Learn how to bake a vegan pecan pie without eggs or dairy and enjoy this indulgent autumnal classic.
This vegan pecan pie is a delightful take on a true Southern American classic. It’s a thanksgiving dessert that rivals the original—an egg-free and dairy-free treat that holds together well and tastes astounding.
Caramelized, buttery pecans lie atop a gooey, syrup-sweetened centre, creating a beautiful balance of sweet and salty.
The contrasting textures of the crisp, buttery pie crust and pecans against a thick, creamy filling makes every bite a splendid experience.
- Store bought or homemade vegan pie crust, frozen. For a flakier crust, try my Vegan Flaky Pie Crust Recipe.
- Pecan halves
- Golden syrup – whilst corn syrup is traditionally used, golden syurp has a rich, buttery flavor without tasting as sweet.
- Brown sugar and granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Vegan butter or margarine
- Salt to taste
- Cornstarch – acts as a binding agent
- Water – dissolves the cornstarch for easier mixing into the hot liquid.
- All-purpose flour – helps bind the filling
- Liquid Sunflower Lecithin (optional)
Traditionally, eggs are used in pecan pie as they naturally contain lecithin and other proteins, which helps hold the filling together.
Sunflower lecithin is a vegan option that serves a similar purpose. It acts as an emulsifier and stabilizer in the filling.
It prevents the oil and liquid in the caramel sauce from separating and adds some thickening properties.
It has a dark molasses color but is bland in flavor. Although I recommend it for this recipe, it is an optional ingredient.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Prepare to blind-bake the pie crust by pricking all over with a fork and covering it with parchment paper or foil. Fill it with pie weights or granulated sugar.
3. Cover the edge of the pie with strips of foil to prevent them from browning too quickly. You can also place the dish on a baking tray for easier removal from the oven.
4. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until the crust tans slightly. Remove the paper with weights and allow the crust to cool.
Tip: If you have any cracks in the crust, I recommend using any leftover dough to patch things up. This helps prevent the filling from seeping behind the crust, causing it to stick to the pie plate.
5. To make the filling, heat the golden syrup, vanilla, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vegan butter in a saucepan until the sugar melts and the caramel begins to bubble.
6. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Taste a cooled portion of the mixture and add lemon juice/vinegar, if needed.
7. Mix cornstarch with water and gradually stir it into the caramel sauce.
8. Gradually stir in the flour and lecithin until evenly mixed.
9. Add the pecans and allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
10. Ensure the oven is preheated to 350°F (180°C) before pouring the filling into the pre-baked pie crust.
11. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the filling thickens and registers between 245°F – 250°F on an instant-read thermometer.
12. Allow the pie to cool completely before serving, or refrigerate for easier slicing.
Key tips to follow
- This pie is great for making in advance, as it benefits from being refrigerated, both for setting and also to make slicing easier.
- Pecan pie is best served at room temperature, but it is also possible to reheat individual slices if desired. It is not advised to reheat the entire pie as this will make slicing it very difficult.
- For the blind-baking of the pie, the use of pie weights or dried beans is recommended, but you can also use dried rice, corn, steel balls, or sugar.
- Ensure that the sugar is fully melted when making the filling. You don’t want to bite into the pie to discover a gritty texture. To check that this has been achieved, drag the spoon along the bottom of the saucepan to check that all granules have dissolved.
- Use foil strips on the edges of the pie crust to prevent overbaking and burnt edges.
Other Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- Instead of cornstarch, you could use eggless custard powder.
- Tapioca and potato starches can be used too but bear in mind that they lose their binding power the longer they are exposed to heat and so it may be difficult to achieve the same consistency, but the flavor will not be affected.
- For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free pie crust, and a gluten-free flour blend or more cornstarch.
- Dark corn syrup can be used as a substitute for golden syrup.
The baked pie can be frozen and will keep for up to 3 months or stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Ensure the pecan pie is wrapped or stored in an airtight container.
Can I add alcohol into the pecan pie?
Some people enjoy a little rum or bourbon in their pecan pies. Bear in mind adding extra liquid into the filling will affect the consistency, so I would recommend reducing the amount of water used in proportion to the amount of alcohol added.
How do I reheat pie?
You can microwave for 20-30 seconds, depending on the wattage of your microwave, or you can reheat it in the oven.
More Vegan Pie Recipes
Vegan Pecan Pie
- Parchment paper or aluminum foil
Baking Recipes: For more accuracy, use Metric measurements and measuring spoons.
- 1 10-inch deep-dish vegan pie crust, homemade from 2 batches of this vegan pie crust recipe or store-bought (frozen)
- 1 ½ cups (150 g) pecan halves
- 1 cup (300 g) golden syrup, or dark corn syrup
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) vanilla
- 1 cup (150 g) light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar, spooned and levelled
- ¼ cup (57 g) vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar (or to taste)
- 5 tbsp (40 g) cornstarch, See notes
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) water
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) liquid sunflower lecithin, optional, See Notes
- ¼ cup (35 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
Blind-bake the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
- Prick the frozen pie crust all over with a fork then cover with a sheet of parchment paper or foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans.1 10-inch deep-dish vegan pie crust
- To prevent the edges from browning too quickly, cover with strips of foil.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
- Carefully remove the parchment paper with weights and allow the crust to cool.
Make the filling:
- In a saucepan, add the golden syrup, vanilla, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vegan butter. Heat on low, stirring occasionally until the sugar is melted and the caramel begins to bubble.1 cup (300 g) golden syrup ,1 tbsp (15 ml) vanilla ,1 cup (150 g) light brown sugar ,¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar ,¼ cup (57 g) vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted)
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Taste a cooled portion of the mixture and add lemon juice/vinegar and salt, if needed.1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon juice ,⅛ teaspoon salt
- Combine the cornstarch with water in a small bowl until dissolved. While whisking the caramel sauce, pour in the cornstarch mixture.5 tbsp (40 g) cornstarch ,3 tbsp (45 ml) water
- Gradually whisk in the flour and lecithin until evenly mixed.¼ cup (35 g) unbleached all-purpose flour ,1 tbsp (15 ml) liquid sunflower lecithin
- Stir in the pecans and allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.1 ½ cups (150 g) pecan halves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie shell and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the filling thickens and registers between 245°F – 250°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Cool the pie completely at room temperature before serving. For much easier slicing, chill in the fridge overnight or until firm. Individual slices may be reheated.
- You may also chop or toast the pecans.
- Eggless custard powder may be used in place of cornstarch.
- Tapioca and potato starches lose their binding power the longer they are exposed to heat. I haven’t had much success with the texture using them in this cooked pie filling, but they don’t affect the flavour.
- For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free pie crust and a gluten-free flour blend or more cornstarch.
- The baked pie can be frozen for up to 3 months or refrigerated for 4-5 days. Ensure the pecan pie is wrapped or stored in an airtight container.