Coconut oil pie crust has eluded me for a while now, but after many attempts, I’m so happy to have found a method that works!
Why Coconut Oil?
It’s natural, dairy-free, vegan, gluten free, easy to find, versatile, unrefined, and unprocessed. Some even argue it’s a health food we should be eating more of.
Plus, our readers have been asking for a replacement for vegan butter in pie crust for a while now, and I knew coconut oil would be the perfect fit.
Coconut oil yields a perfectly flaky crust that’s easy to work with, versatile, and somehow doesn’t taste like coconut in the finished product! It’s borderline sorcery, I know!
Scoopable, not Liquid
First things first: The consistency of the coconut oil is extremely important to ensure the success of this recipe.
You want the coconut oil to be in the state it’s typically in when you buy it at the store: Scoopable (see photo below).
If the coconut oil is too runny or liquid, the crust can be difficult to work with. I include some tips in the notes if your oil is liquid to ensure you start off on the right foot!
Does it Behave Differently?
No! Other than paying attention to the texture of the coconut oil, this crust behaves just like any other typical butter or margarine crust (with the exception of fancy edges on pie crust sometimes falling slightly while baking).
You’ll start by mixing the oil into your flour with a pastry cutter, then add ice cold water a little at a time until a dough forms. As with other crusts, be careful not to overmix. Last but not least, transfer to a floured surface and immediately roll it out! No need to let it rest. It’s as simple as that.
Can you use other flours?
Yes and no. I haven’t tested this crust with other flours yet, but am confident it will work with most other finely-milled, gluten-containing flours (such as white whole wheat flour and spelt). However, I have not yet tested it with gluten free flours, so stay tuned for updates!
If you try it yourself with an alternative flour (gluten free or not), let me know how it goes in the comments. I’d love to make this a more thorough and complete resource.
I hope you all love this crust! It’s undetectably dairy-free, incredibly easy to work with, and insanely flaky and delicious. Enjoy!
- 2 cups (272 g) unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2/3 cup (160 g) coconut oil, scoopable (not liquid)*
- 3-6 Tbsp (45-90 ml) ice cold water
- See notes about coconut oil to ensure it's the right texture before starting!
- Add flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Next add coconut oil in spoonfuls (see photo) and use a pastry cutter (or fork) to cut the two together, until it resembles wet sand - about 30-45 seconds.
- Add ice cold water 1 Tbsp at a time and use a wooden spoon to gently mix. Add only as much water as needed to help it come together and form a dough - about 3-4 Tbsp.
- Use your hands to gently knead/form the dough in the bowl and gather any loose scraps. Then transfer directly to a well-floured surface and form into a disc with your hands.
- NOTE: If using the crust for 2 pies (or 1 bottom crust and 1 top crust), divide the dough in half to roll out separately. Otherwise, keep it in one piece.
- Lightly flour the top of the dough, as well as a rolling pin, and gently roll into a circle the shape of your pie pan, about 1/8-inch thick. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking. It’s fairly forgiving, so if it cracks, just patch it up with slightly wet fingers and reform.
- NOTE: To make mini pies in a muffin tin, roll your dough about 1/4-inch thick (see photo), adding more flour if the crust sticks. Then use a large, round cookie cutter (~3 1/4-inch in diameter) to cut out as many circles as the dough will allow - you’re aiming for 12, and you should have more than enough dough. Dust a large wooden cutting board (or other surface) with flour, and use a spatula to scoop on one circle at a time. Lightly flour top of circle, then use your rolling pin to gently roll it out slightly larger and thinner - about 1.5 times its starting size. Be careful not to get it too thin or it will be difficult to work with. Use your spatula to lift the crust, then use your hands to drape the crust into your muffin tin, allowing the edges to fold and curl over itself to accommodate its shape (see photo). Use your hands to carefully form the crust into the tins, being careful not to stretch the dough, but rather fold and push it down to meet the tin’s shape. Repeat until all tins have been filled and most of the crust is used - reserve any leftover for future pies or other baked goods.
- If using a standard 9-inch (or similar size) pie crust, simply use the rolling pin to roll up crust and drape it over the pan. Form the edges simply (avoiding too tall of edges or fancy designs as the coconut oil doesn't hold it as well as butter) and add filling of choice (such as apple or pumpkin). Roll out remaining crust, drape over the top of pie, and seal (optional).
- Bake pie(s) at 350 degrees F - 400 degrees F for desired length of time (will vary depending on filling - 30 minutes to 1 hour or more). If browning too quickly, tent the edges with foil to prevent burning.
- To save uncooked dough for future use, wrap in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Thaw before using.
*Recipe yields enough for one 9-inch pie + enough crust for topping/sealing, OR enough for 12-14 mini pies (made in muffin tins).
*Cooking time will vary depending on pie filling.
*Nutrition time is a rough estimate for 1/10th of the whole recipe - about 1 slice of pie.
*RECIPE for the Mini Pumpkin Pies!