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Pies are traditional holiday desserts. Baking without butter, flour and eggs can present quite a challenge! These solutions will help you Serve Allergy Friendly Eats. Be sure to check out all of our #SAFEHacks!

Problem: You need to make a gluten-free and/or dairy-free and/or egg-free pie crust.

Solution: there are plenty of options for allergy-friendly pies. Allergy-friendly pastry dough may not be as stretchy and easy to work with as what you are used to. Make sure you plan to bake when you have enough time so you don't feel rushed. And even imperfect pies taste delicious! Pies are fun to make with your children, so be sure to get them involved!

Milk-Free Options:

Instead of butter, use:

  • Cold, milk-free margarine (soy-free options are available) 
  • Shortening or lard 
  • Coconut oil
    There are two options if using coconut oil. Use it in solid form, breaking up any big chunks, or melt and cool to use in liquid form. Be aware that using all-coconut oil can be finicky. 

Since each of these fats contain a different level of moisture, the color and flakiness of your crust will vary. You can also use a combination such as half milk-free margarine half and coconut.

T, making gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free apple pie

If your recipe calls for liquid milk, use any safe milk alternative, but be sure it is cold!

If your recipe calls for cream cheese, there are milk-free (and even soy-free) options. Look for options such as Tofutti, Follow Your Heart, or Daiya to see if any work for your family.

Egg-Free Options:

There are many egg replacement options if your dough recipe calls for eggs. Eggs are not necessary to make a good pie crust. For most pie dough recipes, you can omit the egg altogether.

Egg wash or egg glaze is commonly used to help make pie crust brown and shiny or to help make the top crust stick to the bottom crust. Instead of egg wash, use one of these options:

  • sweetened soy milk
  • watered down corn or sugar syrup
  • oil plus agave nectar
  • plain water (helps the dough stick together, but won't help with browning)

Alexandra, allergic to dairy and egg, loves to make pies


Gluten-Free Options:

Gluten-free dough can be challenging to work with because it is not stretchy like wheat based dough. The dough needs to be handled carefully. But sometimes, despite your best efforts, the dough may not cooperate.

If your dough breaks when you are moving it into your pan, just press pieces together to fill in cracks or holes. If your dough breaks apart when you are trying to place your top layer, you can accept that the layer won't be perfect. Your pie will still be delicious. You can hide the imperfections with safe ice cream or whipped topping. Another option is to roll the dough out again, cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place the shapes on top of your pie.

These tips will help increase the success of your gluten-free pastry crust:

  • Use superfine flours. Course flours tend to be gritty. A superfine flour will blend better with the fat.
  • Chill your gluten-free flours and starches as well as your mixing bowl in your freezer before you begin.
  • Use extra xanthan gum. In cakes, it's recommended to use 1 tsp of xanthan gum per 1.5 cups of gluten-free flour. With pie crust, you can use much more. Try up to 4 tsp of xanthan gum per crust.
  • Chill the dough in your fridge for several hours or even overnight.  
  • Roll your dough between wax paper or parchment paper. Gluten-free dough tends to be stickier and more delicate than wheat-based dough. Peel off the top layer and then replace. Flip the dough over and peel off the other layer of paper. use the paper that is still attached to help move the dough into place. Peel off the remaining paper.
  • Try not to handle the dough too much. Your hands will warm the dough and it may start to fall apart.

Jude, age 5, made this apple pie


Sample Recipes:

Millet Pie Crust

Gluten Free Pie Crust

Pie Crust, Gluten Free

Graham Cracker Crust

Oatmeal Crust

24 Allergy-Friendly Pie Recipes


If your pie crust just isn't turning out, there is always cobbler or crisp!

Peach  Cobbler (Free of Top 8 Allergens and Gluten)

Apple Crisp (can be made free of top-8 allergens)


Remember, your family will love your pies, regardless. 


Need more cooking help? Join our Food & Cooking support community for allergy-friendly recipes and personalized cooking help.



This information is for your convenience. It is not an endorsement or a guarantee of the product's safety. Always read ingredient labels. Contact the manufacturer, if needed, to confirm the safety for your child.


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