Dive into the unique charm of Luby’s Butternut Brownie Pie! While it may not have conventional brownie elements, this pie stands out with its ethereal meringue filled with crunchy graham cracker pieces and pecans. Baked to perfection and crowned with a lavish layer of whipped cream, every slice promises a delightful crunch and melt-in-the-mouth experience. A sprinkle of pecans on top seals the deal.
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Luby’s Butternut Brownie Pie
Texans and visitors to the Lone Star State both know the many culinary delights of Luby’s, the iconic, cafeteria-style chain known for its chicken fried steak, roast chicken, meatloaf, and many sides. Diners grab a tray and work their way through the familiar line, grabbing items as they go.
And there’s no better way to cap off your meal than with a slice of Luby’s pies, which range from familiar apple and cherry to unique creations like Luby’s butternut brownie pie.
It’s important to note that, despite its name, butternut brownie pie uses neither butter nor cocoa to create its one-of-a-kind flavor. It’s perhaps better thought of as a pecan meringue pie, but it remains just as delicious no matter what you call it.
Why This is the Best Recipe for Butternut Brownie Pie
For its combination of simplicity, incredible texture, and delightful flavor, there’s no better recipe for this Luby’s classic. It’s lighter than many desserts due to the airiness of its whipped filling but still offers sweet, complex flavors and a cool, refreshing sensation.
Plus, it requires just ten minutes of prep time and may not even require a trip to the grocery store for ingredients.
Luby’s butternut brownie pie comes together from a mix of everyday pantry items supplemented by a few flavor-packed extras.
- Egg whites
- Baking powder
- Cream of tartar (a stabilizer for egg whites and leavening agent)
- Granulated sugar
- Graham cracker squares
- Pecan pieces
- Whipping cream
- Vanilla extract
The pecans should be divided between larger pieces for the filling and smaller, chopped pieces for the topping. Graham crackers should be broken into half-inch pieces.
The bulk of this butternut brownie pie filling is whipped egg whites, which are an issue for vegans or anyone avoiding eggs for allergy reasons. While it may not fully recreate the fluffy texture, some swap out the egg whites for aquafaba, the liquid in a can of cooked chickpeas, which can be whipped in similar ways.
Vegans or the dairy-sensitive can similarly replace the whipping cream with store-bought vegan alternatives, while those avoiding gluten can generally use gluten-free graham crackers without altering the result.
From both a flavor and allergy perspective, the pecans can also be swapped out with many other nuts like walnuts.
How to Make Luby’s Butternut Brownie Pie
You may be surprised how easily this pie comes together compared to how much flavor it produces.
- After preheating the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and greasing a 9-inch pie pan, start by whipping the egg whites with the baking powder until soft peaks form.
- Mix in the cream of tartar to stabilize the filling, continuing to beat it as you go.
- Add a tablespoon of sugar at a time until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold in the pecan pieces and graham crackers.
- Spread this filling in the pie dish.
- Bake it for half an hour, periodically checking for doneness with a toothpick.
- While the pie is cooling, make the topping by beating the cream with chilled beaters in a chilled bowl with sugar and vanilla until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Spread this on top of the pie, and finish it off with a sprinkling of chopped pecans.
- All that’s left is to refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
Beyond the substitutions mentioned above, home cooks can tweak the iconic Luby’s recipe to their liking in many different ways:
- Chocolate lovers can mix in a bit of cocoa powder to make the pie truly live up to its brownie name.
- You can even drizzle some butterscotch or caramel sauce over the top for an added flavor boost.
- An extra decadent version can also be crafted with candied pecans instead of regular ones.
- Those looking to save time can swap out the homemade whipped cream topping for pre-made whipped cream or Cool Whip.
What Goes Well With Luby’s Butternut Brownie Pie
Balance out your cool, sweet, refreshing slice of butternut brownie pie with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. It’s a perfect finale for a homestyle meal or even just an indulgent snack.
Or, double down on your dessert with a scoop of vanilla, chocolate, or other ice cream flavors.
On the flip side, fruit can also complement the pie well, matching the sweetness but introducing a fresh element to your after-dinner delight.
How to Store
Keep any uneaten Luby’s butternut brownie pie covered in the refrigerator. In most cases, it’s best enjoyed within two to three days for textural and food safety reasons.
While it’s technically possible to freeze pies like this one, it’s generally not recommended, once again, due to issues with the texture upon thawing.
More Luby’s Desserts
Favorite Pie Recipes
- Banana Cream Pie
- Black Bottom Pie
- Blueberry Cream Pie
- Buttermilk Pie
- Caramel Pie
- Chocolate Pudding Pie
- Lemon Cream Cheese Pie
- Mock Apple Pie
- Mud Pie
- Toll House Pie
Luby’s Butternut Brownie Pie
- 4 egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 1/4 cups sugar divided use
- 14 graham cracker squares broken into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces divided use
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and baking powder until soft peaks form. Add the cream of tartar, beating constantly. Add 1 cup of sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until stiff peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the graham crackers and 1 cup of pecan pieces.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie plate and bake for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
- In a small, chilled bowl, using chilled beaters, beat the cream until it just begins to thicken. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat.
- Top the pie with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the remaining pecans. Refrigerate until ready to serve.