Vegan Chocolate Rosemary & Pomegranate Tart

  reading time: 5 min

I call this one my Persephone cake.


When I told my friend this (he was one of my taste tester guinea pigs), he said: "Isn't she the wife of Hades?"

To which I replied: "Excuse me? I think you mean: Hades is the husband of Persephone." 😜

But yes, in Greek mythology, Persephone
was abducted by her uncle (!) Hades, the king of the underworld, and forced to marry him (yuck!), making her the queen of the underworld. Persephone is the daughter of Zeus, the king of the gods, and Demeter, the goddess of harvest and fertility – who is also Zeus’ sister (yay to the good old incest times!).

Persephone – also known by the name Kore or Cora which translates to "maiden" or "daughter" –
is the goddess of death and life, destruction and fertility. Her equivalent in Roman mythology is the goddess Proserpina or Proserpine.

The pomegranate is to Persephone what the seashell is to Aphrodite. Well, kind of.

For once because in Greek mythology she eats six pomegranate seeds from Hades in the underworld
, which forces her to stay in his realm. And furthermore, the pomegranate is a symbol of life and fertility, but also of power (like a royal orb), prosperity, blood and death. In Ancient Greek mythology, the pomegranate was known as the "fruit of the dead".

Which – finally – brings me to this cake.

A dark, moody chocolate cake with a hint of rosemary sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
By the way, Aphrodite is also associated with pomegranates 'cause seeds = fertility / sexuality. And you know what else is associated with pomegranates? Samhain.

The Day of the Dead, also known as All Hallow's Eve, or Halloween. The Witches' New Year, rebirth after death. (It's all coming full circle, see? 😅)

Persephone depicted in Dante Gabriel Rossetti's "Proserpine" (1874)

Some of the traditional correspondences for Samhain include pomegranates, nuts – and rosemary. Which is why I decided to combine all three in this tart. In my book, dark chocolate also fits the moody vibe of Samhain perfectly 🖤

So yeah, this vegan chocolate rosemary & pomegranate tart is the perfect dessert for a Samhain, Halloween or even Christmas party! Any holiday during the dark half of the year will do :)

The crumbly chocolate crust is filled with a rich rosemary-infused chocolate pudding, and adorned with fresh pomegranate seeds, nuts, and chocolate shavings.



Preparation time: 2 hours
Main ingredients: whole grain flour, soy milk, chocolate
difficulty level: easy
serves: 14 (1 tart)
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, wheat-free, yeast-free


200 g whole grain spelt flour
50 g ground hazelnuts or almonds
50 g raw cane sugar or brown sugar
115 g melted vegan butter or coconut oil
2-3 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

a pinch of salt

400 ml soy milk
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
125 ml coconut milk
1 package (35 g) chocolate pudding powder (we use the Dr. Oetker chocolate pudding powder)
75 g sugar
200 g high-quality dark vegan chocolate, broken into pieces (I use 70 %)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup pomegranate seeds
chopped hazelnuts or almonds
grated dark chocolate


Grease and flour a tart pan or springform pan. Preheat oven to 180 °C / 350 °F.

For the tart crust:

In a medium bowl, combine whole grain spelt flour, ground hazelnuts or almonds, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Lastly, add melted vegan butter or coconut oil, and combine until everything comes together into a crumbly dough.

Form into a ball, wrap in clingfilm or wax paper, and set aside for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Once chilled, remove dough from its wrapping and roll out on a floured surface. Line the tart pan or spingform pan, making sure the edges are raised to form a rim that will be able to hold the filling (about 4 cm / 1.5 inches high). Trim any excess, and prick all over with a fork.

Blind-bake the tart crust in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, placing a similar-sized blind weight on top to prevent rising. Remove the weight, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove the tart crust from the oven, and allow to cool.

For the rosemary-infused milk:

Place 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary in 400 ml soy milk. Set aside for later.

In the meantime, prepare the filling.

For the filling:

In a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of gently simmering water, melt the chocolate pieces over low heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, remove from heat.

To make the chocolate pudding, stir together the pudding powder and sugar with a few tablespoons of the rosemary-infused soy milk until dissolved. Bring the rest of the rosemary-infused soy milk to a gentle boil (leaving the sprigs in the milk for now!), along with the coconut milk.

Once it starts boiling, carefully remove the rosemary sprigs with a fork. Quickly stir in the pudding powder mixture using a whisk, until there are no more lumps. Bring to a brief boil again over medium heat, while constantly stirring.

Do this for 1-2 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat.

Add melted chocolate and vanilla essence to the pudding, and stir once again.

To assemble:

Generously sprinkle pomegranate seeds all over the cooled tart crust.

Pour the warm and still-liquid chocolate pudding mixture on top, and spread evenly using a spatula. Set aside until cooled completely. I recommend transferring it to the fridge after about 30 minutes.

Once cooled, feel free to decorate the chocolate tart with pomegranate seeds, chopped nuts, and shaved chocolate.

Store refrigerated until serving.

I recommend adding a dollop of fresh (vegan) whipped cream on each slice when serving!

- To enhance the delicate pomegranate flavour, you could replace part of the soy milk with pomegranate juice (or even red wine!).
- If you don't like the taste of rosemary, you could substitute it with fresh mint leaves.
- Instead of pomegranates, raspberries would also go nicely with this tart. (Not a Persephone cake then, though ;-))