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Mini Tart Shells

Today I’m going show how I make homemade Mini Tart Shells.


I honestly love working with this cookie dough. Not only I use it to make my homemade mini tart shells but I also use it as a base for my my Linzer Cookies. And it is also a perfect recipe for cute Rose icebox cookies or stamping technique.



ingredients to make cookie dough

I use unsalted butter at room temperature, powdered sugar, egg yolks and lot so vanilla extract and all purpose flour.

Most tart shell recipes use cold butter I don’t.


creaming butter with sugar and eggs

I start by creaming butter and powdered sugar. Then in a small dish I whisk together egg yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat it into the butter.

mixing cookie dough with the mixer

Sift flour and salt and gradually, with the mixer set to low speed mix in the flour. Scrape down the bowl and dump the dough onto a work surface.

Gather dough into a ball. Flatten it into a disk. Wrap the disk into a plastic wrap and chill for 1 to 2 hours.


using a spray to grease the metal  pans

I use small metal tart shell molds. Place them on a baking sheet and spray the molds with a nonstick spray. Set aside.

cutting out round of cookie dough with a cutter

Start by rolling out slightly softened dough to about 1/8 inch thick. My molds are about 2.8-3 inch inch across at the widest opening. I used 3 inch cutter to cut out cookie rounds and an oval shape cutter to cut out oval shapes.

shaping fluted cookie shells

Press each round into the metal mold. First shape it with your fingers and then using a spare tart mold, gently shape the inside.

I like to put a piece of food safe plastic wrap over the bottom mold first. Then gently press in the spare tart mold, aligning the fluted edge with the bottom tart mold edge. Clean up the edges.

shaping the cookie shells


pricking the dough with a fork

It is important to prick the unbaked shell so it doesn’t puff up in the oven. I use 4 prong fork.

Bake the shells in the preheated oven at 350F for 12-14 minutes, until edges are lightly golden brown.


Let the baked tart shells cool for 10-15 minutes or little longer before removing them from the molds.

baked unfilled tart shells on a baking sheet

Tap the edge of the mold on your work surface to release the mini tart shell.


baked mini tart shells in a container

Baked shells can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.



  • Make Mini Lemon Curd or Raspberry Curd Meringue Tarts
  • Fill the shells with Chocolate Mousse, top it with Whipped Cream
  • Spoon a Thick Caramel into the shell and pipe Ganache Swirl on the top
  • Fill them with Pastry Cream or Whipped Cream and top them with fresh fruit.


5 from 5 votes
baked mini tart shells with on a cooling rack
Mini Tart Shells Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
14 mins
2 hrs
Total Time
34 mins

Makes about 20-22 mini shells.

Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade tarts, mini tart shells, tart shells
Servings: 22
Calories: 65 kcal
Hanielas.com: Hani Bacova
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (430 grams)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar (160 grams)
  • 3 egg yolks (or use 1 large egg and 1 to 2 tsp milk)
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (226 grams)room temperature butter
  1. Sift flour(3 cups/430 grams) and salt(1 /8tsp). Set aside.

  2. In the mixer fitted with a petal attachment beat unsalted, room temperature butter (2 sticks, 226 grams) and powdered sugar (1 cup and 1/4 cup) until smooth. In a small dish whisk together egg yolks (3 egg yolks) and vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (2 tsp). Gradually beat egg yolk mixture into the creamed butter. Scrape the bowl few times as needed.

  3. On the low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix until it starts to come together. If the dough is too crumbly, add 1tsp milk. Do not overwork the dough. Invert the dough onto a clean work surface or into a large bowl and gather dough together with your hands into a ball. Then form the dough into a disk, wrap it in the foil and chill for 1 to 2 hours

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place mini tart shell molds onto a baking sheet. Spray with a no-stick spray, set aside.

  3. Take out the chilled dough, cut it in half. Let if soften for 5 minutes. Roll it out between 2 sheets of parchment or use Dough EZ Mat. Roll it out using 1/8 inch rolling guides.

  4. Cut out as many rounds as you can. Gather scraps and re-roll. Shape the tarts as shown in the picture tutorial/video. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the shells. Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes until golden around the edges.

    TIP: My mini tart molds are about 3 inches across at the opening. And so I used 3.5 inch cutter to cut out my rounds.

  5. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before removing tarts from the molds. Turn the mold upside down and tap it firmly onto your work surface to release the shell.

  6. Let the tarts cool before adding a filling.

Recipe Notes


Wrap dough well in a food wrap and freeze in a ziploc bag for up to 3 months.


Absolutely. Freeze baked tarts in a container, not in a ziploc bag. As a matter of fact I always have some in the freezer. They saved many dinner parties. They defrost really quickly and can be filled fast with whipped cream, fruit, custard, ganache etc. 


I like using 3 egg yolks as it produces really tender dough. However you can get away using just 1 egg and 1 to 2 tsp milk.

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baked mini tart shells on a cooling rack

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  1. Thank you for sharing this well detailed recipe, instructions and guidelines Hani 😊.

    What do you think about using the tart shells to serve some yoghurt?

    1. Hi Kay,
      I’m not sure about yogurt, I’d be concerned tart would get soggy. What you could do is brush chocolate on the inside of the tart and that would create a moisture barrier.
      You could also add some gelatin to yogurt so it’s not too runny.

  2. These are perfect and I love that I don’t have to use pie beads or anything to them to keep them from puffing up in the oven. I need to try your tart shells with almond flour now. Thanks!

    1. Hi Krysta,

      so glad you like them. This cookie dough is one of my favorites,with all the egg yolks, it’s so tender and yummy.

  3. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe and tips on how to use my Tart cups! You made it so much easier for me. I made mini quiches and lime and chocolate Tarts for our Ladies’ Tea!

  4. Thank you so muchfor sharing your amazing recipe and complete instructions..I have been looking for a simple,delicious recipe for tart shells and you certainly provided one for me….Blessings

  5. Hello hani,
    A small doubt I need to clear before i attempt this recipe.

    1 cup of flour is 125g or 150g in this recipe?

    Thank you.

  6. Hi, I don’t have an experienced in baking but I will try your tarts recipes. What if I want to sell this ? And I’m using a fresh cashew nut as a filling .Do you have any recipes for me,for the filling please?Does it stays in a container for a long time?without in the Chiller? Can I pack it in a zip lock? To sell? I need your Help please.Thank you.

    1. Hi Hazel,
      baked tarts keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks at room temperature and in the fridge for up to 3-4 week. I don’t have a cashew filling on the blog right now maybe in the

  7. Can you please tell me what is the best way to defrost baked tart shells and how long does it take approximately? I am planning to make about 50 , bake and freeze them in advance and then fill them with custard

    1. Hello Caru,

      To defrost, I let the frozen tarts sit at room temperature for maybe 2 -3 hours or so.
      Please make sure to freeze them in a container rather than in a ziplog bag.
      Keep me posted how it goes. Thank you.

  8. Hi I came upon your recipe for tart and I can’t wait to try it. The question I have is how long can they stay baked at room temp without going bad/soft without having to freeze them. I need to make them 3 days ahead.

    1. Hi Doyna,

      Do you mean filled or unfilled? Unfilled they will keep for 10 days with no problems at room temperature. Store in an airtight container. If you live in a humid area I’d suggest to add a small bowl of raw rice into the container to help absorb excess moisture. When they are filled well it depends on the filling, if it’s uncooked and dairy or egg based I’d refrigerate.

  9. thanks a lot for the wonderful recipe, was just looking for something like a shell for my tarts – the big and little ones – and your recipe turn out so well. made them yesterday

  10. Maam I followed the recipe exactly, but i just couldn’t roll the dough while shaping the tarts, it was breaking. can you please help.

    1. Hi Titas,
      When shaping the tarts dough shouldn’t be too soft nor too hard when you are shaping the tarts. I find that when it’s either too hard or too soft it can break easier.

      1. perfect recipe, thanks a lot. when you roll it between two parchment sheets, it doesn’t break. l love the recipe, again

      2. Hi Hany,
        I’m from the Philippines. Just want to ask if I can use the crust for chicken ala king? 😊

      3. Hi Mary,

        I’m not sure if this recipe would work for chicken ala king. I’d try puff pastry instead.

    1. Hi Katrina,
      yes, you can freeze dough and baked tarts. When freezing baked unfilled tarts freeze them in a freezer safe container not ina ziploc bag. Thank you.

  11. hi! i was wondering if i dont mix in the vanilla extract with the yolk. does it make any difference? thank you

  12. Hi!
    When it’s the correct time to decorate the tart before the crust comes soft? Do we keep them in the fridge after filling them to preserve? How long they keep fresh? What we can do to avoid them from beign soft? By the way, this is the best description I ever saw about tarts. You have made a very good presentation. Thank you!

    1. Hi Marie,
      you can fill the tart after it cools. Where you store them depends on the filling used. If using dairy filling, or mousse or something of the sort I’d store it in the fridge, in an airtight container. You can brush them with a thin layer of melted chocolate to prevent them from going soft. Allow chocolate to harden and fill with the filling.

      1. Thanks Caru,
        It does help especially when making the tarts ahead of time, several days. Have a great day!

  13. Hi,
    I’ve been searching for a really good cookie dough tart shelll recipe and this one is amazing. Very delicate tasting and lovely texture. I filled half with coconut and half with lemon.Thank you, this is my go-to recipe for tart shells, and I will probably use it to make cookies as well.

    1. Hi Joan, that’s wonderful, I’m so glad you like it. I also use this recipe to make cookies, too. It’s so easy to work with. Thank you.

  14. Hi Hani,
    So i tried this recipe and it was superb, the taste and the look is soo good and my sisters took the recipe and also tried and gave a good feedback
    thank u

  15. I made these two weeks ago for a bridal shower just as the recipe said they turned out fabulous filled them with homemade lemon curd and lime curd, ganache and a cream cheese filling, topped them all with berries, they were such a huge hit and so very delicious, thank you so much for the recipe

  16. Hi Hani! I was inspired yesterday to do a tart as I wanted to make use of my tart moulds. I read many sources but it was your mini tart video which really pushed me forth to try tarts today. I did a savory tart recipe from another blog. But your tips of rolling out 1/8″ and using another mold to make indentation was very helpful and easy for me. I have a query. I have eaten a tart only once or twice during vacation. Is it supposed to have the texture of a shortbread biscuit? When baking the pre baked tart shells with sweet custard, does it just melt in the mouth along with the sweet custard? I know I have to try it out. Hoping to hear what you have got to say regarding the texture of sweet tarts. Thank you so much for sharing amazing recipes and resourceful tips for beginners.

    1. Hi Mary,
      Savory tart sounds delicious.
      Tart from my experience should be buttery and tender, with a shortbread like mouthfeel. Hope that makes sense.

  17. I made these using the pastry recipe included and I used the tip to use another mold to make the indenations on the inside also. Took longer to make doing the inside, but they looked fantastic for tea party my lemon tarts.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Hi Chelsea,
      I generally bake them fully and fill them with a filling that doesn’t need to be cooked. But I don’t see why you could’t bake them twice. However I’d cover the edges so they don’t get too brown.

    1. Hi Janel,
      I haven’t tried this recipe without eggs. You can try using a mix of chilled water/milk/coconut milk and little bit of vinegar, and I’d also use about 1/4 tsp baking powder.

    1. Do you mean like an apple pie? I haven’t tried it for regular pies. I’m not sure it would work. Are you looking for a specific recipe?

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