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Easy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Easy, delicious gluten-free pumpkin pie.

This will be one of our little secrets, okay? Just make this impossible pumpkin pie recipe and serve it with a smile. No apologies. No caveats. No waffling or waggling. You don't have to label it vegan. Or gluten-free. Or lactose-free. Which it is. Because no one will ever know. It tastes that good. And you'll score serious points with your vegan guests. You'll be a hero to gluten-free pie lovers. A goddess to egg-free pumpkin-cravers. A rock star to dairy-free angels.

My secret? It's in the details.

First- no tofu (yes, Babycakes, my pumpkin pie is soy-free so you won't have to put up with your cousin's tofu jokes on Thanksgiving).

Second- it's also rice-free. No gritty rice flour (which, come to think of it, I am hardly using any more). No cornstarch (for those of you avoiding corn). In a sweet little nutshell, it's very food allergy friendly.

Even your Aunt Sadie who is allergic to Wyoming might be able to eat this. Unless she's allergic to pumpkin. 

Then you're screwed.

My secret ingredient? My favorite grain of late. Buckwheat. I thank my lucky stars every night that I can eat buckwheat, not only because it's deeply familiar, ingrained as it is in my semi-Ashkenazi bones (while the Scot-Irish half of me pines for Guinness), it's a cereal-free "grain" with a soft, sweet nutty taste and a higher protein content than many other gluten-free flours. And it is drop-dead sexy in baking (have you tried my Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies? My Pumpkin Raisin Cake?).

Buckwheat? In a pumpkin pie? you ask.

Affirmative. You see, this is a crustless pumpkin pie- a close relative of my crustless quiches (though they contain eggs which helps beyond imagining- but vegans, keep the faith, because I'm also working on an eggless quiche slash kugel). As impossible as it seems (okay, allow me, please, a corny nod to the old Bisquick trick) the buckwheat flour helps create a tender and barely discernible crust, which- for a quasi-baker like me is a high-fiving relief because there is nothing I have less patience for than wrangling with fall-apart-when-you-sneeze gluten-free pie crust dough. Well. 

That's not entirely true.

I have even less patience for the fear-spiking sensationalism media corporations serve up as news when it is anything but. It's enough to give any sensitive soul severe schpilkis.

Which is why I disconnected my cable TV. One hundred dollars a month to get heartburn? I don't think so.

Pumpkin pie for gluten free dairy free Thanksgiving dessert
Use your favorite gluten-free flour mix if you don't care for buckwheat flour.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Originally published October 2008.
I have two more secret ingredients that make this pie work. No wait. Three. Full fat coconut milk is a must. The reason is the thickness and richness. If you can't use coconut milk, any rich, good tasting soy milk, nut milk or hemp milk would be the next best option. Thin rice milk isn't gonna cut it.

Next up is tapioca starch. I prefer it to cornstarch for thickening gluten-free pie filling. There's not much in here, but it works hard to keep your custard together. Which brings me to the final magic ingredient.

Xanthan gum. I know xanthan gum sounds like a weird and scary ingredient but in this recipe it's worth it's weight in gold because it lends a silky smoothness to the custard. And it helps to bind it (akin to what egg whites do).
My taste tester Steve pronounced, This might be the best pumpkin pie I've ever eaten. Though maybe he was just hoping to get lucky.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 9-inch glass pie plate.

I made the pie in a food processor. It helps to thoroughly process the ingredients, lickity split. This is the one I use: Cuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor

In a food processor bowl, add:

1 14 or 15-oz can organic pumpkin
1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk (or vanilla soy/almond milk)
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer
3/4 cup organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup GF buckwheat or sorghum flour (or see tips below)
2 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Cover and process until smooth and creamy. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl, if necessary to incorporate all of the dry ingredients.

Pour into the prepared pie plate and smooth evenly. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for about an hour until done. The pie should be firm- but still give a little when lightly touched. The center should not be wet.
It will fall a bit as it cools, like my Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe.

Cool the pie on a wire rack completely. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

1 hour

Yield: 1 pie with 8 slices

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Karina's Tips:

Not a fan of buckwheat? You can use your favorite gluten-free flour mix instead.
Looking for a pumpkin pie recipe with a crust? Try my Pumpkin Pie with Praline Topping and a Coconut-Pecan Crust here.
If you prefer to use eggs, use two beaten organic free-range eggs instead of the egg replacer.

More pumpkin treats from food bloggers:

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes by Elise at Simple Recipes
Impossible Vegan Pumpkin Pie by Susan at FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Muffins by Elana's Pantry



  1. Sadly, no one liked this pie!

    I made this pumpkin pie yesterday for Thanksgiving. I followed the recipe exactly as is with the exception of using 2 eggs instead of the Ener-G and oil. I was very disappointed - the color of the pie was a greyish brown (nothing like the photo) even though I used the same brand of buckwheat mentioned in the blog comments by Karina and used bright orange pumpkin puree (organic). I was quite concerned to serve the pie as it looked very unappealing but did not have time nor ingredients to make anything else. Unfortunately, no one liked the pie (including myself). I was so embarrassed. It was most of my guests' first time trying gluten free dessert so that kind of made matters worse as now this is their impression of gluten free dessert! It did not taste good at all - the consistency was ok, but the color was very unappealing and everyone found it very bland.

    I am not understanding all of these glowing reviews. I learned my lesson - never serve a pie to company that you haven't tried yourself first!

    I love Karina and really appreciate this blog, but this pie just wasn't any good. What am I missing here? I've had so many better GF pies in the past - I regret not making one of those...

    respectfully yours,
    brooklyn mom to GF family

  2. This. was. FANTASTIC. I made three replacements: 1 egg for the egg replacer, grapeseed oil for the olive oil, and corn starch rather than tapioca starch. Made a gluten-free crust. Poured the ingredients into the crust, baked it and: voila. An absolutely scrumptious pie that everyone loved, even the "normal" eaters!

    Thank you so much for this recipe, it was truly a Thanksgiving saver, as we have a variety of dietary restrictions in our family, and a lot of gluten-free pumpkin pie recipes are mere conveyors of tons of tofu, and there's someone in our family who is allergic to soy.

    I was especially impressed because the coconut milk in this pie did not totally overwhelm it. (I like coconut milk okay, but really coconut-y things I don't care for.)

    Awesome recipe!! Thank you.

  3. I'll answer my own question. When baked in cupcake pans, they take about half an hour. They don't look done, and the sides will be much taller than the middle. But after they cool, the gooey middle firms into the right texture.
    Three preschoolers and their teacher enjoyed them. Thank you so much!

  4. Karina,
    Thank you so much for starting this blog. I have tried to find great GF recipes for my mother and none have really compared to the ones I have found on here. I really enjoy the recipes as well as your posts on here, it's not just a recipe, you really invoke a feeling with every recipe. I am compiling a "book" for my mother bc not only is she GF she is computer illiterate, of course, all the credit is going to you for all these great meals she will be able to make. I love these recipes so much I will be making them for my own family!! Most of all I am so thankful to have found great tasting GF recipes for my mother, she has been trying so hard to make the switch but she has been "cheating" and I don't want her to suffer anymore just because the food she loves is not GF. You have so many wonderful items on here that I know she will love!! I am so blessed to have found your blog because now I can help my mother stay healthy!! Thank you so much Karina!!

  5. When you say full-fat coconut milk, do you mean the kind that you would use in a curry in stead of the drinkable kind? Thanks!