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Maple Walnut and Chocolate Tart

This walnut and chocolate tart is a cousin of pecan pie, but not as cloyingly sweet. Naturally sweetened with maple syrup, the filling is dark with bittersweet chocolate and chunky with chopped walnuts, their slightly bitter skins balancing the chocolate richness. Sweet, but not too sweet. 

slice of tart with bite out and fork, with full tart in background

Click here to PIN Maple Walnut Chocolate Tart!

When this tart is warm, the chocolate is soft and oozy, like a chocolate chip cookie that spent an hour in the hot sun. So good!

No processed sugar or corn syrup–this tart gets its sweet from maple syrup. Unless you want to get technical about the the chocolate. Sugar in chocolate doesn’t count, right?

I used my oat pie pastry for the crust, replacing the white sugar with coconut sugar (Affiliate) and whole wheat pastry flour in place of all-purpose flour. Both bump up the flavor and health quotient.

You can turn this tart into a pie–it just depends on how you form the crust. Bake the pastry and filling in a pie pan and your tart becomes a pie. Especially helpful if you don’t have a fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. (Affiliate.)

4 photo collage of Blind baking and step-by-step before and after baking of Walnut and Chocolate Tart

Maple Walnut and Chocolate Tart tips and tricks:

  • Blind bake the shell for about 15 minutes before adding the nuts and filling. Blind what? Blind-bake is a curious term that means to pre-bake an empty tart or pie shell with weights. (see recipe note) The weights can be dried beans and/or rice kernels, or special purchased weights. (Affiliate link.)
  • *** I keep a jar of used and re-used beans/rice in my pantry for blind-baking occasions. The beans get a bit stinky over time but last just about forever.
  • Gluten free? Use a nut crust—like this paleo pecan crust from Elanas’s Pantry.

Why is there cornmeal in this filling?

Because maple syrup runs thinner than corn syrup, I add a tablespoon of cornmeal to make sure the filling doesn’t come out runny. (Cornmeal is a typical thickener in chess pie, an American Southern pie that usually calls for corn syrup.) You can substitute cornstarch for the cornmeal if you wish. 

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and bake something chocolate-y delicious!

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This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase products via my links, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps me continue to provide free content here on Letty’s Kitchen. Thank you!!

Nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. The calculations do not include the pie crust and the numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and any substitutions.


  • Hi Letty, Would the chocolate be like an 85% dark chocolate or a bittersweet bar? I’m going to definitely make this! Reply · 24 November, 2014

    • Letty

      Maura, I think the trader joes is more like a 65%. It doesn’t say on the label–I checked. Reply · 25 November, 2014


    Letty yesterday I was debating whether to make a chocolate walnut bourbon pie but was grossed out by the corn syrup.Were you reading my thoughts?? Kathryn Reply · 24 November, 2014

    • Letty

      Yes, reading your mind…. Reply · 25 November, 2014

  • This looks like pure chocolate heaven on a plate…and my best shot at separating my Southern husband from the pecan pie we have year after year. Happy Thanksgiving!! Reply · 25 November, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Kate. I bet you can sell him on the change. The chocolate was a late addition to mine. I had planned to just make it walnut without the corn syrup–and maybe some dried cranberries–but the chocolate snuck right in. Reply · 25 November, 2014

  • Susan Bond

    I just brought my false bottom tart pans up to the mountains, and now I know why! Can’t wait to make this for our chocolate loving friends.
    Susan Reply · 21 September, 2018

    • Ahh Susan, Thank you. Tarts in those pans are so attractive! Reply · 22 September, 2018

  • Ryan

    Phenomonal. Recommend starting with room temperature maple syrup.

    Also please update recipe; I believe you mean cornstarch and not cornmeal. Did this with cornstarch and it turned out perfectly. Surprisingly light/airy for a chocolate tart – everybody enjoyed it! Reply · 29 January, 2022

    • Thank you Ryan! I’m stoked that everyone enjoyed this tart. I think cornstarch is a great idea and I added that to the notes in the recipe. The recipe does include cornmeal as a thickener–it’s a nod to the American South chess pie. Reply · 31 January, 2022

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