An easy no-bake vegan chocolate peanut butter tart made with a gluten-free chocolate cookie crust and a luscious caramel peanut butter filling.
If a Snickers bar and a peanut butter cup had a baby (that happened to be a tart), it would be this vegan chocolate peanut butter tart recipe. It's a peanut butter lovers dream come true!
A few reasons you'll love this recipe:
- A thick, crumbly gluten-free cookie chocolate crust that's easy to throw together
- A creamy and luscious peanut butter filling bursting with notes of vanilla and caramel
- The peanut butter filling also happens to be naturally sweetened!
- Finally, a chocolate shell coating that is topped with chopped peanuts and sea salt flakes for a salty and sweet chocolatey crunch that ties it all together.
It's a delicious dessert recipe that is perfect for the holidays, Valentine's day, or any special occasion!
Vegan peanut butter tart ingredients + substitutions
This peanut butter tart comes together without any silken tofu, vegan cream cheese, coconut cream, or powdered sugar! Grab these 8 simple ingredients and let's make this no-bake vegan dessert:
- Simple Mills double chocolate cookies (available at most grocery stores, Target, Whole Foods, Thrive Market, etc.): if you're not gluten-free, substitute with your favorite (chocolate) cookie of choice. Swap for graham crackers for a less chocolatey variation.
- Avocado oil: adds richness to the pie crust, helps it stay together, and ensures a delicious flavor. Substitute with melted coconut oil or melted vegan butter.
- Pure maple syrup: a (delicious) natural sweetener that also helps hold the crust together.
- Pitted medjool dates: dates are high in fiber and antioxidants and have a natural caramel-like flavor. When combined with the peanut butter it creates a sensational texture and taste that is perfect for pie.
- Peanut butter: use a creamy, all-natural peanut butter with only peanuts listed in the ingredients. Salt is also ok. Teddies and Trader Joes are my favorite natural peanut butters for their taste and texture. Crunchy peanut butter will also work, but the food processor may remove the bits of peanuts.
- Vanilla extract: what better way to tie together the peanut butter and dates than with notes of sweet vanilla?!
- Salt: I love using Himalayan salt in this recipe. Omit if using salted peanut butter.
- Tart shell: Dairy-free chocolate chips and melted coconut oil combine to create a smooth pourable chocolate that hardens quickly as the tart sets in the fridge (or freezer). Semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips can be used.
- Optional toppings: vegan coconut whip, chopped or shaved chocolate, mini chocolate chips, pecans, cashews, etc.
This peanut butter tart is easy to throw together with the help of a few important kitchen tools:
- Tart pan (9-9.5 inch): I used a 9.5 inch ceramic tart pan but a standard 9 inch nonstick tart pan also works. Alternatively use a pie dish, mini tart pans, or muffin cups.
- Food processor: a must for combining the dates and peanut butter. I trialed the recipe using a high-speed blender and found the filling did not get as smooth or as creamy.
How to make a no-bake vegan peanut butter tart
Here is a snapshot on how to make this scrumptious vegan chocolate peanut butter tart. For the full recipe and detailed step-by-step directions, head to recipe card below.
Add (GF) cookies to a food processor and pulse until a fine sand-like texture is achieved.
Pour crushed cookies into a large bowl. Use a fork and break up any remaining cookie pieces. Stir in oil and maple syrup.
Press the cookie mixture into a greased tart pan using your fingers or a measuring cup.
Combine peanut butter, water, dates, vanilla, and salt in a food processor. Use a spatula and spread evenly over the crust.
Melt chocolate and oil in the microwave or using the double boiler method. Pour melted chocolate over peanut butter and top with chopped peanuts, and sea salt flakes.
Chill for 4-6 hours and enjoy!
- Graham cracker crust: swap the chocolate cookies for graham crackers. I recommend using these for a vegan and gluten-free graham cracker crust.
- Pretzels: A GF pretzel crust is also a great option for a decadently salty & sweet combo! Or add a few to the chocolate topping instead of peanuts.
- Oreo cookie crust. Oreos are known for being accidentally vegan. The UK FAQ page clearly states that some variations are suitable for vegans, but may contain traces of milk as it's produced on shared equipment. I love using the double chocolate cookies from Simple Mills instead of Oreo cookies as the ingredients are much more wholesome and simple, but use whatever you prefer! Some other gluten-free chocolate cookie options include; Mary's chocolate graham crackers, Partake double chocolate brownie cookies, and HomeFree double chocolate mini cookies.
- Crunchy peanut butter layer. Fold in peanuts and mini vegan chocolate chips to the peanut butter layer for an even crunchier treat!
- Vegan whipped cream. Swap melted chocolate for a light and fluffy layer of whipped cream. Top with shaved chocolate.
- Mini tarts. Substitute a standard tart pan for mini tart pans. This is my favorite variation for the holidays! The small portion makes it super easy for people to grab and let's face it.. is typically all anyone has room for (unless they planned and saved extra room for dessert, I aspire to be more like those people).
- I prefer to do a chocolate drizzle instead of a chocolate layer for mini peanut butter cup tarts - adjust to your liking!
- Use a standard 12 cup muffin pan lined with baking cup liners if you don't have tart pans. The edges won't be as pretty but it will still taste delicious.
What's the difference between a pie and a tart?
When creating this recipe it originally started as a no-bake vegan peanut butter pie, however it quickly evolved to a tart based on the crust.
There are minimal differences between pies and tarts, especially when you are crafting a non-traditional, vegan gluten-free variation. It all really comes down to the crust. Here are a few key features of both pie crust and tart crust:
- Pies have a flaky and crispy crust, that fully engulf the pie filling
- Pies are baked in a dish with slanted sides and are most frequently served directly from the dish.
- Tarts have a bottom crust with a straight edge that are firm and crumbly.
- Tarts are prepared in tart pans with a removable bottom so they can be served freestanding or on a plate/platter of choice.
That being said, if you'd like to make a peanut butter pie, just add it to a pie dish! These are just guidelines/standards - do whatever makes you happy or makes the most sense for you. It's an easy, no-fuss dessert regardless if it's a pie or a tart.
More no-bake desserts:
- Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark
- Easy Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Protein Balls
- Peanut Butter Cup Chia Seed Pudding
- Vegan Snickers Ice Cream Bars
- Healthy Snickers Protein Shake Recipe (Easy, Vegan)
Tart storing + serving tips
Fridge: store leftovers covered for up to a week.
Freezer: store the peanut butter tarts in an airtight container, in the freezer, for up to a month. When ready to enjoy, let sit at room temperature for at least 5 minutes before enjoying.
To cut a tart, run a sharp knife under hot water and dry quickly. Cut and repeat the process for each slice.
Easy No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Pie (Gluten-Free)
- food processor
- 9 - 9.5 inch tart pan
- mixing bowl, spatula, measuring cups & spoons
GF Chocolate Cookie Crust
- 2 cups GF Simple Mills double chocolate cookies, ground (a little more than 1.5 boxes of cookies)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil or avocado oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon pure maple syrup
Peanut butter pie filling
- 7 pitted medjool dates
- ½ water
- ½ cup creamy, all-natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- large pinch salt
- ¾ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil (or avocado oil)
- sea salt flakes, chopped peanuts, and/or additional chocolate or peanut butter drizzle.
- Prep: add pitted dates to a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside.
- Make the crust: add cookies to a food processor and pulse until a fine, sand-like texture is achieved. Add to a bowl and stir in avocado oil and maple syrup. Add to a greased 9-9.5 inch tart pan and press evenly with your fingers or with the bottom of a measuring cup. Place in the freezer while you prepare the peanut butter filling.
- Make the peanut butter filling: drain dates and add to a food processor along with peanut butter, fresh water, vanilla, and salt. Omit salt if using salted peanut butter. Remove crust from freezer and add peanut butter filling, using a spatula to smooth and spread evenly.
- Make the chocolate topping: melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl for 1 min - 1.5 min. Stir every 30 seconds to help it evenly melt. Pour onto the peanut butter filling and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Top & chill: Top with crushed peanuts and sea salt flakes (and an additional drizzle of chocolate or peanut butter if desired). Place in fridge and let chill for 4-6 hours before cutting/serving.
- Serve: To easily cut slices, run a large, sharp knife under hot water and dry quickly. Cut and repeat the process for each slice you make. Recipe yields 6-8 slices depending on size/how you cut. Enjoy as is or top with vegan whipped cream.
Your thoughts are the final touch on every recipe. If you made this vegan peanut butter chocolate tart I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below - thank you for letting me have a space in your kitchen! XO