Gluten-Free Nut-Crusted Chocolate Mousse Tart: It's flour-free. I'm nut kidding!

I cringe when I hear the word, tart. It screams high-maintenance fancy, and always involves some finicky pie-type dough and finding a perfectly sized and shaped pan to fit it just right.

I tend to avoid tarts when scrolling through recipes, but with the emergence and more prominent use of almond and other nut flours, it seemed valid to create something simple, useful, and NUTTY for the gluten-free baker world.

A nut-based crust provides an easy-to-handle, tender, protein-packed nest for your favorite fillings, whether they be fruit, custard, or mousse. I know I’m LONG overdue for a chocolate recipe, so why don’t we fill our rich, buttery pistachio crust with some chocolate almond mousse?

We have two recipes to accomplish here, but thankfully both are simple and the baking time is short. Let’s get mixing, shall we?

Preheat your oven to 350° F.

IMG_9743Start by pulsing 3/4 cup pistachios in your food processor, taking care not to over-process into a paste.

IMG_9746You’ll want to be able to see slightly larger pieces here and there; but overall, the blend should be the consistency of a coarse meal.

IMG_9764Combine the pistachio meal with:

IMG_9770Mix quickly with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture looks crumbly, but will still hold together if you squeeze a handful of it.


Line a rectangular 4¼” x 13¾” x 1” tart pan; four mini 4½” x ¾” tart pans, or a 9″ tart pan with the crust mixture, pressing it evenly up the sides to make a thick crust as pictured above.


Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes…


…or until the edges are golden brown. Cool the crust completely before filling it.

And now, to make the smooth, dense mousse to fill this beautiful golden shell!

IMG_9717Start by mixing 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1 teaspoon Instant ClearJel.

Mousse Blog

Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks, then add the sugar mixture. Continue beating until the cream forms stiff peaks.

IMG_9724Mix 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar with 8 ounces cream cheese, 2 tablespoons softened butter, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.


Once they’re mixed thoroughly, set the bowl aside.

IMG_9713Melt 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate in your microwave, or over a double boiler.

IMG_9731Add the melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture, and beat well.

IMG_9735Fold the whipped cream mixture into the chocolate cream cheese mixture.

IMG_9739Make sure everything is smooth and evenly blended.

finishing mousse tart

Finally, pipe the mousse filling into the baked, cooled shell.

Serve the tart garnished with toasted pistachios or almonds, if you’d like to dress it up a little. A dollop of whipped cream never hurt, either. ; )


Such decadence. No gluten. No flour. Tons of protein. And yes, most importantly for so many – IT’S CHOCOLATE!

Please read, bake, and review our recipe for Gluten-Free Nut-Crusted Chocolate Mousse Tart.

Print just the recipe.

Amy Trage

Amy Trage is a native of Vermont where she spent much of her childhood skiing and training for the equestrian event circuit. With a strong desire to pursue food writing, Amy took her English degree from Saint Anselm College to the New England Culinary Institute ...


  1. Wendy Langelier

    It looks wonderful.
    I have a question though regarding the recipe actually being GF. When I clicked on the link for the ‘Instant Clear Gel’ in the comments and questions portion someone asks if ‘Instant Clear Gel’ is Gluten Free. The question is dated 03/03/2014.
    The response is as follows:
    “This item is not gluten free, Julie. It is produced on equipment that is shared with one or more foods which contain gluten. Please contact our friendly Customer Support Team at 1-800-827-6836 if you have any more questions about this or other KAF products, and we’ll be happy to help! Jesse@KAF”
    Has something changed since March? Is there a substitute for the Clear Gel? Maybe powdered gelatin or pectin?
    Thank you for any information.

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Our Instant Clearjel is not GF at this time. You can go old-school and use regular ol’ gelatin to thicken the mousse. Bloom it in the cream first, about a teaspoon of gelatin will make a nice smooth mousse. ~ MJ

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      In this case, I would really stick to the chocolate as you will need to add fat and sugar to the cocoa to produce a similar product. Jon@KAF

  2. Marjorie M Rhoads

    I would love to make this for a dinner party that I attending this weekend but do not have Instant Clear Jel. Is it possible to not use this or would not using it compromise the quality of the tart. I appreciate your help.

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Marjorie,
      You can go old-school and use regular ol’ gelatin to thicken the mousse. Bloom it in the cream first, about a teaspoon of gelatin will make a nice smooth mousse. ~ MJ

  3. Kristine Arai

    Please note that Instant ClearJel is manufactured on equipment shared with wheat (per label), so may not be gluten-free enough for people with Celiac Disease or a severe wheat allergy. Is that ingredient optional?

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Our Instant Clearjel is not GF at this time. You can go old-school and use regular ol’ gelatin to thicken the mousse. Bloom it in the cream first, about a teaspoon of gelatin will make a nice smooth mousse. ~ MJ

    2. Randomix

      Maybe you should read other’s comments before posting to see if your topic is already posted. It would probably save the staff some time because they don’t have to answer the same question over and over again

    3. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi there,
      We certainly do encourage bakers to check out ingredients before using them, as there is such a broad range of sensitivities to gluten and other ingredients. We are always happy to answer questions about our ingredients and products so that our customers can make informed choices that suit their diets well. ~ MJ

  4. catiebaker

    Have you ever heard of Dr. Oetker’s “WhipIt”? I have used it to good advantage in mousses, whipped cream, and other blends that are similar.
    It takes me years to use up items like the container of gelatin, or the clear jell. My old CA apt. has no insulation so the outdoors shares temp equivalencies in my kitchen any time of year, in spite of efforts otherwise! 😉 Chocolate blooms terribly, (so I keep it in a box behind my bed near the A/C unit there.), powdered ingredients get stuck and hard, mixes go stale very quickly, etc. Long term storage of any food items just is not feasible.
    I have tried to use and keep clear jell pie fillings , etc., here, but they just don’t work well. Those who ate it were not pleased (even commercial purchase of filling, so I don’t think it was the cook!)
    If I can use a couple of envelopes of WI, it would be perfect, and no long term storage.

    If you chance to shop at a Whole Foods, Cost Plus World Market, or other stores where Dr. Oetker items are found, you will find the small blue and white packets, name clearly printed on it. They come two packs together. I include this information in case you shop at one, or others might want to try them. Maybe you could carry it, although I do think you offer a whipping cream stabilizer too, do you not?

    I love this recipe! I have made similar crusts, and the combo of pistachios and almond is a nice blend. I have used the combo in your GF Dream Bars as well. Chocolate makes it a dream trinity with these nuts.

    Thanks for a grand recipe. I am going to an open house soon and want to make it for some GF guests who will be there.

    All the best,

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for sharing your ingredient experience, Catie B – it may help other customer/bakers who have similar products in their pantry. You may see that we’ve combined your posts here. You can always contact us by calling the Baker’s Hotline (855-371-2253) or sending us an e-mail ( if you realize there are mistakes in your recipe or product reviews or in your comments/posts about the blogs. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  5. Cameron

    Can you use a more traditional chocolate mousse recipe using the raw egg whites folded into the melted chocolate mixture and piped into this shell? Would there be an advantage to the cream cheese?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Cameron- We wouldn’t recommend that kind of mousse in this particular recipe, because then you would be consuming raw egg whites as the filling is never baked here. That would present a health concern so we would recommend something more along the lines of the cream cheese stabilized mousse in this recipe, although I am sure there are other no-bake mousses you could use as well. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call our Baker’s Hotline at 855-371-2253. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  6. Lynn

    I love this tart shell recipe, so I want to try something new and fill it with a more traditional chocolate ganache. But the ganache that I want to fill it with required 20-25 minutes of baking at 350F. The pie recipe that I am taking the ganache out of is something like this:

    Line the tart shell with pie dough, keep in freezer while making ganache.
    Fill it with ganache, top with pecan halves.
    Bake for 20 minutes at 350F, 5 more minutes with foil over the pecans.

    The ganache is made with bittersweet chocolate, butter, white sugar, vanilla extract, egg/egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt.

    Finally, my question is… King Arthur’s recipe for chocolate mousse tart requires prebaking the crust and filling it with mousse. If I were to fill it with the ganache instead, should I prebake the crust first? Should I prebake for about 10 minutes, fill it, then bake for more? Should I just fill it into an unbaked crust? Help! 😀

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      HI Lynn,
      You’ll want to par-bake the crust, then fill and finish baking. This will keep the crust from getting too soggy. Enjoy!~ MJ

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      1/2 teaspoon gelatin softened in 1 tablespoon cold water would be a better sub for the Instant ClearJel. 1 cup heavy cream is the amount in the recipe – Happy Baking – Irene@KAF

    2. Maharja

      May I overcomplicate things up? I have no access to either clearjel and gelatin, but agar-agar is always available in here. Since agar needs to be boiled to get dissolved, it may be harder to work with. Any advice? Thanks in advance

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      Maharja, you can consider just leaving out the ClearJel entirely — it’s only a small amount and it still will set up relatively firm without it. Another option is heating the cream with the agar-agar until it dissolves. If you choose this method, let it cool before you start whipping it. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    4. The Baker's Hotline

      It’s not something we’ve experimented with ourselves, Maharja, but you’re certainly welcome to give it a try. Mollie@KAF

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