Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten-Free


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Making a pie from scratch has to be one of the most feared tasks of all time. I would say it ranks right up there with bread baking, public speaking, and drinking something green. I always had this expectation that everything had to go perfectly for the pie to turn out. If my dough ripped while putting it in the dish I would just about have a heart attack.


These days I’m more relaxed when tackling a pie crust. That comes from practice (and a bit of bourbon-spiked apple cider doesn’t hurt the process either!). I’ve learned that each pie crust tends to turn out a bit differently. Some of them I like to burn to hell, while others I’m more mindful of the timer function. Anyway, when a pie crust doesn’t turn out as expected, you call it a “rustic” pie and everyone thinks you are a culinary genius. bahaha… fools!

burn the crust? It’s rustic.

the crust crumbles to pieces? rustic

Pie explodes when you cut it? yup, rustic

you find your dog licking the pie before dinner? it’s rustic with a hint of dog breath

No biggie.

If you want a sure way to loathe making pie, then my advice is to expect every outcome to be perfect. If you want to have fun with the process and get a bit better with practice, then stick around for pie crust class!


Check out my pages of scribbled notes and recipes galore over the past couple months. Why must I insist on writing my recipes in chicken scratch and losing them all over the house? I am truly my own worst enemy.


When it was all over, I think I said the words “never again” and “if I see another pumpkin pie I may hurl”.

With that being said, I think you will love these recipes!

I tested 3 kinds of crusts:

Classic flaky pie crust:


My rustic spelt pie crust from 2009:


A gluten-free pie crust made from pecans, GF oats, etc.:


I also tested 3 kinds of pumpkin pie fillings:

  • Classic pumpkin pie filling using arrowroot or cornstarch powder
  • Cashew cream pumpkin pie filling for extra creaminess
  • Coconut flour pumpkin pie filling to thicken filling


The results:

Favourite pie crust winner –> Sweet & Salty Spiced Pecan Crust (gluten-free, all-natural, amazing flavour, paired perfectly with the filling!!)

Runner up: Rustic Spelt Crust (super easy to prep, no chilling dough, healthier flour)

Least favourite pie crust: Classic flaky (the most curb crust appeal, but lacking flavour, greasy, and very labour intensive/fussy)


Favouite pie filling winner: Classic (the most classic tasting pie filling whisked together in just 5 mins)

Least favourite pie fillings: 1) Coconut flour (it dried out the filling a bit too much although it set much quicker) & 2) cashew cream (I could detect the cashew taste slightly, fussy prep with cashews, and it took longer to set)

First up, I’ll talk about the classic pie crust:


Classic Pie Crust Ingredients (least favourite crust):

While this has the most traditional flaky crust and appearance, it was not my favourite tasting and greasy on the bottom! Make at own risk!

  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance (I used 1 shortening stick and 1/4 cup soy-free Earth Balance), frozen
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 7-8 tbsp ice water


I followed the directions to a tee for making a classic pie crust here. I tested this crust using a few different combinations of Earth Balance and was just never impressed with the outcome. The top crust baked well, but the bottom was always quite greasy and bland.

It did make a gorgeous lattice crust though! I also paired it with a pecan praline on top of the filling.


Pretty, but lacking in the taste department.


Next up, the hearty spelt crust and classic filling!


Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Rustic Spelt Crust

While this spelt crust is anything but classic and flaky it’s one of my favourites simply because it’s easy, there’s no chilling required, and it’s healthier than than most. The crust is very dense and firm with a hearty, lightly spiced, sweet flavour. The filling is quite traditional, however not too sweet to let the pumpkin flavour shine. Serve with non-dairy ice cream or whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Print this recipe

for the crust (from here):

  • 1 cup whole grain spelt flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry sugar (Natural cane sugar, brown sugar, or Sucanat)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted OR Earth Balance, melted


for the filling:

  • 2 & 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup natural cane sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut cream (or almond milk)*, softened
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (other sweeteners may work, but the flavour will change slightly)
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves


For the directions, and to print the recipe, click here.


The beauty of this spelt crust is that you don’t chill the dough! It’s hands down the quickest pie crust I have made.

(note: these pictures are from my classic crust dough and not the spelt):

Tuck under the overhanging dough:

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Now crimp/flute your pie edge using your fingers. Work your way all around the edge.


Prick crust with a fork and pre-bake for 7 minutes at 425F. Cool for 10 mins. Add filling and smooth.

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Add your cut-out shapes on top (I cut 4 big leaves, 12 small leaves, and 5 balls)

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[These photos are of the actual spelt crust now!]

Before baking the spelt crust:


Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, remove and cover crust with a shield or tin foil, and bake for another 15 minutes at 350F. Cool on rack for 1 hour and transfer to fridge for a minimum of 3 hours to set. <—very important step!


Does anyone know the best method for covering the edges of a pie crust? I find tin foil so annoying to use…it always falls off! Any good crust shields out there?


While I enjoyed the spelt crust, my favourite crust award goes to the gluten-free Sweet & Salty Pecan crust! It wins in the flavour department by a landside and it’s worth every single calorie.


Sweet & Salty Spiced Pecan Crust (Gluten-free)

Absolutely worth every calorie and then some! It’s a bit sweet, buttery, lightly spiced with cinnamon, and enhanced with a bit of salt to bring out the flavours. This crust goes so nicely with the pumpkin pie filling! This crust is very sensitive to changes, so I caution against changing things in the recipe.

Print this recipe.

Inspired by Manifest Vegan.


  • 1 cup GF certified rolled oats, processed into a fine flour OR 1 cup GF oat flour
  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (acts as the binder, honey may work if you prefer that)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or Earth Balance


For the directions and to print the full recipe (including filling) recipe, click here.

The pecans need to be ground very finely until they release their oils and start sticking to the side of the machine (this took me 35 secs exactly in my processor, fyi). You should be able to form a ball with the pecans. If you don’t process the pecans enough the crust will be too dry. With that being said, you don’t want to make pecan butter either!

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After mixing all the ingredients, the dough should be a bit sticky like this:


You should be able to form a big ball with it. If it’s too dry, add a touch more melted Earth Balance, a teaspoon at a time.

Crumble it into a greased pie dish:


Press down and outward to form the crust (press firmly!) and pre-bake for 10-12 mins at 350F. Cool for 10 mins before scooping in filling and baking. Make sure you let the pie chill for at least a few hours in the fridge before carefully slicing with a sharp knife.

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Ding, ding, ding we have a winner!


This pie crust also makes the house smell divine. Mmm. For the full recipe (including filling) to print, click here.




If you made it this far, bless your soul. That was one long post!

Here’s to a stress-free pie season!


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{ 284 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie @ Healthy Heddleston November 20, 2011

They totally have pie crust shields. I think my mom got ours from Bed Bath and Beyond.


Stacy @ Say it with Sprinkles November 20, 2011

I will definitely be trying the vegan pumpkin pie with gluten-free pie crust! Might have to try the crust with other types of pie as well! Thanks for the recipe! =)


Kaila @healthyhelperblog! November 20, 2011

This post got me SOOOO much more excited for Thanksgiving!!! I love how pretty the lattice pie looks….but the gluten free sounds delicious as well! And don’t let me forget spelt!! Its my face flour ever!!


JenATX November 20, 2011

my, oh, my look at all that pie!


Jaclyn T November 20, 2011

YUM! I have yet to make a naturally-sweetened sugar free pumpkin pie that makes the cut. I may be modifying your recipe with brown rice syrup…
–Jaclyn T

TrickArt Jewellery: Nature Inspired


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 21, 2011

Let me know how it turns out if you do! I find the flavour of brown rice syrup is quite strong, which is why I haven’t tried it as a sweetener in a pumpkin pie.


Christine November 21, 2011

I am so excited to make this!!! I look forward to your posts every day so thanks for doing this on a Sunday. Can’t wait for your cookbook too – I will be buying it for birthdays or xmas’s or whatever comes first for my girlfriends. Heading back to work tomorrow but hope to make this soon. My hubby and I are both working Christmas this year so maybe I’ll make it for a special treat for the 2 of us. Thank you as always for all your hard work. You are so appreciated.


Jen @newellnd November 21, 2011

The gluten-free pie looks delicious. I cannot wait to give it a try. The last time I made a gf pumpkin pie the crust was inedible but the filling was fantastic so I ended up scraping the middle out and having “pumpkin pie pudding”


Michelle | Gold-hearted Girl November 21, 2011

Thank you for this! Pumpkin pie is my favorite holiday dessert, and I’m always looking for a healthy version.


Varsha November 21, 2011

ooooh!! I love it!!
Pie fever is here to stay!!
Thanks for the lattice-crust tutorial. You are so thorough.


Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers November 21, 2011

All of your crusts look so beautiful, but I would most definitely go with the sweet and salty pecan,it looks the easiest to make. lol I think next I make pie, I’m going to try your pie crust, I like that it’s healthy and doesn’t use butter, well except 1 Tbsp. I can live with that!


Savannah @ Sweet and Savvy November 21, 2011

These all look AMAZING! The crust tutorials are great! The pecans added in the GF pie sound like a delicious touch! :)


Anne P November 21, 2011

Wow. This is epic. I wish I were coming to your Thanksgiving dinner ;)


char @ char on a mission November 21, 2011

I would love to try the spelt crust. I love spelt…not gonna lie. And pumpkin. Thanks for sharing the labour intensive processes!


Sara Grambusch November 21, 2011

I made the spelt crust last year with pumpkin and it was fantastic!


Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) November 21, 2011

The gluten free crust sounds amazing! I love the idea of using pecans and oats in the crust and it sounds so easy to make. I’ll have to try this crust with my Humble Apple Pie Crumble recipe. I use a spelt crust when I make pies and I still have to chill it, its interesting that you don’t chill yours, maybe I’ll skip this step next time I make my crust and see how it goes.


Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner November 21, 2011

oh my goodness… what a good pie baking tutorial. I will definitely keep this in mind and come back to it for future use.


Carolyn @ November 21, 2011

Williams Sonoma makes a nice (and inexpensive) pie shield: link.

Since I know you’re vegan, what do you use for “whipped cream”?


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 21, 2011

I whip chilled coconut cream (the full fat kind on the top of the can) you leave it in the fridge overnight and whip it with an electric mixer in a chilled bowl the next day. Much like whipped cream! You can add a bit of sugar to it as well.


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 21, 2011
Sharon @ Bit of the Good Stuff November 21, 2011

Amazing post Angela! I’ve never made pumpkin pie before, but I can’t wait to give it a try! We’ve got a big pumpkin in the garage which we totally neglected over Halloween. Forget scary carved faces, this pumpkin is destined for much greater things thanks to you ;)


Christina November 21, 2011

I can’t wait to make a pumpkin pie & I love the idea of a pecan crust!!! Do you think it would work for apple pie too??


Tatiana November 21, 2011

Hi Angela!
Thanks for this! Can’t wait to make it and WOW my family!
Question – what do you use to grease the pie dish?


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 21, 2011

Either earth balance or coconut oil, depending on what I’m using :)


Tatiana November 21, 2011

Was thinking coconut oil. Thanks.


Katie Zega November 21, 2011

I love love love the top of the pie with leaves and a flower. Very cute! It looks delicious, and I don’t even like pumpkin pie! :P


Heather Griffith November 21, 2011


Would it be possible to make these in individial 4″ tart pans??
I want to up the cute factor for my First Vegan Thanksgiving.
Thanks for the divine recipes you always provide.



HRCK November 21, 2011

Gosh golly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen as thorough a post about pie! You’ve given so many options– thank you!

I’m off to eat one that I’m sure will be largely inferior to all yours at a work Thanksgiving :)


Irina G (Fit Flexitarian) November 21, 2011

Thanks for the SUPER helpful diagram of how to make the lattice crust! I’ve always seen them in photos but was too scared to try it, but your photos are so easy to follow that I think I’ll be tackling it this year!


Yussy November 21, 2011

OMG! You’re so talented! I love you and your blog sooooo much! Your writing is so light and fun! And your pictures… Oh my! Breathtaking! Thank you for bringing so many smiles to my life. God bless you <3


Sonia (the Mexigarian) November 21, 2011

My older sis claimed dibs on the pumpkin pie making this year for our family T-Day (I’m on cheesecake duty). . . . but. . . I could make this for the Hubby’s family T-day. Though everyone makes faces and grumble whenever I mention it’s vegan/gluten free. Does this pie win over non vegans and gluten lovers alike? Or should I wait until after they had some to tell them what it is? Lol.


Ashley @ Cooking for John November 21, 2011

Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this gluten free crust recipe- I am definitely making it!!!! :)


Jess @ Jess Go Bananas November 21, 2011

Another great and quick pie crust-crumbled cookies mixed with a lil earth balance!


Anna @ The Guiltless Life November 21, 2011

I love how organized and ordered your posts are – they totally appeal to the organizational freak within me :). And yay that your gluten-free crust was the best one, I always try to avoid eating gluten if I can – though I’m not sensitive – and the gluten-free buy-your-own pie crusts are so expensive!


Erica November 21, 2011

Awesome, this is perfect timing, I was just looking for pumpkin pie recipes my daughter and I could bake together, and I was hoping to find a vegan one!


Tatomme @ Fresh Potater November 21, 2011

Wow — I now know what I’m making for Christmas dinner…Or dessert rather, if I can wait.


Ellie@fitforthesoul November 21, 2011

hahaha send ’em all throughout the world! That’s alotttttttta pies! You worked hard, girl~ :D And how funny! Last night I made a “pumpkin pie bar” that turned out vegan and uses almond meal as crust base. It was delicious and miraculously vegan since mid-way of making it, I realized that I ran out of eggs! :P


Ellie@fitforthesoul November 21, 2011

Ohhh!! And I loooove that lattice crust!! it looks so perfect it looks fake :P


K November 21, 2011

You’ve inspired me! I think I’ll have to make the pecan crust one over the holidays!


hannah alehandra November 21, 2011

Fantastic post, Angela! Got me drooling yet again! Kiss from England.xo


Amber K November 21, 2011

I am truly impressed with the amount of work you did Angela! And I’m so glad the gluten-free crust turned out so well, because it looks delicious! It totally inspires me to do some experimenting in the kitchen!


Addy November 21, 2011

Haha, your perspective on ‘rustic’ is the same as mine :) Once again, thank you for doing all the difficult work, Angela! These pies look so delish, I can’t wait to try one out this week. Hope you recover your desire for pie pretty soon!


Rachael @ FreshlyMinted November 21, 2011

Haha – love the use of “rustic” – I like to toss in “authentic” and “old fashioned” to cover slightly tragic recipe flaws as well :)

Looking forward to trying the pecan crust!


Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit November 21, 2011

Wow… pie. I love that your favorite was the gluten-free crust! That’s awesome!!


Beth November 21, 2011

I SO can’t wait to try these! I may do the gluten-free one for Thursday and the others for Christmas! Thank you for being the one to experiment so we don’t have to!


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