Coconut Cream Tart with Chocolate-Almond Crust

Coconut Cream Tart with Chocolate-Almond Crust | A Sweet SpoonfulI first realized spring was truly here the moment I stepped on an airplane with Oliver a few weeks ago headed to see my mom in Vermont. Some of you may know that it’s decidedly not spring in Vermont. But in Seattle we’d had a good sunny stretch and our daffodils were in full bloom; Sam mowed the lawn for the first time in months and the smell of fresh cut grass greeted us each time we walked down to the garage to get into the car. The season is slowly yet surely changing. Coconut Cream Tart with Chocolate-Almond Crust | A Sweet SpoonfulI know many of you are parents of little ones — or of larger ones who used to be little, and you know that traveling with a toddler isn’t necessarily for the faint of heart. Well it turns out that traveling alone with a toddler really isn’t for the faint of heart — and my toddler happens to be a pretty good traveler. But we had a long layover in Newark on our way home and over six hours in the air after that and things devolved pretty quickly (for both of us). All of our typical rules went out the window: I was literally handing Oliver more lollipops and Pez to keep him happy, even when he wasn’t asking. More apple juice? Sure. More iPad? Absolutely. We covered ourselves with stickers; I closed my eyes and pretended I didn’t see him eating leftover goldfish off of the floor by his seat. Coconut Cream Tart with Chocolate-Almond Crust | A Sweet Spoonful

My favorite thing to do after a flight like that is to pretend it never happened, so the next day I jumped right into catching up on work, finishing this truly touching memoir, and menu planning for Easter. My dad and his partner Anja visited over the holiday weekend and we organized a kiddo egg hunt, went to our favorite weekend bakery Preserve and Gather, and I made lamb meatballs and a springy couscous from the cookbook Six Seasons, which I’m finding highly cookable and the spring chapter in particular is SPEAKING to me.
Coconut Cream Tart with Chocolate-Almond Crust | A Sweet SpoonfulThis coconut cream tart is from neither of those books, but it’s one I dreamt up before hopping on the plane to Vermont and one I’d planned to make (and write about) before Easter, but … life. So luckily it’s an occasion-worthy dessert that’ll be fitting all spring and summer season and after a bit of tweaking, it turned out exactly how I’d hoped: a fragrant and silky coconut custard sitting atop a toasted almond and chocolate crust — all topped with a simple, pillowy whipped cream.

I’m not going to lie to you: there are some steps here. None of them are difficult by any means, but this isn’t a weeknight dessert — at least in our house it wouldn’t be (if it is in your house, we’d love to come over!) The crust takes some time to chill before it’s baked off, and the coconut custard needs about an hour in the fridge to cool before filling the tart — so plan ahead and you’ll be just fine. I actually baked off the tart shell the day before making the custard and whipped cream, which saved quite a bit of time.

I hope you’re all staying off the floor of cramped airplanes, reading something good and eating things that make you happy. See you back here soon!

Coconut Cream Tart with Chocolate Almond Crust

Coconut Cream Tart with Chocolate Almond Crust

  • Yield: 8 Slices
  • Prep time: 30 mins
  • Cook time: 40 mins
  • Inactive time: 1 hr
  • Total time: 2 hrs 10 mins

The crust shares the limelight with the filling in this special tart, and the toasted almonds are really the star. It’s a press-in-pan situation, so you can leave the rolling pan in the drawer, which simplifies things a bit. The custard is fragrant and silky and almost doesn’t need the cloud of whipped cream … but why not?

Cook’s Note: It can be a little hard to tell when the chocolate tart shell is done as you can’t use color as a gauge, so just set a timer and trust that when it cools, it’ll firm up just fine. Feel free to prepare the tart shell up to 2 days ahead of time and wrap with plastic wrap until ready to fill and serve. As for what to do with that leftover coconut milk? I like to add it to smoothies, soups or my morning oats.  


Chocolate Almond Crust:

1 cup (100g) sliced almonds
3/4 cup (105g) whole wheat pastry flour
1⁄3 cup (25g) cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1⁄2 cup (100 g) turbinado sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2” cubes, plus more for greasing the pan

Coconut Cream Filling:

1 cup (50 g) unsweetened coconut flakes
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup (100g) turbinado sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 ounce dark chocolate, shaved, to top (optional)


Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with butter.

Place the almonds on a small baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Scoop almonds into the bowl of a food processor and allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Once cool, process until a fine meal or flour forms (be careful not to over process as you don’t want to end up with almond butter!)

Add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt to the bowl of the food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the dough comes together in clumps and the butter is thoroughly combined. You’re looking for a very clumpy, moist dough.

Turn the mixture into the prepared tart pan and press evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and place in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.

Once chilled, place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until the crust feels dry to the touch. If the crust starts puffing up in the oven, take the back of a spatula and gently press it into the bottom of the crust to help it hold its shape. Remove tart shell from oven and set aside to cool.

Make the filling: Decrease oven temperature to 300 F. Spread coconut on a small, rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a medium heavy duty saucepan, heat the milk, coconut milk, sugar, and salt over medium heat until the mixture is hot and just starting to bubble. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and egg yolks. Slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup of the hot milk mixture, whisking as you go. Pour the egg mixture back into the big pot of hot milk and cook on medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for 5-6 minutes or until mixture is nice and thick and easily coats the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve and into a shallow glass or ceramic bowl. Let the custard sit and at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool, 50-60 minutes.

Once the custard is cool, prepare the whipped cream topping: In a medium bowl, beat the cream, sour cream and sugar with hand beaters on medium speed until soft peaks form.

Assemble the tart: Spoon the cooled coconut cream filling into the prepared crust and spread evenly. Spoon the whipped cream filling on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle toasted coconut and chocolate shavings on top.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove sides of tart pan, and slice. Cover leftover tart and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


  1. Sam

    I went to sleep dreaming about this tart, and saw to having a bite of it soon after I woke up. Thanks, m! Do we have a separate category for your "all time greats"? We should. And this should be in it.

  2. Karen

    Can you use all purpose flour in place of whole wheat pastry flour?

  3. Karen

    Can you use all purpose flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour

    1. megang

      Totally, Karen. It'll work just fine. Thanks for asking!

  4. Kristie

    This looks AMAZING! Is the sour cream in the topping important for it to keep it's structure. Do you think it would work to sub whole milk Greek yogurt (or something else)? I never use sour cream, so I'd rather not buy a whole container for just 2tbsp!

    1. megang

      Hi, Kristie! You can completely leave it out if you'd like! It's not necessary for structure at all - just gives it a little tang which I like, but don't buy a whole container just for that. You could do a sub of yogurt if you'd like, but honestly, I'd just omit in that case if I were you. Enjoy it!

  5. Tara

    I made this yesterday for a get together we were supposed to have with friends. Due to a spring blizzard our get together was cancelled and I brought it into work today instead. My fellow nurses devoured it in under an hour and it was proclaimed delicious! My only question was on the 6 tablespoons butter in the crust versus the one stick. I threw in a stick figuring a couple extra tablespoons couldn't hurt and I was right. Thanks for making some very tired nurses happy!

    1. megang

      Hi, Tara!
      So glad you made and enjoyed the tart - it's so heavenly, right?! So the first time I remade the tart I accidentally used the whole stick as well and it worked just fine - it actually baked up a tiny bit crisper (as it crisped up a bit more as it cooled) and I did prefer a slightly softer texture with the crust so left the recipe at 6 tbsp, but either words you are right! So glad you enjoyed it, and thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment. Have a great week!

  6. Sarah

    Hi! Can you substitute milk with coconut milk or a non dairy alternative?

    1. megang

      Hi, Sarah! You know, I haven't tested it with dairy instead of coconut milk BUT I think full fat milk will work just fine as a sub. Let me know how you like it :)

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