Dairy Free Apple Pie with Brown Sugar Crumb Topping

A slice of dairy free apple pie on a plate

This dairy free apple pie is the ultimate fall dessert.  With a rich flaky pie crust, sweet cinnamon apple filling, and brown sugar crumb topping – everyone in the family is sure to ask for a second slice.  It’s decadent enough to make for a holiday dessert but easy enough that you can also whip it up on a regular weekend.

How to make dairy free apple pie

While some pie recipes take a lot of modifications and finagling to make them dairy free, apple pie is actually a simple one.  Most traditional apple pie fillings do not contain dairy, so it’s really just simple adjustments to the crust that take place in order to create this recipe.

You’ll start by making (or buying!) the crust.  If you choose to make it, you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Dairy-free butter OR dairy-free shortening
  • Ice water

I go into a lot of detail on tips and tricks for how to make this over in my homemade pie crust post, so read that if you want a full overview.  But to keep it simple:

You’ll mix up your flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.  Then add in chunks of your cold dairy-free butter or shortening, cutting it in with a knife or pastry cutter.  You want to do this until you’re left with a mixture that has only pea size or smaller chunks of dairy-free butter left in there.

Cutting dairy free butter into flour to make pie crust

Then add a little ice water at a time and mix it up until it comes together.  It shouldn’t be crumbly nor sticky – you want it right in between.  Flatten it into a disc and pop it in the fridge for a half hour.

Now while that’s chilling, you’ll make your filling and crumb topping.  These parts are easy because you just toss everything in a bowl for each and give it a good stir.

For the filling, you’ll mix together:

  • Apples
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

Apples for apple pie filling

And for the topping, you’ll mix together:

  • Flour
  • Brown sugar
  • Dairy-free butter
  • Cinnamon

Once the crust has been thoroughly chilled, you’ll roll it out on a floured surface then place it in your pie dish.  Add the filling and topping, bake, and get ready to dig into deliciousness!

A vegan apple pie, fresh out of hte oven

Homemade versus Store-Bought Crust

It’s totally your choice whether to make a homemade dairy free pie crust or simply buy a store-bought crust.

Clearly, the homemade crust takes a little extra work.  I’ve included the recipe below for my homemade pie crust.  You can use either dairy free butter (I recommend the red tub of Earth Balance) or vegan shortening (I recommend Nutiva).

The dairy free butter is a bit harder to work with but has a richer taste.  The shortening is better if you’re concerned with having a beautiful crust that has an appearance most similar to traditional pie crust – but it doesn’t taste quite as rich.

Of course, there’s no shame at all in saving time and using a store-bought pie crust!  Did you know most (thought not all) store-bought crusts are actually dairy free?  They’re typically made with either lard or a palm-oil based shortening.

For example, you could try Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust (contains wheat) or Mrs. Smith’s Deep Dish Frozen Pie Crust (contains wheat).  Of course, always be sure to check ingredients yourself as product formulations can change.

Topping ideas for apple pie

I personally love this apple pie as-is – the crumb topping adds an extra layer of flavor complexity and sweetness on top.

If you want an even more decadent dessert, you can also add a big scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream.  Or, you can make a homemade caramel to go on top of it.  I am still trying to perfect my homemade caramel recipe, but I did a pretty good job the last time I made this pie – just look at that thick sugary sauce on there!

a slice of dairy free apple pie topped with caramel sauce

Allergens in this pie recipe

Disclaimer:  I try to note potential allergens in all recipes – but as you know, manufacturers can change ingredient formulations or I may miss something.  Always double check ingredients and labels prior to consuming if you have an allergy.

This dairy free apple pie does not contain any dairy or eggs.  Depending on your choice of dairy-free butter and shortening options for the crust and crumble, you can also easily make this soy-free and nut-free too.  I typically use the Earth Balance in the red tub – it works wonderfully and is both soy and nut free.

This does contain wheat/gluten since all-purpose flour used.  I haven’t experimented with using a gluten free flour in this particular recipe, but you can feel free to try a 1:1 substitute to see how it comes out.  If you do try it, let me know if it worked!

Is this a vegan dairy free pie?

Yes – as long as you choose the right ingredients, this is a vegan apple pie.  You’ll want to make sure that the dairy-free butter or shortening you choose are vegan, and that you choose a vegan white and brown sugar.  (Regular sugar is sometimes processed using animal bone char, so just be sure to choose a sugar that fits your needs).

A dairy free apple pie slice on a plate

I hope you enjoy this dairy free apple pie as much as my family does.  If you get a chance to try it, I’d love for you to leave a recipe rating or comment below.

a slice of dairy free apple pie from the side view
4 from 1 vote

Dairy Free Apple Pie

This dairy free apple pie makes the ultimate fall dessert with a rich crust, sweet apple filling, and brown sugar crumb topping!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dairy free apple pie, vegan apple pie
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 444 kcal
Author Dairy Free for Baby



  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold dairy-free butter or shortening
  • 3-6 tbsp ice water


  • 5 medium apples peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


For the crust:

  1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir until well combined.
  2. Cut the dairy-free butter (or shortenininto chunks and add it to the bowl. Use a pastry cutter or knife to “cut” the dairy-free butter into the flour until you see mostly pea-sized pieces left.
  3. Add ice water 1 tbsp at a time, mixing with a spoon or your fingers, until the dough comes together and is no longer crumbly. (Note – you don’t want it to be overly sticky either – you want it to come together without falling apart).
  4. Flatten into a round disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the filling & topping:

  1. While the pie crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Now prepare the filling. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Similarly, prepare the topping. Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until the butter and cinnamon are well-incorporated into the flour/sugar.
  4. When the crust is done chilling, roll out dough on a well-floured surface. Place the dough in a pie dish. Add the filling, then place the crumb topping over it. Place in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 40 minutes, or until the crust is cooked through and topping is golden brown. Enjoy as-is, topped with dairy-free vanilla ice cream, or topped with dairy-free caramel!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition facts (approximate per serving):  444 calories, 18.5 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 260 mg sodium, 66 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fiber, 3.8 g protein, Vitamin A: 1%, Vitamin C: 9%, Calcium: 3%, Iron: 10%

Share with me:  What’s your favorite kind of pie?  If you tried this dairy free apple pie, what did you think?

5 thoughts on “Dairy Free Apple Pie with Brown Sugar Crumb Topping”

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