Vegan Chocolate Coconut MacNut Cream Pie

My love for this pie is indescribable. If you're looking for a pie that's unbelievably delicious and indulgent, yet packed with nourishing ingredients, this is it.

My journey to this recipe started with the Honu, or the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. We've all heard of "chocolate turtles" and turtle-inspired baked goods, which rely on the trio of chocolate, caramel, and pecans. I wanted to create a Hawaiian spin on the classic, in honor of the Honu: chocolate, caramel, macadamia nuts, and coconut.

As a side note, the Honu are amazing! They come up onto some of the remote beaches on Kaua'i to rest. They're huge, gentle animals that seem so kind and wise. Truly one of our favorite sights on the island. The photo below is from an infrequently-traveled beach on the North Shore of Kaua'i, on a very rainy Christmas morning a few years ago, when Dave and I huddled under an umbrella to watch a parade of Honu dragging themselves slowly out of the surf. So this pie, which we call "Honu Pie" in our house, is in honor of these incredible creatures.

This pie is part of my ongoing collaboration with Mauna Loa, creators of the most amazing macadamia nuts. The MacNuts are without a doubt the star of this pie, making an appearance in both the crust and the topping.

Speaking of the crust, it's basically a protein bar. Protein-rich MacNuts, naturally sweet dates, and flavorful coconut are the only ingredients, yet they create a crust that's perfectly chewy and so easy to put together. It's delicious and fuss-free; just blast it all in the food processor!

And let's not forget about that gorgeous, creamy, dreamy, chocolate filling. Guess what? It's made out of avocados! The avocados create the most luscious texture, yet their flavor is undetectable thanks to cocoa power, melted dark chocolate, and vanilla (and a little dash of coconut rum, if you're feeling adventurous!). It's all naturally-sweetened with maple syrup for a filling that's luscious and yet still nutritious.

Finally, the toppings! I like to top this pie with coconut, MacNuts, and a big drizzle of caramel for that classic "turtle" vibe. Additionally or instead, you could opt for chocolate shavings, whipped cream, whipped coconut cream, a drizzle of melted chocolate, or whatever suits your fancy. But I highly suggest a giant handful of MacNuts, they provide such lovely buttery crunch!

This pie comes together very quickly. Make the crust mixture in the food processor and press it into the pie pan. Freeze the crust while you work on the filling, also in the food processor. Fill the pie, top it however you like, and you're done.

There's only one caveat: you'll need to freeze the pie before attempting to slice it. So prep the pie the day before (or many days before!) you plan to serve it, let it freeze overnight, and you'll get easy, neat slices. As long as you can think ahead a bit, this is actually a big advantage because it allows you to do all the prep in ahead of time. For that reason, this would be a great pie for entertaining.

Nutritionally speaking, I adore this pie because it's jam-packed with good-for-the-body ingredients. Usually I shy away from cream pies because they're just so heavy and don't make me feel very good. This one is different! Avocado, nuts, dates, a bit of chocolate... sounds like lunch to me...

I hope you guys will enjoy this recipe as much as we have. It's truly so rich and creamy and decadent, yet is kind to your body. This pie is all about treating yourself right and enjoying life, just like the Honu do.

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mauna Loa. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running. 

Looking for another plant-based dessert starring MacNuts? Check out these Flourless Coffee Macadamia Blondies, they're one of my go-to recipes to make at home!

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

For the Crust
  • 1.5 c dates. Make sure they're pitted. Double check!
  • 1 c macadamia nuts. I prefer to use Mauna Loa roasted and salted because they have so much flavor. If you don't use salted nuts, add a bit of salt.
  • 0.25 c dried coconut. I suggest unsweetened.
For the Filling
  • 0.5 c dark chocolate chips. Vegan, if that's how you roll.
  • 3 medium avocados. Make sure they're ripe! This absolutely will not work if they're under-ripe. No one wants chunks of avocado in their cream pie filling.
  • 0.5 c maple syrup
  • 0.25 c cocoa powder
  • 0.25 c coconut cream. This is the solid, white cream that collects at the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk. Or, better yet, numerous brands sell full cans of coconut cream now (it's basically my new favorite food). Make sure you have solid cream, not milk, or the filling won't be thick enough. 
  • 1 tbsp coconut rum. Optional but it adds so much depth of flavor to the filling.
For the Topping
  • Big handful of dried coconut
  • Big handful of whole macadamia nuts
  • Drizzle of caramel. Vegan if you desire.
  • Chocolate shavings?
  • Whipped cream or whipped coconut cream?

Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours) 

  1. To make the crust: combine the dates, MacNuts, and coconut in a food processor, and process until the mixture just starts to make a sticky ball. For more detail on this, check out my Homemade Lara Bars, it's the same idea.
  2. Spoon the crust mixture into a pie pan and press it down firmly, along both the bottom and the sides. You want to achieve an even layer that will stick together well, so press it hard. Then, let your crust sit in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before trying to spread filling over the top. Or, you can easily prep it in advance if you prefer.
  3. To make the filling: start melting the chocolate chips over a double-boiler while you work on the other ingredients.
  4. Cut open the avocados and remove the pits, then scoop the flesh out of the peel.
  5. In a food processor, combine the avocado, maple syrup, cocoa powder, coconut cream, and coconut rum (if using). Process until you have a very smooth, pudding-like texture. Make absolutely sure there are no visible avocado chunks remaining!
  6. Add the melted chocolate (let it cool a bit first, until it's barely warm) and process again just until combined.
  7. Remove the crust from the freezer and place dollops of the filling across the surface. Spread it gently into an even layer, using a spatula; be delicate so as not to disturb the crust below. 
  8. Top your pie however you like. As shown here, I like to use coconut, MacNuts, and a drizzle of caramel, but do what makes you happy. (Exception: if you want to use whipped cream, I'd wait to do that until just before serving).
  9. Cover the pie tightly and return it to the freezer. Freeze at least overnight, but several days is fine. 
  10. When you're ready to serve, remove the pie from the freezer and let it warm up for five minutes before slicing. If you want to add whipped cream, the time is now. As long as the pie is frozen, you'll be able to get neat, even slices.
  11. Return any leftovers to the freezer, making sure they're tightly sealed. The pie will keep fine in the fridge but is much messier, so I suggest always using the freezer.


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