Chocolate Pecan Tart (Gluten Free, Paleo + Vegan)
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!
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Chocolate Pecan Tart (Gluten Free, Paleo + Vegan)
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 12 slices 1x
- Category: Dessert
- ¾ cup (96g) coconut flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil (solid)
For the filling
- ⅓ cup creamy almond butter (you can substitute with any creamy nut butter you’d like)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup pecans (toasted and chopped)
For the ganache
- 3 oz. dark chocolate (chopped finely (make sure it’s dairy-free to keep 100% vegan))
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup pecans (toasted)
- Flaky sea salt (to garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 14×5” tart pan (what I used), 9” tart pan, or 8×8” 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.
You make the BEST tarts, Rachel! This is so gorgeous! I have a feeling this would quickly become my favorite dessert. Love the chocolate and pecan combo!
I’m having the feels for this tart too!! I mean, WHOA, girl!! How do you even make your tarts this freaking gorgeous?? I totally want this for breakfast right now. Is that bad??
This looks amazing! I would love to try this, can’t beleive it’s gluten free, paleo and vegan, nice work!
This pecan tart is gorgeous! Love that it’s gluten free and vegan and totally live for that almond butter in the filling :)
Isn’t almond butter the BEST?! Thanks, Medha!
This is one delicious tart, and love that you used coconut flour.
Thanks Joanne! Coconut flour is one of my favorites :)
Rachel, you know I’m a total sucker for your tarts and this one looks delicious! Pecans are a total favorite of mine! I can’t wait to try!
Thanks so much Mary! Pecans are my favorite too. Hope you love this one!
I want to dive face first into this tart, Rachel! You seriously should win an award for best blogger tarts. <3 <3
Hahah! I have a major love for tarts, that is for sure :) thank you, Lauren!
Made this today, it’s divine. Used walnuts as pecans are very expensive in new Zealand. Will be on the menu at the next family gathering :-)
So glad you hear you loved it, Yvonne! Walnuts sound delicious here. Thanks for sharing your experience with me :)
OH MY GOD YOU ARE A GENIUS
dying. This tart….too good….aghhh
Thanks for this recipe! My family is celebrating Thanksgiving late, and I can’t have their pecan pie. :'( I can’t have the coconut flour, so I’m going to hedge my bets and sub almond flour, with maybe some teff.
You keep inspiring me to make rectangular tarts! My mom has a rectangular tart pan somewhere… But yours are so beautiful. I love looking at them. :)
Thanks so much, Megan! You’ve got to get one of the pans :) let me know how it turns out with the almond flour. You may need to add some extra to make up for the high absorbency of coconut flour. Hope you enjoy it!
Hi Rachel! I’m going to be brave and try making this gorgeous tart for Xmas this year. I doubt it will come out as beautifully as yours but your inspiring work is why I keep coming back to this blog over and over again! Quick question … do I still need to use the parchment paper even though I just bought the same tart pan you use (from Amazon)? Just wondering if the texture of the crust will be compromised if I skipped the parchment paper. Thanks so much :-)
Hi Jasmine, you’re so sweet! This tart is pretty simple, so I’m sure it will be beautiful. If you have the pan I used, no parchment paper is necessary, just lightly grease the pan with coconut oil. I recommend the parchment paper only if you don’t have a pan with a removable bottom to help lift the tart out. Does that make sense? Enjoy!
Thank you, Rachel! That helps so much. Your Paleo Choc Chunk Banana Bread and the Cocoa Date Energy Bars are huge favorites at our home. I have so many of your recipes bookmarked and I can’t wait to try them all. Thanks again and wishing you the happiest holidays :-)
So happy to hear that Jasmine! Hope you love each and every recipe that you try – let me know if you ever have any trouble or questions! Happiest holidays to you as well.
How long does this last in the fridge? I’m wondering if I can make it the night before an event. It looks so amazing and I can’t wait to try it. I love your blog!
Thanks, Shawna! This will definitely be good the next day if you leave it in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!
Made this the other day and it was delicious! A huge hit with everyone! I’d like to transform the recipe into bars or cookies for a cookie exchange I’m going to. Will these be OK left covered out of the fridge at room temperature for a day or more or must they be refrigerated after the filling is set?
Hi Kayla, I’d recommend keeping them in the fridge. They should be fine at room temperature for a few hours as long as the room isn’t too warm, but the filling will be too soft if they’re left out of the fridge for a day or more. So glad you’re loving the recipe, though!
I made this last year for Christmas, going to make it for Thanksgiving this year…it is so delicious!!!! My family couldn’t believe it was gluten and dairy free!! 5 stars ☆☆☆☆☆
Chef Tracy Plumb-Ruiz
So glad you and your family loved it, Tracy! Hope it’s a hit again this year :D