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
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
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.
  • ¼ cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 6 medjool dates
  • 6 tablespoon raisins
  • 3 tablespoon pecans
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pumpkin filling
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup coconut butter, melted
  • ¼ cup cashews, soaked
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ avocado
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract or ¼ 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.

View Nutritional Information (once on page scroll down)

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?

Struggling to lose weight


  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. No way I’d get any work done in that office with that comfy chaise calling my name! :)

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

  4. 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

  5. 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 :)