This creamy, delicious vegan pumpkin pudding pie is everything you'd want in a comforting, filling dessert that combines the best of fall's flavors. The fact that it's vegan and gluten-free won't keep anyone away -- it also doesn't hurt that the pie has four luscious layers of goodness! I first spotted this dessert and wanted to make a vegan and gluten-free version as a make-ahead dessert to serve at any of the fall and holiday gatherings we have in the upcoming months. Using a modification of a favorite homemade pumpkin pudding recipe didn't take much time (instead of using instant pudding boxes), and it yielded a pumpkin pudding filling that brings the whole dessert together without overpowering it. Try this recipe for a kid and crowd-friendly dessert that will disappear quickly. And no, we can never have enough pumpkin recipes!
1. Gather the ingredients.
For the crust:
- 2 cups gluten-free flour mix
- 1 cup vegan butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup pecan pieces
For the cream cheese layer:
- 1 8oz container of vegan cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup vegan whipped topping*
For the pudding layer:
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 2 1/2 cups non-dairy milk, divided
- 1/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch
- 1 cup coconut or regular sugar
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup vegan whipped cream
- vegan whipped cream (at least 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces, chopped small
*For this recipe, if you are using So Delicious! Dairy Free Coco Whip like I did, you will use one entire container plus 1/3 to 1/2 of a second container, depending on how thick you want the top cream layer to be.
2. Make and bake the crust.
Preheat the over to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, place the gluten-free flour mix, vegan butter, and pecans. Pulse until a dough forms. Press the dough into a greased 9 by 13 Pyrex container, making sure that the layer is as uniform as possible. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Let cool.
3. Make the cream cheese layer and spread.
While the crust is cooling, make the cream cheese layer. Clean and dry your food processor and then add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and whipped cream. Process until smooth and creamy. Resist the urge to just eat this layer out of the food processing bowl. When the crust is cool to the touch, spread the cream cheese layer on top. Place the container into the fridge while making the pudding layer.
4. Make the pudding.
In a small bowl, mix the potato starch or corn starch with 1/2 cup of milk into a slurry. Set aside. In a medium to large saucepan, add the other 2 cups of non-dairy milk, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Scoop out a few spoonfuls of the hot mixture and add to the slurry, mixing well. Then add the slurry back into the pan, whisking quickly. The mixture should immediately thicken and begin to gel. Whisk in the pumpkin puree. Turn the heat off and add the vanilla extract and 3/4 cup vegan whipped cream, whisk until smooth (if the mixture becomes difficult to mix, add a tablespoon or two of milk or maple syrup to thin out). Pour the pudding over the cream cheese layer, spreading the pudding over the entire surface. Cover and put the dish into the refrigerator.
5. Cover and top.
Let the pudding chill for at least an hour (preferably 2 hours) and then spread at least 1 1/2 cups of vegan whipped cream on top of the pudding pie. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
6. Let chill, serve, and enjoy!
Put the container into the refrigerator and let chill, at least another 2-3 hours, but preferably overnight. This will allow the pudding to completely set up firmly and be easier to cut into square pieces. For comparison, the piece in the above picture was cut after 3 hours of refrigeration. The lead picture in this post was taken after 24 hours of refrigeration. Makes about 9-12 servings, depending on size. Enjoy!