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For Anyone Looking for a Pumpkin Pie Recipe

I recently posted asking for suggestions about making a pumpkin pie without dairy (I had a visitor with a limited diet). Someone suggested using coconut milk, which I did, and the pie ended up being the best anyone had ever had, regardless of the no dairy fat obstacle.

I myself intensely dislike pumpkin pie, and loved this recipe. It was light, more like custard than the dense, rubbery texture I associate with pumpkin pie, and the coconut and pumpkin tasted terrific together. That may have been a combination of using 2 eggs instead of 3, and coconut milk rather than the traditional evaporated milk or heavy cream in most recipes. For anyone wondering about how the pie set, it was completely normal, just not brick-like. Anyway, the results were so terrific (I made it twice in the last 5 days) that I wanted to share the recipe:

I pre-baked a homemade pie crust (using organic trans-fat free shortening) for about 20 minutes at 350. Pre-baking the crust kept it from becoming soggy -- another pet peeve of mine about pumpkin pie.

1 fresh sugar pie pumpkin, steamed or roasted, pureed and drained to yield ~ 2 cups pumpkin. Good-quality/ organic canned pumpkin would likely give the same results.

2 eggs

1.5 cups coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen organic)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 packed brown sugar

1 t vanilla

1/2 heaping t cinnamon

1/2 t fresh nutmeg

1/2 t salt

1/4 t allspice

1/4 t cardamom

1 t cornstarch

Mix the pumpkin and the eggs, then add the other ingredients and mix well. Pour filling into pie and bake for 15 minutes at 425F, then ~ 50 minutes more at 350F, until the insides are no longer super-shaky. Cool for a couple hours before eating.

Here's a link to the original post:

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  1. This sounds terrific! Thanks.

    1. Yes, thank you. Sounds interesting from your description of how it turned out. Especially the part about never liking punkin pie.

      1. This recipe looks delicious! I can't tell you how long I've been looking for a good pumpkin pie recipe without dairy in it. Does it have a noticeable coconut flavor? I wonder if I can serve it with some soy coconut ice cream.

        5 Replies
        1. re: cheesecake17

          Yes, you can taste the coconut but it's not overpowering. It seems like it would go well with soy ice cream, though with the richness of the coconut milk it may not be necessary. BTW I think it's pretty easy to make a dairy-free coconut sorbet -- If you don't have a recipe, I can probably dig one up. You could also sprinkle on some toasted, unsweetened coconut before serving. Hope you like it as much as we did!

          1. re: TerriL

            I had this in the mountains of Thailand, they cooked the pumpkin scooped out the meat - mixed it up and then put the "pie" mixture back into the pumpkin. This then went back on the fire pit for the final cooking.
            Tasted great, although the Irish couple we were travelling with wouldn't eat it! Seems they think of pumpkin as a weed that grows at the side of the road that only really poor people eat... their loss.


            1. re: TerriL

              I personally wouldn't eat it with the ice cream, but my family loves pumpkin pie with ice cream. I can buy coconut sorbet, but if you have a recipe that doesn't use an ice cream maker, that would be great.


              1. re: cheesecake17

                Sorry, I don't have a machine-less recipe. Just fyi if you're looking for other dairy-free recipes, I've gotten some of my best ones from David Lebovitz's blog. It's a regular foodie site, not one with a dairy-free slant. Try the coconut macaroons. He also has a great chocolate-coconut sorbet.

                1. re: TerriL

                  I guess I'll just be buying my sorbet. DH finally found a brand he likes, so no more half empty freezer burned containers going in the garbage. Thanks for the blog info!

          2. Wow, this sounds a bit strange... BUT, interesting. I am going to try this recipe for Thanksgiving and will post the reviews.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bnemes3343

              It sounds a little strange, but I want to assure you that it was in no way a concession or sacrifice when compared to traditional pumpkin pie!

            2. I made this for Thanksgiving, and it came out awesome!!! We're big coconut fans so I knew I had to try it. The coconut milk added a subtle flavor, the texture was light and wonderful, and the cardamom was a nice addition too. However, even for people that do not like coconut, I'd bet that if you didn't tell them, they wouldn't be able to discern it. I will definitely make this again!

              3 Replies
              1. re: sadiefox

                "However, even for people that do not like coconut, I'd bet that if you didn't tell them, they wouldn't be able to discern it."
                coconut is my kryptonite, but i've been trying to get used to it. i need to work on creating a dairy-free pumpkin pie recipe, so this may be a great experiment for me. i'm going to make one with coconut milk tonight...granted i'll KNOW it's there, but i'm curious to see how assertive the flavor is to someone who can't stand anything coconut.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Let me know if you can taste the coconut. My husband's cousin (who HATES any fruit or vegetable loved this pie even after I told him there was coconut involved.

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    i can't believe i'm actually saying this, but i didn't taste the coconut AT ALL!

                    i'm shocked. i made it the way i always do, subbed lite coconut milk for the evaporated milk i typically use, and added the cardamom - i think that's what did it. the floral aroma is sufficiently assertive to mask the coconut. plus, i love cardamom anyway.

                    it's official: i've conquered my culinary kryptonite!!! i love you guys :)

              2. I made four of these pies recently and everyone loved it. I made one in a cinnamon graham cracker crust, and that went over well too.

                Thanks so much for the recipe!!!

                1. Thank you for this awesome sounding recipe! I can't wait to try it. My husband and I are big coconut lovers, so even a subtle taste will go over very well with us. My son, on the other hand, does not like coconut. More pie for hubby and me!! I agree, soggy crusts are a bummer, especially if you have a delicious filling and you're looking for a flakey crust as the perfect complement. A question comes to mind: Do you bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes before lowering oven temp even if you've pre-baked?? Thanks again for posting your recipe!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: addicted2cake

                    When I made this, I pre-baked the crust with pie weights in it, then added the filling and baked it for the rest of the time with a pie crust shield on it. Yes I baked at 425 for 15 minutes. In addition to being delicious, i think it was also the most beautiful looking pie I have made.

                  2. have you ever substituted butternut squash for the pumpkin in this or any other pumpkin pie recipes? I have tons of butternut squash at home right now and want to try to use it up...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: berbere

                      I've made savory pumpkin pies before- they're always a hit at the dinner table.

                      1. re: berbere

                        I do Maple Chestnut and Butternut Squash Pie... the recipe is on Chowhound somewhere, but I put a layer of maple chestnut cream (that I make by pureeing some roasted chestnuts with maple syrup and a little evaporated milk) between the butternut squash filling and the crust. It's always well received.

                      2. It's in the oven now for Thanksgiving. Smells great. The cardamom is such a nice addition. However, I'm going on the assumption that it calls for 1/4 teaspoon, not 14 teaspoons. That would be a LOT of cardamom. Correct?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: jen456

                          ha! yes, i can't believe none of us noticed that typo sometime in the past 2 years...it is 1/4 tsp :)

                          1. re: jen456

                            I'm making this tomorrow- it's become an annual addition to the T'giving table.

                            Never noticed the cardamom mistake!!

                            1. re: jen456

                              So weird that it selectively removed the slash when I cut/pasted the original recipe. Everything else looks normal! Glad you like the pie -- I'm getting mine ready for tomorrow now. By the way, I have been using a new oil-based crust that I like a lot, and is easier than a traditional rolled crust (no rock-hard disks!). I think I found the recipe in an old magazine, but I adapted it slightly to make it non-dairy. It bakes and tastes identical either way. I don't think this is enough for a top and bottom crust, but I'm pretty sure it will make 2 bottoms. I usually make a few smaller tarts with the extra.

                              1/2 cup canola oil

                              1/4 cup milk or coconut milk (if coconut milk, use So Delicious brand, sold in the cold case next to cow’s milk, either original or unsweetened. It's now in a smaller shelf-stable container as well, so you don't have to buy a half gallon). I haven't used canned coconut milk in this recipe, because I think it would be too heavy. If you do use it, let me know if it works.

                              2 cups flour

                              1/2 t salt

                              Oven at 425F.

                              In a 1-cup measure, pour the oil just over the 1/2 cup line. Add the milk to make slightly more than 3/4 cup of liquid.

                              In a mixing bowl, mix the flour and salt, then gently stir in the oil with a rubber spatula.

                              Add 2/3 of the dough to a piece of wax paper or Silpat. Set another piece of paper or Silpat on top.

                              Roll the dough into a round about 1/8-inch thick. Gently remove the top waxed paper, working from the edges to the center. Pick up the Silpat/paper under the dough and quickly flip it over into the pie pan. Gently remove the remaining Silpat/paper sheet, working from the edges to the center. Flute or finish edges, and remove excess.

                              Prick crust a few times with a fork and bake 15-20 minutes, or until light golden brown. If it starts to puff up during baking, use a spoon, fork or rubber spatula to smooth it down. Obviously you can bake or par-bake to your liking, as with any crust.

                              1. re: TerriL

                                So Delicious is just coconut cream diluted with water (plus some thickeners & nutrients)...so if it isn't available, someone who wants to make this crust can just dilute canned coconut milk or coconut cream with water until it approximates the consistency/viscosity of regular milk.

                            2. Just made this and it is really fantastic and beautiful! Can't wait to serve it tomorrow!

                              1. Just made this for Thanksgiving 2012...it was delicious - tasted exactly like the real thing! I did not detect any coconut flavor (I used Trader Joe's coconut milk (the one in a box) in the vanilla flavor). I didn't have cardamom on hand, so I didn't add it, but would love to next time I make it - which I definitely will! Leftovers are great heated up about 30 seconds in the microwave---comfort food - yum!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: dfmshawn

                                  (I used Trader Joe's coconut milk (the one in a box) in the vanilla flavor)
                                  that's actually a diluted coconut milk "beverage," and different from canned coconut milk, which, though not specified, is what the original recipe calls for. the product you use has a milder flavor and a much thinner texture. sounds like yours worked perfectly for you, but if you ever want to try it with canned coconut milk it makes a really luxurious custard!

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Yes, it is a coconut milk "beverage", but since I had it on hand, I tried it and it tasted great, and the texture was good since it is a thicker milk than say rice milk, or almond milk. I will definitely try the canned coconut milk at some point, as it should be thicker.

                                2. Just wondering. Is it really necessary to use cornstarch? Also, if I'm making an exact substitution (coconut milk for evaporated milk) should I use full fat coconut milk or is lite ok? Thanks!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: addicted2cake

                                    lite coconut milk is fine - i use it all the time. the cornstarch isn't essential but it will help bind & solidify the custard, particularly if you're using the reduced fat milk.

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      Thanks goodhealthgourmet. Good to know. I appreciate your getting back so quickly.

                                  2. Thanks so much! I wish I'd seen this post before i made my pumpkin pie for T'day. I only make it for others because I dislike it, but I'll bet I'd love your version, esp with the coconut milk and cardamom. And I totally agree that pre-baking is important for any custard pie, unless you want your custard to sit on a bed of wallpaper paste.