Apple Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie: Which Is Better?

Apple Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie

Both apple and pumpkin pies are very delicious treats, and what’s even more, they are astoundingly easy to make. They won’t set you back a lot, nor will they take up much of your time and energy. Still, they both have their fans, which often are very exclusive of the other. So, which is better, apple pie or pumpkin pie?

Apple and pumpkin pie are very close regarding their nutritional values and making. However, their main differences are the flavors, aromas, and textures. While apple pie is sweeter and more refreshing, pumpkin pie is softer, creamier, and earthier.

The holiday season is upon us, meaning that apple and pumpkin pie will be frequent visitors in many households. To help you give the best possible treat to your guests and yourselves, in the following paragraphs, I will explain the differences between apple and pumpkin pie. 

Apple Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie: Differences

When it comes to describing apple pie and pumpkin pie, delicious is the intersection where they meet. However, even though they are very close nutrition-wise, some crucial differences separate them. Their tastes and aromas are entirely different, making you wonder if one is better than the other. 

Taste

Apple pie is made of apple filling and double pie crust. The apple filling is made of apples, naturally, sugar, and butter. This ingredient combination makes the apple filling taste sweet, slightly sour, and very buttery. 

Since the grated apple needs to stay covered under a thick sugar layer, it slightly ferments and acquires a particular tangy dimension. It isn’t expressively tangy, but you will be able to smell and taste the tangy notes. 

However, the butteriness of it all rounds up the tang, sweetness, sourness, and zest of the apple filling and binds it into a single unit. The final result is amazing and finger-licking delicious. There’s a reason why apple pie is, well, apple pie because it is an absolute delicacy. 

However, apple pie isn’t only the pie filling and the double crust. Whether you make it yourself or buy it ready-made, the crust has a lot to do with the flavor of the pie. Even though it is just two layers, the bottom and the top layer of crust, it still notes the pie’s completeness. 

Sizzling between the two crusts, the apple pie filling softens and gets creamy and silky. The slightly crispy edges of the crust give an added texture to the entire story and make it extraordinarily delicious. 

Pumpkin pie is also a delicacy but in another way.

Pumpkin goes amazingly well as a dessert, and it is one of the holiday signature dishes.

Apple pie is undoubtedly more playful, but pumpkin pie is slightly more flavourful. 

It is earthy and slightly less sweet than apple pie. While apple pie is zesty and refreshing, pumpkin pie is tamer and gentler.

Because the pumpkin is creamy in itself, and especially since pumpkin pie is made with canned pumpkin, you won’t need to soften it but will need to sweeten it. Therefore, even if you don’t use butter to make it creamy, you will need sugar or another sweetener. 

So, the mix of the sweetness of the sugar and the earthiness of the pumpkin results in an irresistible flavor combination. Also, the pumpkin contains carotenoids, so the flavor is somewhere between a cookie and a carrot. 

The crust does its own thing, absorbing the excess moisture which the pumpkin has, balancing out the flavors, and giving it a different, more pastry-like dimension. While apple pie is double-crusted, pumpkin pie only contains the bottom crust.

Apple Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie

Nutrition 

Considering that pumpkin and apple are fruits, you would think that both pumpkin pie and apple pie are nutritious and healthy. Though they do contain nutritious elements, they aren’t the healthiest choices. 

Therefore, you should refrain from having them too often.

First of all, they both contain sugar in pretty substantial amounts, and they both contain carbs from the crust. Considering that the crusts for apple pie and pumpkin pie are made of white flour, they also contain lots of empty calories, which are calories that turn into fat deposits without giving you anything useful.

Pumpkin pie is slightly less caloric than apple pie, but apple pie contains fewer carbs. [1] Apple pie also has more vitamin C and dietary fiber, while pumpkin pie is richer in protein, potassium, and sodium than apple pie. [2]

Overall, they have a certain amount of nutrients from the apple or pie fillings, respectively. Still, they are baked, meaning that these nutrient amounts also decrease. 

Preparation Difficulty 

Neither Apple nor pumpkin pie is difficult to make. The biggest part of the work is to prepare the fillings, which is a piece of cake. There are many different filling recipes, but they mainly include grated apples and sugar for apple pie, canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree, and sugar for pumpkin pie. 

Most people buy the crusts, so there isn’t much involved there, but making it is also very easy. It may take one or two tries, but you can definitely master the technique very soon.

RELATED: How to Serve Apple Pie: Hot Or Cold? [ + Reheating Tips]

Popularity 

Both pumpkin and apple pie are very beloved and highly desired holiday table additions, so maybe it isn’t as much of a question of how many people love them but when they love them. While apple pie is a hit in the USA, pumpkin pie seems to be slightly less popular there. Nevertheless, it does have a large auditorium. 

Both pies have become signature holiday dishes, making each holiday dinner incomplete without them. 

Appearance and Smell

Before I get into more detail, I must preface this section by saying that apple and pumpkin pie smell and look divine. Both are round, rustic, and very, very delicious-looking. 

However, if I am going to nitpick, I would say that apple pie is slightly more appealing than pumpkin pie. Still, the light-colored crust, combined with the slightly greenish apple filling peeping from under the dough, does have a certain charm. But, again, that may be just my personal taste. 

Served with a ball of ice cream or a scoop of cream, apple pie is certainly a lady among the pies. 

Pumpkin pie is more rustic-looking with a certain ruggedness about it. Maybe it is because it is dark orange, almost brown, and there is little contrast between the crust and filling. Nevertheless, it is quite attractive, with its visible creaminess and thickness of the slices. 

Apple Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie

Apple pie smells fruitier and sweeter but is slightly more discrete than pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie, however, has a more overwhelming and overpowering smell. The earthiness of the pumpkin is the most noticeable aroma note. 

Nevertheless, pumpkin pie, too, smells heavenly and very inviting. 

RELATED: Pumpkin Pie Hot or Cold: Should You Reheat It?

Apple Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie: Which One to Make for Thanksgiving?

This is a tough question, especially since apple and pumpkin pie are inseparable elements of the Thanksgiving table. Choosing one would depend on your style, preference, and guests. 

However, I am more inclined toward pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, as it is more fitting due to the standard Thanksgiving table décor. Pumpkins are the main decorative element of the Thanksgiving setting, so a pumpkin pie makes more sense here. 

Still, if apple pie is what you want for Thanksgiving, go for it, as it isn’t any less appropriate than pumpkin pie. 

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!