Fruit pizza again! (And, shhhhhh, vegan…)

13 May

Some of my long-time readers may remember this post, in which I shared the recipe for Michael’s favourite dessert, fruit pizza.  It’s a tradition for me to make it for him for his birthday.  Sadly, since it contains both flour and dairy, it’s off Michael’s list of can-haves.

I put my thinking cap on,  revved up the creative engine, and rolled up my sleeves (enough metaphors yet?) to work on making it Michael-friendly; that would mean gluten-free and vegan*.

The crust came out great on the first try, but I failed at my first attempt at the filling when I used coconut milk and agar-agar.  Happily, I came up with a winner using cornstarch.  Sometimes it takes a bit of experimentation and yes, even failure.  But the end results are oh-so-sweet.

Fawn’s All-Vegan All-Yum Gluten-Free Fruit Pizza

(Edited to my latest refinements…)


  • 1/4 cup margarine (Earth Balance or Becel)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 3 tbsp almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oats


  • 1 can (400 mL) coconut milk**
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • fruit for topping (strawberries, kiwis, bananas, canned sliced peaches, canned mandarin segments, raspberries, blueberries, or whatever else you have on hand)

**NOTE: Use good-quality coconut milk and don’t skimp on the fat.  I recommend Thai Kitchen’s full-fat coconut milk,which is very sweet and luxuriously creamy.


  • 1/4 cup apricot jam or orange marmalade
  • 2-3 tbsp hot water


  1. To make the crust, melt the margarine and coconut oil, then blend in sugar.  Add flours, oats, pecans, and the mashed banana.  Spread onto a pizza pan.  I found that the oils made this batter difficult to spread using a wooden spoon, but using my hands to pat it in place worked very well.  Bake at 375°F until the edges brown (around 10 minutes).  Because of the banana, this crust is a bit cakier and takes longer to bake.  After the edges browned, I used the broiler to crisp up and brown the top of the crust, which took just a few minutes.  Watch carefully so that you don’t burn it!  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
    • The final crust was cookie-like and softened up to a nice chewy texture after being refrigerated with the topping on it.  It did taste quite oat-y compared to the original, but I rather liked that.  If you prefer less of an oat flavour, I think you could safely replace some or all of the oat flour with more rice flour.
  2. For the filling, shake the can of coconut milk to blend the fat and liquid.  Pour it into a medium-sized pot and set the heat to medium.  Dissolve the cornstarch in several tablespoons of cool water, then stir it into your coconut milk.  Add the maple syrup and lemon juice.  (You could also add vanilla, but I didn’t, as it doesn’t agree with Michael.)  As the mixture heats up, be sure to stir continuously to avoid starch lumps.  The cornstarch will start to work its magic, thickening up the coconut milk.  When it reaches the consistency of pudding, remove from heat.  Allow to cool before spreading it onto the crust.  It will thicken up a little more when it has been refrigerated.
  3. After spreading the coconut milk onto the crust, decorate with your fruit toppings as desired.
  4. Mix the jam and hot water together. Press through a sieve if you desire a smoother consistency.  Use a pastry brush or silicone basting brush to spread the glaze gently over the fruit. (The glaze seals off the fruit to keep it from oxidizing too quickly.  It also adds sweetness, so even if you use less than perfectly sweet fruit, the final dessert will still be yummilicious.)
  5. Cover the whole pizza with saran wrap and chill until set, at least several hours or overnight.
    • It’s also a good idea to put a bigger pizza pan underneath, if you have one, to catch any drippings from the glaze.

Although there are a few more ingredients to the crust, this recipe really isn’t any more difficult than the original fruit pizza, and it’s just as pretty and every bit as delicious.  Even the fruit pizza addict agrees!  (There would be photos of him enjoying the fruits of my labours, but of course, he scarfed it much too quickly for a camera to capture the action.  Next time I’ll use the sport setting.)

*No, we’re not vegan, but when you can’t have eggs or dairy, pretty much any dessert you eat is going to be vegan. Unless you’re into chicken breast on your desserts…


21 Responses to “Fruit pizza again! (And, shhhhhh, vegan…)”

  1. Meandering Michael May 13, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Can I have another birthday this year? Please?

  2. Opa May 13, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    Grody??? Duh, isn’t that, gosh, why – like totally valspeak?

  3. MommyTime May 14, 2010 at 4:22 am #

    This looks gorgeous — and completely delicious. I invented something like this once in college, using a sugar cookie kind of dough, fruit and apricot glaze. But the addition of the coconut milk pudding sounds heavenly. Can’t wait to try it!

  4. Cristina May 14, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Now you’ve made me hungry! I can’t wait to try this recipe! It is perfect for summer. Good job with the modification!

  5. Laurie May 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    I do not know how you do it. Do you just really LIKE to cook, so these challenges do not throw you? Seriously, I SO hate to cook that when I look at all the different things you guys CAN”T eat, between Jade and Michael’s needs, I feel like I would just want to run away, screaming. Earth Balance margarine? Oat and rice flour? (I didn’t even know they MADE different kinds of flour. I just thought flour was, well, you know, FLOUR.) Coconut milk? How do you COOK with that stuff? And make things taste real, like you want them to? Ok, so I started out by saying, and my REAL point is, I so totally admire you, your willingness and ability to do this, and make it seem like it’s no big deal. But then, keep in mind, my specialty when it’s my turn to cook a meal is cereal and toast, so it isn’t any wonder what you do seems so overwhelming to me. You’re such a good mom, and wife! And cook, apparently!!

  6. Laura May 14, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    I have made fruit pizza before but mine never looks that professional. Beautiful job. I love to cook but I am with Laurie. If I was faced with the challenges you are in feeding your family, I would curl up in a ball and cry.

  7. Opa May 15, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    Wow, didn’t see the pic in the email version of the post – probably had “load external content” deactivated. Oma then wrote a mail about the eye’s delight, so I had to come back for a second look. Whoever said “a pic is worth 1000 words” had it right. Nice work of art. If we accept the banana as being “white”, we even have a passable Italian flag here to match the “pizza” idea.

  8. Marian May 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Fantastic job, Fawn. I knew you were working on a substitute for the original fruit pizza, that’s incredible. I wouldn’t know where to start. If Michael still lived with us, he’d only be getting the topping for his birthday dessert 🙂

  9. Captain Momma May 15, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Way to go!!!

    Gluten Free Goddess has an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie to die for! Even Em can’t tell it’s gluten, dairy, soy, nut free!! I like her use of sorghum,millet and tapioca flours for the cookie base that means you can’t tell the difference from real.

    I don’t think I’ve seen the Aroy brand but I know I can get Thai Kitchen. Hmmm…what have I been using???

    GFG also has a recipe for coconut milk ice cream! Now I need an ice cream maker!!!

    Happy Bday M!

  10. Tine May 16, 2010 at 6:33 am #

    Mmmhh, looks delicious !!

    (Belated …) Happy B-Day to Micael – hope you guys had a wonderful day (besides enjoying that yummy fruit pizza 🙂 ) ?!

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  11. In Iqaluit May 17, 2010 at 5:06 am #

    Holy moly that looks divine! I am most definitely going to try it! Thanks for sharing the recipe and for the excellent notes.

  12. Captain Momma May 17, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    I keep forgetting to say that Becel has a vegan margarine now and it tastes good! Better than Earth Balance. Is good in baking too.

  13. Sarah May 11, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    For nut allergies what can you use as a substitute for ground pecans? I plan to make this to share at my son’s class for his Birthday and there is a nut allergy.

    • fawnahareo May 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      If you don’t have a lot of time to experiment, I would try simply omitting the pecans and increasing the other flours a bit to make up for the difference in volume. If things look dry, you might add a splash more margarine to compensate for the lost oils in the pecans (which are relatively fatty nuts). I have to say that I really like the flavour of the pecans in the crust, so I don’t know what this will do. Perhaps you might also consider adding a dash of vanilla or other appropriate flavour, to compensate. (Michael can’t do vanilla, or I’d use it, too!)

      If you do have time to experiment, you might check out Gluten-Free Goddess’s cookie recipe that Captain Momma recommends — it might make a decent crust base. Leaving out the chocolate chips, of course! I found the link for you: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.

      Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

      • Sarah May 20, 2011 at 9:55 am #

        Hi Fawn, the Fruit Pizza was a success! Thank you for this recipe! I even had a mom ask for the recipe. Her child typically can’t eat any of the treats that are brought in to school, and I guess he was so thrilled he was able to eat birthday treats like all the other kids that day. I passed along your link to her for the recipe.

        I was so fearful that the kids would not like the idea of fruit pizza since many are so used to having sugar sweet treats for birthday celebrations at school, and that this fruit pizza would be different from the typical sugar cookie and cream cheese recipe. The teacher said they all loved it.

        I did use 2 Tbsp of unsweetened coconut in the crust, rather then extra flour and it seemed to work out just fine. I baked the crust on stoneware and watched it, so it did bake longer then 10 minutes, but turned out golden brown and beautiful.
        I used sweet rice flour, rather then rice flour. I know in my pancakes it makes the texture “less gritty”. I also agree on lessening the oat flour, I think next time I will lessen the oat flour a bit to see if the flavor is less “oaty”.

        For the filling, as my fears set in of everything not being sweet enough for these kids, I added light agave to sweeten the filling up a bit after it finished cooking; it added a soft sweetness, and was not overwhelming. Maple syrup typically is pretty sweet, but I was surprised how its sweetness lessened as it was cooked down.

        Anyway, your fruit pizza recipe is a success. Great work! Thank you for taking the time to experiment, perfect, and pass it along to all.

      • fawnahareo May 20, 2011 at 10:42 am #

        Hurray!!! Thank you so much for letting me know how it went, and for sharing your variations, too. I’m so thrilled that others can benefit from my experiments!

        I don’t have a stoneware sheet, but that sounds perfect for this. Oooh, new kitchen thing to covet. 🙂

    • fawnahareo May 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

      I just had another thought, which is to add some unsweetened fine coconut to the crust ingredients. That sounds yummy to me!

  14. Sarah May 12, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    PS- so far in my search for gluten free vegan fruit pizza, your fruit pizza reads divine! I can’t wait to make and taste! Thank you for this. Funny it is a year to date (almost) when you posted. I think it was meant to be; his b-day is the 13th.

  15. Sarah May 12, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    Thank you so much for advise on subs for nuts. I will experiment a bit tonight, and look for a box of mix in case I really mess up. Thank you so so much!

    • Nanno July 1, 2014 at 8:04 am #

      The crust is amazing – I have made this recipe a half dozen times already. Thank you

      • fawnahareo July 1, 2014 at 11:51 am #

        I’m so glad, Nanno! Thanks for dropping in and letting me know!

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