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These decadent-tasting chocolate cherry dessert bites are made of clean ingredients: just cocoa, maple, coconut oil, oats, almonds and cherries!

Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bites | Chocolate Cherry Tart
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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! Growing up, my mom would decorate our house with red hearts and tape Valentines to the door of my room. Now that little Larson is in the picture, it gives Alex and me a whole new excuse to celebrate the holiday. These chocolate cherry dessert bites are a perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day: or really any time of the year! They’re vegan and made simply of clean ingredients.

Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bites | Chocolate Cherry Tart

How to make chocolate cherry dessert bites

Inspired by that classic combination of sweet cherries and chocolate, we set about to create a healthy vegan dessert that turned into these chocolate cherry dessert bites. 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.

These chocolate cherry dessert bites are a rich and chocolatey dessert using natural sweeteners and just a few whole food ingredients! Here are our secrets to our chocolate cherry dessert:

  • 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 raw, no bakevegan, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar free. But don’t tell anyone, because most of all they’re delicious.
Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bites | Chocolate Cherry Tart

What are sweet cherries?

This chocolate cherry dessert bites recipe was created especially for Northwest Cherry Growers using frozen sweet cherries. What are sweet cherries? Sweet cherries are cherries of a sweet variety that are typically consumed fresh. There are several varieties of sweet cherries; the most common is Bing. These fresh cherries are quite dark – sometimes almost purple or black. Montmorency tart cherries, also known as sour cherries, are bright red when harvested, and are typically consumed dried, frozen or juiced.

Fresh Northwest sweet 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.

Northwest Cherry Growers 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.

Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bites | Chocolate Cherry Tart

Sweet cherries health benefits

Sweet cherries are so delicious that it’s not hard to be convinced to eat them: especially if they’re in these chocolate cherry dessert bites! But here are 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.

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

Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bites | Chocolate Cherry Tart

Looking for more fruit desserts?

Outside of these chocolate cherry dessert bites, here are our favorite fruit desserts on A Couple Cooks:

This chocolate cherry dessert bites recipe is…

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

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Chocolate Cherry Vegan Tarts | A Couple Cooks

Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bites


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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 9 1x

Description

These decadent-tasting chocolate cherry dessert bites are made of clean ingredients: just cocoa, maple, coconut oil, oats, almonds and cherries!


Ingredients

Scale

For the crust

  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon refined 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 refined 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.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: American

Looking for vegan desserts?

We love vegan desserts as they work for guests with various diets. Outside of these chocolate cherry dessert bites, here are a few of our favorite vegan desserts:

Last updated: January 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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24 Comments

  1. Cindy says:

    I just made the choc cherry cups, OMG do u really put in 12 T of coconut oil in the filling??????
    I put in 4 T and that was plenty. Don’t understand

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Hi there, the recipe says 6 tablespoons. Can you tell me where you see 12? Thanks!

  2. Brian Worthen says:

    I have made this many times and it is such a hit.

    The last two times though the coconut oil separates from the cocoa. I don’t think I did anything different. Any ideas or suggestions?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Hi Brian! We’ve never had this happen, I’m sorry to hear that! Can you explain a little more: when did this happen? Was it while mixing, or after the bites were finished and refrigerated?

      1. Brian Worthen says:

        It was as we mixed and it stayed separated when we froze it. No one noticed but the chocolate part had a white coconut oil edge to it. The flavor was still perfect.

        1. Arianna says:

          The same thing happened to me. I think i had the processor up to high while mixing the topping.

  3. Jessica Flory says:

    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!!

    1. Sonja says:

      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!

  4. Amy says:

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

    1. Sonja says:

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

  5. Lorel says:

    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!

    1. Sonja says:

      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!).

  6. Jean says:

    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!

    1. MICHELLE TORBECK says:

      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!

      1. Jean says:

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

      2. Sonja says:

        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!

    2. Sonja says:

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

      1. Jean says:

        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!

  7. Abby @ Heart of a Baker says:

    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

    1. Sonja says:

      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!

  8. Claire says:

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

    1. Sonja says:

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

  9. Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek says:

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

    1. Sonja says:

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