This Chocolate Pecan Tart has a chocolate shortbread crust, pecan pie filling, and is topped with dark chocolate ganache, pecans + a sprinkle of sea salt! You won’t believe that this is gluten-free, Paleo, refined sugar free, and vegan.
Let’s just get it out there: I’m having all the feels for this chocolate pecan tart. Pecans are without a doubt my favorite nut, and the pecans ✨ shine ✨ in this dessert, adding crunch and warmth. It’s my first foray this year into a definitely-not-summer dessert, but it’s so delicious that it makes me want to skip happily into fall.
Chocolate, pecans, and caramel is a classic combo (Turtles, anyone?!) and for good reason. It just works, and one bite of this chocolate pecan tart is all you need to be sure of that.
The crust is a classic chocolate shortbread crust. It’s made with coconut flour, which helps replicate that classic shortbread texture. Because coconut flour is so uniquely absorbent, you can’t substitute anything else in for it! Cocoa powder helps add that chocolatey flavor to the crust, and it’s brought together with maple syrup and coconut oil.
The crust is smooth and easy to work with, and gets pressed into your pan of choice. I used a long 14″x5″ tart pan, but you can use a round 9″ tart pan or a square 8″ pan lined with parchment. Whatever you’ve got will work just fine!
Once the crust is baked and and cooled, it’s time for the filling. Toasted pecans are sprinkled over the bottom of the crust before it’s filled with the vegan “caramel” – a mixture of melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond butter. I also made this recipe using cashew butter, and it was delicious that way too. You could really use any nut butter you’d like in the filling!
The filling has to set in the fridge before it’s topped with a coconut milk chocolate ganache, toasted pecans, and a sprinkle of sea salt! I’m always a fan of that extra sprinkle of sea salt…but I get if you’re not into it. Just leave it off, if that’s you.
This chocolate pecan tart is firm and fudgy when it’s cold from the refrigerator, and gets super gooey and delicious when it comes to a warmer room temperature. I loved both ways, so you can’t really go wrong.
Between the crisp chocolate crust, gooey caramel filling, toasted crunchy pecans, and rich chocolate ganache topping, a slice of this will satisfy even the most intense chocolate dessert cravings. Enjoy!
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
Chocolate Pecan Tart (Gluten Free, Paleo + Vegan)
For the filling
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 14x5” tart pan (what I used), 9” tart pan, or 8x8” square pan with coconut oil (I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as well if your pan doesn't have a removable bottom).
Combine coconut flour, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. Add the maple syrup and coconut oil and stir until fully combined and a smooth dough forms, pressing out any clumps of coconut oil.
Press the dough into the prepared pan. Dock the dough (press indentations into the dough with a fork) to prevent it from puffing up and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the dough looks dry and baked through. Let cool completely.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup toasted pecans on the evenly on the cooled crust.
Make the caramel filling by mixing the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and sea salt in a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, or until the coconut oil is melted. Whisk until smooth. Let the mixture cool slightly, and then pour over the pecans in the crust. Shake to even it out and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or until the caramel filling is firm.
Place the chopped dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl or large measuring cup. Place the coconut milk in a separate bowl or cup and heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, until steaming hot. Pour the hot coconut milk over the chocolate, making sure all the chocolate is submerged and let it sit for a minute. Whisk until smooth, and then spread over the caramel layer.
Sprinkle the chocolate with the toasted pecans and flaky sea salt, if desired.
Keep stored in the refrigerator.