July 3, 2013

No Bake Mini Coconut Lemon Tarts plus berry versions (paleo, autoimmune, GAPS)

This recipe was created because of these Hail Merry Lemon Tarts. Have you heard of them? Seen them? I was in Earth Fare almost a month ago picking up a few things. While I was concentrating on picking out some greens...There. They. Were. In the produce section. Enticing me. Telling me to drop my kale and chard and eat a lemon tart. I can't turn down a lemon tart (or anything with lemon).

No Bake Mini Coconut Lemon Tarts plus berry versions (paleo, autoimmune, GAPS, vegan option))

If you've been following me awhile, you may know that I turn(ed) to sweets when I'm stressed. After doing two Whole30®s, this is not a huge issue for me. I'm not saying the Whole30 is for everyone, but it helped me understand a lot about my body and issues with food, particularly sweets. Now, I rarely reach for something sweet when I'm feeling stressed (otherwise, I'd be eating nothing but sweets right now). I wouldn't say it's because of the avoidance of sweets, but because I became aware of my issues and learned how to deal with the stress in other ways. I do consume desserts (usually with honey) and I eat fruit, not often, but as I want them. As I choose to eat and enjoy them, I do. Usually it's something simple like this fudge or a little dark chocolate.

Raw Mini Coconut Lemon Tarts plus Blueberry Lemon and Strawberry Lime versions (dairy/gluten/egg/nut free)

Back to the lemon tarts. I bought one of the Hail Merry Tarts. It only cost me and arm and a leg. But it was worth it. While it was absolutely delicious, I think I'd like to keep my other arm.

I initially wanted to duplicate the Hail Merry ones using cashews for the filling, but I decided to do a nut-free version for no other reason than because nuts are expensive. And I love coconut and coconut butter (and it's good for you). And I don't want to soak any nuts. So...raw mini coconut tarts. If you want to make the version with nuts, try replacing the coconut butter/flakes with cashew cream and the coconut in the crust with almonds. Oh yeah, as for the berry versions...after picking some fresh blueberries, I decided to throw some in a batch of the lemon tarts. And it was good. With the 4th of July around the corner, I figured I should try a strawberry version as well. So there ya go -- red, white, and blue coconut lemon tarts. Make one or make them all (though you might want to half the recipe if you make all of them.)

No Bake Mini Coconut Lemon Tarts plus berry versions (paleo, autoimmune, GAPS)

  • The coconut butter probably (I don't know for sure) works best with a high powered blender, like a Vitamix, but a food processor works as well. If you use a small, cheap food processor like me, you might need to let the machine cool down occasionally. It took me almost all day with my tiny thing because I didn't want it to burn out. I borrowed a nicer food processor after this first time with mine and it only took about 15 minutes to make a smooth butter. 
  • If you don't use paper liners, grease your pan with a little coconut oil. I put coconut oil on a paper towel and wipe the inside of each muffin tin. When you get them out, quickly poke a butter knife in and out as you move around the tart until it pops out (don't force it). 
  • This is where I get my coconut flakes: Tropical Traditions. You can also find them HERE (Amazon) or HERE (Vitacost). Or if you don't want to blend the flakes, get some coconut butter, coconut manna, or coconut cream concentrate (all of these are the same thing). I use THIS microplane zester for my citrus zest. (Don't forget you can freeze your zest.)

No Bake Mini Coconut Lemon Tarts plus berry versions (paleo, autoimmune, GAPS)

Mini Coconut Lemon Tarts
plus Blueberry Lemon & Strawberry Lime Tarts

AIP, Dairy/Gluten/Grain/Egg/Nut Free. Makes 12-24 tarts. printable recipe

What you need:

*This amount is for about 24 mini cups using one batch of filling with a thin crust. You will need to half this to make one batch of the berry version (or leave the same and make both berry versions).

6 medjool dates, pitted (more if needed OR 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup)
1 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (use extra 1/4 cup with honey or maple syrup)
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
pinch salt

**Filling ingredients need to be at room temp (not directly from refrigerator or freezer). This is important for the best texture.**

No Bake Mini Coconut Lemon Tarts plus berry versions (gluten, dairy, nut, and egg -free, AIP)
Filling for lemon tarts (makes 18-24):

1 cup coconut butter, melted (4 cups unsweetened coconut flakes processed)
1/3 cup lemon juice (use up to 1/2 cup for stronger lemon flavor)
Zest from 2 lemons (about 1 tbsp)
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup, more or less to taste
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (use 3 for firmer tarts)
pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Optional for stronger lemon flavor: 1/2 tsp lemon extract/oil

Filling for berry tarts (makes 12-16):
Note: slightly adapted since original post

1/3 cup coconut butter (or 1 1/2 - 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes)
Heaping 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (or strawberries or other berry)
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
Zest from 1/2 lemon or lime
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
1-2 tbsp honey or maple syrup (to taste)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
pinch sea salt

How to make:


Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners or silicon cups. Add coconut to food processor. If your coconut is not finely shredded, pulse a few times until a fine consistency. Add remaining crust ingredients and process until they begin to clump together. (With maple syrup, it will not seem to come together, but you should be able to pinch to test.) This will only take a few minutes. Scoop a heaping tsp of filling into each cup. Press filling into the bottom of the liners to make a crust for each tart. I use 2-3 fingers and press crust repeatedly until it flattens on the bottom of the liner or tin. If there is extra filling, you can eat this or use to make thicker crusts.

*If you use regular dates (not medjool), you will need to use more. You also may want to soak them in warm water first.


To make coconut butter, process coconut flakes for 10-20 minutes until it is smooth and begins to liquify. Check every 5 minutes and scrap down the sides as needed. (You can also do this in a high powered blender and it will be much quicker and smoother. See more here for ten tips and here for making coconut butter. If you use a small, inexpensive food processor, you may need to let it rest every 5 minutes or so.)

Bring any cold ingredients to room temp. Melt jar of coconut butter by placing jar in saucepan of water over low heat. Melt coconut oil the same way (I use pyrex cup). Add all ingredients to food processor and process briefly until combined. You can also mix this in a bowl (all ingredients melted beforehand). Taste mixture and add more honey or juice to taste. Scoop the mixture, about a tbsp, into each crust. Smooth the tops of the tarts with a knife if necessary.

Refrigerate or freeze for about an hour or until firm. Pop the tarts out of the tins and garnish with lemon zest (or sliced strawberries or blueberries) if desired. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for long term storage. Eat them directly from the freezer or allow to soften for about 10-15 minutes (I like them best this way). Note: These will melt if left out too long.

Mine were firm enough for storage in the refrigerator as well. If they are too soft, just store them in the freezer.

Other Dessert Recipes you might enjoy:

No Bake Mini Coconut Lemon Tarts plus berry versions (paleo, autoimmune, GAPS)

What the...what is that?
  • Coconut butter: Aka coconut cream concentrate. Aka coconut manna. Coconut butter is the coconut meat in concentrated form. Make it yourself by processing coconut flakes (see this post). See my recipes using coconut butter here. I like Artisana brand, but my favorite is Tropical Traditions (Update: enter giveaway here!). I use their flakes to make my own as well. 

Shared at: Gluten Free Wednesdays, Fight Back Friday, Make Your Own Mondays, Thank Goodness it's MondayFat Tuesdays, Gluten Free TuesdayAllergy Free WednesdaysParty Wave Wednesday, Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable and Real Food Wednesday

****This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, Livin' the Crunchy Life will receive a very small commission, but your cost will not change. Thank you for supporting my blog!****


  1. These look soooo good! Thanks for sharing at the AIP Recipe Roundtable.

  2. Livin' the Crunchy LifeNovember 21, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Thank you Eileen!


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