Derby Day Dessert: Mini Bourbon Pecan Pies


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Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shares her recipe for mini pecan pies on Diary of a Debutante

Pecan pie really is southern baking at its finest. I don’t make it often (mostly because I’ll eat it all myself), but when I do, it’s always such a huge hit. I decided it’d be fun to switch it up and bake a dozen mini pecan pies for my Kentucky Derby party, and I had to share the recipe with y’all. It’s so tasty and practically impossible to mess up! Also, the added bourbon gives the mini pecan pies a unique kick of vanilla and caramel. Keep reading for my mini bourbon pecan pie recipe, plus a handful of tips for making mini pies in a muffin tin!

Mini Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe

Mini bourbon pecan pie recipe by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

Because of the added bourbon whiskey, these mini pecan pies are practically tailor-made for Derby Day. If you’re making them for another holiday– or if you don’t like the taste of bourbon, you can leave it out entirely for a more traditional taste. 

Mini Pecan Pie Ingredients

Here’s everything you’ll need to make a batch of twelve mini pecan pies– 

  • 3 pie crusts– Doesn’t matter if they’re homemade or store-bought; you need about three standard pie crusts worth of dough. I buy Pillsbury Pie Crusts, which comes with two, and always get an extra box in case I want to do fun pie crust designs (and also in case I mess up, which happens often with baking). 
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans- If you only have whole pecans, put them in a Ziploc bag and crush them up with a rolling pin or can. Works like a charm!
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup 
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey– If you aren’t a fan of bourbon, leave it out for a more traditional taste. 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

In order to make mini pies, you’ll also need a muffin tin, biscuit cutter, baking spray, and (optional) a rope fondant mold or two. 

How to Make Mini Bourbon Pecan Pies

To start, preheat the oven to 375F. Combine the eggs, pecans, light brown sugar, corn syrups, butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and mix until well blended.

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shows step one of how to make easy mini pecan pies on Diary of a Debutante

Next, spray an entire muffin tin, including both the inner and outer cavities, with baking spray. I use avocado oil, but any baking or cooking spray will do.

Roll out your pie crust(s) on a lightly floured surface. Use a four-inch biscuit cutter to cut out circles of dough and gently press into each open muffin cavity, making sure to fit the cavity as snugly as possible to avoid creating any air pockets. If you feel like your dough is too thin, cut out a smaller circle to reinforce the bottom. For reference, it should take you two full pie crusts to fill all twelve muffin cavities.

Mini bourbon pecan pies tutorial by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

You should have quite a bit of dough leftover– roughly two full rolls, which you’ll use to create your decorative mini pie crusts. I have really shaky hands, and the idea of hand-braiding my own pretty little pie crusts isn’t exactly realistic. So, I use a rope fondant mold instead! It’s super easy to use and gives me perfect little crusts every time!

Once you’ve made your mini pie crusts, gently press the tops and bottoms together until there are no gaps. If you do have gaps, the pie filling will ooze out onto the pan. If it happens, it’s totally fine– your mini pecan pies will still taste delicious. They just may not be particularly pretty.

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shows how to make mini pies in a muffin tin on Diary of a DebutanteBlogger Stephanie Ziajka shows how to make mini pecan pies in muffin tins on Diary of a Debutante

Next, fill each cavity about 4/5th’s of the way full with bourbon pecan pie filling. 

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shows how to make the best mini pecan pies on Diary of a Debutante Tutorial for how to make mini pecan pies by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

Finally, bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown with bubbling filling. Remove the mini pecan pies from the oven and wait for them to cool completely before attempting to remove them– about thirty minutes. Once they’ve cooled, use a small pairing knife to gently cut around and remove each pie.

Southern pecan pie recipe with bourbon by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

These mini pecans pies are definitely best when they’re warm, so serve them immediately, preferably with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream! If you’re making them ahead of time, you can also reheat them at 250F for about fifteen minutes in the oven for that same just-baked feeling. They’re just as tasty!

Mini pecan pie recipe by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

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Mini Bourbon Pecan Pies

Made with bourbon and baked in a muffin tin, these mini bourbon pecan pies are a delicious twist on the traditional southern classic. Serve them warm and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

  • Author: Stephanie Ziajka
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 mini pies 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 pie crusts
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375F. Combine the eggs, pecans, light brown sugar, corn syrups, butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and mix until well blended.

Spray an entire muffin tin, including both the inner and outer cavities, with baking spray. Roll out your pie crust(s) on a lightly floured surface. Use a four-inch biscuit cutter to cut out circles of dough and gently press into each open muffin cavity, making sure to fit the cavity as snugly as possible to avoid creating any air pockets.

Use the leftover dough to make your mini pie crusts and gently press the crusts together until there are no gaps. Fill each cavity about 4/5th’s of the way full with bourbon pecan pie filling. 

Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown with bubbling filling. Remove the mini pecan pies from the oven and wait for them to cool completely. Use a small pairing knife to gently cut around and remove each pie from the cupcake tin. 

Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

I use a rope fondant mold to create my mini pie crusts. It’s super easy to use and gives me perfect little crusts every time!

If you’re prepping these mini pies ahead of time, you can also reheat them at 250F for about 15 minutes in the oven for that same just-baked feeling.

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More Mini Pies to Try

If you love these little mini pies (they’re seriously the perfect size!) and want to try some other flavors, here are a few recipes I think you’ll enjoy just as much–

  • Mini Peach Pies– I know pecan pie isn’t for everyone, so if you want another mini pie option for Derby Day, these mini peach pies are perfect! These are also best served warm with a side of ice cream– and you can use any leftover pie filling as a compote! 
  • Mini Strawberry Pies– Created as the perfect Memorial Day, Labor Day, and/or 4th of July dessert, these mini strawberry pies are super easy to make and filled with a simple homemade strawberry pie filling!
  • Mini Blueberry Pies– A personal favorite of mine, these mini blueberry pies are easy enough for even the most untrained bakers! Baked in a muffin tin and filled with a simple homemade blueberry pie filling, these are a must-try (mini) summer dessert!

 
For more of my favorite Derby Day appetizers and desserts, check out this year’s Kentucky Derby party spread! Also, if you made these mini pecan pies at home, I’d love to know your thoughts! Also, as always, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any trouble with this recipe or any of my others! I love hearing from you guys, and I’m happy to help!

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