This easy gluten free, vegan, & sugar free chocolate coconut pie has a date sweetened chocolate macaroon base, simple ganache filling, and a topping of sweet fresh strawberries.
This post was originally published in April 2019. It has been updated with improvements to the text and recipe as of July 2020.
If you’ve been following OE for a while, you know I have a thing for coconut milk ganache. And a thing for chocolate tarts or pies without tops. What can I say, everyone loves chocolate!
Unlike some of the other gluten free tarts I’ve shared, this one doesn’t use any oat flour. It’s a date sweetened coconut macaroon base, with a little cocoa tossed in, and it’s very good. It’s also totally grain free and this recipe is ‘pegan’ i.e. vegan and paleo, which is a thing.
This is about as simple as you can get for a dessert, with a press in base and pour in filling – it would be possible not to bake the base but I think it tastes much better and holds together more effectively when baked. The date mixture is blended up in a food processor, or mashed with a fork if you have a strong arm and soft dates. Mix it with the coconut, press it into a springform, and bake. That’s it!
- Coconut oil
- Cocoa powder
- Sea salt
- Non-dairy milk
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- Full-fat coconut milk (canned)
- Dark chocolate
- Strawberries for topping
For the Base
Preheat the oven and grease a small springform pan with coconut oil. You can use a small tart pan if you prefer. Blend the dates, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt in a food processor until a rough paste forms. If you don’t have a food processor, mash those dates by hand instead.
Add the milk and blend again, then add to a large bowl with the shredded coconut and mix until very well combined. It’ll be stiff, don’t worry. This mix is pressed into the prepared pan – as evenly as you can make it – then baked for about 15 minutes. It needs to cool fully before adding the ganache.
To speed the process a bit, pop the base into the freezer before adding the ganache. This serves a couple of purposes. It’ll help your ganache set more quickly, and it’ll also prevent any of the liquid ganache seeping into the bottom of the pie. No one likes a soggy bottom.
For the Ganache
To make the ganache, heat coconut milk in a small saucepan and pour it over chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Wait about 30-60 seconds before whisking it to form a glossy liquid. See below for notes on the coconut milk.
Pour the ganache into the baked macaroon base, then cool to room temperature before refrigerating until fully set. Top with the fruit and serve immediately.
Tips and Notes
Don’t mix up cocoa powder and chocolate drink powder! I get a lot of questions about this – they’re not the same thing. If the ingredient list includes anything like sugar or milk powder, that’s hot chocolate powder, not cocoa powder for baking.
I recommend making the whole chocolate coconut pie the night before you plan on serving it so that it has plenty of time to set, and then top with be berries right before eating. If the fruit sits there too long the filling will soften.
A note about the ganache. I use a whole can of full fat coconut milk, water too, for this recipe. But make sure you’re familiar with the brand you’re using and know that it has a high cream to water ratio. If there’s quite a lot of water in there, remove a couple tablespoons of it – you want about 65/35 or higher cream to water. Less than that, and the filling will be too loose and won’t cut well.
If you’re looking at the ingredients and thinking ah, but a chocolate bar isn’t sugar free! You can certainly use sugar-free chocolate for this recipe (it’s easy to find in the baking section) and sweeten the filling as you prefer.
The tart is quite rich, so if you want to cut that a bit, serve it with some nondairy yogurt. Small slices are best for this one.
The easiest thing to change with this recipe is the topping. Prefer raspberries? Go for it. If you want a more classic chocolate coconut cream pie, then top with coconut whipped cream instead of fruit.
Otherwise, I don’t recommend changing things up too much here. If you want a different kind of base, there are several chocolate tart recipes on OE you can check out instead. This chocolate orange tart uses oats and seeds, for example, and my chocolate hazelnut tart is a grain-free hazelnut cookie crust. The macaroon base here is great, though.
You can use lighter chocolates for the filling (60% dark, milk chocolate, even white chocolate) if you prefer a much sweeter dessert. Chocolate chips will do the trick if you have them on hand – chocolate chips are really expensive in Europe so I never use them.
Sweetened shredded coconut will make it much sweeter, too. Flaked coconut will change the texture pretty significantly and I don’t recommend it.
More Recipes with Chocolate Ganache
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- 130 grams (1/2 cup) soft dates
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons nondairy milk (oat, almond)
- 150 grams (1 1/2 cups) unsweetened shredded coconut
Coconut Chocolate Ganache
- 400 ml (13.5 oz.) canned full-fat coconut milk*
- 100 grams (3.5 oz.) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 150 grams (2 cups) strawberries, halved
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- Pistachios and shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). Line the base of a 20cm (8 in.) springform pan and grease the sides with coconut oil.
- In the base of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, blend the dates, coconut oil, vanilla, cocoa, and salt until a smooth paste forms. Add the milk and pulse until combined.
- Place the shredded coconut into a large bowl, and use your hands to combine with the date mixture. Press this into the prepared pan, as evenly as possible, with 2cm (3/4 in.) high walls.
- Bake the macaroon base for 15-17 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing the sides and cooling fully on a rack.
- Pour the ganache filling into the cool base. Refrigerate for at least four hours, or until fully set. Top with the strawberries and serve immediately.
Chocolate Coconut Ganache
- Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Heat the milk (both cream and water) in a small saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a low simmer, then pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for about a minute, and then whisk until fully combined and very smooth.
- Place the strawberries in a bowl and mix with the maple syrup or honey to coat. Arrange over the set tart, and top with a small handful of pistachios and a sprinkle of coconut.
* It's important here to choose a coconut milk brand you know has a high ratio of cream to water - see above for more on that. If you're not sure, then scoop out the cream first.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 374Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 374mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 13gSugar: 8gProtein: 4g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.