This easy vegan Tarte Flambée (German Flammekueche or Flammkuchen recipe) is made of a crispy thin bread dough without yeast, topped with dairy-free cream cheese, pumpkin, onions and fresh figs! Enjoy the delicious specialty from Alsace, but without bacon and classic sour cream!
What is an original French tarte flambée?
This delicious pastry dish hails from a French region smack dab in the middle of France and Germany – Alsace. In German, it is also called Flammekueche, Flammwaie, Flammekueche or Flammkuche, among other names. In French, it is called tarte flambée, which means “tart cooked or baked in flames”. This describes the traditional way of making it baked in wood-burning ovens.
The French term for this can be confusing. Tarte or “Tart” is usually thought of as a sweet, fruit-based pastry. However, tarts can also be savory like a quiche! By definition, a tarte is made of a “neutral” shortcrust pastry (with no added salt or sugar) with a filling.
Anyway, tarte flambée is one of the most sought-after food in Germany, especially for those who visit the provinces near the French border. It is so good! Some might even say it is way better than pizza!
How is it different from pizza?
Though they look similar because they are both made of baked dough with toppings, a few things differentiate this Alsatian specialty from Italian pizza.
- Dough: While pizza is made with yeast dough that rises, tarte flambée usually doesn’t require yeast and becomes super crispy. Tarte flambée dough is rolled out fine as a crepe and is therefore much thinner and lighter than usual pizza dough.
- Toppings: While traditional pizza is topped with tomato sauce, vegetables or meat/fish and cheese, classic tarte flambée uses crème fraîche (sour cream) or fromage blanc (white cheese) as well as thinly sliced onions and bacon strips.
- Process: Since the dough is yeast-free, there is no rising and resting time involved. Make this from scratch in less than 30 minutes, including assembling and baking time.
Best vegan tarte flambée recipe
There are so many plant-based ways you can top your tarte flambée. Instead of classic sour cream, I used vegan cream cheese as the base. Also, in keeping with fall, I opted for pumpkin slices with some onions and tofu feta, and added some figs on top for a sweet note. However, I also like the idea of making an “apple flambé” – that is, with figs instead of apples. But I’m sure it would taste absolutely heavenly with pears or grapes too!
Make this recipe your own by swapping out the vegetables and fruits to your liking. Here are some suggestions:
- Vegetables: mushrooms, beets, spinach, chard, potatoes, arugula.
- Herbs and spices: Thyme, oregano, rosemary, nutmeg, cinnamon, chives, dill.
- Fruits: Apples, pears, grapes, blueberries.
How to make Vegan Tarte Flambée
As always, I recommend checking out this step-by-step instruction and the recipe video first. Then you can find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Make the bread dough
Start by whisking together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add water and olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until it clumps together. Then continue kneading with your hands until a smooth dough forms and shape it into a ball.
Step 2: Roll out dough and add toppings
On a piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough into an oval-shaped flat pizza using a rolling pin. Then transfer to a preheated baking sheet, spread the vegan cream cheese over the dough and top thinly with pumpkin and onion slices. Next, crumble the tofu feta over the top, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Lastly, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and bake your tarte flambée for about 10 minutes at 392 °F (200 °C), or until crispy. Allow to cool slightly, then top with figs and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately!
Notes on ingredients:
- Hokkaido pumpkin (also known as “red Kuri squash”) does not need to be peeled as the skin is edible. If you use another type of pumpkin or squash, you may need to peel it first.
- For more variety, you can also opt for vegan herb cream cheese or another spread. You can also make my homemade cashew ricotta or hummus and use it as a base.
- Instead of tofu feta, you can also use finely diced smoked tofu or some chopped nuts.
Tips when making vegan tarte flambée
- Make sure to roll out the dough thinly, or it won’t crisp up very nicely.
- The onion and pumpkin also need to be sliced thinly. Use a mandolin to make it easier. If they are too thick, it will affect the texture of the crust.
- Less is more, so do not go overboard with the toppings. Piling too much on the thin crust will make your “flammekueche” soggy and unappetizing.
- You can also make this recipe using instant dry yeast instead of baking powder. If you do that, knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, then cover and set it aside for 30 minutes before rolling it out.
The tarte flambée is best served fresh from the oven while it is still warm and crisp. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for a few days, but expect the crust to not be the same after reheating it.
This vegan pumpkin tarte flambée is:
- Quick and easy to make
- Totally delicious!
More vegan pumpkin recipes to try
- Pumpkin Chickpea Curry
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup
- Pumpkin Risotto with Brussels Sprouts
- Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- Pumpkin Ravioli
- Squash Ravioli
- Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi
- Spinach Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta
If you try this Vegan Pumpkin Tarte Flambée recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your Flammekueche and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Enjoy! 🙂
Vegan Tarte Flambée (German Flammkuchen)Author:
- ¾ cup (100 g) vegan cream cheese or sour cream natural or herb infused or sub my homemade cashew ricotta
- 4.4 oz (125 g) Hokkaido pumpkin thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- ¼ cup (50 g) tofu feta or finely diced smoked tofu
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 figs sliced or apples, pears, grapes
- parsley or other fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, rosemary
*Note: Feel free to check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos in the blog post above.
- Preheat the oven, including a large baking sheet, to 392 °F (200 °C).
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add water and olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until it clumps together. Then continue kneading with your hands until a smooth dough forms and shape it into a ball.
- On a piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough into an oval-shaped flat pizza using a rolling pin. Then transfer to the hot baking sheet.
- Spread the vegan cream cheese over the dough, leaving some space around the edges. Top thinly with pumpkin and onion slices. Then crumble the tofu feta over the top, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
- Lastly, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and bake the tarte flambée for about 10 minutes, or until crispy.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Top with figs and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- You can find the recipe for homemade cashew ricotta here (click).
- The skin of Hokkaido pumpkin (also known as "red kuri squash") is eatable. If using another kind of pumpkin you may have to peel it before slicing.
- You can swap out the vegetables and fruits to your liking (read suggestions and ideas in the blog post above).
- Make sure to roll out the dough thinly or it won’t crisp up very well. Also make sure to slice the pumpkin and onions very thinly and do not add too many toppings before baking.
- You can also make this recipe using instant dry yeast instead of baking powder. If you do that, knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, then cover and set aside for 30 minutes before rolling it out.
- More tips and information about the recipe are mentioned in the blog post above!
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