Pretty little coconut tarts 🥥 made from a crisp pastry case, cradling a sweet strawberry jam base 🍓 hiding under a coconut cake topping and topped off with a cherry 🍒
I have realised that I find it almost impossible to bake anything that is quite plain and thus, quite frankly, boring. I first made these coconut tarts without the jam filling and the cherry on top. Nice, but dull 👎.
Cut to a few days later... Lo and behold these coconut and strawberry jam tarts have come flouncing onto the scene and they've totally overshadowed their predecessors! They are Adorable! 👍
And now my only problem is I can't stop eating them!
The tarts are made in individual tart cases which gives them a very cute flower like appearance.
I do hope you give them a go, and please do rate the recipe and drop me a comment if you can! Thanks in advance if you do 👍
Have you seen my Easy Cherry Bakewell Blondies?
Another fun recipe to try!
Why make these Coconut Tarts?
Encased in a gorgeous sweet pastry ✔️
Hiding a sweet layer of strawberry jam ✔️
A cakey coconut topping ✔️
Topped off with a cherry ✔️
A flower-like look that is super cute and pretty ✔️
Coconut tart pastry
Plain flour: we use plain flour for our pastry so that it does not rise when baked.
Salt: salt is added to the pastry to give it flavour. Salt also strengthens gluten and therefore adds strength to the pastry dough.
Unsalted butter: our butter needs to be straight from the fridge. This produces a lovely crisp pastry. Grating the butter ensures that it easily combines with the flour with minimum mixing.
Icing sugar (powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar): we're making a sweet pastry for these easy Coconut Tarts, therefore we're using icing sugar. As icing sugar is more refined than caster sugar and contains some cornflour (cornstarch) it gives the pastry a biscuit-like consistency.
Milk: we add milk to our sweet pastry to transform it into a pliable dough; it also adds flavour and helps our pastry to brown.
Egg: the big boy of all things baked is the mighty egg. We are after the bonding effect of just one egg yolk in these coconut tarts.
Coconut tart filling
Unsalted butter: we don't need much butter in these coconut tarts, just enough to add some flavour, which helps with the leavening process and adds some moisture.
Caster sugar: is best used in baking because it dissolves easier than granulated sugar and gives a light texture to cakes. If you only have granulated sugar you can grind it down in a food processor or coffee bean grinder.
Eggs: we add two eggs which help provide structure. They're beaten first so that the added air helps the coconut tarts to rise.
Milk: quite a lot is required for the soft texture we are after.
Vanilla extract: added for some additional flavour.
Plain flour: flour adds texture and structure to our coconut tart cakes.
Baking powder: to ensure the coconut cake topping rises. Remember to use a measuring spoon and ensure you only add a level teaspoon.
Cornflour (cornstarch): helps create a crumbly texture.
Salt: just a little to help bring out the flavour.
Desiccated coconut: we need to add lots of coconut! Desiccated coconut is dried therefore soaks up all of the eggy cake batter.
Glace cherries: because they look pretty! You can use real cherries, stoned and cut in half if you prefer.
See end of post RECIPE CARD for precise quantities and instructions.
Coconut tart sweet pastry
- Add your flour, salt and icing sugar to your food processor and give it a whirl to mix it all together (or mix by hand).
- Then, add your grated butter evenly over the flour mixture. Mix on pulse mode for about 15 pulses. The mixture should resemble fine breadcrumbs when ready (or rub the butter in by hand).
- Next, add in your egg, vanilla extract and milk. Pulse for about 10 pulses this time. When ready the mixture will just be starting to form some larger and smaller clumps.
- Tip your dough mixture out onto a lightly floured worksurface and bring together with your hands, with just 2-3 quick kneads, so that it forms a ball.
- Flatten your dough until it is about 1 inch thick and then cover in clingfilm. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Coconut tart filling
- Prepare your coconut filling whilst your dough settles in your fridge.
- Heat your oven and place your baking tray in so that it gets nice and hot.
- Beat together your butter and sugar until it forms a soft paste.
- Add your beaten eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Beat together until smooth and you can see a few air bubbles on the top.
- Fold in your desiccated coconut until completely mixed in.
- Heat your oven and grease your tart tins.
- Divide your pastry into 20 balls all weighing 24 grams each.
- Pop one in each of your tart tins. Then press the dough ball down with your thumb so that it presses across the base and slightly up the sides of the tart tin. Continue to press the dough further up the sides of your tart tin moving around the tin in a circular motion with your thumb. Once you have pressed the dough so that it reaches very slightly above the edge of the tart tin stop and level off the pastry so that you have a nice clean edge to your tart.
- Pop your tarts back into your fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
- Add in ¾ of a teaspoon of jam to each tart and spread it out a little so it evenly covers the tart base.
- Place a heaped teaspoon of your prepared coconut mixture into each tart.
- Top with ½ a cherry, cut side facing down.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes on your pre-heated baking tray until browned all over.
- Note: You can use this pastry recipe as a base for any sweet pastry you want to make. Just add whatever flavourings you fancy such as lemon zest and juice (replace some of the milk) for a lemon pastry.
- Don't over mix the pastry, it is ready as soon as it starts to become a bit clumpy. Because it is a moist, soft pastry it will easily stick together with just 2-3 kneads to coax it.
- Don't worry about the dough looking perfect when you press it into the tart tin. It will mould to the tin fine whilst it bakes.
- If, like me, you only have 12 tart tins so need to use them for the second round of cakes, cool them in some cold water before using again.
Raspberry jam and a fresh raspberry works well in place of the strawberry jam and cherry.
If you want to you can omit the jam entirely, or use a completely different flavour.
If you don't want to use desiccated coconut you can replace it with ground nuts, such as ground almonds.
These Coconut tarts easily keep for 3-5 days in an airtight container.
You can freeze these coconut tarts, but they should be consumed within a month.
Did you try this recipe? Please do leave a ⭐ rating in the Recipe Card at the end of this post if you can. Thank you.
Can I use shredded coconut rather than dessicated coconut?
Why does the dough need to be refrigerated?
You may also like to try my:
- Pastry brush
- 20 tart cases (2.55 inches in diameter)
- Hand mixer
- Large mixing bowl
- 225 g plain flour (US = 1.6 cups or 1 cup and 10.5 tablespoon)
- ¼ teaspoon large pinch of salt
- 80 g icing sugar (US = 0.7 cups or 10½ tablespoon)
- 115 g unsalted butter grated (US = ½ cup or 1 stick)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoon milk
- 30 g unsalted butter (plus a little extra for greasing) softened (US = 2 tablespoon)
- 65 g caster sugar (US = ⅓ cup)
- 2 large eggs at room temperature and beaten
- 60 ml milk (US = 4 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 60 g plain flour (US = ¼ cup or 6½ tablespoon)
- pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 100 g desiccated coconut (US = 1 cup)
- 135 g seedless strawberry jam (US = ¼ cup or 6½ tablespoon)
- 10 glace cherries cut into halves
Coconut tart pastry
- Add your flour, salt and icing sugar to your food processor and give it a whizz to combine evenly. Or you can mix it together in a large bowl.
- Dot over your grated butter and pulse for about 15 pulses until the mixture becomes sand like. Or rub in by hand.
- Add your egg yolk, vanilla extract and milk and pulse for about 10 pulses (lasting a second each) by which time the mixture should be starting to form some clumpy boulders of various sizes.
- Lightly flour your worksurface and tip your pastry mixture out.
- Bring the pastry gently together into a ball, knead literally just a 2-3 times to achieve this.
- Flatten the dough to a depth of about 1 inch, wrap in cling film (saran wrap) and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Whilst your dough is in your fridge make your coconut topping.
Coconut tart filling
- Heat your oven to 180°C/160°F/355°F/Gas mark 4.
- Place a large baking tray into your oven to heat.
- Using your pastry brush, grease your tart cases with butter, making sure you get into all of the crevices.
- Beat together your softened butter and caster sugar until it becomes a soft, spreadable paste and is a little lighter in colour. I tend to do this by hand using the spatula as there is so little to mix.
- Add your beaten eggs, milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and you can see a few air bubbles on the top.
- Sift in your flour, salt, baking powder and cornflour.
- Beat again until fully combined.
- Fold in your desiccated coconut until evenly mixed together.
Putting it all together
- Divide your pastry dough up into 20 balls of 24 grams.
- Pop a dough ball into each tart case and press it down with your thumb. Then starting from the base begin to press the dough up the sides of the tart case. Moving around in circles so that the dough is kept at the same level and thickness. Try to press the dough very slightly above the edge of the tart case and then wipe it away, so that you have an even and smooth finish.
- Pop the tarts back into your refrigerator to set for 10 minutes, as the pastry will have become warm during the moulding process.
- Take ¾teaspoon of jam and add it to each tart.
- Take a heaped teaspoon of coconut filling and place on top of the jam base.
- Add half of a cherry to each tart, but do not press it into the topping otherwise it will sink.
- Place the tarts onto you pre-heated baking tray.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top of the coconut tarts and the pastry case edges are nicely browned.