Now I'm not going to claim this pie is the easiest, quickest, and/or laziest thing to make. But hear me out: the Internet needs this recipe. 

You see, the idea of butterscotch-cinnamon pie came from a (very popular, unique) video game named Undertale, which was released in September 2015. In Undertale, you play as a child who has fallen 'underground' into the world of monsters. The overall objective, which is complicated in various ways by the motivations of different characters and the player's own empathy, is to find your way out of the Underground and back into the human world.

What made Undertale revolutionary was the creator Toby Fox's inclusion of a 'pacifist' route, a.k.a. a play-through of the game in which the player could choose not to kill or harm any of the monsters. This goes against typical video game logic, as monsters usually exist to be slaughtered by an EXP ('experience')-seeking player.

The so-named pacifist route is notably harder than the 'genocide' or mixed routes; instead of chopping down your 'enemies' with lightening speed, you, the player, must spend the time earning monsters' trusts and getting to know their varied personalities. The payoff in this path is much more emotionally and psychologically fulfilling, as you can imagine, and has had profound effects on the gamer (and non-gamer) community.

According to MatPat of the Game Theory YouTube channel, searches of the term 'pacifism' on Google soared in frequency, demands for pacifist runs on many other video games dramatically increased, and finally a game contrasting all video game stereotypes (violent, crass, addicting) peeked into the mainstream. Even Pope Francis now owns a copy of the game.

How does this pie fit into Undertale? It's given to you, the child/player, by the first monster you meet in the game: Toriel, a motherly goat-like creature. The pie later gains importance as a symbol of the pacifistic run, in a way. The pie represents the acceptance and total love for you, a human, by Toriel, a monster; it serves as a tool of unity if so used with one of the enemies.

Inspired by Rosanna Pansino's creation of the butterscotch-cinnamon pie and my own following of a plant-based diet (a diet and lifestyle entrenched in pacifism at its core), I decided to make the Internet's only vegan version of this pie. Spoon had it first!

Note: it's worth saying that the vast majority of elapsed time in making this pie comes from the chilling of dough and the pie itself, so don't be scared by the prep and cook times.

#SpoonTip: A special thank you to Jack Cloverway for the artwork featured. 

Vegan Butterscotch-Cinnamon Pie

  • Prep Time:2 hrs
  • Cook Time:3 hrs 50 mins
  • Total Time:5 hrs 50 mins
  • Servings:6
  • Medium


  • Crust:
  • 2 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour plus more for rolling
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup or 1 butter stick or 4 oz vegan butter chilled
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening chilled
  • 6 tbsp vegan buttermilk + a little bit to wash crust with chilled
  • Vegan Buttermilk:
  • 2 cup non-dairy milk full-fat coconut milk preferred
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • Filling:
  • 6 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1 cup vegan creamer I use Silk vanilla if you use plain add a tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan buttermilk
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk full-fat coconut milk preferred
cake, pumpkin, cheesecake, tart, pie
Alexandra Caruso
  • Step 1

    For the vegan buttermilk, combine non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and give it a stir. Let sit in your fridge for 5-10 minutes.

  • Step 2

    For the crust:
    In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt.

  • Step 3

    Add vanilla, butter, and shortening and then work dough with a pastry-cutter or your hands until it resembles a coarse meal.

  • Step 4

    Slowly add in the cold buttermilk, still working the dough, until just incorporated.

  • Step 5

    Form the dough into a flat disk, wrap with parchment paper or plastic wrap, and chill 2 to 24 hours.

  • Step 6

    Preheat oven to 350 F.

  • Step 7

    After dough has chilled, roll it out to 1/4 inch thick, place it into the pie pan, and cut off the excess. (Consider using leftover excess dough for a crust design!)

  • Step 8

    Prick the bottom and inside edges of the pie crust with a fork.

  • Step 9

    Fill pie with pie weights. Wash the edges of the crust with the buttermilk.

    pie, cream, chocolate
    Alexandra Caruso
  • Step 10

    Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown around the edges.

  • Step 11

    Remove weights and let the pie bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Step 12

    Remove pie from oven and let cool.

  • Step 13

    For the filling:
    In a medium bowl whisk cornstarch, creamer, milk, and buttermilk.

  • Step 14

    In a saucepan, melt butter over a medium high heat, add brown sugar, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook for about 3 minutes.

  • Step 15

    Slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture.

  • Step 16

    Add the salt and cinnamon. Bring it all to a boil, whisking constantly.

    chicken, soup
    Alexandra Caruso
  • Step 17

    Once thick, remove from heat.

  • Step 18

    Pour the filling into the pie shell and smooth the top.

  • Step 19

    Let pie cool for 1 hour on the counter, then let set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

  • Step 20

    Serve with some vegan whip and whichever toppings to satisfy your DETERMINED self! Enjoy!