Sweet Buttercup Tart

Note: I left the sweetener out of the filling accidentally when I originally wrote this recipe. Depending on your palate, it would be fine without, but I have added 2 Tablespoons of coconut sugar and of course you can adjust that up or down to taste. If it still isn’t sweet enough for you, adding a splash of maple syrup might give it the extra boost you are looking for. In addition, if you have individual-sized ramekins, I recommend making small tarts and removing them from their pans to cool on a rack to keep the crust more crisp. If you don’t, not to worry – it will still be delicious!

This is my version of pumpkin pie. It is made from buttercup squash, which is sweet and delicious on its own. The crust is nut-based and sweetened with figs, dates, and just a bit of coconut sugar. If you can put up with a little deviation from tradition, this would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving Day feast! It’s an easy pie to make, even for a beginning baker!

And don’t worry; if you are in Boulder, buttercup squash is everywhere right now, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it. If it’s not available to you or you have other Winter squash to use up, feel free to substitute, but be sure you taste and adjust sweetener as needed.

For the Crust:

  • 4 figs, stems removed, soaked in warm water
  • 4 dates, pits removed, soaked in warm water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour (or 1/4 cup of a different flour)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9-inch pie or tart pan ready, or equivalent in individual-sized tart pans or ramekins. I did not oil my pie pans and there was no issue with sticking. Remove dates and figs from their soaking water, reserving soaking water, and place them in a food processor. Process until smooth, then add remaining ingredients and process until it balls up and looks relatively uniform. If it’s still coarse or crumbly, add a little more oil. Remove and press into your pie plate. Make several holes in your crust with a fork and pre-bake for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before filling.

For the filling:

  • 1 cup roasted and mashed buttercup squash*
  • 1/2 cup cashews or other nuts, preferably soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter/coconut manna
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Warm soaking water from figs/dates as needed for processing; about 2 Tablespoons

*Buttercup squash are quite small, so you’ll need two. Roast them at 400 degrees until they are very soft and the skin begins to brown and puff up. When cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out seeds (set aside to roast separately), then scoop flesh away from the skin and mash.

Place the cooked squash and remaining ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth, adding only enough water as is needed to allow it to process. Taste and adjust as needed, keeping in mind that the crust is sweet, so you really just want a lightly sweet taste in the filling.

To assemble and bake the tart:

Spread the filling evenly over the crust. Bake at 350 for another 15-20 minutes, or until the visible crust is golden brown and filling has firmed up a bit. Allow to cool completely and serve as is, or garnish as desired. Some ideas for garnishing are:

  • making a nut-based whipped cream like this brazil nut cream to drizzle over whole pie or dollop on individual pieces
  • drizzling with a ganache made by blending 1/4 cup coconut butter with 1 Tablespoon cocoa or carob powder, 2 Tablespoons maple syrup or other sweetener of choice, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt, plus warm water or milk to reach a pourable consistency.
  • making a vanilla coconut drizzle by following the ganache recipe above, but increasing the vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon.
  • coating chopped pecans in equal parts coconut oil and brown rice syrup and sprinkling over pie about 10 minutes into baking.
  • Drizzle with pureed homemade cranberry sauce



  1. Tes said

    The recipe sounds luscius! I love butter cup! Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂

  2. […] Sweet Buttercup (or any Winter squash) Tart Carrot Cake Raw Pear and Walnut Tart (no recipe online yet, but throw some walnuts, fresh ginger, cinnamon, and dates into a food processor to make a crust to press into a pan, then layer with sliced ripe fresh pears tossed in lemon juice, fresh ginger, and cinnamon; top with Brazil Nut Cream GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "000000"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "E58712"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_border", "9BBB38"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_url", "F0B56D"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "food"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "recipes"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "cooking"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "holiday-dishes"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "recipes"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_sharethrough"); Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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