Here’s your perfect vegan pumpkin pie recipe! This plant based spin is (dare we say it) even more delicious than the original.
What makes this pie incredible? Let us count the ways. Pumpkin pie has always been a favorite of mine: and of course, my grandma’s pie is the absolute best. So when we whipped up this Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe, Alex and I weren’t expecting to love it more than the original. But this vegan pie is so full of pumpkin-spiced sweetness and the flavors are so delightfully elevated, no one will guess it’s plant-based! We’re solidly in camp vegan pumpkin pie, so much so that we’ll be making this recipe for years to come. Here are all our secrets!
What makes this the best vegan pumpkin pie?
Oddly enough, coconut milk does wonders in a vegan pumpkin pie. Something about the light fruitiness of the milk goes hand in hand with bright orange pumpkin! There’s no need for evaporated milk, which is what’s used in a standard pumpkin pie. We’re happy to kick it to the curb for a more whole food plant based option! Here’s what you need for the filling of a killer vegan pumpkin pie:
- Pumpkin puree: Don’t use pumpkin pie filling: it’s pre-flavored! You’ll want the blank slate of a plain puree
- Full fat coconut milk: The richness of a full-fat milk is absolutely necessary here; don’t substitute light coconut milk
- Vanilla extract
- Light brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- Kosher salt
- Pumpkin pie spice blend
All you have to do is mix all of the ingredients above in a blender, then pour it into the crust and bake. The filling comes out creamy and beautifully flavorful: like a larger than life version of your grandma’s pie! Does it taste like coconut? Not really! It’s difficult to even detect a coconut flavor: you mainly just taste silky, pumpkin-spiced goodness.
Making the vegan pie crust: a few tips!
The part of a vegan pumpkin pie with the most technique is the pie crust! We have a whole separate article about Vegan Pie Crust with all of our tips and tricks. But here’s a brief overview of the process you’ll follow:
- You can us either coconut oil or vegan butter. Both of these plant-based butter substitutes yield excellent results. You might wonder whether the flavor is too heavy on the coconut when using coconut oil. But if you use refined coconut oil, you can barely detect that flavor.
- Chill for 30 minutes while making the filling. Chilling the pie crust dough makes it easier to work with, no matter which butter substitute you’re using.
- Roll it out in an even circle: a pastry cloth can be helpful. It’s not required, but a pastry cloth is helpful for rolling out the pie crust because it helps to reduce sticking.
- Use a standard 9-inch pie plate: not deep dish! This vegan pumpkin pie recipe is for a standard pie: not deep dish! You won’t have enough filling for a deep dish plate.
How to make a pie crust shield
For this vegan pumpkin pie recipe, you’ll need to use a pie crust shield. What is it? A pie crust shield is a shield that prevents pie crust from burning in the oven. It covers just the crust, so it allows the filling to bake as normal. Here’s what to know about using a pie crust shield:
- It’s easy to make a pie crust shield with aluminum foil! All you have to do is cut a hole in the center of a large sheet of foil that’s the diameter of your pie plate. The foil will rest on the crust but let the pie filling be uncovered. Here’s a video with instructions for more details. (We just used a knife to cut the right sized hole in our foil.)
- You can also buy a metal pie crust shield. If you bake a lot, you might already have one! Here’s a link to buy a pie crust shield online.
Pumpkin pie spices: use storebought or homemade
The easiest way to season the filling for this vegan pumpkin pie is using store-bought pumpkin pie spices! But did you know you can also make them at home? If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice but have a stocked spice collection, it’s easy to make. Here are the spices you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Add these together and it makes 1/4 cup pumpkin pie spice! Store it in a sealed jar and it lasts for up to 1 year, though of course it’s best at its freshest.
Topping for vegan pumpkin pie
What’s the best topping for vegan pumpkin pie? Most people are used to a dollop of whipped cream: which certainly makes the entire experience complete. This pie is actually very delicious without whipped cream. But if you’d like the full experience, here’s what to do:
- Make a batch of vegan whipped cream. This Vegan Whipped Cream recipe is light and fluffy, made with…you guessed it, coconut milk!
- Consider using vegan butter for the crust. If you’re planning to top with vegan whipped cream and you’re worried about too much coconut flavor, consider using vegan butter in the crust. Personally we don’t mind the extra fruity finish of the coconut flavor in this dessert, but it’s an option for mixing up the flavor.
More vegan Thanksgiving recipes
This vegan pumpkin pie is the crown jewel in our list of vegan Thanksgiving recipes! Here are some more favorites for the holiday:
- Make up a delicious batch of Vegan Stuffing
- Try a cozy savory Vegan Pot Pie or Vegan Shepherd’s Pie as a main dish
- Mash up fluffy, dreamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes
- Top it all off with a savory Easy Vegan Gravy
- Need side dishes? Try Roasted Green Beans, Sauteed Green Beans, Roasted Apples & Cauliflower, Roasted Butternut Squash or Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
This vegan pumpkin pie recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based.Print
Here’s your perfect vegan pumpkin pie recipe! This plant based spin on the standard is (dare we say it) even more delicious than the original.
- 1 Vegan Pie Crust
- 2 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling; you’ll need 2 15-ounce cans)
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice blend (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- For serving: vegan whipped cream
- Make the Vegan Pie Crust Step 1 and 2, then refrigerate it while you make the filling.
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, vanilla, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, and kosher salt in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Make a pie crust shield using aluminum foil: cut a hole in the center of a large square of aluminum foil that’s the diameter of your pie plate. The foil will rest on the crust but let the pie filling be uncovered. (It will look like this.)
- Roll out the pie crust and add it to a standard pie plate (not deep dish), following the instructions in Vegan Pie Crust.
- Pour the filling into the pie crust. Fill it all the way to the rim, but don’t overfill the pie plate: you’ll have about 1/4 cup leftover that you can discard (or taste!).
- Bake the pie for 55 minutes total until set, adding the foil shield for the crust at the 30 minute mark. Cool 1 hour on counter, then refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Pie
Keywords: Vegan pumpkin pie, vegan pumpkin pie recipe
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.