Three Ingredient Mini Tart Shells

Three ingredient mini tarts recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 24 tart shells
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1125 Calories
13g Fat
217g Carbs
30g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 1125
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 29mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 217g 79%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 13mg 73%
Potassium 315mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Make your own mini tart shells, or tartlets, with this recipe. It's not hard to do—it just takes a little planning and chilling. The recipe is similar to a pie crust recipe, which typically uses butter and shortening, but it's less flaky—you want it to be able to stand up to myriad fillings. In this recipe, the combination of unsalted butter and cream cheese makes this dough tender but with a slight tang.

Once you've made the shells, there's a wide variety of things you can do with them. They're great filled with nut-based treats such as pecan pie filling to make pecan tassies. Once they're baked, you can fill them with fresh fruit or prepared ingredients that require very little baking, or none at all. Imagine them filled with mixed summer berries tossed with a little lemon juice and cornstarch, and popping them in the oven for a quick bake. Or fill them with a freshly made lemon curd to make miniature lemon pies. Try them with this fruit tart recipe with pastry cream or with passion fruit, or go completely savory with a caramelized garlic tart.


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 3 ounces cream cheese

  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

     ingredients for Mini Tart Shells
    The Spruce
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese.

    Mixing butter and cream cheese
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  3. Gradually add flour until well mixed.

    Mixing flour with butter and cream cheese
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  4. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

    Wrapped ball of tart dough
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  5. Remove from fridge. Roll into 2-inch balls and place in 24-cup miniature muffin tin.

    Small balls of dough
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  6. Preheat oven to 350 F or 325 F for a dark pan.

    Muffin tin containing balls of tart dough
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  7. Use fingers to smash balls into tart shell shape. Fill shells with approximately 2 cups of filling, as desired. Depending on filling, the filled shells are baked from 15 to 25 minutes.

    Smashing balls of dough into tart shape
    The Spruce
  8. Unfilled shells can be baked for 5 to 10 minutes.

    Baked mini tarts
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How to Store and Freeze Mini Tart Shells

  • Mini baked tart shells can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • Place baked shells in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container—being careful not to break any. They can be frozen for up to three months. This application works best if you are going to fill them at a later date with something that does not need to be baked, such as a curd or a pastry cream.


If you'd like, you can use this recipe for regular muffin/cupcake-sized tarts. Just be aware that they will take a few minutes longer to bake, and the yield will go down.