edge of the pie.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the pieces before using a pie server to remove slices.

Jen Karetnick is a Miami-based food writer, dining critic, and author of 20 cookbooks, guidebooks, and more. She co-writes the garden-to-table newsletter "Dishtillery" with her sister.

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