How To Make the Best Vegan Pumpkin Pie

updated Oct 27, 2020
christmas
Vegan Pumpkin Pie

This rich and creamy vegan pumpkin pie features an easy homemade coconut oil pie crust and silky-smooth vegan filling.

Serves8

Prep1 hour

Cook30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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A slice of vegan pumpkin pie is put on a plate and topped with coconut yogurt.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

For being an omnivore, I’m pretty expert at vegan Thanksgiving. My husband was vegan for over 10 years, and every year I make an entire second vegan Thanksgiving dinner alongside my regular butter-enriched, roast beef-filled buffet. I always whip up a vegan pumpkin pie, and usually I wing it. But this year, I decided to perfect my recipe, swapping a store-bought crust for a flaky homemade one and mastering the perfect rich and creamy filling. It’s all the goodness of a regular pumpkin pie, but made vegan. Here’s how to do it.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

The Best Homemade Vegan Pie Crust

A couple of things bother me about pre-made pie crusts: They’re usually smaller than a standard pie plate (which means less filling!) and 99 percent of the time the crust cracks before I even take it out of the packaging. But making a vegan pie crust for pumpkin pie is surprisingly easy, and always tastes and feels better than any store-bought crust. 

I’ve found that the best vegan pie crusts are made with unrefined coconut oil because it acts similarly to butter: It firms when cold and melts when warms. Coconut oil warms up much more quickly than butter, however, so you’ll want to start with frozen coconut oil to give you more time to make the dough before it gets too soft. A food processor works the fat into the dough more quickly than you can by hand, but if you don’t have one I recommend a pastry cutter and working quickly so the dough stays cold.

With traditional pie doughs, you usually make the dough, wrap it in plastic, and allow it to rest before rolling it out. But when a coconut oil dough gets too cold, it’s no longer pliable and is more likely to shatter. That’s why here, you’ll roll out the dough immediately, press it into the pie plate, then allow it to rest in the pan before crimping.

To ensure the crust is cooked through and golden when you pull the pie out of the oven, you have to blind bake it first. Bake the pie crust until it’s golden-brown around the edges, then let cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

The Best Vegan Pumpkin Pie Filling

This dairy-free filling couldn’t be easier: All the ingredients are whisked together in a large bowl, then poured into the pre-baked crust. It’s made with pumpkin purée, traditional pumpkin pie spices, maple syrup, vanilla, and a few special ingredients that add richness and depth.

Sweetened condensed coconut milk lends sweetness and a deep creamy texture, while evaporated coconut milk adds richness. These dairy-free ingredients help create a pumpkin pie filling that mimics the traditional version, so you don’t miss out on any of that velvety pumpkin pie texture. Instead of an egg, the filling is bound together with arrowroot powder, which gives this pie its silky mouthfeel. Cornstarch works as well.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Serving Vegan Pumpkin Pie

After pulling it from the oven, let the pie cool to room temperature, then serve immediately or refrigerate until chilled. I like it with a dollop of non-dairy whipping cream and a tall glass of oat milk.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk
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Here's how to make the very best vegan pumpkin pie.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

This rich and creamy vegan pumpkin pie features an easy homemade coconut oil pie crust and silky-smooth vegan filling.

Prep time 1 hour

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1/3 cup

    unrefined coconut oil

  • 1 1/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon

    granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 3-4 tablespoons

    ice water

For the filling:

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans

    pumpkin purée (about 3 cups)

  • 1/2 cup

    sweetened condensed coconut milk

  • 1/3 cup

    evaporated coconut milk

  • 3 tablespoons

    maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons

    arrowroot powder or cornstarch

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cloves

  • Non-dairy whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Food processor

  • 9” standard pie dish (not deep dish)

  • Rolling pin

  • Pie weights or dried beans

  • Mixing bowls

  • Whisk

  • Rubber spatula

Instructions

Make the crust:

  1. Freeze the coconut oil. Freeze 1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil until it is a solid mass, about 45 minutes from fully melted coconut oil.

  2. Mix the dry ingredients and coconut oil. Place 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the cold coconut oil and pulse until the oil is pea-sized or smaller and the mixture resembles coarse wet sand, 12 to 15 pulses.

  3. Add the water. While pulsing, slowly add 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water until the mixture mostly comes together in large clumps. Transfer the dough onto a large sheet of parchment paper. Knead a few times until it comes together in a ball, being careful not to over mix.

  4. Roll out the dough. Roll out the dough into a 12-inch round. If it gets too warm or crumbly, slide the parchment onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for a few minutes before trying again. The coconut oil will firm up, but you still want the dough pliable. Over chilling may cause the dough to break and shatter.

  5. Transfer the crust. Carefully invert the parchment paper onto a 9-inch standard pie plate (not deep dish). Remove the parchment (reserve it) and press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the plate, letting the excess dough hang over the sides. Refrigerate until the crust is firm, about 30 minutes.

  6. Crimp the edges. Crimp the edges of the crust with a fork. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edge with kitchen shears. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF.

  7. Blind bake the crust. Line the pie dough with the reserved parchment paper. Pour dried beans or pie weights into the plate and spread them out evenly. Bake until the edges of the crust are light golden-brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Place the crust on a wire rack and remove the pie weights and parchment. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF and make the filling.

Make the filling and bake the pie:

  1. Make the filling. Place 2 cans pumpkin purée, 1/2 cup sweetened condensed coconut milk, 1/3 cup evaporated coconut milk, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves in a large bowl and whisk until well combined.

  2. Fill the pie and bake. Scrape the filling into the pie plate and smooth out the top. Bake until the center is firm and doesn’t wobble, and the filling has darkened slightly, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or chilled with your favorite non-dairy whipped cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be loosely covered and refrigerated up to 4 days.

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