Easy Vegan Shortcrust Pastry (Vegan Pâte Sucrée)

This vegan shortcrust pastry (vegan pâte sucrée) is incredibly easy to make, with the most delicious results. Once baked, it gives a perfectly crisp and buttery tart shell suitable for all sorts of sweet vegan tarts. The pastry dough is super easy to work with and best of all, you don’t need any egg replacements to make it. Plus, you couldn’t possibly guess that it’s vegan!

Overhead view of vegan shortcrust pastry crust that has been docked evenly with a fork.

Today’s offering is a super simple recipe that’s absolutely central to dessert making: shortcrust pastry – the vegan edition.

Shortcrust pastry is a sweet pastry dough suitable for all kinds of sweet tarts, and it’s very similar to the French pastry known as pâte sucrée. You can think of it as a slightly sturdier shortbread-like dough that’s used to line tart tins and moulds.

The vegan version of this pastry classic is incredibly easy to make – and you couldn’t possibly guess that it’s vegan!

It’s super delicious, perfectly crisp and buttery. Even rolled quite thinly, it’s sturdy enough to hold any fillings (be that for a cream or a fruit tart, for a chocolate ganache tart or for a tart with a baked filling, like my Vegan Bakewell Tart) while also being just crumbly enough to be a pleasure to eat.

Like most of my vegan recipes, this one doesn’t require any egg replacements – no chia or flax eggs or any other egg substitutes. Instead, you need only your usual pantry staples and you’re good to go.

Below, I’ve included all the details and step-by-step photos you’ll need to master this vegan shortcrust pastry, along with plenty of tips for blind baking it. It’s really an incredibly easy, no-fuss kind of recipe and it will open the doors to all sorts of delicious vegan tarts.

Blind baked vegan shortcrust pastry on a white surface.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this wonderful shortcrust pastry – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

How to make THE BEST vegan shortcrust pastry

Making the perfect vegan shortcrust pastry is actually incredibly simple. You don’t need any unusual ingredients, just your standard pantry staples. You also don’t need any special equipment (like a stand mixer or a food processor), the pastry is easily made by hand in no time whatsoever.

And you also don’t need any egg replacements! Like most of my vegan recipes, this recipe doesn’t call for chia or flax eggs or any other egg substitutes – they’re simply not necessary.

The recipe below makes enough pastry for a single 9 inch (23cm) tart or for three 6 inch (15cm) smaller tartlets. It’s also very easy to scale up or down depending on your requirements, just multiply (or divide) all the ingredient quantities by the same factor.

The ingredients

You need just 5 ingredients to make vegan shortcrust pastry:

  • plain all-purpose flour
  • almond flour (or ground almonds, just make sure that they’re finely ground)
  • powdered/icing sugar
  • cold vegan butter alternative (I used the Stork butter block)
  • cold water

Don’t be tempted to omit the almond flour, as it prevents the pastry from being too tough and hard once baked. The ratio of almond flour to all-purpose flour here is perfectly optimised to give a tart shell that’s study enough to hold any fillings, while also crumbly and delicate enough to be a joy to eat.

The ingredients required to make vegan shortcrust pastry.

Making the vegan shortcrust pastry

To make the vegan shortcrust pastry:

  1. Combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour
  2. and powdered/icing sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Give them a good whisk to combine.
  4. Add the cold vegan butter.
  5. Using your fingertips, work the vegan butter into the dry ingredients until you get a mixture resembling breadcrumbs.
  6. Add the cold water,
  7. and use a fork to mix it into the dry ingredients.
  8. Once the dough starts clumping together,
  9. give it a quick knead
  10. until it comes together in a smooth ball. Don’t overwork the dough, as that will result in gluten development and a tough final pastry.

The first 6 steps of the 10-step process of making vegan shortcrust pastry.

The last 4 steps of the 10-step process of making vegan shortcrust pastry.

Rolling the vegan shortcrust pastry and lining the tart tin

The great thing about this vegan pastry is that you don’t need to refrigerate it after making it – you can go right ahead and roll it out. It’s not too sticky or too delicate. Instead, it’s a joy to handle and you can roll it out quite thinly so that the final, baked tart shell is wonderfully crisp and elegant.

To make a single 9 inch (23cm) tart shell:

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry until it’s about 3mm thin. Try to keep it as round as possible.
  2. Make sure that the pastry is at least 1 to 1 ½ inches (2.5-4cm) larger than the tin diameter to account for the tin sides.
  3. Roll the pastry onto the rolling pin – this makes it easy to transfer it into the tart tin.
  4. Transfer the pastry into the tart tin.
  5. Make sure that it’s snug against the sides and bottom of the tart tin.
  6. To cut away the excess pastry, roll the rolling pin across the top of the tart tin. Alternatively, you can use a sharp knife to cut away the excess.
  7. For a nicer finish to the final tart shell, press the pastry into the grooves of the fluted edge of the tart tin.
  8. And then, chill the pastry in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes. This will firm up the pastry, which will prevent shrinking in the oven and it also makes it easier to line the pastry with baking/parchment paper in the next blind baking step.

The first 4 steps of the 8-step process of assembling the vegan tart shell.

The last 4 steps of the 8-step process of assembling the vegan tart shell.

Blind baking the vegan pastry

The exact process of blind baking the vegan shortcrust pastry depends on whether the tart filling needs to baked or not.

If the tart filling needs to be baked (like in the Vegan Bakewell Tart recipe), then you need to blind bake the pastry until light golden brown. It should be baked through but not caramelised – the browning and the caramelisation will happen as the tart shell bakes for the second time, after you’ve added the filling.

If the tart filling doesn’t need to be baked, then you need to blind bake the pastry all the way to a deep golden brown. It should be crisp and fully baked through and perfectly caramelised.

Overhead view of blind baked vegan shortcrust pastry.

In both of those instances, the vegan shortcrust pastry should be blind baked on the middle oven rack at 350ºF (180ºC). I like to pre-heat the oven with a baking sheet inside and then place the tart onto the hot baking sheet – this starts the bottom of the pastry shell baking straight away and prevents a soggy bottom.

Note that if your filling needs to be baked and also needs a very long time in the oven, then you probably won’t need to blind bake the pastry. Usually, a recipe will specify whether or not you need to blind bake your pastry and to what extent, so make sure to follow those instructions.

The step-by-step process below shows the scenario where the vegan shortcrust pastry is fully baked through, all the way to deep golden brown perfection.

To blind bake vegan shortcrust pastry:

  1. Dock your chilled pastry shell all over the bottom with a fork.
  2. Scrunch up a piece of baking/parchment paper and then straighten it out (this softens it) and then use it to line the pastry shell.
  3. Fill the pastry shell to the brim with either pie weights or just good ol’ rice.
  4. And then bake! After about 15 minutes in the oven, remove the pie weights/rice and baking/parchment paper and return it to the oven. Bake it uncovered for a further 10-15 minutes, until it’s deep golden brown, and it feels and looks crisp to the touch. That’s it! Once the tart shell is completely cooled, it’s ready to be filled with whatever deliciousness you desire.

The 4-step process of blind baking vegan shortcrust pastry.

Top tips for vegan shortcrust pastry perfection

  • Add almond flour to prevent the pastry from being too hard. When I started developing this recipe, I made the pastry with only all-purpose flour. The resulting pastry was tasty but also slightly too hard. Adding almond flour makes it more tender – it’s still sturdy enough to fill with whatever fillings you desire, but it’s also delicate and crumbly enough to be a joy to eat.
  • Don’t over-work the dough. Over-working (that is, over-kneading) the dough results in gluten development and that, in turn, will make your pastry tough once baked.
  • Make sure to roll the pastry thinly. For the best possible texture in your final dessert, roll the pastry to about 3mm thick. This will give you an elegant-looking dessert and also the perfect pastry shell texture.
  • Use a metal tart tin with a loose bottom. In my experience, metal tart tins give the best, most even bake. A loose bottom ensures that the final tart is easily removed from the tin. Note that you don’t have to grease the tin before placing in the pastry.
  • Chill the pastry before blind baking. This serves two purposes: firstly, the firmed-up pastry is easier to line with baking/parchment paper and secondly, a chilled pastry won’t shrink during blind baking.
  • Blind bake the pastry. As outlined above, it’s important to blind bake your pastry if you don’t have to bake the filling, if the baking time of the filling isn’t sufficient to give a fully baked-through pastry, or if the filling is particularly wet and might result in a soggy tart bottom.
  • To prevent a soggy bottom, bake the tart on a pre-heated baking sheet. This starts the bottom of the tart shell baking straight away and ensures a nice, crisp, caramelised tart base.

And that’s all you need to know in order to make the perfect vegan shortcrust pastry. Honestly, it’s an incredibly easy recipe that really can’t go wrong.

You can use this simple vegan pastry in all sorts of desserts with all sorts of fillings – there’s simply no limit to the variety of vegan tarts you can make with it. You could even go a step further and replace part of the all-purpose flour in the recipe with Dutch processed cocoa powder for a chocolatey twist!

Above all: have fun. I hope you’ll love this recipe as much as I do.

Happy baking!

Signature of the author, Kat.

Overhead view of vegan shortcrust pastry crust that has been docked evenly with a fork.

If you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Easy Vegan Shortcrust Pastry (Vegan Pâte Sucrée)

This vegan shortcrust pastry is incredibly easy to make, with the most delicious results. Once baked, it gives a perfectly crisp and buttery tart shell suitable for all sorts of sweet vegan tarts. The pastry dough is super easy to work with and best of all, you don’t need any egg replacements to make it. Plus, you couldn’t possibly guess that it’s vegan!

This recipe makes enough pastry for one 9 inch (23cm) tart or three smaller 6 inch (15cm) tarts.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Dairy Free, Vegan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 batch

Ingredients

For vegan shortcrust pastry:

  • 150 g (1 ¼ cups) plain all-purpose flour
  • 50 g (½ cup) almond flour
  • 40 g (⅓ cup) powdered/icing sugar
  • 90 g (¾ stick + ½ tbsp) vegan butter alternative, cubed and chilled (I used the Stork butter block.)
  • 20 g (4 tsp) cold water

Instructions

For vegan shortcrust pastry:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour and powdered/icing sugar.

  2. Add the cold vegan butter and work it into the dry ingredients until you get a mixture resembling breadcrumbs.

  3. Add the cold water and mix well until the dough starts coming together.

    Tip: The amount of water listed in the recipe should be sufficient to hydrate the flour and bring the dough together without any patches of dry flour. If the dough is too dry with several patches of dry flour, sprinkle a small amount of extra cold water on those places until you get a homogeneous, evenly hydrated dough.

  4. Give the dough a quick knead and bring it together in a ball. Don’t over-work it, as that will result in gluten development and a tough pastry. The final dough should be smooth and homogeneous. It shouldn't be sticky to the touch and it shouldn't be too soft – you should be able to handle and roll it out without any problems.

  5. Roll out the pastry and use as instructed in your chosen tart recipe immediately, or store it in the fridge, wrapped tightly in cling film, until needed.

Rolling out (9 inch/23cm tart):

  1. Get a 9 inch (23cm) loose bottom tart tin with a fluted edge ready to have on hand.

  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a rough circle about 3mm thin and at least 1-1 ½ inch (2.5-4cm) larger than the tart tin diameter.

  3. Transfer the rolled-out pastry into the tart tin and make sure that the pastry is snug against the bottom and the sides of the tin. Roll the rolling pin gently across the top of the tart tin – this is the easiest way to cut away any excess pastry. (Alternatively, you can use a sharp knife to cut away the excess pastry.)

  4. Gently press the pastry into the individual grooves of the fluted edge of the tart tin, for a more polished final look.

  5. Chill in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes.

Partially blind baking the pastry:

  1. Note: You should partially blind bake the pastry if your tart filling needs to be baked but the baking time of the filling isn’t sufficient to give a fully baked-through pastry, or if the filling is particularly wet and might result in a soggy tart bottom.

  2. While the pastry is chilling, place a baking sheet on the middle oven rack and pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) with the baking sheet inside.

  3. Once chilled, dock the bottom of the tart shell evenly with a fork.

  4. Scrunch up a large piece of baking/parchment paper to soften it up, then use it to line the inside of the tart shell. Fill the lined tart shell to the brim with pie weights or rice.

  5. Place the tart on the hot baking sheet and bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 15 minutes or until you can see the edges of the tart shell becoming very light golden.

    Then, remove the pie weights/rice and the baking/parchment paper, and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until the tart shell is evenly light golden brown, with slightly darker edges.

  6. Remove from the oven and allow the tart shell to cool (in the tart tin) until warm or completely at room temperature, before filling it and baking it for a second time.

Fully blind baking the pastry:

  1. Note: You should fully blind bake the pastry if you don’t have to bake the tart filling (for instance, if you're filling the tart shell with chocolate ganache or pastry cream).

  2. While the pastry is chilling, place a baking sheet on the middle oven rack and pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) with the baking sheet inside.

  3. Once chilled, dock the bottom of the tart shell evenly with a fork.

  4. Scrunch up a large piece of baking/parchment paper to soften it up, then use it to line the inside of the tart shell. Fill the lined tart shell to the brim with pie weights or rice.

  5. Place the tart on the hot baking sheet and bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 15 minutes or until you can see the edges of the tart shell becoming very light golden.

    Then, remove the pie weights/rice and the baking/parchment paper, and bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until the tart shell is evenly deep golden brown, and it feels and looks crisp to the touch. 

  6. Remove from the oven and allow the tart shell to cool (in the tart tin) completely to room temperature, before filling it with your filling of choice.

Storage:

  1. The raw pastry keeps well in the fridge, wrapped tightly in cling film, for about 3-4 days. If the pastry is very firm straight out of the fridge, allow it to warm up slightly at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes or until it becomes pliable before rolling it out.

    The fully blind baked pastry keeps well in a closed container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

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