Cranberry vegan frangipane tart

Cranberry vegan frangipane tart

cranberry vegan frangipane tart cross section

Not long to go till we can eat ourselves silly in the name of tradition, people! Loosen your belts! I hope you still get to celebrate this year somehow, even if it’s in a much smaller circle, and if you do, I bet you are in need of a good dessert recipe… Don’t worry, I have just the recipe you need, especially if you are not as much of a chocolate fiend as I am (if you are, try this).

My Christmas dessert this year is inspired by a traditional English dessert, known as Bakewell Tart, but with a Christmassy twist. Although the original is named after the small English market town of Bakewell, apparently there is no evidence that it was created there. It sounds like it started off as a jam tart topped with egg custard until the 1900s when it got replaced by an Italian almond mixture known as frangipane.

As I am a big fan of all things almond and frangipane is probably my second favourite type of dessert, it naturally came to mind when I tried to come up with a Christmas dessert that does not include chocolate (it was hard!!!) I have decided that making a bakewell tart with Christmassy flavours is what I feel like this year.

To achieve this, I flavoured my frangipane mixture with generous amount of orange zest and some cardamom and sandwiched it between two different textures of cranberry which, aside from looking beautiful, provide beautiful flavour and texture contrast. There is a layer of cranberry jam at the bottom of the tart and the top is generously studded with whole cranberries that become jammy and juicy once baked. Both of these layers offer a much needed relief from the sweetness of pastry and frangipane filling.

The beautiful thing about this dessert is that, pastry aside, it doesn’t require that much skill to make. All you need to do is spoon the jam (I used shop-bought jam) at the bottom of the tart case, whisk and stir frangipane ingredients together to top the jam with and finally place some whole cranberries on top. That’s it. Simple, yet divine. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we have.

cranberry vegan frangipane tart ingredients

cranberry vegan frangipane tart making

cranberry vegan frangipane tart decorating

cranberry vegan frangipane tart

cranberry vegan frangipane tart cut

cranberry vegan frangipane tart slice

cranberry vegan frangipane tart portion

25 cm / 10"
30 min
75 min
25 cm / 10"
30 min
75 min



  1. Combine the flour, icing sugar, salt and xanthan gum (if making GF pastry) in a large bowl. If using maple syrup instead of icing sugar, add after you’ve incorporated the fat into the flour.
  2. Add the solid (not melted) coconut oil and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or two knives. You can also use a food processor if you wish.
  3. Once no large lumps remain, use your fingers to rub coconut oil into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs and there are no lumps of coconut oil left. To check for lumps, shake the bowl and they will come to the surface.
  4. If you are using maple syrup, mix it in with 1 tbsp of water and add it at this stage. If using icing sugar, add cold water – be careful, do it gradually – how much water you’ll need depends on how absorbent your flour is. I added about 2 tbsp / 30 ml, but you may need a little more. Mix the water into the flour with a knife and then check with your hand that no more water is needed – the dough should clump together easily but should not feel wet. If it’s too dry, add a tiny amount (one tsp at a time) more water, mix and check again.
  5. Combine all the ingredients into a dough gently, but do not knead (that’s important for the gluten version) or the pastry will be tough. Wrap it up in a piece of cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out between two sheets of baking paper until you get a circle large enough to cover your entire tart case, about 2-3 mm in thickness. Place the rolled-out dough over a tart case and gently line the inside of it with the pastry. Tuck the pastry in well, ensuring that it fits snugly into all the nooks and crannies. Trim the excess pastry with a sharp knife and patch any holes with the cut-off excess. If making gluten-free pastry (which tends to be more crumbly), you may be better off placing the crumbled pastry in the tart case and simply moulding the pastry with your hands to the shape of the tart tin – you do not need to worry about overworking the pastry as it contains no gluten.
  7. Pierce the bottom of the pastry with a fork in a few places and chill the pastry-lined tart case in the fridge for about another 60 minutes.
  8. 45 min into pastry chilling time, preheat the oven to 175° C / 350° F. Line the pastry case with a large piece of crumpled baking paper and fill with baking beads or rice for a blind bake.
  9. Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beads and bake for another 10 minutes.


  1. While the pastry is baking, prepare the filling. Cream oil and sugar (or maple syrup) with an electric whisk. Next, whisk in the flour. Add aquafaba, a small amount at a time. Whisk well after each portion of aquafaba.
  2. Finally, gently fold in the almond meal, orange zest, cardamom, baking powder, vanilla extract and orange blossom water (if using). You should end up with a very thick batter (it will be a bit less thick if you used maple syrup instead of sugar).
  3. Fill the pre-baked (and cooled off) pastry case with a layer of cranberry jam / jelly.
  4. Next, pipe or dot the almond filling on top and spread it very gently. Take your time and do not apply much gentle pressure as otherwise the frangipane will slide over the jam layer.
  5. Decorate the top with cranberries, placing them on top of the filling and pushing them only a tiny bit as the filling will rise during baking.
  6. Bake the tart for about 45 minutes, until the filling is nicely browned. I found that the maple syrup filling tends to take a little longer in the oven (by 10 minutes or so). Remove from the oven and allow the tart to cool down before removing it from the tin and cutting it into slices. The top will crisp up nicely as the tart cools down.

*If you have trouble finding either, you can use cranberry sauce (provided it’s sweet not savoury) thickened with some tapioca starch. Whisk approx. 1 tbsp of tapioca starch (depending on how runny the sauce is, you may need more if it’s still runny) into the sauce ahead of using. Alternatively, you could also roast fresh cranberries with some sugar or maple syrup (and a splash of water or orange juice) in a 200° C / 390° F oven until jammy and use that instead.

**You can use fresh but they don’t stand up to the heat as well, you may need to cover the tart towards the end of baking time.

This recipe has been adapted from my earlier frangipane and bakewell tart recipe.

28 g
21 g
13 g
5 g
48 g
*per serving
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8 reviews, 31 comments
First time making frangipane and won't be the last! So delicious and much easier than I thought. I did use a ready-made shortcrust pastry as I was short on time, but it still came out amazing. I used aquafaba from a tin of green lentils so I could chuck them in the spaghetti I was making that evening and it worked fine - no funny taste at all.
    Great to hear that it was success! And totally no shame in taking shortcuts, especially at the busiest time of the year! I really appreciate your review, thank you. x Ania
I changed it just slightly using black berries instead of cranberries, but still it is so so so delicious! I would definitely repeat it again! Thank you!
    Thanks so much, I'm delighted to hear that it came out so well and that you plan to make it again. Blackberries are a great substitute for cranberries, for sure. x Ania
Amazing! This recipe is sooooo insanely good. Do yourself a favour and make it.
    Yay! Thank you for your kind words, Marta! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it and thank you so much for taking the time to review - I really appreciate it. x Ania
Could you please please clarify step 2 for me. I have a food processor-does it mean I could just put everything together in there and make a dough?
Thanks in advance xx
    Hi Monika,
    The best way is to pulse dry ingredients first, then add fat (cut up into small dice, not rock solid, but slightly softened) and pulse until it looks like breadcrumbs. Then gradually - little by little - add ice cold water while the motor is running. Stop as soon as the dough starts clumping together as you want to add as little water as possible or else the pastry will be tough. I actually prefer adding water in a bowl and do it manually as it is easier to judge when I've added enough. Hope this helps! x Ania
      thank you soooo much xx
      Last question - no way to get in Lithuania almond extract or orange blossom water, what should I do..? is it ok to skip or should I substitute with something else?
      Thanks xx
        No problem :) Yes, you can skip both but are you sure you cannot get almond extract? It's a very common (and cheap) baking ingredient used all over the world. I translated it in Google and it's migdolų esencija in Lithuanian. Perhaps you are thinking of something else, far more exclusive. Orange blossom water is less common, it's typically used in Middle Eastern cooking, but orange zest will make up for the lack of it. Good luck! x Ania
          Ha ha, you are so right :) thanks so much Ania and have a lovely Holiday. Xx I will be baking this beuty tomorrow!
          No worries! Good luck, I'm sure it will be delicious. The key thing is to handle the pastry as little as possible and add as little water as possible without making the dough dry. x Ania
I made this recipe for my daughter's birthday and everyone loved it. I substituted blueberries for cranberries and blueberry jam for the cranberry jam. I used caster sugar and icing sugar instead of maple syrup. It came out of the oven looking and smelling delicious. We had it warm with vegan vanilla ice-cream. It will definitely be added to the favourites list. Thank you for the recipe.
    Thank you for your kind words, Miche! I'm so happy to hear that it was a success, especially that it was your daughter's special day! Yes, the type of fruit used is quite flexible as long as they are not too watery. Thank you for taking the time to leave this review - I really appreciate it. x Ania
This looks yummy!
I am allergic to almonds. Can I use pecans and make pecan meal instead?
    Hi Molly,
    Yes, that should work absolutely fine and a great flavour combo too! Hope you'll enjoy it! x Ania
I have made this gluten free as I am celiac and allergic to egg and it was absolutely delicious!
Your recipes are just perfect for me .
What a treat. Thank you for your work.
    Thank you for your kind words, Izabella! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it. And thank you so much for reviewing - it helps my work to be seen and I really appreciate it! x Ania
Hi Ania! :)
Is it possible to substitute All purpose flour for either wholemeal/spelt or buckwheat flour?
Also -I am Insulin Resistant and I will need to substitute the maple syrup/sugars for a sweetner. I will be using a hight quality erythritol. Hope that works :)
Thank you x
    Hi Kinga,
    Yes, I am pretty sure it will work well (apart from buckwheat on its own as it has no gluten so the tart case may be too crumbly - if using buckwheat, be sure to add some starch like potato starch and tapioca to the dough and maybe a flax egg, just in case) but different flours have different absorbency levels so you may need more water to form a crust. Also, 100% wholemeal crust will be a bit coarse. I would recommend 50% all purpose and 50% spelt or wholemeal. I have never used any sweeteners so I cannot assure you that they will work the same but it's important to bear in mind that sugar doesn't only just give sweetness, it also provides structure so you may need to experiment a little. Good luck! x Ania
I want to try this, frangipane is a real favourite in our family. Can I use a replacement for aquafaba , please?
Thanks, Val
    Hi Val,
    Aquafaba (which you can get from a jar/can of chickpeas btw) is pretty key as it subs egg whites, but I have had some success with flax egg so it may be worth trying. I would use 1 flax egg + 1-2 tbsp high protein plant milk (like soy milk) so that you get 60 ml / ¼ cup in total. Hope this helps! Ania
Hi! Can this be frozen or it would mess up with the filling consistency?
    Hi Monica,
    I have not tried freezing this particular tart, I'm afraid, but I don't see why it would. Ania
    Did you end up freezing it? I’m curious, I’d love to make this for Thanksgiving.
      Hi Olivia,
      It freezes fine but as any pastry, it's best eaten freshy made. Hope this helps! Ania
I made this over Christmas and it was delicious. It'll be a Christmas staple for us I think!
    I'm delighted to hear that, Shelley! Thank you for letting me know that you've enjoyed it! x Ania
I just made this for our Christmas Eve dessert, and it was delicious! The cranberries create a sour pop and the frangipane was deliciously almondy. Thank you for this recipe! It is definitely a keeper, and you may have helped us start a new tradition!
    Thank you for your kind words, Katie! I'm delighted that you enjoyed this recipe enough to include it in your Xmas tradition from now on, what an honour! And I myself am a big fan of creating new, kinder, holiday traditions! Ania
Hi Ania
I don't have fresh cranberries either, could I use dried cranberries instead or would I need to rehydrate them? If so, approximately how long would they need? Thank you!
    Hi Dawn,
    Unfortunately, I don't think dry cranberries will work as well - they are likely to burn in the oven. You could use frozen blackberries or raspberries instead or dot the top with some extra cranberry jam - that should work too. Hope this helps! Ania
    I cooked dried cranberries with water and sugar and then roughly blended it and i worked just fine! i can't tell the proportions but use quite a lot of water as cranberries will need it to become round and tender. Before blending it, I fished out some to use as a decoration. If your mass will be to runny just cook it a bit longer but also remember that it will thicken once it cools down
Can you make the frangipane ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until ready to assemble
    Hi Gracie,
    Yes, I think it would work well although - full disclosure - I haven't tried. My tip would be to bring it to room temperature before piping/spooning over the tart if you are using coconut oil as it gets hard in cold temperatures. Hope you'll enjoy it! Ania
Lisa Viger Gotte:
Beautiful! And not as complicated as it looks. Def going to try this!
    Thanks Lisa, I hope you will enjoy this tart! Ania
Ana Capdevila:
Hi, could be possible to substitute cranberries by other fruit like apples or pears? Thanks, it looks delicious but in Spain is not possible to get fresh cranberries now ☺️
    Hi Ana,
    I actually used frozen cranberries, but sure, you can definitely swap them out for another fruit. I would recommend using something sour, like blackberries or raspberries - again frozen is fine. Hope this helps! Ania
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