The Ingredient Swap That Will Majorly Upgrade Your Pumpkin Pie

No matter the time of year, it's never too early to start cooking up some of fall's classic flavors. Starbucks even launched its pumpkin spice latte and fall flavor collection on August 30 (per Reddit). There's no shame when it comes to saying goodbye to summer's hot, sweltering days and welcoming the fresh scents of fall and everything pumpkin.

And what would fall be without pumpkin pie? According to the American Pie Council, approximately 186 million pumpkin pies are sold in grocery stores each year. Sure, buying a pre-made pumpkin pie has its pros, but it also has a lot of cons, such as lack of customization and added preservatives. It's easy to make a pumpkin pie recipe with only five ingredients. And while you can't go wrong with keeping up with the classic recipe, there's something to be said when you swap in an ingredient and it takes the dish to a whole new level. 

For plant-based eaters and vegans, it might be adding tofu to pumpkin pie. For others, it might be making sure to use the best canned pumpkin to get that creamy and light consistency. There's also a great ingredient swap to upgrade your pumpkin pie, but you may be surprised by what it is.

Why you should add cocoa powder to the pie dough

According to Salon, adding cocoa powder to your pie dough is a perfect way to transform the traditional pie into a chocolatey fall dessert. The best part? You can add cocoa powder to pretty much any homemade pie crust recipe

Simply subtract a little flour and swap in cocoa powder, Salon suggests. You can add extra sugar to help contrast the bitterness of the cocoa to make it sweeter, too. Feel free to splash a little more water on the dough to make it easier to roll out. 

A huge benefit of making your own pumpkin pie is deciding what you put into it and the endless customization. (After all, you'll probably never find a store-bought pumpkin pie with a chocolate crust.) Surprise your family and friends with a cocoa-flavored pie crust, and you'll definitely win any future pie-making competitions.