This coconut tart has a thick no bake graham cracker crust topped with a smooth coconut cream layer. It’s lightly sweet, creamy, and vegan as well!
With the weather warming up, I know we all want to avoid turning on the oven as much as possible. I want baked goods but I don’t want to sweat through my shirt to make that happen.
Enter this no bake coconut tart, a lovely dessert that doesn’t require turning on your oven at all. From the crust to the filling, it’s full of coconut flavor. Top it with some fresh berries and sliced mango for the ultimate sunny and tropical dessert!
And if you want an extra little nutty crunch – I include an option to add a layer of sesame seeds for a unique flavor that goes so perfectly with the coconut!
How to make a no bake tart
This simple tart is easy to pull together – all you need is a little patience as it chills in the fridge!
The first step is to make the graham cracker crust, using graham crackers, sugar, and coconut oil. The crust needs to chill for at least 20 minutes.
Next, you’ll want to make the filling, which is a combination of coconut milk, gelatin, vanilla extract, sugar, and salt that is heated over the stove.
After combining the filling and the crust, you want to give it 2 – 3 hours to chill in the fridge until firm.
How to make a no bake vegan graham cracker crust
Because we want the whole tart to taste like coconut, we’ll be using coconut oil in the crust. Coconut oil is also solid at room temperature, which is great for making sure your crust doesn’t collapse. Coconut oil is of course also plant-based, so as long as you use graham crackers without honey, the crust will be vegan.
Tips for a perfect crust
- Make sure to crush the graham crackers as fine as possible to create a very smooth crust
- Use a metal measuring cup, ramekin, or other small, flat-surfaced cup to evenly press the crust
- Make sure to chill for at least 20 minutes so it’s nice and solid
How to make a smooth coconut filling
The filling requires only 5 ingredients – coconut milk, gelatin, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.
If you’ve never worked with gelatin before, never fear! It’s super easy and straightforward. I used Knox brand powdered gelatin, which can be found next to the Jello in most grocery stores. Here’s a general overview of how to use gelatin with some tips:
- First, “bloom’ the gelatin – sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of 1/4 cup of water. Make sure to evenly distribute it so the granules are able to absorb the water properly. Do not dump all the powder in the middle of the water – this will lead to the granules not dissolving properly.
- Add the bloomed gelatin to the coconut milk while warm, so that the gelatin melts in smoothly
- Don’t rush the setting process – the gelatin needs time to firm up. Cutting in too early can lead to the tart collapsing.
Tips for combining the tart crust and filling
To add a little crunch, we’ll add a layer of sesame seeds to the bottom of the tart. To create a distinct sesame layer, we’ll pour a small amount of the coconut milk onto the sesame seeds and then chill for 20 minutes before adding the rest of the coconut milk. Here are tips for getting an absolutely silky smooth tart:
- Transfer the mixture from the pan into a liquid measuring cup. This will make it easier to pour and give you more control
- When creating the sesame layer, pour just enough liquid so that all the sesame seeds are covered. You’ll want to pour evenly across the tart to get full coverage. The thinner the layer, the faster it will set in the fridge.
- When pouring the final layer, use a spoon to help create a gentler flow. Pouring directly onto the sesame layer might “puncture” that layer, causing sesame chunks to float in your tart. Instead, pour so that the stream of milk hits the back of the spoon and then flows gently into the tart tin without disturbing the bottom layer.
This tart has all the beautiful flavors of summer – sweet coconut and fresh fruit make for a lovely combination. And absolutely no need to turn on the oven!
Other summery baking recipes to love:
- Matcha strawberry cream bars
- Orange cardamom bread with almond cream
- The easiest apple pastries (beginner-friendly)
If you make this recipe, please let me know! I always love to see what my readers are baking. You can comment below or tag me on Instagram @halicopteraway.
No bake coconut tart
- Mixing bowl
- 9 inch tart tin
- 10 standard graham cracker sheets (150g)
- 5 tbsp (70g) coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 tsp gelatin powder
- 1/4 cup (60g) cold water
- 1 can (400g) full fat coconut milk
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)
- Fresh fruit of your choice
Make the graham cracker crust
- Thoroughly grease a 9 inch tart tin and set aside
- Place the graham cracker sheets in a ziptop bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Make sure they are crushed very fine with no big chunks.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the coconut oil and mix until combined. The mixture should resemble wet sand.
- Pour the graham cracker mixture into the prepared tart tin. Use a metal measuring cup to firmly press down the mixture against the bottom and sides of the tart tin.
- Place the crust in the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes
Make the coconut filling
- Place the cold water in a bowl and sprinkle the surface with gelatin powder. Set aside to let bloom.
- In a skillet, add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, sugar, and salt. Place on the stove over medium heat and stir to mix together the ingredients. Heat over the stove for about 5 minutes until the milk just begins to steam. Remove from heat and add the gelatin. Stir until all gelatin is dissolved. Transfer the coconut milk mixture to a large measuring cup or pitcher to make it easier to pour.
- Remove the chilled tart crust from the fridge. If adding sesame, evenly spread the sesame seeds on the bottom of the crust. Pour a small amount of coconut milk (about 2/3 of a cup) onto the sesame seeds so that they are completely covered. Transfer the tart to the fridge and chill for 20 minutes so that the bottom layer has time to slightly set. If you don't want sesame, you can just skip this step.
- Remove the tart from the fridge and prepare to pour in the remaining filling. In one hand, hold a spoon with the rounded side facing up. In your other hand, hold the measuring cup with coconut milk. Hold the spoon over the tart crust and slowly pour the coconut milk over the spoon. The milk should flow over the back of the spoon and onto the tart crust. This technique creates a gentler flow of liquid so you avoid disturbing the crust and creating crumbs in the filling.
- Carefully place the tart in the fridge and chill for at least 2.5 hours until set
- When the filling is set, carefully de-mold the tart. Top with fresh fruit of your choice. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Cover and store any leftovers in the fridge.
- A standard packet of gelatin powder is 2 1/4 tsp, so you will need a little less than 1 standard packet.
- For a rich and creamy taste, I strongly recommend using full fat coconut milk.
- The sesame seeds are optional – add if you want a sesame layer at the bottom of your tart.
- For the topping, I like to use sliced mango, strawberries, raspberries, and fresh mint leaves. If you don’t want to use fresh fruit, a tart curd such as lemon curd will work as well.