Chocolate Date Caramel Walnut Tart (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan)

An almond shortbread crust and soft date caramel filling is topped with a rich chocolate ganache and finished with walnuts in this chocolate tart.

chocolate date walnut tart, vegan, grain free, gluten free, paleo, sylvie shirazi photography, los angeles food photographer
It’s not even the end of November yet but the sweet smells of the holidays are in the air already. We’re slowly tiptoeing into the upcoming holiday meal preparations, planning menus and considering dishes and decorations. The thought of coming in from the crisp air outside to a warm house filled with the scents of the season makes my heart happy. But apart from big celebratory dinners, this time of year is tailor made for spending chilly afternoons snuggled up with a nice cup of tea and a slice of something sweet. Cacao Powder, Dates, Walnuts I suggest a chocolate covered date caramel and walnut tart and a cup of Chai tea; they keep good company. Rest assured however that it’s just as home on any holiday spread if you’re looking for a holiday dessert that breaks from the pumpkin or pecan variety. A classic combination of tender shortbread crust and a soft caramel-like filling is topped with a rich chocolate ganache and finished with a scattering of walnuts. almond flour crust The sturdy cookie-like crust made from almond flour and coconut oil is filled with a walnut studded date paste and a hint of salt with flavors reminiscent of caramel and brown sugar. It’s a combination sure to delight any chocolate and caramel lover. Raw Chocolate Ganache Large tender Medjool dates provide the sweetness in the filling and offer a luxurious toffee-like complexity to the base of this tart when paired with a hint of sea salt and fresh vanilla bean. The dark chocolate ganache that blankets the cookie crust and caramel base is made with anti-oxidant rich raw cacao powder and maple syrup and is a silky and intense counterpoint to the sweetness of the date caramel. Chocolate Date Caramel Walnut Tart, vegan, paleo, gluten free, grain free Here’s to the start of the holidays!  What are you making this year?

Chocolate Date Caramel Walnut Tart (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan)

Yields Serves 8

A sturdy cookie-like crust made from almond flour and coconut oil is filled with a walnut studded caramel date paste and topped with a silky raw cacao ganache.

30 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

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    For the crust:
  • 250g /2 cups almond flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup/60ml maple syrup
  • ¼ cup/60ml extra virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • For the date walnut filling:
  • 160g (about 10) Medjool dates soaked in ½ cup/120ml of warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons/30ml of extra virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • ½ vanilla bean pod seeds scraped
  • 1/8 teaspoon of fine sea salt (like fleur de sel)
  • 1 cup/112g toasted, chopped toasted walnuts (divided use)
  • For the ganache:
  • 1/2 cup/120ml maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup/60g extra virgin unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup/50g raw organic cacao powder


    Make tart crust:
  1. Grease a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  2. Place almond flour and salt into a large bowl. Add maple syrup and melted coconut oil and blend together with a fork until it resembles coarse meal, about two minutes.
  3. Press firmly and evenly into the bottom and sides of tart pan with your fingers. Prick with the tines of a fork.
  4. Let the dough firm and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden but not dark. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while making filling.
  6. Make date caramel filling:
  7. In a food processor puree the soaked, pitted dates along with the soaking liquid, melted coconut oil, salt and scraped vanilla bean seeds until thick with a whipped, creamy texture is achieved. Stir in ¾ cup of the chopped toasted walnuts and spread mixture into the cooled tart shell in an even layer.
  8. Set in the fridge while making the cacao ganache.
  9. Make cacao ganache:
  10. In the food processor, blend together maple syrup and melted coconut oil until well combined.
  11. Add in cacao powder and process until smooth scraping down the sides as needed.
  12. Pour over date walnut base and spread out evenly over the top. Sprinkle with extra seal salt and the remaining chopped toasted walnuts.
  13. Return pan to fridge to set and firm for at least one hour before serving.


Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegan, Paleo

NOTE: You can use a 9-inch pie plate if you don't have a tart pan with a removable bottom.



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  1. says

    Oh my word! This is so decadent and yet is free from gluten and processed sugar, how amazing. Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes that turn our gluten free lives into something special.

  2. says

    This tart looks wonderful Sylvie. I’ve developed two gluten free recipes this week – one is for a friend who can’t eat eggs either but next time I bake for him I’m making this! Dates add such a gorgeous caramel flavour but naturally, such a lovely ingredient.

  3. says

    That does look stunning. I am itching to make something using mejool dates as the sweetener and thickener. As you have hardly tasted okra, I have actually rarely tasted a date! I imagine the texture would be wonderful in desserts. Happy Thanksgiving planning to you!

  4. Alanna says

    We had an early Thanksgiving dinner with family this weekend, and I made this tart. It was glorious. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe 🙂

  5. says

    Gorgeous! I love date truffles, so a whole tart I know would be mind blowing! I’ve got a few friends who are either vegan and gluten free or paleo, so this is the perfect thing to make for everyone to share. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Laura says

    Sylvie –

    Thank you so much for this recipe. The ingredients were pricey and I have never made a tart that made such extensive use of a food processor before – but it was worth every penny and every second spent washing all those food processor pieces.

    I realized a few months ago that I can no longer be well and eat gluten or dairy, and simply gave up baking out of sorrow and frustration for a short period of time, before taking it up again and believing I would just have to make desserts that do not excite people – and certainly not tarts or pies.

    Well, I took this to a thanksgiving celebration with some friends today – and everyone who tasted it raved about it. I didn’t think I’d get that response to any of my me-safe desserts ever again. Thank you!

    One note about the recipe that I found surprising? The measure of almond flour indicated 250 grams or 1 cup – I erred on the side of the weight, because it looked like the right volume – but it also looked like more like 2.5 cups. I wonder if a notation or a re-measure would be useful?


    • says

      Hi Laura,

      You are right that should have read 250 grams/ 2 cups not one, I apologize for the mistake I have updated the recipe now to reflect that change. I am really glad everyone enjoyed the dessert, that always makes my day when I hear that!

  7. Viola says

    Hi Sylvie,
    I just tried this recipe and everything was perfect except for the crust, which looked more like a soggy mess than something crumbly. I definitely couldn’t spread or pres it into a pie pan. I ended up adding a full cup of finely ground walnuts and then it was manageable. Any thoughts?

  8. Elle says

    I just came across your site while looking at a different recipe, but am I sure glad I saw this! It looks insane!! Can’t wait to try it!

  9. says

    How in the world am I just seeing this tart now? Amazing! I am getting ready to toast some walnuts for my beet salad, but definitely need to save some for your fabulous creation!

  10. Nancy says

    This recipe is divine! I made it for New Year’s Eve and it was a big hit. So good, I’m making it again tomorrow. Brilliant!

  11. Elle says

    So I finally tried this tonight, it has been on my mind for weeks 🙂 Made a couple subs based on what I had (some butter for coconut oil in the crust, a mix of honey and agave instead of maple syrup), and it turned out soooo good. I haven’t had anything this decadent since going gluten/grain/dairy(most)/soy/etc free!
    The only change I would make is that I think my dates must have been smaller than yours. (I don’t have a scale, one of those things I keep planning to buy but never do!) I didn’t end up with much of the caramel filling, and the ganache overpowered it, but I’ll just make more next time! Because there WILL be a next time…

  12. Nicole says

    I have made this recipe twice and it is so delicious. Everyone loves it. I only have one problem and I can’t figure out why I can’t unmold it. Do you have any suggestions. Maybe I have been keeping it in the refrigerator to firm up too long. I just wish I could get it to unmold haha and then it would be perfect! Has anyone else had trouble or is it just me and my tart pan. :/

    • says

      Hi Nicole, I’m not sure why it would be sticking but maybe your pan could use a little extra greasing? Also try running a knife along the edges to loosen it a bit before unmolding it as well and see if that helps. I don’t think the extra time in the fridge is the culprit, that should actually help firm it up and make it easier.

  13. Hilary says

    This was absolutely incredible – made it for a bday for a friend and everyone LOVED it! I used a cup of hazelnut flour mixed with almond flour for the base. That gave it a nice texture. Next time I might reduce the maple syrup a bit in the ganache – it was sweet enough – but the group that ate it said, no way, perfect as is. Thank you soooooo much for this recipe!

  14. Diane Blomquist says

    Heavenly! I made this with one change …. I soaked the dates in spiced rum …. omg …. this is a keeper!

  15. Laura Place says

    Hi! I just want to thank you for this fabulous show-stopper of a dessert. I have brought it to parties, served it at my own parties, and made it for holidays. People always love it, it’s really beautiful, the ingredients list is short, and as long as you’re not allergic to nuts, anybody can probably eat it. It’s great!

    Recently I gave in to temptation and went along with my instinct to increase the amount of ganache by half, and it makes it all the more deliciously decadent, with no more effort involved at all. I also prefer to use a little more date than walnut in the caramelly layer, but that’s more of a whim. 🙂

  16. Caroline Purdon says

    Hi – this looks terrific for Sunday lunch pud without the sugar and butter overload.
    How far in advance can this be made (then refrigerated) or frozen?


  1. […] Containing 36+ easy to make all vegan, gluten-free and processed sugar-free dessert recipes! Anything from cake and cookies, through to icy treats and classics reinvented. PLUS extensive guides to gluten-free flours, sugar and sugar substitutes! All the recipes in this book are vegan therefore dairy-free and egg-free. They are all gluten-free, wheat-free and processed sugar-free. Most are nut-free and soy-free. There is also a Guest Recipe section which features recipes from 7 other talented wholefood and allergy-aware bloggers, [including me and my Chocolate Date Caramel Walnut Tart!] […]