8 Days of Recipes. Day 1: Vegan Caramel Nut Tart

Pecan pie was always a favorite of mine at holiday dinner.  So now I make a gluten-free, vegan nut tart that reminds me of pecan pie but with even more goodies added to it and is a little lighter on the sugar.  Plus, it is a bit more forgiving to make with a simple dough for the crust which is not fussy and takes less time to bake in the oven.  The filling contains heart healthy walnuts and pecans, as well as pumpkin seeds and dates for a seasonal twist.  Coconut milk is used in place of heavy cream combined with the maple syrup makes a delicious caramel filling without any corn syrup needed.  This tart makes for a delicious alternative to the classic pecan pie without all the sugar, gluten and dairy.

Author: Amy Lyons O’Neil

Amy has worked for Fresh and Natural Foods since 2006 contributing to the variety of healthful foods we offer. She graduated with a degree in studio art from Bethel University in 2007, but in her senior year of college, found that her passion was with the art of food. She later used her photography and culinary skills to create a vegan food and recipe blog, Fragrant Vanilla Cake. She has also written 3 cookbooks. She specializes in vegan and vegetarian recipes. Local, fresh and organic food has always been her focus in whatever she creates.



In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in coconut oil with pastry blender or hands until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add coconut milk, and mix together with hands until dough comes together, adding a little more if necessary to form a cohesive dough ball. Lightly flour a surface, and roll dough out to fit a 10 1/2 inch tart pan with removable bottom (chill a little while in the fridge if dough is too soft to work with). Press dough into pan, and place in the freezer. Freeze 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350. In a medium saucepan, place coconut milk, sugar, syrup, and heat on medium high until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Let boil 4 minutes, while stirring, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla, maple, pecans, walnuts, and pepitas. Scatter dates evenly over the crust, then pour caramel and nuts into crust, and bake on the middle rack of the oven on a sheet pan lined with foil (to catch any spillage) about 40-45 minutes until browned and bubbling (check the tart after 20 minutes, and if it is getting too dark, cover it loosely with foil until finished baking) . Cool on rack completely, then refrigerate overnight before serving.

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Recipe Type

  • Dairy-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Heart Healthy
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Course Type

  • Dessert

Skill Level

  • Beginner
  • Easy