Classic Kahlua Pecan Pie

by Anne Papina on November 25, 2012

Classic Kahlua Pecan Pie

Have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head to the point of distraction? I really just wanted to get into the spirit of things while prepping our Thanksgiving meal, which included this luscious Kahlua Pecan Pie, and now the Andrews Sisters’ Merry Christmas Polka is swirling around in my noggin like a broken record. Apparently there’s no off button for that. Fortunately this recipe is “easy as pie” and required little concentration on my part. Funny enough, the origin of that phrase is “easy as eating pie” — but I think most would agree pies are pretty easy to make as well, especially if you start with a pre-made crust!

According to the Oxford Companion to Food, the pecan, a member of the hickory tree family, is the most important native nut of North America, and its native habitat is the central southern region of the US. The name pecan comes from the Algonquin Indian word paccan, which denoted hickories, including pecans. In fact, the Algonquins used pecans to make a concoction called “hickory milk” which consisted of crushed pecans and boiling water, which was then strained and used in recipes as a thickener and/or a seasoning.

How the pecan found its way into a pie is a whole ‘nother muddled story. Mostly the Louisiana French lay claim to this pie, but there’s some suggestion that the Texas Germans (recreating nusstorte) were the first to make it, where recipes were in print as early as 1886. But the pecan pie didn’t make it to the mainstream until the wife of a corporate sales exec at Karo created the popular Karo Syrup version in the 1930s. By the 1940s, the pie started appearing in cookbooks such as the The Fannie Farmer Cookbook and the Joy of Cooking, and today it ranks as one of the most popular pies in the States.

It seems unnecessary to monkey with perfection, but in 1986, Kahlua did just that when the marketing folks conjured up a recipe book devoted to this syrupy coffee flavored liqueur. It was in that book that the Kahlua Pecan Pie made its first appearance. When I contacted Kahlua a few months ago about reprinting this recipe, I was surprised to learn that most of the recipes had been lost when the company was sold, including this one.

Oh well. I still have my Kahlua Recipe Book, and below is the unaltered version of this classic dessert.  It really is easy as pie to make. 🙂

kahlua pecan pie ingredients

You know the drill–first, gather up everything you need so it’s handy.

easy as pie crust

The original recipe just calls for using your favorite pie crust.  As a shortcut, I tried Trader Joe’s frozen pie crust. Somehow, once thawed, it fell to pieces as I unraveled it, and I’m not sure why. I ended up having to re-roll the pastry saving virtually no time at all!  Anyway, line your pie plate with the crust and crimp the edge as desired. Set this aside in the fridge.

creamed ingredients

Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and flour, then add the eggs one at a time.

kahlua pie ingredients

Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Kahlua Pecan Pie

Pour into the pie shell. Truth be told, I did alter the recipe slightly to add more pecans for decoration. I reduced the nuts within the mixture to 3/4 cup, and used almost that much to make the decorative top.  Feel free to stick with the original plan, though, as the pie will turn out equally gorgeous.

Classic Kahlua Pecan Pie

Bake for 10 minutes at 400F, then reduce the oven to 325F, and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Chill before serving.

Classic Kahlua Pecan Pie

This is where I’d normally serve up a nice fat slice with a dollop of brandied whipped cream to feast your eyes upon; however, this pie was our Thanksgiving dessert, so I didn’t cut into it until much later.

Here’s the recipe card for your files:

5.0 from 1 reviews
Classic Kahlua Pecan Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The classic Kahlua Pecan Pie takes this traditional dessert to the next level.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8-10
  • Pastry crust
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup Kahlua
  • ½ cup dark corn syrup
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup whole or chopped pecans
  • Optional: Whipped cream and pecan halves.
  1. Line 9 in. pie pan with your favorite pastry recipe; chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Cream together: butter, sugar, vanilla, flour. Mix well.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Stir in Kahlua, corn syrup, evaporated milk, pecans
  6. Mix well, pour into pie pan.
  7. Bake for 10 min.
  8. Then reduce heat to 325F and bake until firm (about 40 min).
  9. Chill. Garnish if desired. Serves 8-10.


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Dara November 27, 2012 at 8:14 am

Kahlua? In a pie? Sign me up this looks fabulous.


Anne Papina November 27, 2012 at 9:29 am

Thanks for stopping by! Pecan pie definitely one of my favorite desserts, and this boozy version is always a hit!


Soni November 27, 2012 at 9:41 am

Ooh Kahlua sounds great in a Pie!!Love how you reconstructed the crust and arranged the pecans!!Looks gorgeous 🙂


Anne Papina November 27, 2012 at 10:01 am

Thanks! You have NO idea how annoyed I was when that crust crumbled!


Chelle November 28, 2012 at 3:39 am



Maureen Baum December 19, 2013 at 8:14 am

I purchased my Kahlua Recipe Book back in 1987. I lost this pamphlet cook book last year and I need the recipe for the Kahlua Mousse. I’ve made this mousse for many years and no other recipe comes close. Can you please send me the page from the booklet that has this recipe? Thank you so much. Maureen 🙂


Anne Papina December 19, 2013 at 8:28 am

No problem! I’m not home right now, but I can email it to you tomorrow evening!


Brian November 3, 2018 at 7:26 pm

I would like the mousse recipie too


Brenda April 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm

I use almond milk instead of evaporated, and Amaretto instead of corn syrup.
tiny pieces–it’s like eating a shooter!


Alice December 29, 2019 at 2:38 pm

This has been a family tradition for Thanksgiving every year since 1986. Loved by all, even the tee-totalers in the group. You get the flavor without the alcohol. I did try with non-alcoholic kahlua syrup but the taste and texture wasn’t the same.


Anne Papina January 1, 2020 at 9:38 am

I didn’t know about the syrup, so thanks for the tip! It’s definitely one of my family’s favorites!


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