When I think about peanut butter pie, I think about gathering with friends. We are so close to being able to get together with the people we love regularly again, and this classic pie is sort of a celebration of that. It’s gluten free and vegan, but, trust me, everyone is going to enjoy this and no one will know it’s gluten free and vegan!
The coconut whipped cream is so creamy and using vegan cream cheese is not as different as you may think! Food science has taken us a very long way from gritty tasting gluten free foods and waxy vegan cheeses. Everything about the taste and texture of this pie is perfect, from the creamy filling to the cookie crust and magic shell top. You can’t beat a peanut butter and chocolate combo, especially in the form of a pie!
Gluten Free and Vegan Peanut Butter Pie
for the filling:
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 8 ounces dairy free/vegan cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight if possible (see notes for recommendations) OR 1 1/2 cups frozen dairy free whipped topping thawed, such as So Delicious Coco Whip OR 3/4 cup canned coconut cream, chilled overnight if possible
for the crust:
- 1 package Gluten Free Oreos (about 33 cookies)
- 6 tablespoons dairy free/vegan butter
for the magic shell:
- 1/2 cup dairy free/vegan chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- If you’re whipping your own coconut whipped cream, place the can of coconut milk or coconut cream, bowl, and beaters you’ll be using in the freezer while you prepare the crust if you did not refrigerate overnight.
- Make the crust. In a small bowl or cup, melt the butter in the microwave (about 25 seconds). In a food processor, pulse the cookies 15-20 times until they are crumbs. Pour cookie crumbs into the pie plate you will be using and mix in the melted butter. I find my hands are the best tool to do this.
- Once the crumbs are mixed with the butter, spread them evenly in the bottom and using a measuring cup or the flat bottom of a glass, press the crumbs evenly in the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Place the crust in the freezer to chill while you make the filling.
- Make the filling. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk together 1 cup peanut butter, 8 ounces cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Set aside. You may also whisk this by hand. *If you are not making your own coconut whipped cream, skip to step 7.
- Make the coconut whipped cream. Open the can of coconut milk, and scoop out only the solid part into the bowl from the freezer. If a little liquid is present it’s ok, but too much and the coconut cream will not whip properly. Save the rest of the coconut liquid for smoothies or a different dish. If using coconut cream, place 3/4 cup of the cream into your bowl and continue with step 6.
- Whip the coconut cream on high, stopping halfway to add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, until it resembles whipped cream (about 1 minute). It may look more loose than what dairy whipped cream looks like and that can be normal. You should end up with 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups whipped coconut cream. Unfortunately, canned coconut milk can be inconsistent in the amount of solids it contains. It will still taste the same whether you end up with 1 or 1 1/2 cups of whipped cream, give or take.
- Whip the coconut whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture on high for 30 seconds.
- Pour the peanut butter filling into the crust and smooth out. Put the pie into the freezer while you prepare the magic shell topping.
- Make the magic shell. In small, microwave safe bowl, place 1/2 cup dairy free/vegan chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate and coconut oil are fully melted.
- Carefully take the pie out of the freezer and drizzle on the magic shell. Sprinkle with flakey salt if you wish. If you have leftover magic shell, it can be refrigerated and reheated to use on your favorite ice cream for up to a week.
- Refrigerate pie for 4 hours or overnight to set. Pie leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. See notes for slicing tips.
Coconut milk: I recommend Thai Kitchen brand or any brand of canned coconut cream. Make sure you are using canned and full fat coconut milk and not the thin liquid kind in a carton. Unfortunately even full fat, canned coconut milks can be inconsistent in the amount of solids they contain and not all canned coconut milks are created equal. I recommend the above brand since I have had success with it more than once. Luckily, even if your coconut cream does not whip up the way it is supposed to, as long as it gets even a bit thicker snd fluffier, I have found this recipe still turns out very well as long as the pie is kept refrigerated. Chill overnight if possible.
Using natural peanut butter: I used Peter Pan Peanut Butter. If you use natural peanut butter, make sure it is not runny or your filling will be too loose and will not set up in the fridge.
Magic shell: to my knowledge to date, there is no vegan or dairy free magic shell available on store shelves, but feel free to use a pre-made dairy free/vegan version if it’s available to you.
Slicing the pie: This pie cuts the best with a clean, sharp, and hot knife. For the cleanest slices, run your sharpest, non-serrated, knife under very hot tap water. Dry the knife and slice the pie. Clean the knife again before slicing each piece.