People who follow a vegan diet often struggle to find delicious desserts that are also free of animal products. Now add gluten-free to that. Yikes! Luckily, there is no shortage of tasty recipes for people with dietary restrictions. This Vegan Gluten-free Sweet Potato Pie recipe is simple and quick to make while still being incredibly satisfying, so it's perfect for any occasion!
Don't worry, if you aren't gluten-free, an option for a traditional crust is also included.
This sweet potato pie is a delicious Thanksgiving dessert that can be made in advance. It's a great way to get your family and friends talking about the holiday spread before it even lands on the table! The best part? This recipe is easy enough to make every day of the year, not just during Thanksgiving season. Especially if you use some of the shortcuts I mention in the notes. You'll love how simple and tasty this recipe is!
I'm not going to say this pie is better than a pumpkin pie, but it is pretty fantastic. If you're looking for an alternative to traditional pies at your next gathering or craving something different from pumpkin, give this one a shot—you won't regret it! And if you're like me and like having desserts around all year round (no shame!), then this is the perfect treat. You even get a nice dose of fiber, vitamin A and B12 in this dessert.
What's in Vegan Gluten-free Sweet Potato Pie?
One of the nice things about this pie is that it doesn't have any super hard to find ingredients in it. You will be familiar with most of them, even if you aren't vegan or gluten-free. Let's look at the crust ingredients and then the filling.
Gluten-free crust ingredients
You should be familiar with all the ingredients in this gluten-free crust:
- rolled oats (use ones marked gluten-free for this to be safe for people with allergies or sensitivities)
- pecans (substitute walnuts if you like)
- Medjool dates (these are the big ones)
- olive oil (you may be able to substitute with extra almond butter but I haven't tried that)
- smooth almond butter (I used a mixed nut and seed butter instead here. Use your favorite!)
Traditional crust ingredients
If you'd prefer a traditional-style crust, I've included instructions on how to make it. The ingredients are pretty familiar:
- unbleached all-purpose flour (I always use unbleached but use what you have)
- vegan granulated sugar
- vegan butter (try Earth Balance, Melt, or Miyoko's)
- apple cider vinegar
Sweet Potato Pie filling ingredients
Here are the ingredients I used for the filling:
- cooked sweet potato (it's all wrinkled because I baked it a couple of days prior and stuck it in the refrigerator)
- vegan granulated sugar
- vegan brown sugar
- ground cinnamon
- ground nutmeg
- ground mace (optional, but adds a little something)
- vanilla extract
- unsweetened soy milk (this is what I keep on hand but use what you like as long as it isn't too thin like rice milk)
- plain vegan yogurt (I used Kite Hill almond yogurt this time)
- vegan whipped topping (try So Delicious Cocowhip from the freezer section, Reddi-wip almond or coconut refrigerated spray topping, or Whole Foods 365 brand refrigerated spray oat or coconut whipped topping)
If you want to cut down on prep time for this pie, here are a few shortcut options.
Buy canned sweet potato
It's really easy to microwave a sweet potato, but if you want it to be even easier than that, you can get canned sweet potato. Make sure to check the label. The only ingredient you want to see is sweet potato. The brand shown below is one I see most often.
Get pre-made pie shells
For pre-made shells you have a few options. Wholly Wholesome makes both vegan and vegan + gluten-free shells. Marie Callender's frozen Pastry Pie Shells are accidentally vegan. Keebler Ready Crust Graham Cracker is accidentally vegan.
What is "vegan sugar?"
Wait, why isn't all sugar vegan? Cane sugar is often processed with animal bone char in order to help bleach it white. Ew.
Sugar made from sugar beets or coconut is not processed in this way. Also, in the United States, sugar marked as organic is not processed with bone char.
If you're on a budget, try Zulka sugar. You might find it in the international aisle of your grocery store or at your local international market. Here's a resource with a bunch of different vegan sugar options you can look for in your store.
How to make vegan Sweet Potato Pie
Making the gluten-free crust
For the crust, I used a food processor. You may be able to get this done in a blender but you'll probably want to blend in short bursts so you don't over process it.
First, chop up the pecans until you have a very coarse meal. Next, add the oats and pulse a few times until they become part of the course meal. Then add the soaked dates, olive oil, and almond butter.
Pulse everything until combined (the mix will be pretty dry). Add water and pulse once or twice.
Put the mixture into your pie pan and press until it covers the pan evenly and goes up the sides. Let rest in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.
Making the sweet potato pie filling
This filling mixes very easily. You don't need a fancy blender - any one will do. Or, you can mix it in a bowl without a blender but it might not come out as smooth.
Stir together the sugars with the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace, if using.
Next, mash the sweet potato with a fork. Add it to the blender with the sugar mixture, milk, yogurt, and vanilla. Blend until completely smooth.
Pour into the crust and bake for 45 minutes at 350ºF or until it no longer jiggles in the center.
Allow the pie to cool on a baking rack for at least 3 hours. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Top with your favorite vegan whipped topping or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
- 1 1⁄4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1⁄2 cup pecans
- 6 Medjool dates. soaked in warm water at least 1 hour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smooth almond butter
- 3 tablespoon cold water
- 1 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons vegan granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance) put in the freezer at least 1 hour before using
- 4 tablespoons or more of ice water
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1⁄2 cups cooked sweet potato
- 1⁄2 cup vegan granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 cup vegan brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground mace optional
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3⁄4-1 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1⁄4 cup plain vegan yogurt
- vegan whipped topping, optional
Add pecans to a food processor and pulse until you have a very coarse meal. Add oats and pulse a few times till they become part of the course meal. Then add the dates, olive oil, and almond butter. Pulse until combined (the mix will be pretty dry). Add water and pulse once or twice. Pour mixture into a pie pan and press until it covers the pan evenly and goes up the sides. Refrigerate until the filling is done and you are ready to bake.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium-large bowl. Add the vegan butter and cut in with a pastry cutter.
You should end up with a kind of coarse sand with some larger pieces in it. Mix 4 tablespoons of the ice water with the apple cider vinegar. Add about a third of it to the dough and mix with a spoon. Repeat until you’ve used all the water mixture. The dough should form a soft ball. If all of the dry mixture hasn’t been incorporated, add more ice water a teaspoon at a time until it comes together. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, parchment, or wax paper until you have an even 12” circle. Remove the plastic or paper and lay it in your 9” pie pan. Fit it so there are no air bubbles under the crust. Now flute the edges and set it aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together the sugars with the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace, if using. Set aside. Add the sweet potato to a mixing bowl. Smash it with a fork or potato masher until it is as smooth as possible. Add it to the blender with the sugar mixture, milk, yogurt, and vanilla. Blend until completely smooth. Pour into your crust of choice and place on the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until it no longer jiggles in the center. Allow the pie to cool on a baking rack for at least 3 hours. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
You can cook the sweet potatoes for this recipe by baking, steaming, or microwaving. If you prefer, get canned sweet potato, but make sure it's just 100% sweet potato.
I like almond butter in this gluten-free crust but you can use whatever nut or seed butter you have.
I prefer to use soy milk and yogurt but you can use your favorite. I would just lean towards one of the thicker/fattier ones. For example, rice milk won't be as nice in this.
You can also use a prepared vegan crust and just skip right to the filling part of the recipe.
Prep time is calculated using gluten-free crust. The traditional crust will take longer due to refrigeration time. Don't forget to account for cooling time, too.
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Which pie(s) do you typically have on your Thanksgiving table?