Eat - October 10, 2020

Vegan, Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving isn’t complete without pumpkin pie. While there’s no shortage of pumpkin pie recipes out there, the number of vegan, gluten-free, great-tasting pumpkin pie recipes are very limited. Similar to most vegan, gluten-free desserts getting the flavor profile and texture right can be challenging. 

Instead of trying to crack the puzzle myself, I turned to my trusted and super talented friend Yvonne, of Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen, a vegan, gluten-free bakery. Yvonne can make all kinds of vegan, gluten-free magic happen so I knew she probably had a delicious pumpkin pie recipe in her arsenal—and she did not disappoint! In fact, I bet everyone at your dinner table would be surprised to discover it’s vegan and gluten-free. Tell them after they devour it!

P.S. How adorable are the little pie crust leaves? They’re also a fun way to get your littles involved in making this recipe. 

  • Crust:
  • ½ cup cold, filtered water
  • 1 ½ cup gluten-free oat flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum (optional) *
  • ½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar (or cane sugar)
  • ⅔ cup melted raw coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • *I don't always use xanthan gum, and for some, it’s hard to find. If you use it, your crust will not be as crumbly. Xanthan gum is used to bind the flour together better.
  • Filling:
  • 1½ cup raw cashews, soaked in filtered water overnight
  • 2 cup pumpkin puree*
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp coconut palm nectar (or maple syrup)
  • 1¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • *15 oz. of canned pumpkin puree will work but I bake a fresh pumpkin in the oven at 350 degrees F for 1½ hours.
Follow These Steps
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Set separate racks in the center and lower third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spray a 9-inch pie dish with non-stick cooking spray. (I like to use coconut oil spray.)

In a medium-sized bowl, add the flours, xanthan gum, sea salt, and sugar. Mix to combine. Measure the coconut oil melted (not in its solid state as it will yield more), and add to the dry mix.  Mix, scraping the sides of the bowl.

Add the cold water and mix thoroughly either with a silicone spatula, wooden spoon, or clean hands. (I like to use my hands.) Divide the dough in half.

Between two pieces of parchment paper about 13 inches or wider, place one dough ball in the center. Press down on the pie dough to flatten a bit, and with a rolling pin, roll the dough starting from the center out.

Rotate the crust and repeat to get an evenly thick crust and round shape. The diameter of the circle should be about 12 inches and the thickness of the dough should be about ⅛ inch. If you want it thicker, use some of the second dough ball crust as it’s for the decorative pieces. More on that later.

Remove the top piece of parchment paper, place your hand under the other piece of parchment carrying the crust, and gently, flip the crust onto the pie tin. Since it is a gluten-free crust, it may not fully stay together, but that’s ok. This crust is forgiving. Using clean hands, fix the crust. I like to use my fingers or a pizza roller to flatten the crust at the sides.

Press the dough into the pie dish using your fingers and the palm of your hand or a pizza roller. Try to make the crust even throughout. 

Once the crust is in the pie tin, place one of the large pieces of parchment paper over the pie shell, and fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet, and bake on the center rack until the shell is light brown, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and remove the parchment paper and pie weights. Place back into the oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. The crust might crack a little if over-baked or too dry, but that’s fine. When that happens, I tell my guests it’s “rustic.” Cool the crust and prepare the filling.

While the crust is baking, roll the remaining dough between two pieces of parchment paper just as you did before.

Remove the top piece of parchment, and use cookie cutters to make decorative crust pieces to top the pumpkin pie with. I like to use leaf cookie cutters. Hearts are nice, too.

Once cut with cookie cutters, place in the freezer or fridge to set so they’re easier to handle.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, peel off the decorative pie crust pieces, place them at least an inch apart, spray or brush with coconut oil, sprinkle with cane sugar, and bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.

Make sure to watch closely because every oven is different. You may have a lot of decorative pieces. (More than you may want to use!)

Store in an airtight container and enjoy as a great snack! 



Soak the cashews overnight, or for at least 3 hours, in about 2 cups of water.

Place all of the filling ingredients in a blender (I prefer to use a Vitamix blender), and blend on high until very smooth. Stop the blender and scrape the sides to ensure everything is getting blended. Taste and sweeten as desired. If you do add more coconut palm nectar or maple syrup, blend until completely incorporated.

Pour mixture into the cooled crust, scraping the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula. Using an offset spatula or knife, spread the filling into the crust evenly.

Top with decorative crust pieces. 


Next Step
  • Place pie in the freezer to set at least 3-4 hours, but overnight is best.
  • If the pie is completely frozen, remove it from the freezer and place it on your kitchen counter. Let it sit for about 25 minutes. Using a large, sharp knife, cut slices. If you’re not going to serve it right away, store it in the refrigerator. Remove the pie from the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving so it can fully defrost.
  • If it defrosts too much, just place it back in the refrigerator to let it set a bit.
  • Carefully plate the pieces of pie and top with vegan whipped cream. (I like using So Delicious Whip!

*Yvonne Ardestani is the chef behind Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen. Yvonne also operates a catering business where she creates the most beautiful vegan and gluten-free cakes for every occasion.

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