A generous splash of bourbon gives this Vegan Pecan Pie even more warm and festive flavor! No eggs, dairy, or corn syrup here. The sweet and rich filling is made with just 8 ingredients, including dates, plant-based butter, and maple syrup. It's nutty, easy, and perfect for the holidays.
Make it gluten-free with our popular vegan gluten-free pie crust!
Pecan pie is a southern classic, and growing up in Alabama I ate plenty of it. Of course, back then I wasn't vegan. Heck, no one I knew was vegan! So those pies were made with dairy and eggs, and there was probably lard in the pie crust.
Since eggs, butter, and corn syrup make up the bulk of the sweet and sticky filling in classic pecan pie, you might expect it to be a difficult dish to make vegan. But like so many other desserts, it's actually surprisingly easy!
While there's no shortage of vegan pecan pie recipes online, this year I wanted to come up with my own twist, using a beloved vegan ingredient that doubles as both a sweetener and an egg replacer..... dates!
Dates are perfect in so many desserts because of their natural caramel-like sweetness and stickiness.
I knew after just one test batch of this recipe that the dates were a winner. However, that didn't stop me from making this pie at least four more times over the following two weeks (I say at least because, well, I may have lost track).
I wanted to get the recipe just right for the blog, but also, this was right before Thanksgiving. We had two Friendsgiving potlucks to attend, which meant extra opportunity for feedback from taste testers!
Here's a quick look a the 7 ingredients you'll need for the pecan pie filling.
- raw pecan halves - pecan pieces are also fine if that's what you have.
- medjool dates - for the best results make sure the dates are soft and fresh so they blend easily.
- pure maple syrup
- vegan butter - any butter you like is fine. I used Earth Balance. If you use an unsalted butter add about ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt to the mixture.
- vanilla extract
- corn starch - or arrowroot starch
- bourbon - use any bourbon you enjoy sipping. I used Old Forester, which is inexpensive but surprisingly good!
NOTE: most bourbons are vegan-friendly, but there are a few brands that aren't. When in doubt visit Barnivore.com.
See recipe card below for amounts and full instructions.
How to Make Vegan Bourbon Pecan Pie
If you're intimidated by pie, please don't be! I promise you can do this. Especially if you use my almond flour pie crust. It's seriously the EASIEST pie crust recipe you'll ever work with.
It's gluten-free and made without butter or oil, so you don't need to worry about overworking the dough or keeping everything cold. It's about as fool-proof as pie dough gets. Okay, onto the pie filling...
- Dissolve corn starch in bourbon to create a slurry. In a large food processor blend the slurry with dates, maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Add melted vegan butter and process again until mostly smooth. Add about 1 ½ cups pecan halves and pulse to chop.
- Spread the filling in a pie crust that has been pre-baked for 5 minutes. Decorate the top with the remaining pecans. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 C) for about 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
When you first pull the pie from the oven the filling will be bubbly, slightly puffy, and gorgeous. No eggs needed!
Let the pie cool then serve with your favorite vegan ice cream or whipped topping.
Does it taste like regular pecan pie?
The flavor is slightly different than classic pecan pies made with corn syrup. But in my opinion, that's a good thing! If you're one of my regular readers, you already know my approach to recipe development is one that embraces more wholesome and natural ingredients... most of the time.
I'm not claiming this is a "healthy" dessert. If that's what you're looking for I highly recommend this healthier vegan pecan pie (it's oil-free and gluten-free).
But this vegan bourbon pecan pie is meant for special occasions. There's no shortage of fat and sugar here.
Can I make it without bourbon?
Absolutely. For a booze-free pecan pie simply substitute non-dairy milk or orange juice for the bourbon.
You can also vary the amount of bourbon to suit your taste - any amount from 2 to 5 tablespoons works well. We found that 4 tablespoons (¼ cup), is enough for the bourbon flavor to really shine without being too strong.
Just like our chocolate pecan pie, this vegan bourbon pecan pie is great for carrying to parties and family gatherings because it holds up beautifully at room temperature.
Though traditionally served at room temp, pecan pie can also be served slightly warm, which is especially nice a la mode.
How to Store
After removing the pie from the oven, let it cool for 2 to 3 hours. Loosely cover with plastic or foil. Store leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Vegan pecan pie is also freezer-friendly. Be sure to wrap it well to protect from air and freezer burn, and freeze for up to one month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
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If you try this Vegan Bourbon Pecan Pie recipe I would love to hear from you. Comment below with a star rating and let us know!
Vegan Bourbon Pecan Pie
- 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust - for a gluten-free crust, try my Healthy Vegan Pie Crust. See Notes for traditional flour pastry.
- 3 to 4 tablespoons bourbon (1.5 - 2 fl. oz.) - or sub non-dairy milk or orange juice.
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch - or arrowroot
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates, packed very full - about 14 large dates
- ⅔ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons vegan butter, melted - if using unsalted butter, add ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 ½ cups raw pecan halves, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mug, whisk together the bourbon and cornstarch to make a slurry.
- Use a fork to dock the pie crust (poke holes across the bottom). Pre-bake the pie crust for 5 minutes then set aside.
- Add the pitted dates, bourbon slurry, vanilla and maple syrup to the bowl of a food processor and process until mostly smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Add the melted butter and process until completely smooth. Add 1 ½ cups pecans and pulse to chop.
- Pour filling into the prepared pie crust, and decorate the top with the remaining pecan halves. Bake for 37 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Note: if using my GF pie crust recipe (linked above) you won't need to cover the edges of the pie. If using a traditional flour pastry crust you may need to cover the edges with a pie shield or foil after about 25 minutes to prevent over-browning.
- Let the pie cool completely before slicing. See Notes for storage instructions.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.
This recipe was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated with new photos and a few changes to the recipe. If you were a fan of the previous version and would like to know what changed, drop me a line in the comments below!