Updated Thanksgiving Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pecans

Thanksgiving Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pecans from Fran Costigan

My favorite pumpkin pie recipe was published in More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally in 2006. It is still a keeper but over time, I tweaked it some. This is the first time I am sharing the updated recipe. It’s even better!!

Here is a vegan pumpkin pie with a difference—both dense and creamy, and spiced just right,  although it is made without cream or eggs.

Game Plan:

Remember that the pie needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least five hours, before serving, and overnight is fine, so plan ahead.  Allow the pie to return to room temperature before serving.

Do not place the nuts on the filling until shortly before you are ready to serve– or the sugars will ‘leak’ and get the surface of the pie wet. Its cosmetic only, but let’s serve pretty pie.

About the candied pecans. I can vouch for the fact that you’d best make a double batch of nuts or there will be none left for the pie–they are that good. Use the nut recipe to make spicy nuts, as my son did one year. Mix ancho chili powder to taste into the syrups.

Updated Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pecans

Yield: one 9-inch pie (8 to 10 servings)



  • 1 12.5 ounce aseptic box of firm silken tofu (Mori Nu or Morenga)
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree or 1 (15-ounce) can organic pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 cup dark whole cane sugar (Sucanat or coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, grade B or dark amber, divided
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Candied Pecans

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, grade B or dark amber
  • 2 teaspoons molasses, barley malt or coconut nectar
  • 1 1/2 cups raw pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons dark whole cane sugar (Sucanat) or coconut sugar


  1. Position a rack in the lowest section of the oven and another rack in the middle, and preheat to 375 degrees.
  2. To make the filling, tip the water our of the box of tofu. Add the tofu and pumpkin to a food processor and process until creamy.
  3. Clean the sides of the processor bowl with a spatula, and add the sugar, spices, salt, 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup and the vanilla. Process a minute until thoroughly mixed..
  4. Combine the arrowroot and remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in a small bowl. Stir with a fork until the arrowroot is dissolved. Add to pumpkin mixture and process about a minute.
  5. Bake the pie: Remove the pie dough (fitted into the pan)  from the refrigerator and place the pie pan on a sheet pan. Pour the filling into the crust.
  6.  Bake on the lower rack for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Move the pie to the upper rack and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling looks darker and has a sheen. The filling will have cracked and the center will jiggle when the pie is moved. A knife inserted into a crack near the center will come out almost clean and feel hot.The filling will firm as the pie cools.
  7. Cool the pie to room temperature on a footed wire rack. Cover with parchment paper and refrigerate for 5 to 6 hours.

Make the Candied Nuts

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the maple syrup and molasses in a medium bowl. Add the pecans and toss until well coated. Spread the pecans on the prepared sheet in an even layer and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the dark whole cane or coconut sugar. Bake 4 minutes and stir. Bake 3 or 4 minutes longer, until the sugar is melted and bubbling. an
  4. Set the baking sheet on a rack and allow the nuts to cool to room temperature. Store the nuts until they are needed for the pie, in a tightly covered container, at room temperature. They can be make 2 to 3 days ahead.

Assemble and Serve: Remove the pie from the refrigerator a hour ahead of serving to allow it to return to room temperature. When you are ready to serve the pie, or up to 15 minutes before serving, place the nuts decoratively on topts., as many or as few as you like. Or serve the pie without nuts and pass a bowl of nu


Pie recipe adapted from More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally, © 2006 by Fran Costigan.

Pie crust from Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan, ©2013



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  • Hi Fran – recipe looks great – thank you for sharing. Any thoughts of good tofu substitutions for people who can’t have soy? Thanks in advance!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • This is one of my few soy-based recipes. I can’t give you an easy answer to replace 12.3 oz of tofu. I do expect to develop a soy free pumpkin pie but it won’t ne in time for this Thanksgiving. I bet you can find another pumpkin pie recipe to use, one that works for you and then add the nut topping. Happy Thanksgiving. Sorry I was not able to be of more help this time.

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