Home » Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

This vegan pumpkin pie is both super easy to make and incredibly delicious. With a perfectly flaky, crisp pie crust and a spice-packed, silky-smooth and wonderfully creamy pumpkin pie filling, it’s virtually impossible to guess that it’s vegan! Even in the absence of eggs and dairy, the filling sets beautifully to give a pie that looks gorgeous and is easy to cut into neat slices.

Vegan pumpkin pie in a metal pie plate with a few slices already cut.

Today’s offering is the vegan version of a fall dessert classic. Yes, we’re talking vegan pumpkin pie.

My vegan pie game got a major upgrade recently, when I finally (finally finally) perfected the recipe for my Extra Flaky Vegan Pie Crust. It’s AMAZING and you absolutely should and need to try it. It’s life changing.

And while making a vegan apple pie was the first thing on my vegan-pie-to-do list, this pumpkin pie was a close second. You see, the great thing about pies is that once you have a pie crust recipe that’s 100% reliable and reproducible, making the actual pies is almost ridiculously easy.

Case in point: this wonderful vegan pumpkin pie recipe. It’s SO SIMPLE to make!!

And more importantly: it’s also incredibly delicious. It has a perfectly flaky, tender and crisp vegan pie crust and a spice-packed, silky-smooth and wonderfully creamy vegan pumpkin pie filling that sets beautifully even in the absence of eggs and dairy. In fact, even my non-vegan taste testers couldn’t really tell that it’s vegan – they just really really loved it and hurried to get a second slice before it disappeared!

I’d go as far as to say that making this vegan pie is actually easier than making the non-vegan equivalent. Because there are no eggs in the filling, it’s far more forgiving: the danger of the filling cracking is vastly reduced, even if you over-bake it by a few minutes.

And you don’t need any unusual ingredients – no egg replacements or anything like that. Just your usual vegan pantry staples and you’re good to go.

A slice of vegan pumpkin pie, topped with whipped cream, on a white dessert plate.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this wonderful vegan pie – 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 pumpkin pie

Vegan pumpkin pie is a breeze to make – overcoming the absence of eggs and dairy might seem tricky, but it’s actually surprisingly easy. Below, I’ve included all my top tips along with plenty of step-by-step photos that will help you along the way.

The perfect extra flaky vegan pie crust

This vegan pumpkin pie uses my 100% reliable recipe for Extra Flaky Vegan Pie Crust. I definitely recommend that you have a look at that recipe and blog post, as they’re filled with lots of information, detailed step-by-step photos and my top tips for vegan pie crust PERFECTION. To make this pumpkin pie, you’ll need a single batch of the pie crust, which is enough for a single-crust 9 inch (23cm) pie.

I like to prepare the pie dough a day or two in advance and keep it in the fridge, tightly wrapped in cling film. This way, you distribute the work over several days, which makes the whole process far less stressful and much more fun.

You will need to partially blind bake the pie crust (also known as par-baking) in order to prevent a soggy pie bottom. To do this, you will need to bake the pie crust at 390ºF (200ºC), first for 20 minutes lined with a piece of baking/parchment paper and filled with pie weights (or just rice) and then for a further 8-12 minutes uncovered, until it’s of an even golden colour all over.

This prevents the rather wet pumpkin pie filling from making the pie crust bottom sad and soggy. By par-baking the crust, you ensure that the final pie will have a lovely, flaky pie crust that’s crisp and delicious all over.

Overhead view of the vegan pie crust before baking.

Close-up of the blind-baked vegan pie crust cross-section, showing its flakiness.

The super creamy vegan pumpkin pie filling

At its core, “regular” (non-vegan) pumpkin pie filling is a custard – it relies on eggs and a dairy product (usually double/heavy cream) for its texture. Whereas the cream is responsible for the rich and creamy texture, the eggs play the crucial role of allowing the filling to set into an easily sliceable consistency.

In this vegan (dairy- and egg-free) version, we rely on two other ingredients to fulfil these functions:

  • Cornstarch replaces the thickening and setting function of the eggs. Much like in the vegan pastry cream in my vegan Boston cream pie recipe, it prevents the pumpkin pie filling from being too soft and runny. After all, we want to make a vegan pumpkin pie that you can easily slice and serve… and not pumpkin pie soup. However, don’t be tempted to add more cornstarch than is listed in the recipe – too much cornstarch will give your filling a rather unpleasant “chalky” mouthfeel.
  • Coconut cream has two functions: firstly, it gives the filling a wonderful silky-smooth creamy texture and, secondly, it helps the filling to set properly. That’s because coconut cream is fairly firm at or just below room temperature. So, as the filling (and therefore the coconut cream in the filling) cools down, it will end up firmer than if you used another non-dairy cream alternative. I’ve tested this recipe with several vegan cream alternatives and coconut cream consistently produced the best result.

To make the perfect vegan pumpkin pie filling:

  1. In a saucepan, combine the pumpkin puree,
  2. light brown sugar and
  3. coconut cream.
  4. Cook over medium heat until the coconut cream has melted and you get a smooth, lump-free mixture.
  5. Add the spices (ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and black pepper),
  6. and mix it all together until evenly combined.
  7. Finally, just before assembling, add the cornstarch and a pinch of baking powder.
  8. Mix well until no clumps remain, and that’s it!

The first 4 steps of the 8-step process of making vegan pumpkin pie filling.

The last 4 steps of the 8-step process of making vegan pumpkin pie filling.

Side note 1: coconut cream

Whenever I list coconut cream as an ingredient in my recipes, there’s always confusion about how and where to get it.

So, here’s a quick coconut cream 101:

  • You don’t need to actually buy coconut cream, you can get it from a can (or a few cans) of good quality, full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk.
  • Make sure to buy coconut milk in a can, and one that has a high coconut content (over 55%, ideally higher). Also, if possible, make sure that it doesn’t contain too many additives and stabilisers.
  • Place the can(s) of coconut milk – without shaking – into the fridge overnight, the day before you plan on making the pumpkin pie filling.
  • Overnight, thanks to the low temperature of the fridge, the coconut milk should separate into a thick, creamy part of top (the coconut cream) and a liquid part on the bottom (the coconut water).
  • In the recipe, use only the thick, white, creamy part – the coconut cream.
  • Now, depending on the brand of coconut milk you’re using, this separation will be more or less successful. You might need to test out a few different brands before you find one that separates well, with a large quantity of coconut cream.

Side note 2: baking powder in pumpkin pie filling?!

I know that baking powder might look like a rather strange ingredient to include in a pumpkin pie filling. However, if you think about a “regular” (non-vegan) pumpkin pie, it will always puff up slightly during baking – primarily because of the presence of eggs.

In this vegan version, I like to add a very small amount of baking powder to mimic the slight leavening action of eggs. This allows the appearance and texture of the vegan pumpkin pie to be even closer to it’s non-vegan “regular” counterpart.

Assembling & baking the vegan pumpkin pie

Once you have your vegan pie crust par-baked and the vegan pumpkin pie filling ready to go, the assembling step really couldn’t be simpler:

  1. Your par-baked pie crust should be golden brown in colour. No need to cool it before filling it.
  2. Pour in the pumpkin pie filling.
  3. You should fill the pie crust to just under the bottom part of the crimp. The pumpkin pie filling will puff up only very slightly during baking, so how much you fill up the pie crust now – that’s approximately what your pumpkin pie will look like at the end. You might not need all of the filling (I sometimes get about a tablespoon or two of filling left over).
  4. Then, just smooth out the top of the filling, and bake!

The 4-step process of assembling vegan pumpkin pie.

Bake the vegan pumpkin pie at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 40-45 minutes or until the filling is just set and is no longer wobbly in the centre. Unlike with a “regular” pumpkin pie, where over-baking leads to cracking due to the presence of eggs, you don’t really need to worry about cracking in this case. You might see a few small cracks around the edge, but those usually close up as the pumpkin filling settles during cooling.

Vegan pumpkin pie before and after baking.

Overhead view of vegan pumpkin pie in a metal pie plate with a few slices already cut.

Then, make sure to cool the pie for at least 4 hours at room temperature before slicing and serving. I know it’s incredibly tempting to tuck into a warm pie (especially when it smells this good), but cutting into pumpkin pie too soon will result in a loose mess.

Both the cornstarch and the coconut cream need enough cooling time to work their magic. Trust me, being patient for just a few hours is 100% worth it when it results in perfectly neat, clean slices that have that can’t-believe-this-is-actually-vegan look to them.

I like to serve it with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped vegan double or heavy cream and maybe just a sprinkling of extra cinnamon. It really doesn’t need much more than that.

A slice of vegan pumpkin pie, topped with whipped cream, on a white dessert plate.

Top tips & substitutions

  • Pie crust: Make sure to keep your pie dough cold throughout. If it starts getting too warm and soft at any point, pop it into the fridge for 20-30 minutes before proceeding. Follow my Extra Flaky Vegan Pie Crust recipe to the letter – it’s optimised to give a perfectly flaky, tender and crisp pastry.
  • Make ahead: You can make the pie dough a few days ahead and store it in the fridge, tightly wrapped in cling film. I don’t recommend storing the blind baked pie crust – once it’s blind baked, fill it straight away and bake with the filling until done. You can make the actual vegan pumpkin pie a day ahead, as it needs a while to cool and set anyway. You can either store it in a cool dry place or in the fridge. If you store it in the fridge, bring it to room temperature for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.
  • Using homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned: You can use fresh/homemade pumpkin puree instead of the store-bought one, just make sure that it doesn’t contain too much moisture (it shouldn’t be too wet). If you think that it contains too much water, you can remove some of the moisture by cooking it over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes with frequent stirring until slightly thickened and reduced in volume.
  • Spices: While I prefer to mix up my own spices, you can also use a pumpkin spice blend.
  • Cornstarch: You can substitute the cornstarch with an equal weight of arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch.
  • Coconut cream: Unfortunately, this won’t work with a different vegan cream alternative. The coconut cream is crucial to achieving the correct pumpkin pie texture and consistency. But don’t worry, you can’t actually taste any coconut in the final pie!

And there you have it, friends. Everything and anything you need to know about how to make the perfect vegan pumpkin pie – in all its flaky, creamy and warmly-spiced glory. 

I hope you’ll love it, and I hope that it will make your holiday season even more delicious.

Enjoy.

Signature of the author, Kat.

Vegan pumpkin pie in a metal pie plate with a few slices already cut.

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 Pumpkin Pie

This vegan pumpkin pie is both super easy to make and incredibly delicious. With a perfectly flaky, crisp pie crust and a spice-packed, silky-smooth and wonderfully creamy pumpkin pie filling, it’s virtually impossible to guess that it’s vegan! Even in the absence of eggs and dairy, the filling sets beautifully to give a pie that looks gorgeous and is easy to cut into neat slices.
Print Rate
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook/Bake Time 40 mins
Chill Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 1 batch Extra Flaky Vegan Pie Crust
  • 425 g (1x 15 ounce can) pumpkin puree
  • 250 g (1 ¼ cup) coconut cream (To get the coconut cream, you will need to place can(s) of coconut milk – without shaking – into the fridge overnight, the day before you plan on making the pumpkin pie filling. See also Note 1.)
  • 200 g (1 cup) light brown soft sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • tsp ground cloves
  • tsp allspice
  • tsp ground black pepper
  • 35 g (5 tbsp) cornstarch (US)/cornflour (UK)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder

Instructions

Vegan pie crust:

  • Prepare one batch of the Extra Flaky Vegan Pie Crust, and chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until needed. You can also prepare it a day or two in advance.
  • You will need a 9 inch (23cm) pie dish ready to have on hand. It should be about 1 ½ inches (4cm) deep. I recommend using a metal pie dish.
  • Lightly flour your work surface and the top of the pie dough. Gently tap it with a rolling pin to make it more pliable and easier to roll out.
  • Roll it out until it’s about 3mm thin. Don’t roll it any thinner than that, as it will reduce the flakiness. Make sure that the rolled-out pie dough is at least 1 ½-2 inches (4-5cm) larger than the pie dish, so that you have enough left over for crimping. Brush away any excess flour.
  • Fold the pie crust in half (or use a rolling pin to roll the pie crust onto it) and transfer it into the pie dish. Make sure that it’s snug against the bottom and sides of the dish.
  • Cut away the excess dough (I like to use scissors for this), leaving about 1 inch (2.5cm) of overhang.
  • Fold the overhanging dough under itself, and press it gently together along the fold, so that the two layers of dough adhere to each other.
  • To crimp the edge, form a V-shape with the thumb and index finger of your non-dominant hand on the outside edge of the pie crust. Then, use either the thumb, the index finger or the knuckle of the index finger of your dominant hand to push the pastry into that V-shape. Move around the edge of the pie crust to create a fluted rim.
  • Chill in the fridge for at least 30-45 minutes before blind baking.

Pumpkin pie filling:

  • In a saucepan, combine the pumpkin puree, light brown sugar and coconut cream. Cook over medium heat until the coconut cream has melted and you get a smooth, lump-free mixture.
  • Add the spices (ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and pepper), and mix it all together until evenly combined.
  • Set aside until needed. (You will need to add the cornstarch and the baking powder just before assembling the pie.)

Par-baking (partial blind bake):

  • While the pie crust is chilling, pre-heat the oven to 390ºF (200ºC) with a large baking sheet or tray on the middle oven rack.
    Tip 1: Baking the pie on a pre-heated baking sheet starts the bottom of the pie baking straight away and helps to prevent a soggy bottom.
    Tip 2: If you struggle with soggy bottoms on your pies, you can bake your pie on the lower middle oven rack instead.
  • Dock your chilled pie crust all over the bottom and sides with a fork. This prevents it from puffing up too much during baking.
  • Scrunch up a piece of baking/parchment paper and then straighten it out (this softens it and prevents it from cutting into the pastry) and then use it to line the pie crust.
  • Fill the pie crust to the brim with pie weights (ceramic baking beans). You can also use rice instead.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 390ºF (200ºC) until the edges of the pie crust are light golden brown.
  • Carefully remove the pie weights and baking/parchment paper, and return it to the oven for a further 8-12 minutes, until it’s evenly golden in colour.
  • Once the pie crust is par-baked, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC).

Assembling the pie:

  • Add the cornstarch and the baking powder to the pumpkin pie filling. Mix well until no clumps remain.
  • You don't need to cool the par-baked pie crust before filling it. Pour in the pumpkin pie filling. You should fill the pie crust to just under the bottom part of the crimp.
    Tip: The pumpkin pie filling will puff up only very slightly during baking, so how much you fill up the pie crust now – that’s approximately what your pumpkin pie will look like at the end. You might not need all of the filling (I sometimes get about a tablespoon or two of filling left over).
  • Use a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth out the filling into an even layer.
    Tip: Depending on how warm or cold your filling is, it will be more or less runny, respectively (due to the coconut cream in the filling). If it's on the cooler side, its top might not be very smooth going into the oven (you might see distinct swirls from the spatula or spoon) – but don't worry, the heat of the oven will ensure that it levels and smooths out during baking.

Baking & cooling:

  • Bake the pie at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 40-45 minutes or until the filling is just set and is no longer wobbly in the centre. You might see a few small cracks around the edge of the filling, but those will close up as the baked filling cools.
  • If the crimped edge of your pie starts browning too quickly, cover the whole pie with a sheet of aluminium foil (shiny side up) and continue baking until done. I like to bake the pie uncovered for the last 5 minutes of so, to ensure that the crimped pie crust edge is perfectly crisp as it comes out of the oven.
  • Cool the pie for at least 4 hours at room temperature before slicing and serving, to ensure neat and clean slices.
  • Serve as is, or with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped vegan double/heavy cream alternative.

Storage:

  • The pie is best on the day of baking or the day after, but you can keep it for up to 3 days in a cool dry place or in the fridge, covered lightly with with a clean tea towel or a sheet of aluminium foil. Don't wrap it tightly in cling film or keep it in a closed container, as that will soften the crust too much.
    If you store it in the fridge, bring it to room temperature for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

Notes

Note 1: Here’s a quick coconut cream 101:
  • You don’t need to actually buy coconut cream, you can get it from a can (or a few cans) of good quality, full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk.
  • Make sure to buy coconut milk in a can, and one that has a high coconut content (over 55%, ideally higher). Also, if possible, make sure that it doesn’t contain many additives and stabilisers.
  • Place the can(s) of coconut milk – without shaking – into the fridge overnight, the day before you plan on making the pumpkin pie filling.
  • Overnight, thanks to the low temperature of the fridge, the coconut milk should separate into a thick, creamy part of top (the coconut cream) and a liquid part on the bottom (the coconut water).
  • In the recipe, use only the thick, white, creamy part – the coconut cream.
  • Depending on the brand of coconut milk you’re using, this separation will be more or less successful. You might need to test out a few different brands before you find one that separates well, with a large quantity of coconut cream.
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