Mini Caramel Pecan Tarts (grain-free, gluten-free)

These mini caramel pecan tarts have a delicious grain-free and gluten-free graham cracker-like crust and an easy no-bake caramel pecan filling!

These Grain-free and Gluten-free Mini Caramel Pecan Tarts are super simple to make and have a graham cracker like crust! #grainfree #glutenfree

Today over on My Baking Addiction, I’m sharing these gluten-free mini caramel pecan tarts. I spent over a week trying to get this recipe down. Grain-free crusts are a pain! I really wanted to make caramel apple tarts, but the caramel kept leaking through the crust. I tried chilling the crusts, using an egg white wash, pre-baking the crust and nothing worked. So I had to come up with a filling that didn’t require any baking and wasn’t runny.

I haven’t tried the caramel using coconut sugar but I’m pretty sure it’d work. I have tried making actual caramel (where you melt the sugar) with coconut sugar and that was a big fail, but probably because I fail at almost everything caramel related. This caramel recipe, however, couldn’t be any simpler. You mix everything together and simmer for 8 minutes. I’ve made it a few times and haven’t messed it up yet so I guess my success wasn’t just a fluke. ;)

Grain-free and Gluten-free Mini Caramel Pecan Tarts – have a graham cracker like crust and are incredibly easy to make! #grainfree #glutenfree

It’s important to let the caramel cool before pouring it over the crusts or else the crusts will just suck up the caramel sauce. And then you’ll want to cry, like the 13 times I failed at making mini tarts last week.

You can use any type of nuts in these tarts. I used pecans because it seemed right for Thanksgiving, but I did my practice batches with walnuts, because they’re so much cheaper here, and they were just as good!

These Grain-free and Gluten-free Mini Caramel Pecan Tarts have a graham cracker like crust and are super easy to put together! #grainfree #glutenfree

If you don’t want to make these caramel pecan tarts in mini form, using a 9″ tart pan should work (though I haven’t tried it and can’t guarantee it). The beautiful thing about this recipe is that all you need to bake is the crust. Don’t screw up the caramel and you’ll be good!

Want something low-carb? Give this Sugar Free Pecan Pie a try! This Paleo & Keto Pecan Pie also looks amazing.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! There’s worry of bird flu in poultry over here right now so my Thanksgiving will be turkey-less. I hope y’all feel thankful for your turkey. ;)

Looking for a vegan and dairy-free alternative? Here you go!

Mini Pecan Pies (vegan, gluten-free, whole grain options)
Mini Pecan Pies (vegan, gluten-free, whole grain options)
5-Ingredient Pecan Pie Fudge (paleo, vegan)
5-Ingredient Pecan Pie Fudge (paleo, vegan)
These mini caramel pecan tarts have an easy press-in crust and no-bake caramel pecan filling. Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas! {grain-free, gluten-free}

Grain-free and Gluten-free Mini Caramel Pecan Tarts

Rated 5.0 by 7 readers
Mini Caramel Pecan Tarts (grain-free, gluten-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 18 mini tarts


    For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups (125 grams) almond flour or almond meal
  • 1 cup (110 grams) pecans or walnuts
  • 4 teaspoons (12 grams) coconut flour, sifted if lumpy
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup (180 grams) tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (160 milliliters) whipping cream
  • 7 tablespoons (98 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups (275 grams) chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two muffin pans with 18 muffin liners.
  2. Prepare the crust. Place all the crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade and pulse for 15 seconds or until there are no large chunks of nuts left. The nuts should be 1/8" or smaller in size.
  3. Press 20 grams, about a rounded tablespoon, of dough onto the bottom of the each liner. Try to press it in the nooks and crannies of the muffin liner.
  4. Bake for 7 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for at least 20 minutes while preparing the rest of the recipe. Don't skimp on the cooling time or the caramel may leak through.
  5. Place the chopped pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 4-6 minutes or until starting to smell toasty. They burn quickly so keep a close eye on them. Remove from the oven.
  6. Prepare the caramel. Heat the sugar, cream, butter, vanilla and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan (do not use non-stick) over medium heat.
  7. Stir until combined and then simmer for 8 minutes. Do not stir. If needed, tilt the pan to redistribute the mixture.
  8. Remove from the heat. The caramel will be quite thin at this point. Let it cool for 20 minutes or until considerably thickened and just barely pourable. Stir in the nuts and then spoon about 2 tablespoons of caramel pecan mixture onto the top of each baked crust.
  9. Place the pans in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until the caramel has firmed up.
  10. Serve cold or at room temperature. These can be left at room temperature for 8 hours.
  11. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


  • I haven't tried making this dairy-free. If I had to guess, I'd say use 4 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil instead of 5 tablespoons butter in the crust, full-fat canned coconut milk instead of cream in the caramel, and 6 tablespoons of coconut oil instead of 7 tablespoons butter in the caramel. I haven't tested this so if you try it, let me know how it comes out!

Source: My post on My Baking Addiction: Gluten-free Mini Caramel Pecan Tart. Caramel adapted from Chocolate Nut and Caramel Shortbread Tart.

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67 comments on “Mini Caramel Pecan Tarts (grain-free, gluten-free)” — Add one!

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  • Sandy
    March 10, 2020 @ 7:00 pm

    I LOVE these tarts and I’ve been making mine GF&DF.
    In the crust I swapped out butter for Almond Oil Plant Butter. Worked just fine!
    For the filling I swapped out cream and used Thai full fat canned coconut milk and once again Almond Oil Plant Butter for the butter.
    I also used coconut sugar in place of brown sugar

    • Erin replies to Sandy
      March 11, 2020 @ 11:09 am

      Oh, wow! Thanks for sharing your subs. I’ll have to try them that way, too! I’ve been meaning to for years. I’m so glad that they worked out well. Thanks again!

  • Liz says
    February 19, 2018 @ 10:52 pm

    Can these mini tarts be frozen?

    • Erin replies to Liz
      February 20, 2018 @ 8:55 pm

      You can. :)

  • Betsy says
    October 5, 2017 @ 4:26 pm

    I eat Paleo so was wondering what would I substitute for the whipping cream.

  • Amanda says
    March 1, 2017 @ 4:28 am

    Would you be able to use this crust with mini cheesecakes too? I saw your other recipe for mini cheescakes with a gf crust and thought it might taste better with pecan meal with the almond flour 😜

    • Erin replies to Amanda
      March 1, 2017 @ 6:08 pm

      I’m pretty sure it would! If you try it, let me know how it goes. :)

  • Charity Auger says
    February 6, 2017 @ 3:29 pm

    I recently found out I’m allergic to corn, wheat and potatos. So, I’ve been having a hard time finding treats I can enjoy
    I made these for the Super Bowl laat night and my entire party loved them. I cant wait to try other recipes from you now. Thank You.

    • Erin replies to Charity Auger
      February 7, 2017 @ 11:02 pm

      That’s great that everyone enjoyed them! I hope you’ll enjoy the other recipes just as much. :) I have loads of recipes that are free of those ingredients so I hope you’ll find something you like! Thanks for your comment.

  • Ghalya says
    November 25, 2016 @ 6:15 pm

    can i use plain flour instead of coconut flour

    • Erin replies to Ghalya
      November 25, 2016 @ 8:17 pm

      Unfortunately, coconut flour’s not interchangeable with any other type of flour as it absorbs so much more liquid. Sorry about that! I’d recommend a different type of crust if you don’t have access to coconut flour.

  • JRC says
    September 5, 2016 @ 11:18 pm

    I try to go sugar free also…can this be made with splenda brown sugar?? I don’t know if splenda brown sugar will caramelize like regular brown sugar.

    • Erin replies to JRC
      September 7, 2016 @ 5:59 pm

      I’m sorry for the slow reply! I don’t think it’ll work in this recipe because of the caramelization issue. I’m not sure but I don’t think this could be made sugar-free. Sorry about that!

  • CT
    July 29, 2016 @ 4:53 am

    These are sooo good! I have made them a few times and love them. They are such a wonderful treat that I don’t hesitate to make them often.
    Thank your for a wonderful recipe.

    • Erin replies to CT
      July 29, 2016 @ 11:30 am

      I’m so happy to hear that you’ve been enjoying the tarts! Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)

  • Anna
    July 27, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

    Made these with coconut oil imstead of butter and they came out great!!! So glad to have a great website for gf desserts!

    • Erin replies to Anna
      July 27, 2016 @ 9:00 pm

      Hi there! Did you use the same amount of coconut oil? I’d be interested in trying that! Thanks so much for your comment and I’m happy you found the blog and will enjoy the other recipes just as much. :)

      • Anna replies to Erin
        July 28, 2016 @ 1:15 am

        I used the same amounts as it would have been for the butter (I didn’t see the note you had made about it until it was too late). I had to bake the crusts a bit longer but I think that is because they were thicker.

        • Erin replies to Anna
          July 29, 2016 @ 11:34 am

          Oh, good to know! Thanks a bunch for your answer. :)

  • Christy says
    May 30, 2016 @ 2:23 pm

    HI, would love to make them, but wondering if you know the calorie count?

    • Erin replies to Christy
      May 30, 2016 @ 9:19 pm

      I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like. :)

  • Jenn Brees
    January 1, 2015 @ 1:39 pm

    My youngest was diagnosed with a severe wheat allergy over the summer, so finding great recipes for the holidays was a major personal goal. I did not want her to feel she was missing out on the usual baking and treats. I have to say that these fit the bill beautifully; absolutely delicious, and a hit with the gluten-free and wheat eaters alike!

    One question, though: I followed the recipe, but my crusts came out a bit crumbly. Your pictures look like your crusts are more solid. Any suggestions or pro tips for how to make them better next time around?

    • Erin replies to Jenn Brees
      January 1, 2015 @ 10:16 pm

      I’m so happy you were able to find a recipe that went over well with the gluten-free and wheat eaters! My crusts were pretty solid. Did you use butter or another type of oil? If you used butter and the mixture felt crumbly, you could add a little bit of water until they don’t feel crumbly. The crust should hold together when pressed. If the mixture didn’t feel crumbly before baking, then perhaps you could bake them a little less next time. I hope that helps! Thanks so much for your feedback and have a great new year. :)

  • Lisa | Mummy Made.It says
    December 1, 2014 @ 6:07 am

    I love that these are already GF and I don’t have to adapt anything! You’ve saved me so much time..thanks!!

  • Angela {Mind Over Batter} says
    November 29, 2014 @ 7:37 am

    I just love mini desserts. This one is no exception. I’d eat a whole batch.

  • Sarah says
    November 28, 2014 @ 3:04 am

    To make it dairy free, you can use ghee in equal amounts to butter. (I THINK it’s in equal amounts). These look DELICIOUS!

    • Erin replies to Sarah
      November 29, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

      Thanks, Sarah! And thanks for the tip. :) But I’m not so sure ghee is dairy-free. This says, “Ghee is made from milk and hence it is a dairy-product. However, people who have dairy intolerance can generally consume ghee since ghee does not have casein (a type of milk protein) and lactose (milk sugar) which some people find difficult to digest.” So if people are avoiding dairy (not because of an intolerance but because of something else), shouldn’t they avoid ghee, too?

  • Nikki @ NikSnacks says
    November 27, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

    I’m allergic to pecans, but I love little tarts and I can totally get on-board with caramel and grain-free anything!

    • Erin replies to Nikki @ NikSnacks
      December 2, 2014 @ 10:21 am

      I bet these would be good with peanuts. I definitely want to try that. :D

  • Kim Beaulieu says
    November 27, 2014 @ 7:14 am

    I love mini desserts, this one is outstanding. I think they would be perfect for the holidays.

  • Anita says
    November 26, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

    So impressed you came up with a grain free gluten free version! They look fantastic!

    • Erin replies to Anita
      December 2, 2014 @ 10:24 am

      Thanks so much, Anita! :)

  • Lauren @ Healthy Delicious says
    November 26, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

    holy moly…I could totally go for one (or three) of these! I love that they’re gluten free, too!

  • Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet says
    November 26, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

    I love little bite size treats! I don’t feel so bad when I go back for seconds!

  • Heather | girlichef says
    November 26, 2014 @ 1:22 pm

    Wow, your persistence totally paid off – these look sinfully delicious!

  • Robin says
    November 26, 2014 @ 7:43 am

    These are delicious! I couldn’t quite fit 2 tbsp of topping onto each crust but I made it work. I’ll have to make more before Thanksgiving because I think my husband will eat half of these tomorrow. ;) Thanks for the recipe!

    • Erin replies to Robin
      November 26, 2014 @ 9:25 am

      Haha. Well I’m happy your husband enjoyed them enough to possibly eat half the batch! ;) Thanks so much for your feedback and happy Thanksgiving!

  • Laura Black
    November 26, 2014 @ 6:16 am

    Fantastic recipe idea! I think I’ve found my dessert choice for this Thanksgiving. Also, thank you so much for the vegan recommendations. I’ll get back to you on that one.

    • Erin replies to Laura Black
      November 26, 2014 @ 9:26 am

      I hope they’ll work out if you try it! I’m definitely going to try a vegan version of that crust soon but after making these tarts 14 times, I couldn’t bring myself to start experimenting again for a vegan version. ;)

  • sue/the view from great island
    November 26, 2014 @ 2:29 am

    We’re on the same page, kinda sorta today — your little minis look so adorable!

  • Martha @ A Family Feast says
    November 26, 2014 @ 1:23 am

    I really wish I could reach into my computer and grab one to eat! These look fantastic!

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says
    November 26, 2014 @ 12:27 am

    These are so cute and the perfect size!! Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  • Brenda@Sugar-Free Mom says
    November 25, 2014 @ 11:23 pm

    Oh I’m sorry you won’t get to have any turkey but boy do these tarts look amazing! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Charlotte Moore
    November 25, 2014 @ 9:26 pm

    These do look tasty. If you celebrate Thanksgiving this time of year hope you have a wonderful day.

  • Angie says
    November 25, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

    What perfect treats for Thanksgiving!

    • Erin replies to Angie
      November 26, 2014 @ 9:32 am

      Thanks, Angie!

  • Rose | The Clean Dish says
    November 25, 2014 @ 7:29 pm

    Erin, these Caramel Pecan Tarts look terrific!
    We’re in Florida this week and it’s pecan-everything down here! I think I might give these a try for Thanksgiving, I know these would be very much appreciated by our Southern crowd. Happy early Thanksgiving!! I know my Germans won’t give you the day off but I hope you’ll get to celebrate a little anyhow ;)

    • Erin replies to Rose | The Clean Dish
      November 26, 2014 @ 9:32 am

      There’s bird flu in poultry over here right now. I am not happy. :( I hope you have a great time in Florida!

  • Stephanie @ Back for Seconds says
    November 25, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

    You nailed it. These are gorgeous and I bet they taste just as good!

  • Faith (An Edible Mosaic) says
    November 25, 2014 @ 6:56 pm

    I agree, grain-free crusts are tricky to work with! It looks like you’ve got it down though – these look perfect! Caramel with nuts is such a yummy combo.

    • Erin replies to Faith (An Edible Mosaic)
      November 26, 2014 @ 9:33 am

      Yeah, I’m thinking the possibility of me making a grain-free pie crust is about NONE. ;) I’ll stick with these mini tarts!

  • Kristi @ My SF Kitchen says
    November 25, 2014 @ 6:52 pm

    These are so adorable! Yummmmmm

  • Paula - bell'alimento says
    November 25, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

    Hello gorgeous, now get into my mouth ; )


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