Pennsylvania Dutch Milk Pie

Vegan Milk Pie Photo

Michelle’s vegan milk pie

Milk pies were small, 6 or 7-inch pies made with leftover scraps of pie crusts and just a few basic ingredients. They’re some of the easiest pies you’ll ever make. Milk pies were given to children, who often remember them fondly despite their lowly status as leftovers from “real” pies!  I’ve heard lots of names for them: milk flabby pies, milk flitche, Johnny pies, sugar pies, stingy pies, poor man’s pies, and milk tarts.

Milk pies are filled with flour, white or brown sugar, milk and/or cream, some dabs of butter, and cinnamon and/or nutmeg sprinkled on top. Some people also add a pinch of salt or a drizzle of molasses or vanilla. In some families, the milk is poured on top of the flour/sugar mixture but not stirred into it, so that you get a thicker layer on the bottom and a thinner, milkier layer on top. Some folks, like myself, like to mix the milk in to get a consistent, firmer texture.

Making Vegan Milk Pie

Vegan milk pie in the dish

Michelle’s vegan milk pie, in the dish

I fell in love with milk pie all over again when I got this adorable miniature pie dish. It’s 6 and 3/4-inches in diameter, yet it’s deep dish–so you get funky, tall little slices.

My favorite milk pie recipe is from Betty Groff’s Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook. I’ve tried replacing the milk with soy milk, but I found that almond milk has a better taste here. Plus, the brighter white color of almond milk looks great. I replaced the cream with full-fat coconut milk, specifically Trader Joe’s coconut cream; it’s the thickest I could find, and it’s really cheap in stores. If you’re not crazy for coconut, don’t worry–the finished pie won’t taste too much like coconut. Then I just substituted vegan margarine (Earth Balance) for butter and used organic sugar so that I know the sugar is vegan.

Betty Groff’s recipe doesn’t call for any vanilla, but I prefer a bit of vanilla in milk pie. I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but if I was using a regular flavored almond milk I would add 1/4 tsp. vanilla. Similarly, if you use a sweetened almond milk, you might want to reduce the sugar. The lowest you want to go is equal parts flour and sugar.

Happy baking!

Vegan Milk Pie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 1 7-inch pie (see notes below for how to make a 9-inch pie)

Vegan Milk Pie


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup and 2 Tbsp. organic sugar (use a bit less if you're using sweetened almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (the type you get in cans)
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla (omit if using vanilla flavored almond milk)
  • 1 unbaked 7-inch pie crust (Whole Foods sells vegan pie crust that you can roll out into your own dish. I also like Ina Garten's easy pie crust recipe, just replace the butter with vegan margarine that's been frozen for 10 minutes, and omit the salt.)
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. vegan margarine, melted
  • Ground cinnamon and nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the flour and sugar in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk in the almond milk, coconut milk, and vanilla (if using) until smooth.
  4. Pour this liquid mix into the pie crust.
  5. Drizzle the melted margarine on top of the filling.
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  7. Bake at 350F until the center is set, about 40-45 minutes.


If you'd like to make a 9-inch pie, just double the ingredients! The bake time is a little over an hour when I make the 9-inch version.