These Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Bites are easy to make and so delicious! The filling is made with coconut cream and chocolate chips, and it’s absolutely delicious. Don’t forget the raspberry on top!


Here’s me, trying to create a healthy dessert recipe:

Paleo-leaning sister gives me the idea for 2-ingredient vegan frosting back in the fall. (Solidified coconut milk + dairy-free chocolate.) Sit on the idea for months. Finally break down and throw a can of coconut milk in my fridge. Forget about it for 2 weeks. Finally remember, then melt it together with some chocolate. Forget that the chocolate is supposed to be vegan. Put it in the fridge to cool. EAT HALF THE BATCH WITH MY FINGER. Eat the other half with a spoon.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)

So much for healthy.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)

Batch #2: Having completely discarded the idea of turning this rich chocolate mousse into frosting, I made it again with the idea to put it into mini tart crusts. For some reason I was obsessed with the idea of making these low-calorie, but kept forgetting to, you know, actually make them low-calorie. 2 1/2 cups of pecans and a smattering of butter and sugar later, and well, here we are. At least they’re gluten free. Hopefully I’m pleasing somebody.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)

Okay, I’m just messing with you. These Chocolate Pecan Bites will please everybody. Everyone I tried these out on took one bite and said, “What IS this??” (I mean, in a good way, not in a what-is-this-I-want-to-die kind of way.) 

So here’s the deal, as I have mostly described: you take full-fat coconut milk, let it firm up in the fridge, then melt it on the stove with a bag of dark chocolate (vegan or not). Put it in the fridge, and after a couple hours it turns into…magic. Magic I tell you!

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)

It is not quite as heavy as straight up chocolate mousse. There is a light coconut-y flavor that is not dominant, but still makes people raise their eyebrows and think (or exclaim) “what is this?” If you don’t like coconut flavor, I would still try it out. It mostly tastes like chocolate. Delicious, creamy, smooth chocolate.

Like I said, the crust is gluten free, it’s made of pecans. I really like the chocolate-nut combo, especially since they are ground. Don’t skip the raspberry on top, the fruit really helps to balance the flavors. You could also try strawberries.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)You will have some leftover chocolate mixture. Eat it with a spoon if you know what’s good for you. Or better yet, your finger.

This is certainly festive enough for Valentine’s Day tomorrow, or you could start celebrating with us today for Galentine’s Day! It’s a day to celebrate with all your gals of course. (although if this were a real-life event, I would totally lobby to invite Ron Swanson. He would never stoop so low, but it would be fun to try.) I got together with a bunch of my bloggy-gals for an epic virtual #Galentine’sDayParty. Below you can find links to all the awesome recipes that each one of them has contributed. Thanks to Courtney of Neighbor Food for putting this together!

Galentine’s Day Drinks

Galentine’s Day Brunch

Galentine’s Day Desserts

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)Open up a can of coconut milk that’s been refrigerated. Make sure you flip it up side down first.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)Pour off the water than has pooled at the top.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)Coconut cream. Yum.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)Then add some dark chocolate.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)Here’s the kind I used: 53% cacao.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)Melt it all together and you get the most amazing chocolate sauce ever. Stick it in the fridge for a few hours and you will have this:

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)

Mercy. Now make the crust.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)Blend your nuts and the other crust ingredients. It should come together in a ball like this.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)


Press the mixture into a mini muffin tin.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)Then pour in 1 tablespoon of the chocolate.

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!)Add some fresh fruit and you’re golden!


Gluten-free Chocolate Fudge Pecan Bites

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 22 Bites
These Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Bites are easy to make and so delicious! The filling is made with coconut cream and chocolate chips, and it's absolutely delicious. Don't forget the raspberry on top!


  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, or coconut cream*
  • 10 ounces dark chocolate, good quality, anywhere from 50-60% cocoa, or vegan chocolate chips
  • 2 & 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 22 raspberries, to garnish


  • Refrigerate a can of full-fat coconut milk, or a can of coconut cream, until solid, several hours or overnight.
  • In a food processor, add pecan halves. Blend until the nuts are thoroughly ground. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter, and blend again until combined. It will roll into a cute little ball.
  • Press the mixture into a mini-muffin pan. I used about 1 tablespoon per muffin cup. Press it in firmly with your fingers, all the way up the sides.
  • Loosely cover the crusts, then refrigerate or freeze for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  • When the crusts are chilled, bake them in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes. Watch them carefully so they don't burn. You want them brown on the top, but not dark.
  • Remove and let cool. If the crusts have puffed up while baking, use the back of a spoon to gently press them back into place while they are still warm. Set aside to cool.
  • Take out your refrigerated can of coconut milk/cream. Turn the can upside-down and open it. Pour off any water than has pooled (You can save it for another recipe. It's good in smoothies). Scoop the hardened coconut cream into a small saucepan.*
  • Add a 10-ounce bag of dark chocolate to the saucepan and turn the heat to low. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and cream have melted together. Use a whisk to make sure all the chocolate solids are melted.
  • Remove from heat, and spoon about 1 tablespoon of the chocolate mixture into each crust. You will have leftover chocolate mixture; pour it into a container and refrigerate so that it hardens up; then eat it with a spoon. You're welcome.
  • Refrigerate the little tarts until they are completely solidified, about 2 hours. You can also freeze them.
  • Remove the bites from the mini-muffin pan: just after you take them out of the fridge, when they are very cold, slide a plastic knife around the edge and pop them out. They will get soft if you leave them at room temperature, so keep them in the fridge until right before you serve.
  • Place 1 raspberry on top and serve. (Strawberries would be good too)


*The coconut milk people are messing with us. The first time I tried this, I used coconut milk and it hardened up overnight fabulously. The next time I tried it, my refrigerated can had not solidified at all. It was still liquid. I had to save it for another recipe; this process won't work unless it is hardened. To be safe, buy a can of coconut cream. It will definitely work. You can find it in Asian markets. They also sell it at Trader Joe's. I've also read that if the ingredient list (for coconut milk) doesn't have any emulsifiers, you are good to go.
Source: The Food Charlatan, inspired by Oh She Glows


Serving: 1bite | Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 210
Keyword: Bites, chocolate, fudge, gluten free, pecan
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!


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  1. I went on an all inclusive holiday when I had gestational diabetes. I treated myself to an occasional Diet Coke but other than that it was sparking water all the way. 🙂

  2. Your photos are insanely beautiful! So bright and clear and gorgeous. What kind of camera do you use?? I just checked out your About page and your progress since that first taco soup picture is AMAZING!!! So inspiring :)

  3. Oh my goodness, Karen, these look awesome. Pecans and butter totally override the need for low calorie. I love love love this idea. Definitely want to try it ASAP. Pinned! :)

    1. Thanks Erin! I totally agree. Long live butter and pecans :) Thanks for pinning! PS did you say Quinoa cookies? Heading over!

  4. I may or may not have licked the screen when I saw your pictures. These look fabulous and not too tricky. (Both of which are requirements for me.)

    1. I’m sorry about the dust on your tongue. Wait am I the only one with a dirty computer? Awkward. You should definitely try this out Ami. Super easy.

  5. Oh my! These look beyond delicious. What a fantastic idea – I love your creativity!! And I agree with everyone else; the light and these pictures are so, so stunning!

    1. Thanks Kathi! You’ve got to try the coconut chocolate combo, it’s pretty amazing! And thanks for complimenting my photos :) I still have no idea what I’m doing so that’s good to hear!!

  6. Ha! See, THIS is exactly why I never try to make healthy desserts. I’d probably start trying for low-calorie and end up dousing it with 2 quarts of heavy cream. These chocolate-pecan bites sound fantastic! It would be hard to resist eating all the chocolate mousse before putting it in the cups, though!

    Question: do you have a coconut milk brand you recommend? I’ve tried this before and the milk never solidified. Apparently some brands have emulsifiers that prevent the cream and water from separating…super annoying!

    1. YES! I’m so glad I’m not the only one Elizabeth! And I’m glad I’m not the only one who regularly has 2 quarts of cream on hand for no particular reason.

      Honestly, I recommend using coconut cream. I used the Chaokoh brand of coconut milk (the one where you can’t read anything else on the label because it’s in some foreign language that I can’t even identify…). It worked fabulously the first time. I used the exact same brand the next time and it didn’t solidify. Weird. Like I said in the notes, I think the coconut milk companies are changing their formulas, so maybe the first time I used an older can from before they changed it? (I always have like 17 cans of coconut milk on hand, so this is entirely possible.) I read on Oh She Glows that the Thai brand used to solidify but no longer does. She used the Native Forest brand and that worked for the frosting she made (see the link in the source after the recipe). I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful! Let me know if you try it out and what brand you use if it works (or doesn’t work).

      1. Thanks so much, Karen! That was super helpful. I’ll look for the specific brand you used and let you know how it goes if I find it. Thanks again!

  7. I really LOVE coconut milk and have never thought about using this way. I’m pretty excited to give it a try.

    1. Isn’t coconut milk the best Morgan! I still have no idea how I survived the first 23 years of my life before I discovered it.

  8. These tarts are pretty magical. I’m not even a coconut fan and I’m ready to dive into 1, 2 or 5 of them. Pretty sure I need to get on the paleo nut tart crust bandwagon here. I know a couple of people who would be really happy if I did!

    1. 1, 2, or 5 is right Susan! And yes, you should totally jump on the bandwagon. Pecan crusts are amazing! Plus it makes gluten free people love you, and that’s never a bad thing :)

  9. How adorable are these?! And they sound and look absolutely delicious. Agh, mini things are the way to my heart — and then add some of that smooth chocolate mousse (with coconut milk?!) and I’m a goner. Love these!

    1. Thanks Cynthia! I agree, mini is best :) and I’m with you, ANYTHING with chocolate mousse means trouble for me!

    1. Right Julie? I mean you could do pretty much anything with it. Use is as a chocolate sauce, fill any number of things, whip it into frosting. It’s kind of like magic :) about to go read your cooking with kids post! That sounds fun!

  10. Oh, I remember that coconut milk frosting thing going viral on Pinterest a few years ago! I always sort of dismissed it as something that wouldn’t turn out nearly as good as it looks (nailed it!), but you’ve really convinced me. This looks absolutely AMAZING. And for the record, I would just eat it all with a spoon. Well, maybe invite a gal pal over and give her a spoon, too. To save me from myself.

    1. I’ll come over and help you anytime Lori :) I never even made it to the frosting step. Next time I’ll have to whip it up and see how it is on cupcakes. Maybe I’ll make 2 batches: one to whip and one to eat…otherwise the whipping may never happen.

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