Dec 16, 2014

Classic Pecan Pie ~ No Sugar and No Corn Syrup!


Pecan pie is such a popular holiday dessert that I just had to create a healthy one for you… almost every recipe out there for this sweet treat is loaded with sugar AND corn syrup. Not to mention eggs, which of course I don’t eat. And butter! No.

What about corn syrup, anyway? Is it the same as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)? No. Not generally, although some food companies actually add HFCS to their corn syrup. Both products are made from corn starch, but regular corn syrup is 100 percent glucose, while high-fructose corn syrup has had some of its glucose converted to fructose enzymatically. Either way, it’s best to avoid these products which deliver a wallop of sugar in a short period of time into the bloodstream and tax the poor pancreas to keep up. Empty calories in the extreme.

For the crust, I used my 2-Ingredient Grain-free Pie Crust, made with almond flour and ground flax seeds.

Growing up, we always had a pecan pie on the table, for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was never a big fan, probably because it was just way too sweet for me. But I have been eating THIS pie! It’s so deliciously decadent, not overly sweet, but definitely sweet enough and made from whole foods. I hope you’ll try it!

The pie will be puffed up in the center when it’s done baking… like this! Then it will settle.


Healthy trails,




Classic Pecan Pie ~ Vegan!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: one pie

A date-sweetened, plant-based version of an original holiday classic!


    ~ for the crust
  • one recipe of my 2-ingredient Grain-free Pie Crust (See link to recipe in the post. Of course, you can use any crust you prefer)
  • ~ for the filling
  • 1 heaping cup pitted medjool dates
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 TBS tapioca flour
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rough-chopped pecans
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ~ for the topping
  • about 1 cup more whole pecans
  • 2 TBS pure maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Blend the dates, water, maple syrup, tapioca flour, salt and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the applesauce and the chopped pecans.
  4. Pour into your prepared pie crust.
  5. Decorate the top with whole pecans however you like. They should sit nicely on top. Push them in JUST A LITTLE when done to secure them in the filling.
  6. Cover loosely with a foil tent and bake for 50 minutes until puffy (see photo above).
  7. Remove from oven and brush with the additional maple syrup. Return to oven for 5 more minutes.
  8. Let cool completely before cutting.
  9. Store refrigerated.
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21 responses to “Classic Pecan Pie ~ No Sugar and No Corn Syrup!”

  1. e says:

    This looks fabulous, as do all of your recipes. What is tapioca flour? Is this regular tapioca ground into a flour in the blender? Could another flour be substituted? Thanks.

  2. Desiree says:

    Just for clarification, the crust is prebaked for 20 minutes (per it's recipe) then baked an additional 50 minutes when the filling is added?

  3. Helyn says:

    Tapioca flour is also called tapioca starch. It's a thickening agent. You could sub with corn starch or possibly arrowroot powder. Tapicoa flour is available in most grocery stores, all health foods stores and online. Bob's Red Mill has it, if you ever see the displays for his stuff. Hope this helps!

  4. Helyn says:

    Yes, that's correct–maybe shorten the pre-bake to 15 minutes. Just so it sets up and is a tiny bit golden. Then make sure you cover the pie loosely with foil when it's baking to avoid having the edges of the crust cook too much.

  5. Thanks for this alternative! Now I can recreate an old favorite holiday pie with a pumpkin layer underneath a pecan layer…

  6. Helyn says:

    Mmm, that sounds fantastic, Peggy! 🙂

  7. Rose Weiss says:

    My husband and I made this pie yesterday for a holiday potluck. It's delicious and was quite popular.

    We prebaked the crust for 15 minutes, then put baking shields over the edges when we baked the assembled pie. Next time I think I'll just prebake for 10 minutes. Also because the filling tasted very heavily of dates to me, we're thinking of reducing the dates a little and increasing the applesauce and chopped pecans each a tiny bit. I'm concerned that the texture might be too runny though. I'll let you know how ant experiments tun out.

    Thank you for another great recipe! Happy Holidays!

  8. Helyn says:

    Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad it was a hit, Rose. Yes, the filling is strong on dates. You could always add a bit more tapioca to accommodate the extra moisture if you change things up a bit! Happy Holidays to you as well! 🙂

  9. Josh Norem says:

    This was our Christmas pie this year, and it was fabulous! Everyone loved it, and went back for seconds (or more!). My teenage son declared it my "best pie yet." Thank you for a great recipe. Merry Christmas!

  10. Helyn says:

    Oh, yay!!! This warms my heart, Josh! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  11. Jan Lajeunesse says:

    great gf and oil free recipes..thank you for sharing!

  12. Renee says:

    HELP!! I can’t find your 2 ingredient pie crust recipe anywhere!! Please post ?

  13. Renee says:

    Hahaha!! I just found it underneath the comment section!! as soon as I hit send…bam!! their was the search bar

  14. helynskitchen says:

    Oh glad you found it, Renee! 🙂

  15. Beth says:

    Made this today for Thanksgiving. Amazing! Will definitely keep this recipe for future use.

  16. Kathy says:

    What is your 2 ingredient pie crust?

  17. Sarah says:

    Just put this baby in the oven… looks so beautiful and can’t wait to dive in! I admit I tried a bit of the filling and it was amazing!! I used your 2-ingredient pie crust. I made a few substitutions for the filling: used deglect noor dates and a little less, but soaked them first in the one cup of water. I used a little more pecans and switched pumpkin purée for the applesauce- a little more, too. I also added 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. Will let you all know how it turns out; we’re celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow and as far as food goes, I’m most excited about this pie!

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