Healthier French Silk Pie (Vegan & Paleo)

You’re going to LOVE these mini chocolate cream pies.
french silk pie in a small bowl

They each have a buttery crust, rich chocolate filling, and a creamy vanilla topping, reminiscent of my husband’s favorite French Silk Pie, but these are better because they are dairy-free and naturally sweetened. The chocolate filling and vanilla topping get their creamy texture from raw cashews, which provide minerals like magnesium and potassium, along with healthy fats and fiber, to help keep this dessert truly satisfying. Paired with antioxidant-rich cocoa powder and heart-healthy walnuts, this pie is definitely an upgrade from the kind you might find in your grocer’s pastry case.

Best of all, these pies are easily portion controlled. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time stopping at one slice of pie, so I prefer establishing my portions from the get-go. This removes the temptation of cutting one slice that’s really the size of two! (I’ve been known to do that.) I chose to make these pies in my favorite 6 oz. ramekins, but after digging into this ridiculously rich dessert, I realized that this is still a pretty hefty portion, and quite a bit of nuts to consume in one sitting. So, you might prefer to divide this recipe into 8 individual shot glasses instead, for an even cuter individual dessert option!

However you serve it, I hope your family enjoys this rich chocolate pie as much as mine does.

Healthier French Silk Pie (Vegan & Paleo)
Makes 4-8 servings

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup raw walnut halves
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
Pinch of salt

Chocolate Filling:

1/2 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked in water for 2 hours
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Vanilla Topping:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

To prepare the crust, place the raw walnuts in a mini-food processor and grind them into a fine meal. Add in the maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt, and pulse again to combine. Divide the batter into the bottom of 4 ramekins (or 8 shot glasses), and press firmly to create a crust. Place the ramekins in the fridge to set while you prepare the filling.

To make the chocolate layer, rinse and drain the soaked cashews, discarding the soaking water. Combine the drained cashews with the rest of the chocolate filling ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until completely smooth. Pour the chocolate filling over the crusts and return the ramekins to the fridge to set.

Finally, prepare the vanilla topping by rinsing and draining the soaked cashews, then blending them with the rest of the vanilla topping ingredients until completely smooth. Pour the topping into a separate bowl, and place it in the fridge to set.

assembling mini french silk pies

Once the chocolate filling has set (about 4-6 hours), spoon the creamy vanilla topping over each serving and sprinkle with fresh chocolate shavings, if desired. I used a small amount of the vanilla topping in the photos shown, so that you could see the chocolate layer, too, but feel free to completely smother the tops with vanilla, if you like! We tried it both ways, and they’re both delicious. You really can’t go wrong with this dessert.

*Alternatively, you could skip making this vanilla topping and use Coconut Whipped Cream for a fluffier topping, if you prefer.spoonful of french silk pie

Serve immediately, and dig in with a spoon so you get all three layers in each bite! If there are any leftovers, they should keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, just make sure to cover the dishes tightly to help prevent spoilage.

5 from 4 votes
Mini French Silk Pies (Vegan & Paleo)
Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
An easy dairy-free alternative to French Silk Pie!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthier French Silk Pie
Servings: 4
Calories: 649 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
Ingredients
Crust:
  • 1 cup raw walnut halves
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
Chocolate Filling:
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces , soaked in water for 2 hours
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Vanilla Topping:
  • 1/2 cup cashews , soaked in water for 2 hours
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. To prepare the crust, place the raw walnuts in a mini-food processor and grind them into a fine meal. Add in the maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt, and pulse again to combine. Divide the batter into the bottom of 4 ramekins (or 8 shot glasses), and press firmly to create a crust. Place the ramekins in the fridge to set while you prepare the filling.
  2. To make the chocolate layer, rinse and drain the soaked cashews, discarding the soaking water. Combine the drained cashews with the rest of the chocolate filling ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until completely smooth. Pour the chocolate filling over the crusts and return the ramekins to the fridge to set.
  3. Finally, prepare the vanilla topping by rinsing and draining the soaked cashews, then blending them with the rest of the vanilla topping ingredients until completely smooth. Pour the topping into a separate bowl, and place it in the fridge to set.
  4. Once the chocolate filling has set (about 4-6 hours), spoon the creamy vanilla topping over each serving and sprinkle with fresh chocolate shavings, if desired. I used a small amount of the vanilla topping in the photos shown, so that you could see the chocolate layer, too, but feel free to completely smother the tops with vanilla, if you like! We tried it both ways, and they're both delicious. You really can't go wrong with this dessert.
  5. *Alternatively, you could skip making this vanilla topping and use Coconut Whipped Cream for a fluffier topping, if you prefer.
  6. Serve immediately, and dig in with a spoon so you get all three layers in each bite! If there are any leftovers, they should keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, just make sure to cover the dishes tightly to help prevent spoilage.

Notes:

  • If you don’t care for cashews, feel free to try using blanched almonds or any other raw nut or seed, keeping in mind that the flavor will change slightly with modifications. It’s important that the nuts are raw, as roasted nuts will provide a stronger flavor that may distract from the chocolate and vanilla flavors. The nice thing about this dessert, though, is that you can taste the layers as you go! So, feel free to make changes as necessary, to suit your taste.
  • Coconut oil is essential for this recipe firming up, and the only other effective alternative I know of is real butter– a substitution which would make this recipe no longer dairy-free, but feel free to use it, if you prefer.
  • Feel free to use any nut you like for the crust– walnuts are my favorite, but pecans, almonds and macadamia nuts all work, too! (Omit the coconut oil when using macadamia nuts, as they will stick together without it.)

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: Are you a fan of French Silk Pie? What’s your very favorite type of pie?

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Comments

Laura @ Raise Your Garden

Love French silk pie! Just shocking how many calories the restaurant variety has, shocking. Sometimes, I just want to be left in happy ignorance and enjoy my pie without the restaurant posting the calorie content.

When they do, I can’t even order it, I mean, 2000 calories for one piece of pie? I’ll have to run, like 20 miles to burn that off. Too hard!

Claudia Hooker

Oooooh I am SOOOOO going to make these!! Thanks a million for sharing!!! I LOVE your stuff!!! Big, Big Fan I am!!!! xx

Payal

Can I use raw cashew butter instead of cashews?

Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen

This french pie looks heavenly! I can’t wait to try it out! I imagine the chocolate middle would taste amazing even by itself!

Megan

Ooooh! Yum. This is definitely going to be made this week. I can’t wait to try it and maybe even share it with my family ;o)

Abbi*tarian

Yum! Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to make this for my mom who’s as chocolate obsessed as I am, & is lactose intolerant – so, this is made for her! Yes, I do love any chocolate pie! My other favorites are peanut butter pie & lemon/lime curd pie!

Mel

Hi Megan,

Really nice recipe, thank you!!!

I was wondering: could you once dedicate a post to coconut oil and the health benefits? i know it is a superfood but at the same time read stories it is still a saturated fat and therefore bad for the heart. Apparently it should be used sporadically….

Thanks and I love your wonderful blog!

Myrte

What is the difference between vanille and vanille extract?

Bev

This looks so heavenly. I noticed you use a lot of cashews on recipes . Do you know of a good place to buy them ?

    Kathleen Casey

    Bev, If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s, a good place to get them is nuts.com.

Kristen E.

This looks so good! And super easy. I will definitely be making this! I love your stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

Hez

Just made this. So easy and divine. Curious if the filling and topping really needed to be cashew pieces and whole cashews? I had both so followed it. Yummz!

Meagan

This looks great! I love your new updated picture ๐Ÿ™‚

Jess @ Crunchy Hot Mama

Success once again! Megan, I don’t know how you do it, but I love all your paleo/vegan recipes…you are a genius ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will be the first to preorder you book when it does finally come out! Can’t wait to share this dessert with friends.

    Megan

    Thanks, Jess! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

Emily @ Glitz Glam Gluten-Free

This sounds amazing, I always love your recipes! I don’t have ramekins though, do you think this would work as a full size? Or any other small container suggestions?

    Megan

    If you want to make a full-size pie, I’d probably double the ingredients! But, any small bowl, or even a drinking glass, will work if you want to make smaller sizes, too.

Lori

I made this…this morning. I made a few changes. For the crust I used half walnuts and half pecans. Boy was this good. Then for my chocolate pudding on top of the crust which seemed a little watery, possible from the cashew, maybe I didn’t drain them good enough, I added a half of a ripe avacoda. This seemed to thicken it up some more. I put that on top of the crust and put in frig. While I was home for lunch I decided I would sample a little bit. OOOOOOH so good!!!!!! I will whip up the topping when I get home from work this afternoon and let that set in the frig for several hours before having a treat. Wow do I love your recipes.

Ryn

I was a little surprised when my husband said that this is what he wanted me to make for his birthday desert. I think of birthdays as the day we get to splurge. But, I made this nonetheless. And? Amazing. There is nothing non-splurgy about this dessert. The little bit of salt combined with the walnuts and maple syrup in the crust, combined with the deeply chocolate silky filling, finished with the cashew vanilla topping, and we were both in heaven. I think this is our new birthday goto, Seriously. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m so glad you both enjoyed it!

Colleen

I’ve made these a couple times now, once as written and once with almond milk instead of water and no vanilla layer. Both ways were absolutely delicious, satisfying my intense craving for an Eat n’ Park pie. Thank you so much for one of my new favorite recipes, these will be great in the summertime.

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