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Gluten-Free Pecan Pie

This glorious gluten-free pecan pie is adapted from my mom’s beloved Thanksgiving dessert recipe. When my mom married my dad, she didn’t know how to cook. Her mom never taught her. Over the years, she definitely learned her way around the kitchen. And my dad’s love for sweets turned her into an expert pie maker.

I have so many wonderful childhood memories of making pies with mom. It was important to her that I learn how to cook at a much younger age than she did. So she always let me help in the kitchen, no matter how much I slowed her down.

whole uncut Gluten-Free Pecan Pie on table ready to cut and serve

Mom’s Pecan Pie Made Gluten-Free and Refined Sugar-Free

Like my mom, I welcome my girls into the kitchen to help with the process, and we all love savoring the results together. According to my whole family (including my mom and dad) this heavenly pie is a pecan lover’s dream.

My mom might have passed her acquired love of baking onto me, but I had to learn the “free-from” part on my own. This particular recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, and even corn-free.

That’s right, a gluten-free pecan pie without corn syrup!

slice of gluten-free pecan pie sitting on stacked plates with cut pie in background

Why You Don’t Need to Use Corn Syrup in Pecan Pie

Corn is an issue for many people, including me, but I was determined to enjoy a slice of pecan pie with my mom again. After some research, I learned that corn syrup really isn’t an essential ingredient.

Pecan Pie was Originally Made without Corn Syrup!

Sugar pies originated in Medieval Europe, and variations gradually made their way to the U.S. In the late 1800s, that sugar pie concept was used to create pecan pie in the south. The first recorded appearance of pecan pie was a recipe submitted by a woman in Texas to a St. Louis cookbook in 1898. At that time, corn syrup didn’t exist. Early recipes simply used sugar, while some later versions used a darker sugar syrup or molasses.

But pecan pie achieved fame in the 1930s when Karo, the makers of corn syrup, promoted it. They adapted pecan pie, and many variations, to use their corn syrup. By the 1950s, those recipes had become holiday essentials.

Gluten Free Corn Syrup Free Pecan Pie on plate with a pie cut off with fork, waiting to be eaten

This Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Recipe is Deliciously Corn Syrup Free

Corn syrup is an invert sugar, which means that it helps prevent crystallization in sweets like candies and gelato. It can also provide shine and body in sauces. But it really isn’t essential for a perfect gluten-free pecan pie.

I use maple syrup in place of corn syrup, and haven’t had any issues with crystallization. It also adds delicious depth of flavor and richness that corn syrup just can’t match. Maple pecan is a classic flavor for a reason!   

If you don’t believe me, then perhaps Peggy R., one of my readers, will convince you. She hails from the Pecan Pie State (yes, Texas really does have a state dessert!):

“This is not only the best “healthified” gluten-free pecan pie recipe I’ve ever found, but it’s one of the best, period. And trust me – I grew up in Texas, so I’ve eaten a LOT of pecan pie!”

unbaked raw gluten-free pie crust in pie pan, ready for filling

Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Ingredient Tips and Substitutions

Pecan pie filling is more forgiving than some people might think, but there are definitely some dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

Coconut Sugar and Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is the star of the show in this paleo pecan pie filling, but the coconut sugar does add some nice molasses undertones. If you need to substitute it, you can use another granulated sugar. However, other sugars tend to be sweeter and not as rich.

I don’t recommend substituting the maple syrup because it adds amazing flavor. But if you must, you can substitute another liquid sweetener. Just keep the flavor of the sweetener in mind. Molasses, for example, might be too strong, while agave nectar will have a very light taste. I don’t recommend using brown rice syrup, because it has a mild bitterness that some people might notice.

Vegan Butter

I use Earth Balance – they have a soy-free, corn-free version available. You can substitute coconut oil, but it will have a slight influence on the flavor, and the dairy-free pecan pie filling won’t set up as well at room temperature. You might need to refrigerate the pie to help it fully set. 

Eggs

I don’t recommend trying to make this recipe egg-free. The filling is completely flour- and starch-free, which means the eggs provide all of the structure. If you need an egg-free, vegan pecan pie treat, try my Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Cookies or my Paleo Pecan Pie Bars.  Both recipes are grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan.

Pecans

You might have noticed that I specified “raw” pecan halves. Please do NOT toast the raw pecans prior to assembling this gluten-free pecan pie. The top layer of pecans will burn while baking if they are toasted beforehand.

The light, crisp bite, rich flavor, and mild sweetness of pecans make them a natural for pie. But don’t hesitate to swap in some other nuts, or a combination of compatible nuts, if you’re feeling adventurous. Just keep the taste of the nut in mind. Walnuts, cashews, and even peanuts (if tolerated), are sometimes used in pies like this.

More Gluten-Free Pie Inspired Recipes to Serve

Whether you dollop it with dairy-free whipped cream, add a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream, or serve it simply with coffee, pie is a holiday staple. That’s why I love to serve more than one type at Thanksgiving! Bake this corn-free, gluten-free pecan pie along with one (or more!) of these pie-inspired dessert recipes.

Guilt-Free Vegan Pecan Pie Cookies from Allergy Free Alaska

Gluten-Free Maple Butter Tarts from Faithfully Gluten Free

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie from Allergy Free Alaska

Gluten-Free Fudge Pecan Pie from What The Fork Food Blog

Mom’s Gluten Free Vegan Apple Pie from Allergy Free Alaska

Paleo Vegan Pecan Pie Bars from Allergy Free Alaska

From reader Peggy R.:
This is not only the best gf/”healthified” pecan pie recipe I’ve ever found, but it’s one of the best, period. And trust me – I grew up in Texas, so I’ve eaten a LOT of pecan pie!

I hope you enjoy this gf pecan pie as much as me and my family do!
xo,
Mēgan

slice of gluten free pecan pie sitting on plate with scoop of ice cream

Pin this gluten-free pecan pie to your gluten-free pies Pinterest board!

Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Recipe:

slice of gluten-free pecan pie sitting on stacked plates with cut pie in background

Gluten-Free Pecan Pie

Yield: one 9-inch Pie
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Swapping out the corn syrup for pure maple syrup in this Gluten-Free Pecan Pie (Corn Syrup-Free, Refined Sugar-Free) adds to the depth and richness of the pie’s flavor. Maple syrup is so amazing on its own, but when used in pecan pie, it’s downright fabulous.

Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked Gluten-Free Pie Crust
  • 1 cup coconut sugar(or palm sugar)
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups raw pecan halves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the organic coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, vegan butter, eggs, sea salt, and vanilla extract. Stir in the raw pecan halves.
  3. Pour the filling into the prepared unbaked pie shell and place the pie on a large baking sheet (just in case the pie spills over). Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees (F). Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees (F) and bake for an additional 30 minutes. The pie is completely cooked through when the top is deep golden and filling doesn’t jiggle. The filling may puff up during baking. If this happens, don’t be alarmed. It will settle as it cools. Place on a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before serving.

Notes

I don’t recommend trying to make this recipe egg-free. Try these Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Cookies, or Paleo Pecan Pie Bars instead. They are grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan.

If you can’t have vegan butter of any kind, coconut oil or ghee can be used as a substitute.

Some like to toast their pecans prior to assembling their pecan pie. PLEASE do NOT do that with this recipe, as the baking time is long enough to toast the pecans. If you toast the pecans beforehand, they will burn while baking.

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I hope you enjoy this gf pecan pie! Please come back and give it an honest rating if you make it!

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Bridy

Thursday 10th of December 2020

I found your page looking for a refined sugar free pecan pie. The recipe looks great and I am excited to try it for Christmas. Thank you!

Mēgan

Thursday 10th of December 2020

You bet! I think you'll enjoy this, Bridy! Thanks!

Heather

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

Thinking of making this for Thanksgiving but my family never eats a whole pie. What changes would you recommend for making mini pies? Specifically around bake time and temp. Thanks in advance!

Mēgan

Thursday 10th of December 2020

Hi Heather, I have no made this recipe into mini pies, so am unsure of baking times.

Jennifer

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

This looks amazing and thank you so much for sharing! :) If I cheated and purchased a gf frozen pie crust, do I thaw that out or bake it before putting in the filling, or do I put this filling into the frozen crust and then bake? I have been trying to find the online, but am getting mixed answers. Thank you!

Mēgan

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

Hi Jennifer! I would thaw your pre-made crust first. Then fill, and then bake the pie as a whole. :) No need to prebake your crust ahead of time!

christa sweeney

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

Hi! I was wondering if this can be left on the counter like normal pie? Or does it need to be the fridge?

Mēgan

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

Hi Christa, This pie can certainly be left out on the counter longer than than a dairy-filled pie can. That said, I wouldn't necessarily leave it on the counter overnight. I think 6-ish hours is about the max I'd leave it out for.

Gwen

Wednesday 29th of July 2020

I made 2 of these pies this past weekend and followed the recipe. They turned out well. The family loved them. They were delicious. This recipe is a definite keeper!!

Mēgan

Friday 31st of July 2020

So thrilled to hear that, Gwen!

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