Chocolate Sweet Cherry Vegan Tarts

Chocolate Sweet Cherry Vegan Tarts | A Couple Cooks

Chocolate Sweet Cherry Vegan Tarts | A Couple Cooks

Chocolate Sweet Cherry Vegan Tarts | A Couple Cooks

Chocolate Sweet Cherry Vegan Tarts | A Couple Cooks

Chocolate Sweet Cherry Vegan Tarts | A Couple Cooks

This post was created in partnership with Northwest Cherry Growers. All opinions are our own. 

Okay, we get it. Valentine’s Day can be cheesy and overdone. On the flip side, it’s an excuse to eat delicious food with people you love–and what’s the harm in that? Growing up, my mom would decorate our house with red hearts and tape Valentines to the door of my room. While Alex and I don’t generally celebrate ourselves, now that little Larson is in the picture, it gives us a whole new excuse to celebrate the holiday.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here’s a new recipe for you inspired by the season. Inspired by that classic combination of sweet cherries and chocolate, we set about to create a healthy (or healthy-ish) vegan dessert. Why vegan? We’ve found that you readers love vegan desserts even if you’re not vegan yourself–which is also the case with us. Vegan desserts are also super versatile for serving to all sorts of diets. This chocolate sweet cherry vegan tart is rich and chocolatey using natural sweeteners and just a few whole food ingredients. Larson LOVES these little bites, and we don’t feel bad feeding them to him since the ingredient list is so clean. Here are our secrets:

  • The crust is made of almonds, oats, cocoa powder, coconut oil and maple syrup, blended into crumbles and pressed into a muffin tin.
  • The chocolate topping is made of just three ingredients: coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder. It comes together into the creamiest liquid chocolate that you’d swear had gobs of dairy and refined sugar.
  • The topping is chopped sweet northwest cherries, which are the perfect juicy, naturally sweet foil to the chocolatey richness.
  • These ingredients make the dessert vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar free. But don’t tell anyone, because most of all they’re delicious.

This recipe was created especially for Northwest Cherry Growers using frozen sweet cherries. Fresh northwest cherries are available only in the summer months, but frozen or dried cherries are an excellent alternative that allow you to enjoy the health benefits of cherries year-round. Cherries freeze easily, so if you like the recipe, try freezing a couple of bags of fresh cherries next summer! It can bring you one step closer to the source of these tasty fruits.

A few of the health benefits of sweet cherries:

  • Better sleep in every bite: Studies show that cherries are a natural source of melatonin, which helps control your body’s internal clock and regulate your sleep patterns. Try eating cherries about an hour before bedtime to help stabilize your sleep cycle.
  • Covert cancer-fighting agents: A study by the USDA’s Western Human Nutrition Research Center suggests that cherries possess cancer-fighting properties as well. Cherries contain ellagic acid, which appears to be a potent inhibitor to the growth of cancer cells.
  • Boosted fiber intake: Many Americans are fiber deficient, falling short of the 25-35 grams per day recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines. Eating cherries can help you reach the current dietary recommendation of two cups of fruit daily and can contribute to healthy weight maintenance, diabetes prevention and improved cardiovascular health.

And finally, the Northwest Cherry Growers! It is a self-funded & self-led grower’s organization founded in 1947 to promote, educate and research a variety of regionally-grown stone fruits, especially fresh sweet cherries. For more information on Northwest Cherries and to learn about the health benefits of cherries, visit NWCherries.com.

Let us know if you try out this recipe: we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Looking for vegan desserts? 

We love vegan desserts as they work for guests with various diets. Here are a few of our favorite vegan desserts:

Looking for more fruit desserts? 

Outside of this chocolate cherry vegan tart, here are our favorite fruit desserts on A Couple Cooks:

Did you make this recipe?

If you make our chocolate cherry vegan tarts, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks and @nwcherrygrowers.

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free, and naturally sweet.

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Chocolate Cherry Vegan Tarts | A Couple Cooks

Chocolate Cherry Vegan Tart


1 Star (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 9

Description

Looking for vegan desserts? This chocolate cherry vegan tart is made of clean ingredients: just cocoa, maple, coconut oil, oats, almonds and sweet cherries!


Ingredients

  • For the crust
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa powder (baking cocoa)
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • For the topping
  • 4 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup frozen sweet cherries (about 5 ounces)

Instructions

  1. For the crust: In a food processor, blend the almonds, oats, coconut oil, maple syrup, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and kosher salt for several seconds. Scrape down the bowl, then pulse until evenly chopped and a crumbly mixture forms, scraping down again as necessary. Add wrappers to a muffin tin (optional). Place 1 tablespoon of the crust mixture into each cup and press it down with your fingers, to make 9 in all. Save the remainder of the crust for the topping.
  2. For the topping: Wash and dry the bowl of the food processor. Then add the cocoa powder, maple syrup, and coconut oil and blend for several seconds until creamy. Using a spoon, place a dollop onto each of the 9 crusts and smooth it out gently.
  3. Defrost the cherries and gently chop them, then drain of excess liquid. Sprinkle the chopped cherries on top of the chocolate, then add some crust crumbles. (A few crust crumbles may remain, which you can discard.)
  4. Freeze for 20 minutes to set. Let stand at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes to thaw before eating. Store refrigerated.

 

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.

18 Comments

  • Reply
    Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek
    February 8, 2018 at 6:37 am

    These tarts are so pretty! I love the cherry and chocolate combo. Also congrats on the IACP nom! xo

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 14, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      Thank you so much, Kelsey! That means a lot. And we always swoon for chocolate and cherries!

  • Reply
    Claire
    February 8, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Oooh, yum! I might try making these with walnuts instead of almonds (don’t have any on hand at the moment).
    -Claire
    tallgirlbigworld.com

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 14, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      Claire — sorry for the delayed response here! I definitely think walnuts would work. Let us know if you try it!

  • Reply
    Abby @ Heart of a Baker
    February 9, 2018 at 9:34 am

    I always go for chocolate on Valentine’s Day, so I’m totally into these! Also, love the cute sidebar of you guys with the cookbook, too sweet! xo

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 14, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Haha, awww thank you! The sidebar pic is a little freaky sometimes, but fun :) Let us know if you try these — I’m craving them right now!

  • Reply
    Jean
    February 12, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    I can’t wait to make these! I might sneak in a little almond extract somewhere to amp up the cherry factor. Quick question though- should the coconut oil be melted or room temp/solid-ish?
    Thanks!

    • Reply
      MICHELLE TORBECK
      February 14, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      Delicious!! Made these for Valentine’s Day :) I got the frozen cherries at Trader Joe’s, as I was having a hard time at my local grocery store. I did not melt the coconut oil and it worked perfectly. I love the little extra crumble on top. Will definitely be making these again!

      • Reply
        Jean
        February 14, 2018 at 5:08 pm

        Ooh, awesome! Thanks for the heads up, Michelle!

      • Reply
        Sonja
        March 14, 2018 at 1:46 pm

        We’re so excited to hear you made these for Valentine’s Day — so perfect! We didn’t melt the coconut oil either :) THANKS for making them and so glad they were a hit!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      Per Michelle’s response, no need to melt: just room temp! Let us know if you make them, Jean!

      • Reply
        Jean
        May 9, 2018 at 6:00 pm

        I did make these! We liked them (and no morsel went to waste), although I only had cacao powder opposed to dutch process cocoa and felt that was a bit too strong. So I’ve been meaning to go back and make the recipe as written. A cold, chocolatey/chewy/cherry bite sounds like perfection right now!

  • Reply
    Lorel
    February 15, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Do you recommend using a wrapper for the muffin tin, or do the tarts stay in tact pretty well? I don’t want everything to crumble when I remove it from the tin. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      February 15, 2018 at 11:11 am

      We’ve done it both ways and it worked well either way! Using a wrapper is easier, but you can remove them using a knife and sliding them out. Since they are chilled, it solidifies the texture before removing them! The photo is of a batch we made without the wrappers (we forgot to buy more at the store!).

  • Reply
    Amy
    July 25, 2018 at 9:13 am

    hello! just curious how you recommend storing these beauties! do they need to stay in the fridge? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      July 27, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      These definitely need to be refrigerated! I’ve updated the post accordingly. Thanks for the question!

  • Reply
    Jessica Flory
    August 7, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Oh. My. Goodness. These are SOOOOO good!!! Wow! I doubled the recipe and made it in a 9 inch pie pan then sliced into 12. The chocolate topping is almost like chocolate mousse or frosting – it’s AMAZING!! My kids went CRAZY for this. My two year old needs all the healthy fat he can get so I’m so happy he’s chowing down and getting so much good stuff! Thank you, Sonja and Alex! We’re making your turmeric mac n’ cheese for dinner tonight and I just finished your hearty black bean and kale soup for lunch. Love your site!!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 7, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Oh you are so welcome and I’m SO glad to hear this!!! Yes the topping is our favorite :) So glad you’re loving our recipes; thank you so much for making them! I love the idea of doubling this and putting it in a pie pan — genius!

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