Easy Crustless Gluten-Free Pecan Pie

Gluten-Free Crustless Pecan Pie

Reader Mary C. wanted to convert Erin’s ($5 Dinners) Almond Pecan Pie to a crustless Almond Pecan Pie the other day and asked for help. (We had a discussion in comments on my Crustless Pumpkin Pie recipe post.) In my research for Mary, I came across this Crustless Pecan Pie recipe at Cassandra’s blog, Delightfully Gluten Free. It didn’t call for any flour at all! Even though I hadn’t made pecan pie in years, I immediately added the recipe to my baking plans for Thanksgiving. (I adore pecans, but usually just snack on a few throughout the week.) This pie came out perfectly, so I thought you might enjoy adding this crustless version to your crustless pie repertoire.

Admittedly, this recipe does have a lot of sugar in the form of granulated sugar and the corn syrup. Frankly, I was surprised I even had corn syrup in the pantry, because I don’t remember the last time I used it. I used the last of the corn syrup in this recipe and since then I’ve made many different versions of this pie, with different sweeteners and alternatives to butter (options are noted in the recipe).

This “original” version is a crowd pleaser though—a classic pecan pie, just without the crust.  For the record, not a single guest at my Thanksgiving table noticed there was no crust for this pie (or the other two pies I served). The crustless versions are just so good; a crust is not needed and, of course, the lack of a crust (and those extra steps) makes these pies gfe. By the way, gfe reader Aleasha shared that she like to make a chocolate chip version by sprinkling chocolate chips on the bottom of the pie plate before she adds the filling. She added that she prefer using pecan pieces (or walnut pieces) instead of pecan halves or easier slicing and, therefore, prettier slices.

gluten-free pecan pie, crustless pecan pie, Thanksgiving desserts, quick and easy recipes, pie recipes, Shirley Braden, Gluten Free Easily

Easy Crustless Gluten-Free Pecan Pie
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup (or honey or maple syrup, or a mix of both)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp butter (or non-dairy substitute), melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups pecans
  1. Mix all ingredients in greased pie plate. Bake in a preheated 325-degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes.
Cassandra said her mother has been making this pie for years, but the source of the recipe is unknown. The original recipe said you could mix ingredients right in the pie plate, but I mixed all in a bowl and then poured into my greased pie plate.

By the way, gfe reader Aleasha shared that she like to make a chocolate chip version by sprinkling chocolate chips on the bottom of the pie plate before she adds the filling. She added that she prefer using pecan pieces (or walnut pieces) instead of pecan halves or easier slicing and, therefore, prettier slices.
gluten-free pecan pie, crustless pecan pie, Thanksgiving desserts, quick and easy recipes, pie recipes, Shirley Braden, Gluten Free Easily

Last Slice of Pecan Pie–Will There Be A Fight Over It?


Are you wondering what is going on next week? Well, there’s the Holiday Food Fest, which continues on next Thursday right here at gfe—at my new Out and About page. The theme is Holiday Dishes:  Sides, Main Dishes, Soup … Anything Goes. I’m sure you’ll have something great that you’d like to contribute or just want to check back to get some new ideas that have already been kitchen tested by some of your favorite bloggers. If you’re still looking for holiday party ideas, be sure to check out last week’s roundup of Cocktails, Mocktails, and Appetizers (including awesome Honeyville giveaway!). My entries were Crab Ball and Reindeer Antlers Holiday Punch.


Now, let’s talk dessert some more. Please join the Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner Party crew next week for some wonderful dessert ideas for the holidays (including my optional, but admittedly irresistible, topping for this pecan pie). Diane, our lovely and gracious host, has planned five different categories of desserts for us. Five days of desserts … now you know that will be good! Read below for the categories and the bloggers who will be participating. (Incidentally, if you’re still pondering your upcoming holiday meals, I suggest you check out our Thanksgiving Progressive Dinner Party for some ideas. You can find all the links within my post for that dinner party here.)


Monday, December 7, Baked Desserts—Shauna of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, Alison of Sure Foods Living, and Ali of The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.

Tuesday, December 8, Frozen or Chilled Desserts—That would be me, gfe, as well as Diane of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

Wednesday, December 9, Chocolate Desserts—Karen of Cook4Seasons and Ali of The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.

Thursday, December 10, No-Bake Desserts—Diane of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

Friday December 11, Favorite Desserts—Melissa of Gluten Free For Good.

It’s snowing here! I absolutely love snow. Now that my post is done, maybe I’ll get in some baking  (Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies) and some holiday decorating while Mr. GFE and Huckleberry (one of our cats) both snooze away. Later, we’ll be heading out to attend a combination family birthday party/oyster roast. I’m taking some Reindeer Antlers to share. There’s probably just enough left of our latest batch for any who want to partake to have a small glass, so that will work out very well.

Holiday cheers to all!

Not just gf, but gfe!

This post is linked to Diane’s Friday Foodie Fix—Pecans.

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


70 Responses to “Easy Crustless Gluten-Free Pecan Pie”

  1. Pam on December 5th, 2009 4:42 pm

    Oh no….way to go Shirley….now you really have me in trouble…lol! Hubby luves pecan pie…will have to make for sure….thank you!

    Enjoy and hugs!

    • Shirley on December 6th, 2009 1:34 am

      Hi, Pam–Making our hubbies happy is very important. I know it’s a sacrifice ;-), but it’s really important that you make it. LOL


      • Pam on December 6th, 2009 4:38 pm

        ha ha ha!


  2. Lauren on December 5th, 2009 8:32 pm

    Honestly, I’ve never had pecan pie. Our thanksgiving pies are typically pumpkin, lemon meringue and apple. Or at least pumpkin and one of the others ;D. This looks great!

    Have a great Weekend Shirley – it sounds like there is a perfectly laid out couple of days ahead of you! Enjoy the party =D.

    • Shirley on December 6th, 2009 1:38 am

      Lauren–First, I thought wow, no pecan pie ever … but it is largely a Southern thing in the U.S. I think. Your selections are hard to beat, but, I think you should give pecan pie a try. I’ll be interested to see what you think.

      Yes, busy and fun days ahead … hope you have something similar planned. :-)



  3. Kim on December 5th, 2009 10:39 pm

    Here you have me drooling over another one of your crustless pies! YUM!!! I love a good pecan pie! I think I am making several for Christmas now, though I will have 20+ different kinds of cookies after I am done with my “Cookie-A-Day” thing on my blog! LOL!

    • Shirley on December 6th, 2009 1:45 am

      Kim–I hear you … I think we need to start inviting extra guests just so we have a good reason to make more pies! :-) I’m only partly joking …

      I’m just starting to check out the Cookie-A-Day recipes … very neat indeed for your readers (and those of others who are participating), but wow, keeping you busy. Those pecan shortbread cookies looked quite good!


  4. Jo (Quirky Cooking) on December 6th, 2009 7:16 am

    This recipe looks delicious – I think I’ll make it for Christmas, although I’ll use Rapadura instead of sugar, and honey instead of corn syrup. Do you use Rapadura at all? I love it! (See this link.)

    • Shirley on December 6th, 2009 11:34 pm

      Hi Jo–Welcome to gfe! I will really look forward to hearing your report when you make this pie using Rapadura and honey. I embedded the link from your site explaining the differences between various sweeters in your comment. :-) I’d really like to make it next time using all honey. I’ll report back. I have never used Rapadura before. From reading your site, it looks like your source of Rapadura is not available to us in the States. Any update there?

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing such good info!


      • Jo (Quirky Cooking) on December 7th, 2009 6:10 pm

        Hi Shirley, you can get Rapadura in the States, but I’m not sure where. Your best bet would be to check with Debra Lynn Dadd here: http://sweetsavvy.com/sweeteners/summary.php?id=Unrefined Cane Sugar – she in the US and uses Rapadura (also called ‘unrefined cane sugar’).

        • Shirley on December 8th, 2009 10:53 am

          Jo–Thanks so much for sharing that link to Debra Dadd’s blog. I took a quick peek, but will go back and look more. I also appreciate the translation as to what we call Rapadura here in the U.S. (Rapadura sounds much better! LOL)

          What about Demerara sugar? How does that fit into the sweetner profiles?


          • Jo (Quirky Cooking) on December 8th, 2009 6:18 pm

            Hi Shirley,
            Demarara is still heated and crystalised, like raw sugar, but has some molasses still clinging to the crystals, so it is better than white sugar… but I much prefer Rapadura as it hasn’t been heated at all, and has HEAPS more vitamins and minerals – see the difference between sugar and Rapadura: http://www.daabon.com/australia/pdfs/Rapadura%20Specs.pdf

          • Shirley on December 8th, 2009 9:39 pm

            Hi Jo–Thanks for sharing the additional info! I sort of remembered from other reading that demarara wasn’t that great. That info sheet was amazing! Of course, it all makes sense. We keep bees and we would never dream of heating their honey to process it. We use an old-fashioned hand-cranked centrifuge to spin it out of the comb. :-)

            I like quirky. :-) Nice alliteration with Quirky Cooking, too. ;-)

            Thanks again very much for sharing the info!


    • Shirley on December 6th, 2009 11:35 pm

      P.S. Forgot to say that I love your blog’s name and concept … quirky cooking should indeed rule for many of us. :-)


      • Jo (Quirky Cooking) on December 8th, 2009 6:21 pm

        Thanks! I’ve been called ‘quirky’ a few times, so I thought it suited! :)

  5. Iris on December 6th, 2009 10:26 am

    First, I love pecan pie! Maybe I’ll make this for Christmas. Second, I can’t wait to hear about your raw pie!

    • Shirley on December 6th, 2009 11:42 pm

      Hi Iris–I bet you can make a splendid version of this pecan pie. :-) Stand by for gfe going raw with pie. ;-)


  6. Marillyn @ just-making-noise on December 6th, 2009 3:38 pm

    Looks delicious! Thank you for your comment on my Coconut Custard Cake post :o) We love the tree too.. so rich in history!

    • Shirley on December 6th, 2009 11:50 pm

      Hi Marillyn–Thanks! Yes, I need to get some coconut flour so I can make your cake and so many other fab treats.

      Now I’m intrigued about your particular banyan tree … I love them. Incidentally, we were invited to Costa Rica once and didn’t go and have regretted it ever since!


  7. Kim on December 7th, 2009 3:12 pm

    Hi Shirley,
    I love the idea of the crustless pie. We ususally use a GF oat flour pie crust, but I love the idea of a crustless pie for an oat-free version. I’m going to give it a try. Thanks!

    • Shirley on December 8th, 2009 10:31 am

      Hi Kim–Welcome to gfe! If you look around, you’ll see that I’m quite fond of everything crustless. ;-) I’ll have to check out your site for your oat flour pie crust. :-) (I love the name of your site by the way … Welcoming Kitchen—a welcoming kitchen means so much to most of us here at gfe.) I’ve never tried oat flour. I seem to be one of those folks who can only do a small amount of even gf oats, but I do love the taste of anything with oats. I’ll be interested to see what you think of the recipe. Please let us know when you get a moment.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I look forward to seeing you again. :-)


  8. Diane-The WHOLE Gang on December 7th, 2009 3:29 pm

    This looks Diane proof. I’m going to make it to take to the in-laws for the holidays. They all love pecan pie and now I can have some too! Is there any substitute for corn syrup? If not it’s off to the store. Thank you for sharing this on Friday Foodie Fix!

    • Shirley on December 8th, 2009 10:41 am

      Diane–LOL on the Diane proof! You need to give yourself more credit, dear! You must have had a bad baking experience earlier in life. A home economics teacher with a bad attitude, perhaps? You are a great cook, so that can extend to baking, too. :-)

      Re: subbing for corn syrup, Wendy commented that you can use maple syrup instead. Doesn’t that sound fabulous? It’s full of good stuff, too (which corn syrup is not).

      Please report back on how it turns out after the holidays. Thanks!


  9. Wendy on December 7th, 2009 3:34 pm

    If you’d like to avoid corn syrup, please try making your pecan pie using maple syrup instead. I think you might like it as much as we do. I’ve never seen recipes that use honey, but you may be inventing a great variation. Try the maple syrup first, though. It’s heavenly.

    • Shirley on December 8th, 2009 10:46 am

      Hi Wendy!–Welcome to gfe! Special thanks for the maple syrup suggestion. I’m sure that is divine and I still have some maple syrup that friends brought us from Vermont. :-) We’re partial to honey for many dishes because we keep bees. I’ve actually seen some pecan pie recipes online that use honey. Maybe I’ll have to bake two and then do a taste test comparison! LOL Better try that when I have a large crowd over though … like my support group. ;-)

      It’s going to be hard to get through the work day now because I’ll be thinking about the heavenly maple syrup version. And, oh, it would be so good with some of the honey cinnamon Grand Marnier ice cream I just made. Yum.

      Thanks so much, Wendy!


  10. Alta on December 7th, 2009 4:17 pm

    Oh I love pecan pie! I’m wondering if you could also sub agave nectar for the corn syrup. I’ve done this in other recipes and it worked, so many it’ll work here too? Yum!

    • Shirley on December 8th, 2009 10:51 am

      Hi Alta– :-) It’s hard not to love pecan pie. Some are cloyingly sweet though, but this one wasn’t. I’m betting that others have used agave in place of corn syrup. I bet you could google that and find some good “starting point” ideas, but if you’ve done it before, I think it should work. Worst case scenario … you’ll have a wonderful ice cream topping! ;-) Our local frozen custard stand makes a maple-nut sundae that people go bonkers over, so I’m imagining failed pecan pie in that way. Not a bad way to go. LOL

      Please let us know if you make it with agave how it turns out. :-)


  11. Betsy on December 10th, 2009 11:48 am

    Wow I would have never thought of this pie without the crust. I have always separated the crust from the pie. I have never liked the texture of the crust after baking the pie. Thanks for the idea. I am new to your website but will be visiting often.

    Thanks for new ideas!!!


    • Shirley on December 10th, 2009 8:29 pm

      Hi Betsy–Welcome to gfe! I have several other crustless pies here at gfe. Just click on the following links: pumpkin, coconut, and apple (that one’s a pour-over crust, but it’s one that’s lovely to eat). I am so glad you are enjoying my website. My approach is all about making things easy and not often using specialty products. I shop at a basic grocery store all the time. Shoot me an email or leave a comment on any post if you can’t find something you are looking for. :-)

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!


  12. gina on March 30th, 2010 6:20 am

    corn syrup is SOOO BAD for you, no matter that it isn’t HFCS. i am seeing so many gluten free sites where corn syrup or even sugar is used and i am so frustrated. i choose agave and will work my way to coconut sugar as i read more on it. sugar and corn syrup are terrible.

    • Shirley on March 30th, 2010 7:15 am

      Hi gina–Welcome to gfe! :-) I agree that corn syrup is not something I’d want to use often. This was literally the first time I’d used it in a year, probably longer. I haven’t given up sugar yet though. We all have our own eating plans and have to transition to what is best for us. Some folks can have a small amount of sugar from time to time … some not. I like using raw honey from our bees, but even that must be done in moderation. I admit that sugar is something that I want to greatly reduce. That’s why you’ll see a post on my blog later today that has an alternative sweetener that is not anything bad at all. And, by the way, I’m sure you know that there’s negative info on agave on as well. Sweetening is not often a black and white subject it seems. Last, I do plan to get some coconut sugar and work with that. There are lots of gluten-free blogs that have wonderful sugar-free recipes … like Kelly’s (The Spunky Coconut), Amy’s (Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free), and Ali and Tom’s (The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen), to name a few. Hope you’ll check out my sweet muffin recipe later today and follow my own journey to eating more sugar free, here on gfe.



  13. Tara on November 12th, 2010 10:07 am

    The crust-less Pecan Pie sounds yummy! I am allergic to eggs though. Do you think the egg replacer would work in the pie?

    • Shirley on November 13th, 2010 6:32 pm

      Hi Tara–It looks like you are new to gfe–welcome! :-) I have to be honest and say I don’t know about the egg replacer. If you’d made other recipes successfully with egg replacer that called for more than one egg, I’d say it’s likely to work. But, I just don’t know. I use the flax “egg” approach with cookies and muffins fairly often for a vegan option, but have never tried those with a pie either. Be brave … give the egg replacer a try and let us know. ;-)


  14. Anna on November 22nd, 2011 3:10 am

    I tried this pecan pie recipe today and loved it! Then add a bit of rum after baking it and it’s perfect. Classic, really easy to make, and my hubby loves it too. And who’d need the crust anyway…

    • Shirley on November 22nd, 2011 7:20 am

      Hi Anna–It’s wonderful to wake up to your review today! And adding a bit of rum to this pie before serving–genius! I’m so glad that this recipes please both you and your hubby! You’ll find many crustless pie recipes here at gfe. It looks like it’s your first time here, too—welcome. :-)


  15. KarenO on November 22nd, 2011 1:20 pm

    Hi Shirley…thanks for this recipe, can’t wait to try it! But I’d want to replace BOTH the granulated sugar & the corn syrup. Do you think I could use 2 cups of raw agave nectar instead? I don’t know if that would end up too sweet! Karen

    • Shirley on November 22nd, 2011 2:30 pm

      Hi KarenO–You’re welcome, of course! :-) Hmmm, my first inclination is that substitution alone is unlikely to work. First, I think you’d need to use less agave simply because it has a higher water content than corn syrup (or honey). That amount of agave would take a long time to “bake down” so to speak. But without the granulated sugar, I think you’re going to need something else to thicken your mixture. My usual trick when making crustless pies is to use 1/4 cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour added to the mix. That can make a big difference in texture and the pie setting up, but not flavor or texture, except it might help a bit with “too sweet” consideration. Or you might use something like tapioca flour instead or a bit in addition. I have to admit I’m just speculating on all of these adjustments. You’ll actually have to try them to see if they work. I think how the mixture looks and “feels” will be a good indicator. You might start out by adding 1 1/4 cups of agave and 1/4 cup of gf ap flour and see how that mixture looks. It should still be fairly liquid and not too thick so it can thicken/cook during baking time. If it’s too think, add a little more agave. Best of luck and let me know how it works! Happy Thanksgiving!


      • KarenO on November 22nd, 2011 2:36 pm

        Thanks so much for your helpful advice, Shirley! I will do as you suggested with gf flour plus agave. And if it doesn’t work out, I can use it for ice cream topping, as someone already mentioned. Hope you have a wonderful time with your family!

  16. Meg on November 23rd, 2011 3:24 pm

    Thanks for this recipe! My boyfriend just went gluten-free about a month ago and pecan pie is his favorite, so I’m excited to try such an easy and delicious looking solution! We will let you know how it goes!

    • Shirley on November 23rd, 2011 3:28 pm

      Hi Meg–Just happening to take a quick break from cooking and see your lovely comment–welcome to gfe! :-) I hope your boyfriend will love this recipe just as much as his old favorite. ;-) I’m sure he’ll be very grateful to you for making it for him. Look forward to his and your review!


  17. Chuck on November 24th, 2011 8:32 pm

    Made this recipe last night…and did not refrigerate it as I really have never refrigerated Pecan Pie until after it was cut into. This Pie is much more like a custard type pie with Pecan’s in it…albeit with more sugar. When I bit into it I thought, “custard” and thought perhaps it should have been refrigerated after it cooled on the table. Do you think leaving it out overnight and eating it at room temperature after dinner tonight is cause for alarm? Should I still eat it from the refrigerator or throw it out?

    • Shirley on November 24th, 2011 9:11 pm

      Hi Chuck–Well, pecan pie is a custard type pie because of the eggs. As far as refrigeration, there are varying opinions over whether pecan pie has to be refrigerated. A Google search shows many discussions in various forums on this topic . I have definitely not always refrigerated mine all the time and would eat one left out overnight without hesitation, but please review the discussions (like this one) to make your own best judgment.


  18. Sarah M on November 25th, 2011 5:08 pm

    Our first gluten-free, dairy-free Thanksgiving was a success! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, my Mother (the GF, DF one) thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Thank you for all you do for the gluten-free community!

    • Shirley on November 25th, 2011 5:24 pm

      Hi Sarah–What wonderful news! :-) Thank you so much for making this pie for your mom and for coming back and sharing your success with us all! I’m so happy that you had such a successful Thanksgiving. With a few tried and true recipes in the future and maybe a new one now and then, you’ll keep the great holiday meals coming. ;-)

      Thanks, too, for the kind words … they’re much appreciated! Have a terrific holiday season with your family, Sarah. :-)

  19. CathyS on December 1st, 2011 7:14 pm

    I made this for Thanksgiving and I must say, it was very easy to make and tasted AMAZING! Thanks so much for sharing this, and all your GF recipes. Much appreciated!

    • Shirley on December 1st, 2011 7:34 pm

      Hi Cathy–First, it looks like you are new to gfe–welcome! :-) Second, I really appreciate you being willing to share your comment here as well as on my gfe page on Facebook, especially when requested to share it here, too. ;-) I can never get enough of these kinds of reviews and I know my readers like hearing what other reader reviewers have to say.

      Thanks so much!

  20. Shianna on November 11th, 2012 6:46 pm

    oooo well i know what im making tonight… yumm XD

    • Shirley on November 12th, 2012 1:49 am

      Hi Shianna–Welcome to gfe! :-) I sure hope you loved this pie. Let us know. ;-)


  21. Laura W on December 26th, 2012 3:43 am

    Made it with soy free earth balance & 1/2 maple syrup & 1/2 honey in place of the corn syrup & it was FANTASTIC! Who needs crust? I’ve always been the type that ate the pie filling & left the crust anyway;-)

    • Shirley on December 26th, 2012 11:42 am

      Hi Laura–Welcome to gfe! I am thrilled with your success, especially with the mix of maple syrup and honey–YUM! My family says the same about a crust … we don’t need it. ;-)

      Thanks again! Happy Holidays!

  22. Katie on November 5th, 2013 9:19 am

    Hey Shirley,
    As with any pie, the filling is always the best part anyhow, so who would miss the crust, which is the most fattening part anyhow? ;)

    When I was growing up, my Mom made a similar recipe w/ tart shells, although we used diced walnuts for the nuts in the filling instead of pecans. I would assume this crustless version would also make tarts, too, right? If so, I might just try it, substituting maybe 2 cups of diced walnuts for the pecans. What do you think?

    Thanks for the inspiration, as always!

    • Shirley on November 5th, 2013 2:01 pm

      Hi Katie–Good to see you, dear! I think that would work fine. As much as I love pie, tarts are something special, too. :-) Let us know how they turn out. Are you considering a trial run? ;-)


  23. Bonnie on November 26th, 2013 3:57 pm

    I substituted 2 cups maple syrup for the sugar/corn syrup, and added 1/3 cup flour for thickener. It turned out perfect! A person would need to experiment using honey instead because I think a little more flour would be needed, but I could be wrong. That will be a tasty project for another day.
    Thank you for this easy and delicious recipe!

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2013 10:20 pm

      Bonnie–Thank you so much for sharing your success! I already shared your comment on Facebook so others can take advantage of the lessons you learned by your experimenting. :-) You used the method that I normally use for my crustless pies. I love it! So happy that this turned out so well for you—enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!


  24. Deb on November 26th, 2013 10:05 pm

    Bonnie ,
    Did you use GF flour to thicken?

  25. Heather on November 28th, 2013 1:11 am

    Hey Shirley! I just took this pie out of the oven for our Thanksgiving Celebration tomorrow! It looks awesome & Ben is excited :) Pecan is his all time favorite!

    Off to make MY favorite now (3 guesses what that is LOL)

    Have a blessed day!

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