Perfect Vegan Pie Crust

September 15, 2021
9 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Makes A double crust for smaller pie pans or a single crust with lattice topping for deep-dish pie pans
Author Notes

Think a perfectly flaky pie crust is impossible without butter? Think again. This pie crust is totally authentic and yet totally dairy free—all thanks to the magic of coconut oil. —Gena Hamshaw

Test Kitchen Notes

You may think that making a deliciously flaky pie crust vegan is an impossible task, but it can be done, and we will show you how. This go-to recipe, perfect for Thanksgiving to accommodate all tastes and dietary restrictions, is very easy to make, and you probably have all the ingredients in your fridge and pantry already. Featuring coconut oil, you won't need any butter or additional dairy. As some reviewers have mentioned, if you're concerned that your pie will taste a little too coconutty, you should try using refined coconut oil.

The developer for this recipe enjoys using the food processor to make her pie crusts, which, she admits, could make some crust connoisseurs cringe. But using one makes the whole process fast and simple. Seriously, there's no reason to be intimidated if you want to take on the task of making a beautiful pie crust at home. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries, but it's well worth it when it all comes together. Of course, you could also use your hands to make this dough too if you want to go the more rustic vibe. Just try not overwork the dough too much and let the ingredients get too warm. It's also convenient that you can keep the crust in the fridge until you're ready to fill and bake. We love this crust with a blueberry filling, an apple filling, even a strawberry one if you want a springtime pie, but feel free to experiment with your favorite, in-season fruits. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Perfect Vegan Pie Crust
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the surface
  • 1 tablespoon cane or demerara sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (or more) coconut oil, cool enough to be solid
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cups ice water
  1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse to combine. Add the oil and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and will stick together when you squeeze it. Pulse in ⅓ cup water, until the dough holds together when you make a handful of it and is visibly starting to come together in the food processor. It’s fine to have a lot of crumbs still—that’ll make a good, flaky crust—but it should be easy to shape into a large ball. If necessary, add a little more water until the texture is right. Alternately, you can cut the oil into very small pieces and work into the flour with bare, dry hands. Add the water and knead until it has the texture described above.
  2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. If you’re not ready to use the crust, shape into a flat ball, wrap with plastic, place in a freezer bag, and freeze. If you are ready to use it but not at this very second, store in the fridge until it’s time to bake.
  3. When you are ready to use the crust, make sure it’s soft enough to roll. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large circle—enough that you can imagine easily covering your pie pan—using extra flour to keep things from sticking as you go. Gingerly lift onto your pie pan (little tears are fine; you can fix them later). Squeeze the edges to make a pretty, puckered pattern. Refrigerate the crust until ready to bake.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Eliz.
  • Stephanie B.
    Stephanie B.
  • Maria I Powers
    Maria I Powers
  • Stefano Arturi
    Stefano Arturi
  • catalinalacruz

47 Reviews

Eliz. November 17, 2021
Hi, please consider this a question rather than a review. Why is coconut oil presented as a healthful substitute for butter given the higher amount of saturated fat it contains? My triglycerides are now under control, but they have been high. I have cut back substantially on dairy and am looking into vegan alternatives. Previously, I increased the flakiness of my pie crust with apple cider vinegar, a tiny bit of baking powder, and a 1:4 ratio of leaf lard (happy pigs gobbling up acorns in woods surrounding local farms before their horrible demises, etc.) to butter. Are there recommendations for a really good pie pastry that contains neither dairy fat nor coconut oil? Should I get over my reluctance to buy products vs. ingredients?
Stephanie B. November 21, 2019
I made the half portion, and maybe I messed up my division but this turned out badly. I think it needed a lot more coconut oil than half of 1/2c. I know the recipe says or more as necessary, but how much more? I added about a tbsp more than the recipe called for, and the dough was pretty fine but held together when I squeezed it. Added water also until the dough held together. But it baked into a very flat, crisp, cracker like texture that did not brown well. I don't think there was enough fat to get good browning or color, or water to get steam for good flakiness :(
Stephanie B. November 26, 2019
I looked back at this recipe, and compared to my all-butter crust recipes (I've tried a few), this is using about half the amount of coconut oil to flour. My go-to butter pie crust is 1 1/4c flour to 1/2c of butter for a single crust. This recipe (for a single crust) would be 1 1/8c flour to 1/4c of coconut oil. I realize coconut oil has a little more fat and very little water compared to butter, but this ratio strikes me as way off. Is there a typo in this recipe?
Maria I. April 21, 2019
I followed this recipe verbatim for some reason my crust came out super crumbly after being in fridge for 40 minutes. Didn't work for me oh well. 🙁
Stefano A. July 19, 2017
worth trying
I made this dough using virgin coconut oil. The dough behaved ok and it cooked nicely. I used a peach and blueberry filling, which I poured onto the still raw, but frozen shell (scattered with biscuits crumbs). the tart cooked beautifully in 40 minutes. It was crisp, golden, perfectly cooked and not soggy, nicely short. HOWEVER, it does taste unmistakably of coconut, which I did not like at all. If u r a coconut fan, I would give it a go, otherwise I would explore first other vegan pastry doughs.
Cris C. November 13, 2017
Try using refined coconut oil. It doesn't have that coconutty taste.
catalinalacruz June 4, 2017
A problem I have using coconut oil in pastry is that the kitchen temperature, always a wild card (the time of year, the weather that day), has a great deal to do with how well it rolls out. It is sort of a Goldy Locks and the Three Bears dilemma. Too warm and it falls apart. Too cool, and it remains to hard to roll out. Even the flour temperature influences the hardness or softness of the dough. There has to be a temperature that's just right, as Goldy Locks would say, but I don't know what it is. And if I did, would my kitchen temperature cooperate?
Windischgirl June 4, 2017
That's been my frustration with coconut oil, which is why I rarely use it. It seems to either be crumbly or liquid, not much in-between. Butter and other vegetable fats have a phase that is 'creamy' and spreadable. I share your frustration!
Claire S. December 9, 2016
I made two batches of this recipe at separate times (after forgetting I needed a top and bottom crust). The first one was made with unrefined virgin coconut oil and refrigerated overnight. The next one was made the next day with refined coconut oil and rolled out for the pie pan immediately. After transferring from the food processor and trying to roll out, I put it back in the processor to add a splash more water to keep it together, and it came together just fine.

I took out the dough from the night before and after a few hours sitting out at room temp, it was still rock hard. I needed to bake it so I put it in the microwave for 30 seconds, which softened it up, but when I tried to roll it out, the dough would not stick together. I looked fine down on the counter, but as soon as I tried to pick it up, it would come apart. I tried adding more water like with the other crust, but it just wouldn't stay together.

Does anyone know why one of the crusts worked but the other didn't? Was it the overnight refrigeration and subsequent microwaving? Was it refined vs. unrefined coconut oil? The crust that did work was delicious and I'd love to make it again and want to make sure it works!
Jaime S. November 22, 2016
Would this work with turbinado sugar?
neshama369 August 8, 2016
my problem with the coconut and vegan shortening is that they start to soften very quickly, unlike butter, when cold, which holds its shape. so, i don't get the pebbly thing. i tried putting it in the frig, and that made it too hard. any ideas?
Samantha L. November 26, 2015
I used this recipe for my apple pie this year- I have people who have a real aversion to coconut so I subbed the coconut oil for soy-free Earth Balance spread. It was so easy, everyone(even non-vegans) raved about it, and I've never made a pie crust in my life! Thanks!
Samantha L. November 26, 2015
PS I don't have a food processor or fact pastry knife, I just used a butter knife and my hands and it was fine!
Cris C. November 13, 2017
That's my plan! I'm going to use 1/2 refined coconut oil and 1/2 Earth Balance.
Denise F. November 21, 2015
So there's no pre-cooking of the dough?
Renata H. December 16, 2014
I don't know what I did wrong, I followed exactly the recipe but at the end it had a very strong coconut flavor (and it was an artichoke/spinach/tofu filling) and very hard to cut. Could be that I used GF flour?
1234cake December 20, 2014
If you want to avoid the coconut flavor I'd recommend refined coconut oil next time. Most extra-virgin types (depending on quality) are going to impart a pretty potent coconut flavor to anything they're used in.
Gee November 30, 2014
I made creamy mushroom pies with this and it worked so well! Didn't have quite enough coconut oil so subbed in some Pure (vegan olive oil spread) and it was delicious. It took about 40 mins to fully cook. Thanks :)
CJ October 22, 2014
Do you think it would be possible to sub out the flour (or some of it) for buckwheat or almond or a more nutritious alternative?
Chantelle R. September 16, 2014
CookedGoose I think it wound press well into a pan . I will try it in muffin tins for mini pie .
Chantelle R. September 16, 2014
I used this recipe to make vegan hand pies I used 2 Tb of organic sugar . I was leary of coconut oil working flaky magic in the crust but it awesome . Slightly sweet it played off my filling and stood up to a good stuffing of it . I gave a water bath and a sprinkle fine cinnamon sugar. Big hit !
CookedGoose June 27, 2014
Just made this; I thought the crust was a bit too dry when I put it in the pan, but it baked beautifully. I might add a bit more sugar next time.
Does anyone think this could work as a pate brisee, allowing one to press the dough in the pan instead of rolling it out?
Judith April 20, 2014
Oops, my comment was mostly about the pumpkin pie recipe on this site:
Judith April 20, 2014
I should add that I have a mini roller that's perfect for rolling out dough right inside the pie plate pan.
Judith April 20, 2014
For Easter Dinner today I decided to try this cashew based recipe instead of the tofu based one I've used in the past. My daughter is also allergic to gluten, so I make a pie crust subbing the flour for Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, and instead of rolling it out I just press and roll it out right inside the pie crust pan. I poke it with a fork in several spots and then bake at 350 for ~14 minutes. Then I put the pumpkin pie filling in and bake. It turned out beautifully! The taste was much more pumpkin like than the tofu based recipe, and my family gobbled it up. For the topping, I make the whipped cream using canned coconut milk that's been in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Just whip it up with 2-3 tbsps of sugar. Make sure the pie is cool before putting the coconut whipped cream on top. This pumpkin pie recipe is a winner! I'll be making it for all future holiday dinners, scrumptious!!!
Amanda R. January 15, 2014
How long do you suggest this bakes for, and at what temp?