How to Make the Best Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Just one ingredient swap transforms this traditional dessert into a rich and decadent dairy-free pumpkin pie recipe.
This pumpkin pie has a secret: it doesn’t need any dairy to be delicious. You can make our dairy-free pumpkin pie recipe using nondairy milk—we’re fans of almond milk—for a seasonal treat that’s perfect for everyone at the table.
Looking for more dairy-free desserts? We’ve rounded up some of the best.
Finding a Substitute for Evaporated Milk
In many cases, traditional pumpkin pie recipes like this one call for evaporated milk. Luckily for anyone following a dairy-free diet, there are plenty of milk alternatives to make it just as decadent.
To mimic the consistency of evaporated milk, place your almond milk on the stove and simmer; allow it to reduce and concentrate until it is thick. Coconut milk, which is naturally sweet and creamy, can be substituted without this extra step. (Just make sure to buy full-fat coconut milk so it’s not too watery.)
If you’re short on time, you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with your sugar and spices to help thicken the filling.
How to Make Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie
The recipe below was originally submitted by Gloria Warczak of Wisconsin and modified by our Test Kitchen. It makes two 9-inch pumpkin pies—perfect for a big feast.
For the crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 4 to 6 tablespoons cold water
For the filling:
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 can (29 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger
- 2 cups nondairy milk (the Test Kitchen recommends almond milk)
Step 1: Create the crust
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl, then cut in shortening. The mixture should start to resemble crumbs. Add water slowly. Toss dough with a fork until it forms one ball. Then, cut the pastry in half.
Flour a flat surface to prevent the dough from sticking, and roll out each section until it fits a 9-inch pie plate. Place the pastry on the plates. Trim the dough to 1/2 inch beyond the edge. Flute the edges (we’ll walk you through how to do that here). Set the pastry shells in a safe place.
Test Kitchen tip: Want to save some time? We tested store-bought pie crusts to help you find a good one. Just be sure the one you buy is dairy-free!
Step 2: Mix the filling
In a large bowl, beat your eggs. Add pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Combine the eggs with the pumpkin and spices. Slowly stir in your nondairy milk. Once combined, pour the mixture evenly into both of the pastry shells.
Step 3: Bake to perfection
Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350°. Bake for an additional 40-45 minutes, or longer, depending on the type of milk you used (see Test Kitchen tip below). Cool on wire racks for an hour. Serve warm, or after refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Serve with a dollop of whipped coconut cream.
Test Kitchen tip: The creaminess of your dairy-free replacement could lengthen cooking time. To test, insert a knife into the center—if it comes out clean, the pie is ready. You can also gently shake the pie. The filling should be set and should not jiggle.
How to Store Pumpkin Pie
You can keep the leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. If you can’t finish two pies, or want to make dessert in advance, they can be frozen. Defrost in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.