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Dark Chocolate Cashew Tart (grain-free)

I don’t usually spend much time on dessert, preferring instead to use that time to make actual food.

So, my post-meal dessert often subsists of a nice chunk of dark chocolate. The darker, the better.

However, every once in a while, I get the undeniable urge to bake something.

And recently, I threw together a dark chocolate cashew tart that’s made me rethink my hot-cold relationship with baking.

I had purchased some Just Cashew Meal* from Trader Joe’s with great intentions and (of course) never got around to doing anything with it.

But a Paleo dessert recipe featuring an almond crust got me inspired to put it to good use.

This Dark Chocolate Cashew Tart is stupidly simple and a decadently rich.

The chunky cashew crust is a great contrast to the smooth, creamy ganache filling.

Best of all – cashews have an innate sweetness, which allows me to get away with adding less sugar.

For those of you with food sensitivities, this recipe grain-free, low in sugar, and optionally dairy-free.

Still, this is dessert, so do me a favor and savor every. little. bite.

Dark Chocolate Cashew Tart (grain-free)

total time 1 hour

For the Crust

  • 2 cups ground cashews
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the Ganache

  • 1 cup coconut milk, full-fat
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix ground cashews, butter/coconut oil, coconut sugar, and salt. Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan. Using a flat-bottomed measuring cup,evenly press dough in bottom and up sides of pan.
  2. Bake in center of oven until golden and firm, about 15- 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.


  1. Place chocolate in a large mixing bowl. In a saucepan, bring coconut milk to a boil. Pour hot coconut milk over chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes, allowing the chocolate to melt. Stir until smooth and creamy.

Assemble Tart:

  1. Pour chocolate ganache into cooled tart shell and spread evenly with a spatula. Chill for at least one hour or until set.

Recipe Notes

As you can see, the Just Cashew Meal isn't exactly finely ground and therefore the crust is a bit crumbly. I personally really like the texture, however if you want a more refined crust, you can substitute any grain-free flour (coconut, almond, etc) for 1/4 to 1/2 of the ground cashews.

*UPDATE: A little birdie told me Trader Joe’s has sadly discontinued Just Cashew Meal. But fret not! You can simply take whole cashews and pulse them in your food processor (or blender) until ground up. I’ve made my own cashew meal using Crispy Cashews and it’s even better than TJs (and easier on the tummy). So there!

Be sure to use a really good quality dark chocolate, one with at least 70% cacao (and preferably organic, fair-trade). Chocolate has a host of health benefits, but only if you buy the right one. Also, be sure to buy an additive-free coconut milk, like this one.

Here are some photos to drool over.

cashew tart shell, cashew crust

chocolate coconut ganache, dairy free

paleo dark chocolate cashew tart

dark chocolate cashew crust tart


I suspect this dark chocolate cashew tart will become a favorite in your house as it has in mine.

If you think this looks amazing – or have tried the recipe – tell me about it in the comments below.

Until next week,



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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.


Leave a comment
  1. This looks soo yummy! I’ll have to try it out asap! 🙂

    • Yummy is an understatement. 🙂

  2. Thanks for coming through on your promise!!!!= can’t wait to try it !!!

    • Terry, I always do! Let me know how it turns out!

  3. Now that DOES look delicious and I bet it tastes amazing too. I must try it. Thanks for sharing. I love how simple it is and how little sugar is in it.

    • Yes Ferris, other than what’s in the chocolate, I just added a tiny hint of sweetness in the crust.

  4. OH-EMM-GEE what magic is this??
    I wish you told me this was full of carbs and bad fat so I wasn’t tempted to whip it up first thing tomorrow and gobble all up!!

    • Bushra, you can’t argue with chocolate, right? This is full of good fats. 🙂

    • Like NOW!

  5. YUMMY!!! I love your photos, too! I can almost taste the tart! Looking forward to making it!

    • It tastes just as chocolatey as it looks. 🙂

  6. Lily! You had me at “stupidly simple”. I love cooking but baking, that’s another story. This tart was incredible… and all the guys in my house loved it. Thank you!

    • A hit with the boys, huh Elise? Love it!

  7. YUMMMM. I went straight to this post, as soon as I saw the photo!! Just evernoted (and pinned on Pinterest). Thanks Lily!!

  8. Made this last night and it was absolutely de-lish! Thanks Lily!

  9. I NEED a pie crust recipe and this is it! Thank you!!

    • Perfect timing. 🙂

  10. Hi Lily.thank you very much for sharing .I love dark chocolate but whenever I am eating dark chocolate it gives me nausea. Is that normal?

  11. This looks divine! I have some coconut flour that I bought with good intentions and still haven’t used it. This will be a perfect recipe to try it with!

  12. Thank you for posting this! It was easy to make and delicious! I got some cashew meal from

    • Thanks for the tip, Michele!

  13. I have tried making this a couple of times and the coconut milk doesn’t completely melt all of the chocolate, leaving chunks. So I have tried heating it further (slowly/carefully) double-boiler style and the fat separates from the chocolate. I haven’t been able to get that smooth textured ganache that appears in your photos! Any ideas?

    It was still DELICIOUS, btw 🙂

    • Any chance you’re using chocolate chips? Sometimes those don’t melt as well as bar chocolate. Regardless, you might try melting/warming the chocolate first in the microwave or over a double boiler. Or, after adding the hot coconut milk to the chocolate, microwaving in 20 second increments (stirring before returning to the microwave) until all the chocolate is melted.

  14. Hi! Oh my , made this , and it was so decadent and good. Perfect to have a little sliver and feel satisfied. I’m wondering – I made it with bittersweet choc and a little cocoa powder as I didn’t have enough.
    Have you tried using just coconut milk, cocoa powder and maple syrup as a sweetener? I was wondering … so less white sugar … but I’m not sure if it will set as well.

  15. Made this recipe this past weekend and LOVED it! I made it into little cupcakes which involved a bit more time dividing everything up but makes it easier when portioning and freezing! I’m not a huge sweets person so being able to keep portions in the freezer is a bonus. Thank you for this simple and very rich dessert!

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