No bake Pumpkin Tarts

I wanted to do something different for Thanksgiving dessert this year.

My Grandma’s Thanksgiving dessert specialty are butter tarts, my Mom’s is definitely pumpkin pie, and my sister makes a mean pumpkin crepe. But none of my Thanksgiving recipes are famous in our family… yet.

This year I decided that it was time I made a name for myself.

A no bake, reduced fat, light and tasty name for myself.

No bake Pumpkin Tarts

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

A lighter and healthier take on pumpkin pie. The dried fruit crust is held together with buckwheat groats and just a touch of pecans, making it lower in fat than many no bake treats.

Yield: 6 tarts

Servings: 6



  • 1/4 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 6 medjool dates
  • 6 tablespoon raisins
  • 3 tablespoon pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pumpkin filling

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup cashews, soaked
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder


  1. Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  2. Pulse buckwheat, dates, raisins, and pecans in the bowl of your processor until the pecans are crushed and dried fruit is broken down.
  3. Press the mixture into 6 tart cups (I used silicon muffin cups). Set aside.
  4. Place filling ingredients in the bowl of your processor, or blender and pulse until smooth. There should not be chunks of cashews!
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cups.
  6. Place cups on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to freeze for 1.5 hours or so before removing from the mold. If able, serve right away. If not, cover with plastic wrap and return to the freezer. Mine stayed in the freezer for over 24 hours and they were just fine.
  7. Allow to thaw for 5-10 minutes before serving with coconut whipped cream or a dash of ground cinnamon.

calories: 237 | fat: 8g | carbohydrate: 40g | fiber: 5g | sugars: 26g | protein: 5.5g

generally a slice of traditional pumpkin pie contains:

calories: 323 | fat: 15g | carbohydrate: 46g | fiber: 1g | sugars: 25g | protein: 5g


Although Grandma’s butter tarts really are too good for words, these babies come in as a close second. The avocado adds creaminess, the filling has just a touch of sweetness, and the date/raisin outer shell is just perfect! Mm-mm

I wish Kevin would get on the dried fruit train. He misses out on all of these tasty treats because of his fear of shriveled fruit. I guess there are worse things, right? For Kevin’s dessert, I made a batch of Jackie’s Healthy Pumpkin Soft Serve. I froze the pumpkin in ice cube trays to make it easier to break up in the food processor, and used 1 tablespoon of maple syrup instead of 3. Let’s just say I ended up having 2 servings of dessert that night.

Before everyone came over for dinner on Monday, Kevin and I made good progress on my office!

Let the furniture making begin…

The light is pretty cool looking, but doesn’t really cast shadows on the wall like IKEA said it would.

We had this chaise in the living room of our old apartment but haven’t been able to use it since. I’m so happy it finally has a place of it’s own again.

Still to do:

  • Put up the wallpapered MDF board on the dark purple wall
  • Assemble the bookshelf and find a spot for it
  • Hang drapes
  • Find some pictures for the walls!

What’s the last room in your house that you decorated?

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. How utterly adorable!!! I need to make this for Thanksgiving, too!

    And your office is looking great! I love how it looks so simple and modern, yet slightly earthy with the green “grass” rug.

  2. These look amazing…and I just pinned them on my Pumpkin Board :) Thanks for the great recipe.

    Question…the Pin It button that you have right next to your stumble, fb, and other social media icons…I went to the pinterest site and tried to install that on my site about a month ago and it doesnt seem to function properly for me.

    Do you use a Thesis “open hook” tool in WordPress? And if so, what “hook” do you place the Html code in, i.e. after content, before comment box, etc..there are about 17 options and I think Im placing the code in the wrong box. Sorry to bug you but thought I’d ask :)

    • Morning Averie :) I use AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget for the cubed social media icons, and then downloaded Pin It On Pinterest plugin. It adds a field to each post that I just write in and add a picture to. I hope that helps!

  3. Oooh I was really hoping that it was pumpkin in those tarts and you did not disappoint! They sound amazing! Your office looks like it’s coming along really well. The last room in my house that I made over was one of our storage spaces in the basement (I know, not very exciting, but it needed it!). I also started making a gift wrapping station at my old desk in the basement, but I have a bazillion tubs of scrapbooking supplies on shelves down there too which I’d really like to organize so it can be a craft room. (And so that I can actually make all the DIY projects I pin on Pinterest!!) :)

    • Ohh you’re crafty! I didn’t know that. Sounds like a scrapbookers’ paradise!

    • Holy wow. That’s ridiculous for an avocado. You could replace with additional soaked cashews and it should work out perfectly.

      • I just bought 3 for over $5 the other day… ridiculous!

        I LOVE your idea for these mini pumpkin “pies”. Can’t wait to try this recipe out! I’m always looking for different ways to use buckwheat groats because their flavor does take some getting used to.

        • Ha! 3 avocados for $5 is on special here in Perth! and dont get me started on the price of bananas right now. Do you know how many recipes I forgo due to the cost of bananas!?! But the price is finally coming back down. How much do you usually pay for bananas and avocados?

          • Hi Tamara, organic bananas here are about $2 and avocados are ~$3 for a bag of 5. That’s insane that they’re that costly!

  4. These were definitely worth the wait. I can’t believe they’re so low-fat for a raw dessert. I wonder how many family members I could trick with this.

    • I bet you could lower the fat too, if you replaced all of the pecans with buckwheat. I’ve already put that on my list of things to do. I tricked my Dad with it, which is saying A LOT!

  5. Those little dudes look so incredible. I have been anxiously waiting for this recipe!
    I also really love the alternative healthy dessert options for thanksgiving. On a day of indulging, I like to make some super smart choices where I can. Last year I made a delicious and healthy flourless carrot cake and it was a hit. I may have to make these my dessert of choice this year. Thanks for sharing!

    PS the home office is really coming along nicely, the purples are so calming, such a nice choice.

    • Your carrot cake sounds delicious, did you post it on your blog? Love me some flourless treats :)
      The office sure is a treat. I become so calm the minute I walk through the door!

    • Hmm that’s a great question. If you’re not too concerned with the fat content, you could sub it with nuts/seeds of your choice. Sunflower seeds may be nice and are lower in fat than if you were to add say, pecans.

  6. These looks delicious – I like the fact that I don’t have to bake them and they’re full of nutritious goodies.

    And, I LOVE your new office space – so pretty!

  7. Just in time! I have an obscene number of cans of canned pumpkin at my house and am getting a bit tired of pumpkin & chocolate chip muffins!

    And I love, love, LOVE the new office space! The purple walls look great! :)

  8. The tarts look and sound perfect! I’m a true pumpkin lover so I would be all over this…dried fruit and all! We redid our bedroom last October. My husband laid the hardwood floors and we painted. I love that room now! I want hardwoods all upstairs now! Your room looks Great!

  9. Oh my sweet lord, these sound so awesome! What a fun spin on pumpkin pie. And after taking a quick inventory of my pantry, it looks like I have all the ingredients right now to make these delicious little tarts. To the kitchen I must go. Thank you for such a great recipe. I’ll let you know how mine turn out.
    Quick note: I actually don’t have pecans. Could I use walnuts or almonds instead?

  10. Love the color of the walls with the green and white ! I have the same lamp, mine does cast shadows, wonder why yours doesn’t ??

    • Hmm interesting.. maybe because we had to hang mine so close to the ceiling? Good to know it should work.. now I just have to figure out how… Thanks Nina!

  11. These look absolutely fabulous, Leanne. I especially love the crust… I think I’d eat the whole mix before I could even start forming the little cups… ;)

    Your office is soooo nice. What gorgeous colours you chose. And that lamp. So niiiice! I’ve had my eye on it for a while now, every time I go to IKEA, I stop to look at it. I just don’t have anywhere to put it. :(

    • I did the same thing with the lamp… I’d been eyeing it up forever! I’m sure you can find a room to put it in…

  12. So how did your family to respond to your tarts? I brought raw apple pie to a family gathering once, and…well…people liked it. But they didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped they would!

    • Everyone was super happy with them! My Mom even called me that same night to get the recipe… I told her she had to wait. Too bad about your apple pie, sounds delicious. What recipe did you use?

  13. Ohhh, these tarts are so on my to-do list. Yes.

    I’m really in love with the purples in your office, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t always appreciate purple. ;)

  14. Leanne, I made these yesterday afternoon for my family to enjoy after dinner and holy crap, they are totally to.die.for! So freaking delicious and so healthy. I didn’t feel like a cow for eating 3 (or maybe 4) of them… hmmm, maybe I should have let everyone else have more than just one… Anyway, I will definitely be making these again for Thanksgiving. Thanks so much for a great recipe. You rock!

  15. What a super yummy idea! I love individual servings for dessert–perfect for having guests over. I’m definitely going to have to try this next time my family gets together (and not tell my father in law that it’s a healthy dessert! :-P)

  16. I made these tonight in a mini muffin tin. I’m thinking now that I should have oiled/buttered the pan a bit but hopefully once frozen they will pop right out. :-) The filling is absolutely delicious and I had plenty leftover for additional tasting this evening! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  17. Hi Leanne,

    I have to say I am recent fan of your blog, and love your recipes, although here is australia some of the ingredients you use are not as common perhaps. i just whizzed these pumpkin tarts up in a flash, with a few alterations to make do with what I had in the pantry:
    Sub raisins for sultanas, Sub pecans for walnuts (just realised i left the cinnamon out of the base!) sub canned pumpkin for 1/2 butternut chopped and roasted in a little coconut oil then cooled, sub coconut butter for a mix of coconut butter and coconut oil (Ive used up most of my coconut butter in super smoothies!), sub maple syrup for a generous (giant) spoonful of honey, increase to 1/2 a large avocado, sub fresh ginger for 1/4 tsp powdered ginger (i cant believe I had no ginger!?!). I also had no muffin cases and thought it might be a bit hard to turn them out of a metal muffin tin, so I just made the whole thing in a kind of flan tin, should slide straight out onto a plate once its frozen a bit. Ive eaten both mixes straight from the food processor but cant wait to see how it tastes all together.
    Wow! this comment turned really long, didnt notice just how many swapsies I did! Thanks or the inspiration!

  18. These look AMAZING. Oooh my!

    And that purple- I love that purple! The walls look so calm and inviting. I love the power of paint and color. :)

    • It’s definitely powerful. I just love my office. It’s so calm and inviting, JUST like you said!

  19. Hi Leanne! I’m planning on making these tomorrow when all my family comes in town for holidays but I realized I bought toasted buckwheat at the store instead of raw. Do you think this will still work or do I need to get the raw? Or is there a different substitution that you think would be better?

    • I wouldn’t use the toasted buckwheat… unless you know you like the flavor. Test out the taste by chewing on a couple of groats, don’t worry, they’re soft. If you like the taste, do it up! If not, you can use rolled oats or extra nuts. Enjoy :)

  20. Sound so yummy – & LOVE your office make-over!! My feng shui consultant friends would approve!!
    I bake whole squash & pumpkin (from my CSA share) & just puree in the blender with a bit of coconut milk! I put some in smoothies most days, & use in your yummy pumpkin/quinoa breakfast bake! It’s easy to bake whole, then slice afterwards!!
    When you bake squash, don’t discard the seeds! Scoop them out, sprinkle with a bit of salt & pumpkin pie spice or curry powder, & bake awhile longer …. perfect for snacks!

  21. This looks really amazing! I know you’re probably really busy, but if you get a chance some time, I’d love to see a little tab on your website called “ingredients” that list some not so everyday ingredients such as buckwheat groats with an explanation of why you started using them and perhaps what brand you enjoy best or where to buy. I noticed a lot of recipes used Chia seeds and did some research on them and then got my friend to bring over a ten pound bag (to Shanghai, China where I live) and have enjoyed using them in my smoothies- keeps me fuller longer. It would be super convenient for people to stock their kitchen with staples that you have come to use. Just a thought. Keep the yummy recipes and positive vibe coming.

  22. Hi Leanne–As a new student of IIN, I first found your website when they listed a link for your Pumpkin Tart recipe in their ‘101 Healthy Holiday Recipes’ blog post (mid-November). Today, I met several other new students living in my area (New Hampshire) for a vegetarian potluck brunch and I brought your Pumpkin Tarts. What a hit! Everyone wants me to email the link for the recipe. I must have mentioned your name a gazillion times today, in case your ears were burning. I will be emailing the link to the recipe on your website. I wanted you to know that you’ve hit another one out of the park and I’m a huge fan!!

    • Hi Carin – I’m so happy to hear everyone liked the tarts, and that your potluck was a success! Thanks for sharing my blog with everyone, too :)

  23. These look like exactly what I’ve been craving! How yummy! :) Do you think I could substitute the avocado for plain yogurt,mashed banana,or applesauce? I’ve tried to get into avocado in desserts but I just can’t seem to get pass the subtle flavor (even if I mask it with chocolate and honey in a frosting!) :P

    • haha I know, right? I sit on it every day… rarely work from my desk anymore!

  24. Let me start by saying, I’m an American in the deep south. I am starting to think about Thanksgiving dinner (Nov.). I will be hosting for my entire family. It will take the next 2 months finding and experimenting with recipes that make everybody happy. My food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances should not stand in the way of deliciousness for all! I love pumpkin. I am so excited to try these pumpkin tarts. These will replace the traditional (and much beloved) pumpkin pie. Thank you again for another jewel of a recipe. You are terrific!

  25. Oh my gosh — I just made these and the filling is actually the BEST pumpkin pie filling I’ve ever tasted! I wonder if I could use it in my usual bakes pumpkin pie for the holidays… maybe if I removed the avocado? Time to get experimenting! I see a lot of pumpkin pies in my future!

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