This vegan pie crust checks all of the pastry boxes. It's light, flaky, and tender, just like standard pie crust. And with simple everyday ingredients, it's an easy switch to make for anyone who wants to eat plant-based or has allergies.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Flour: use plain white all-purpose flour for the best results. Pastry flour is a bit too soft to use for vegan pie dough.
- Shortening or vegan butter: shortening will make for a slightly more crumbly, shortbread like pastry. Vegan butter will act a little more like an all-butter pie crust and will be flakier, and generally people prefer the taste over shortening (which is essentially neutral).
- Vinegar: this helps to tenderize the dough. You can use any type of light vinegar - we use apple cider - and lemon juice will work in a pinch.
- Ice water: this is just cold water with ice cubes in it to make it as cold as possible. The colder your ingredients, the better.
Best Vegan Butters and Shortening
- Miyoko's European Style Cultured Vegan Butter: a plant-based butter made with cashew cream and fermented live cultures. This is our top choice, but it is pricey.
- Crisco Shortening: a tried and true classic, Crisco is 100% vegetable shortening, with no animal fat.
- Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks: we find this vegan butter substitute a bit salty, so consider omitting the added salt from the recipe if you use this.
- Naturli Blocks: if you live in Europe or the UK, this is the best option. It's most similar to Miyoko's, with a good texture.
Step 1: mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Step 2: cut or rub in the butter until the mixture looks like big crumbs.
Step 3: mix in the ice water and form the dough into a disc to chill.
Step 4: roll out the dough and use as needed.
- Use a machine: if you don't want to make dough by hand you can mix the ingredients in a stand mixer or food processor, but be careful not to over-mix.
- Patch if needed: your dough may tear while rolling it out. If this happens don't stress! Pie dough is very forgiving. Just use extra bits of dough to patch the holes and keep going. Even ugly pie still tastes like pie!
- Sweet or savoury: this crust can be used for any type of pie, one filled with fruit or one filled with vegetables. The crust itself isn't sweet.
Vegan pie dough can be more crumbly than dough made with dairy butter. That's not a bad thing! A high proportion of fat to flour means the result is a crust kind of between a flaky pie dough and crisp shortbread.
To ensure maximum flakiness you absolutely must make sure everything is cold before you begin. We sometimes chill all of our ingredients AND our tools - bowls, measuring cups, and spoons go in the freezer before we begin.
How to Store
Storage: keep the unbaked dough in the fridge, well wrapped, for up to three days.
Freezing: wrap the dough well and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge before rolling out and using as usual.
Why Chill the Dough
Before you roll it with a rolling pin, shape the pie dough into a disc, wrap it up, and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Chilling the dough helps in a few different ways:
- Letting your dough rest allows the liquid to fully hydrate the flour, resulting in a smoother, more pliable dough.
- Resting is also super important for gluten-development. Giving the gluten in the flour time to relax makes the dough easier to roll, and also reduces shrinkage in the oven.
- Chilling pie dough allows the fat to harden (as much as shortening or vegan butter can). Cold pockets of fat evaporating in the dough as it's in the oven are what creates flakiness in pie crust.
How To Blind Bake Pie Crust
Blind baking means you bake the crust part way before you add filling to it. Examples of pies made in par-baked pie crusts are coconut cream, pumpkin, and quiche. To blind bake pie crust:
- Make the vegan pie dough recipe as written. Cut the dough in half. With a rolling pin, roll one half of the dough to a thickness of ¼-inch (6-mm). Lay a 9-inch (23-cm) round pie plate - upside down - on top of the rolled dough. Lift the pie plate off and continue to roll until there is about a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border around the outside edge of the plate.
- Trim the dough into a 10-inch (25-cm) circle and carefully transfer it to the inside of the pie plate.
- Arrange the dough so it sits evenly in the pie plate. Gently press the dough into the edges of the plate with your hands. Using a fork, gently poke 8 to 10 steam holes over the bottom of the crust.
- Crimp the edges of the dough.
- Place the dough in a preheated oven at 350ºF (180ºC) and bake it for about 20-22 minutes, or until lightly golden. While the dough is in the oven check it periodically for puffing. You may need to poke a few extra holes with the fork in puffed up spots as it bakes.
- Cool the crust and proceed with filling it as per the recipe you have chosen.
What is the best vegan butter for crust?
The tastiest vegan butter available in North America is Miyoko's. Any block or stick-type of vegan butter will work, but make sure not to use a spreadable variety that comes in a tub.
What is the secret to a great pie crust?
Keep the ingredients and tools very cold, and don't over-work the dough. Just work quickly and use cold ingredients and you'll have good pie!
What is pie dough made of?
Pie dough only needs a handful of ingredients: flour, shortening or butter, and ice water. Other additions like vinegar, salt, and sometimes sugar are added.
If you make this Vegan Pie Crust recipe or any other baking basics on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Vegan Pie Dough
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- 2 Mixing bowls
- Beeswax wrap or plastic wrap
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup cold vegan shortening or butter, cut into 1-inch (2-cm) cubes
- ½ cup water cold
- 2 teaspoons vinegar apple cider, distilled white, etc.
- Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. With your fingertips work in the vegan shortening or butter into small pieces the size of peas (this process will take longer for the butter and less time with the shortening).
- In a small bowl combine the cold water, vinegar, and ice.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the water mixture to the flour, gently stirring with a fork to combine. Add more, a tablespoon at a time, until the flour is just starting to come together in pastry form.
- Transfer the dough to the countertop and very gently knead just until it comes together, being sure not to handle it too much. (Overworked dough quickly leads to tough, flat pastry.)
- Form the pastry into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap (or reusable alternative such as bees wax wrap), and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Proceed with your chosen recipe.
- The dough will last in the fridge a week or in the freezer for several months (see notes).
- Nutrition amounts are provided by an automatic calculator and are based on one double crust pie cut into 8 servings.