Recipe Adaptaion: Birthday Peanut Butter Pie!

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People who have known me for any length of time are familiar with the fact that I am not the biggest fan of birthdays.  Let’s face it; after the obvious milestones of 16, 18, and 21, the next thing you have to look forward to is 30.  And for someone who’s never been 30, that can be a tad depressing.  However, the older I get, the more I’m trying to learn to be grateful for each new year.  God has blessed me with a lot more than most people have, and getting another year to enjoy all of it should be a gift in and of itself.

While I’m probably still never going to like birthdays, I have always been rather fond of birthday cake.  There’s something about putting together a special dessert for a special day that makes even birthdays seem a little brighter.  But this year, instead of cake, I decided to finally try something I’ve been wanting to veganize for a long time: peanut butter pie.

vegan peanut butter pie

The original recipe came from a “collectors edition” Taste of Home magazine that we’ve had around the QV house for who knows how long.  The copyright date says 1996, so I have to assume that’s when my mom bought it, but I remember it always being part of our cookbook collection.  There are a lot of recipes in it, but the only one I ever remember making is the peanut butter pie.  And what a memory.  Rich, creamy, peanut-butter-y filling with a chocolate crumb crust, garnished with just a few chocolate chips…it was a family favorite that hasn’t appeared in the house since I went vegan.

I’d thought about veganizing the pie for a long time, but the whipped cream always stood in my way.  For ages, there didn’t seem to be any viable vegan alternative.  (Yes, I could have used chilled coconut milk, but let’s not talk about how terrifying that is.)  Thankfully, there are now at least two readily available whippable vegan “creams:” Soyatoo and Mimiccreme’s Healthy Top.  According to the Soyatoo website, the whippable topping is temporarily unavailable due to issues with it’s whippability, but I had no problems with the box that I used.  It whipped up nice and fluffy, which is exactly the trait the whipped cream is meant to add to the pie filling.

I used to make the crust out of chocolate graham crackers, but while paging through Vegan Pie in the Sky, I came across the suggestion of using Newman’s chocolate alphabet cookies for cookie crust.  Pure genius!  If you can’t find them, any chocolate wafer-type vegan cookie will do.

Peanut Butter Pie
adapted from Taste of Home
makes 8-10 big slices, 16-20 small slices

vegan peanut butter pie sliced


For the crust:
1 1/4 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
2 tbsp. Earth Balance, melted
Note: This makes a crumbly crust; for a firmer crust, add 1tbsp. more Earth Balance

For the filling:
8oz. vegan cream cheese, homemade or store bought
1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. Earth Balance
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup vegan whippable topping, whipped
handful of vegan chocolate chips for garnish, optional

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F.  In a small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and melted Earth Balance until well combined.  Press evenly into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

vegan chocolate cookie crust

2) In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, Earth Balance, and vanilla until smooth.  (You might need to zap everything in the microwave to soften a bit first, depending on how powerful your mixer is.)  Fold in the whipped topping.  The filling should be well-combined and fluffy.

vegan peanut butter pie filling

3) Pour the filling into the prepared crust and garnish with the chocolate chips.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, until firm.  Serve cold.


About the Author:

Sam has been eating a plant-based diet since summer of 2009 and has spent the subsequent years experimenting with all manner of plant-based food. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a graduate of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Program. She is a former member of Toastmasters International and was awarded a Competent Communicator designation for public speaking. When she's not blogging or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, play silly card games and knit socks.
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