Looking for delicious bite-sized desserts to make for your friends and family? There’s no sweet treat that brings together a pretty, petite presentation and big, bursting taste like a freshly baked tart. In this handy article you can learn to make a basic, flaky tart crust as well as ten of the most sought after tart fillings by dessert enthusiasts everywhere.
Tasty Tart Crust
Starting a decadent dessert masterpiece begins from the bottom up. We need a delicious place to put these fantastic fillings, and a basic flaky tart crust is perfect. You need about 1 and a half stick of unsalted butter, 1 ½ cups of basic white baking flour, a dash of salt, and about a third of a cup of confectioners sugar. Mix It all together until the consistency is that of an easy to spread dough. Duplicate the recipe as many times as you need to make enough to fill the crust mold you’ll be using. For mini tarts, it’s recommended to use a shallow muffin pan. For large tarts you can slice like pie, using glass baking dishes is usually best. The size and style are ultimately up to you!
Some of the tart fillings that follow will require a pre-baked crust, while others will require you to place the filling in the crust and bake the two together. The method will be specified along with each recipe. They’re all delicious and fun to make, so get your family and friends involved!
Peaches & Cream Tart
These sweet peach tarts are perfect for people who love fruit pastries. You’ll need a jar of peaches, about two thirds of a cup of sugar, two tablespoons of cornstarch, a small pinch of salt, a cup of water, and a few dollops of cool whip. You’ll want pre-baked tart shell(s) for this filling. First, mix the sugar, water, cornstarch and salt over heat in a small pan. Once the mixture is smooth, start to cool it down until you can add the peaches without them losing firmness. Then, spoon the filling into your tart crusts and top with a bit of cool whip!
Strawberry Cheesecake Tart
This is one of the easiest tarts to make, and since this list is all about simple, tasty favorites, this strawberry cheesecake filling is absolutely perfect. You’ll need your pre-baked tart crusts, some instant no bake cheesecake mix (The JelloTM brand is my favorite!) along with what it requires (cold milk usually) and some fresh strawberries. Simply follow the instructions on the box and then fill your crust(s), placing your tart or tarts in the freezer for just under 5 minutes. Once chilled, add circular slices of strawberry on top and either enjoy now, or refrigerate for later.
Chocolate Cherry Tart
This decadent tart filling is one of my favorites to make, and is a good choice if you’re serving these sweet desserts to an entire family or get-together, children included! The easiest way to make this filling is using cherry pie filling and chocolate ice cream topping shell. Simply spoon the filling into pre-baked tart shell(s), then drizzle the hardening chocolate topping over your dessert. You can also use a couple jars of maraschino cherries with chocolate shavings on top. Either way this tart is amazingly easy, and incredibly delicious!
Sugar Pumpkin Pie Tart
Pumpkin pie is a favorite of dessert lovers everywhere, and what better way to enjoy it’s tasty goodness than in tart form? You’ll need unbaked tart shells for this, along with a can of sweetened condensed milk, a tablespoon of brown sugar, an egg, 1 ½ cup of canned pumpkin filling base (or pumpkin puree), a couple dashes of nutmeg, and a few more of cinnamon. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, whisk the ingredients together, and delicately spoon and shape into your tart shell(s). Bake for about 20 minutes, then cool in the fridge. Garnish with a few dollops of cool whip, dashed with a tiny bit of cinnamon on top. Yum!
Fresh Berries & Yogurt Tart
Berries and cream has been a dessert staple forever, and when served in a flaky tart shell, you get a stupendous sweet treat that everyone will love! You’ll need a bag of frozen mixed berries (my favorite choice is blueberries and raspberries), some vanilla yogurt, and some confectioners sugar. You’ll also need pre-baked tart shell(s). Thaw the berries for about 5 minutes still in the bag in a bowl filled with cool water. Then spoon a small amount of yogurt into each tart, topping with the still slightly chilled berries on top. Then chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes, letting the berries continue defrosting atop the yogurt, letting the berries flavor the yogurt. Then remove, sprinkle each with a tiny bit of confectioners sugar, and viola!
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Tart
Who doesn’t love a delicious chocolate chip cheesecake? These chocolate chip cheesecake tarts have all the sweet chocolatey-cheesy goodness of a cake in the flaky buttery crust of a tart. You’ll need pre-baked tart shells, a bag of chocolate chips, and a box of no-bake cheesecake mix. (Again, I love the Jello TM brand, since all you need is cold milk!) Follow the directions on the box, and just as it’s about the right consistency, stir in a handful of chocolate chips. Spoon the filling into your shell(s), and then top with a few more chocolate chips. Delicious!
Hazelnut Chocolate Tart
These are probably my favorite tarts to make as well as to eat. They’re super easy and the perfect comfort food! All you’ll need is some Nutella , a container of cool whip, and some pre-baked tart crusts. In a large bowl, mix your Nutella and cool whip vigorously. Simply spoon it into the tart shell(s), then plop a dollop of cool whip on top. If you’ve got chocolate shavings for garnish, you’ve got a perfect luxurious chocolatey treat! Other toppings I’ve used for this tart are crushed hazelnuts, chocolate fudge drizzle and white chocolate fudge drizzle. Make it your own, and enjoy!
Cinnamon Sweet Potato Tart
These sweet potato tart is actually considered a savory tart by most, but since it’s sweet, often served at dessert, and is a huge favorite of just about everyone who tries it, it certainly makes the top ten list of tastiest tart fillings. You’ll need unbaked tart shell(s), some boiled and mashed sweet potato, two tablespoons of cinnamon, half a cup of sugar, a pinch of cloves and nutmeg, and some whipped cream. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the mashed sweet potato, cinnamon, sugar, and other spices in a large bowl. Spoon the mixture into your shell(s), then bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is flaky and you can smell cinnamon! Let the tart(s) chill for about an hour on the oven rack, or half an hour in the fridge, then top with a squirt of whipped cream. This is a perfect dessert for cooler evenings!
Raspberry Vanilla Pudding Tart
This is a really simple tart that takes almost no preparation whatsoever. You’ll need either one large container of vanilla pudding, or somewhere between 1 ½ and 2 four-packs of vanilla pudding. Take some pre-baked and cooled tart crust(s) and spoon a big enough dollop of vanilla pudding into each shell, topping each with an upside-down fresh raspberry. If you’re making one large tart, you might want to consider mixing your own vanilla pudding from the box, trying to go for a firmer consistency. For large tarts, place the pudding filled crust in the freezer for about 10 minutes before garnishing with fresh raspberries. This tart is also delicious with tapioca!
Orange Marmalade Tart
One of the easiest (and oldest!) tart recipes around is the marmalade tart, a favorite of tart lovers everywhere. It’s a staple dessert and snack – it’s so easy to make, and so tasty for kids and adults alike. All you need is a jar or two of some semi firm orange marmalade. Use pre-baked tart crust(s), and spoon the marmalade in. To make them smooth and even on top, try dipping the bottom of your spoon in some cold water, and then running it across the surface of the marmalade filling to make it a bit more even and flat. This is a tart you can easily involve the whole family in making, as it’s simple for even the most culinary inept members of your household!
These tart fillings are open to many different variations and substitutions. Be creative, and enjoy!