How to Make Beautiful Mini Tartlet Shells


~ Beautiful mini tartlet shells made with sweet French pastry crust ~


Oh you guys, I have so many awesome things planned to show you! I am going to do a whole series on mini desserts for dessert buffet tables. Decadent chocolate dipped cheesecake bites, beautiful, bite sized espresso brownies topped with silky smooth salted caramel Swiss buttercream, fancy chocolate dipped strawberries, dark chocolate dipped mini cream puffs filled with Grand Marnier infused Chantilly cream , huckleberry mousse shots… the list goes on!  Are you drooling yet?

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I am going to start with my signature mini tartlet shells. These are the base of a few of the recipe/tutorials I have planned including: lemon curd tartlets, salted bourbon caramel and dark chocolate tartlets, fresh berries and cream tartlets, bourbon pumpkin tartlets and apple spice tartlets. Yep, I will have recipes for all of those!


How to make mini tartlet shells


But to start I am going to show you how to make these darling and delicious mini sweet French pastry crust tartlet shells. I have developed a super cool method that makes these bite sized babies a cinch!

First you need to get yourself a set of cute tartlet molds.  There are tons of shapes and sizes to choose from but this is what I use ~ Fat Daddio’s Mini Tartlet Pan


how to make mini tartlet shells


 Let’s Get Started!

  You will need a batch of Sweet French Pastry Crust (see recipe at the bottom).  It’s super easy!

  Now comes one of my “tips & tricks” that I brainstormed one day.  I was working away making a ton of these little shells, pressing the dough into the mold with my fingers. And I had the thought that the shells would come out prettier if the inside of the shell was fluted like the outside is.  When you press the dough in with your fingers all you get is a smooth rounded cup on the inside and the shell itself is kind of thick and clunky.

Then I had the thought that the molds fit like a glove inside each other  so why not use another mold to press the dough in with. So I did.  And it got stuck. Well,  it just needs a little handle to pull it out then right?  So I scrounged around in my kitchen for something I could use for a handle and found a cork, perfect!  Hot glue that baby in and we are ready to rock and roll!

Make a custom tartlet mold press

So this is what you do ~ I prefer a champagne cork because (well mostly because I prefer champagne, ha!) it has a wider top








Now we are ready to bust out some cute little tartlet shells.


You want your dough to be fairly soft but not too soft.  Experiment and you will find the texture that works best for you.


If it’s too soft pop the dough back in the freezer for a minute. If it’s sticking to your fingers dip them in the flour


The first time you might want to rub a bit of butter or oil on the press so the flour sticks.


Keep the flutes lined up and don’t rock back and forth.  Press straight down. To pull it out, gently rock back and forth to loosen it while gently lifting


It will take a bit of practice to find how thick to make them which is controlled by how hard you press the mold press.  You want a fairly thin crust but not so thin that it’s fragile.  If it’s too thick you won’t have a lot of room for your delicious fillings and that is just a sin!


This keeps it from getting an air bubble when it’s baking


Egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with a teaspoon of water) gives it a somewhat moisture resistant coat so the filling doesn’t make it soggy, yay!

Put them on a sheet pan and pop them in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.  In the mean time pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Cool 5 minute and they will pop right out of the mold!

Look at that!!  All thin and sweet and crispy.  The perfect vessel to hold so many delicious delights!

  These will stay beautifully crispy and fresh in a sealed container for several weeks.  Or put them in a air tight container and pop that in a ziplock freezer bag. They last in the freezer for up to 6 months!  When I have a super busy month coming up and I know I will need a ton of tartlet shells,  I will sit down for a whole day and bust out 15 or 20 dozen and pop them in the freezer.  Such a time saver!


Next up I will be sharing some of the delicious things you can fill these little beauties with!  Oh the treats I have in store for you!  Stay Tuned!

~ Have a Sweet Day!!


Print Recipe
Sweet French Pastry Crust
Classic French pastry crust recipe for making buttery delicious tart shells
how to make mini tartlet shells
Course dessert
large crust (3 - 5 dozen mini crusts)
Course dessert
large crust (3 - 5 dozen mini crusts)
how to make mini tartlet shells
  1. In separate bowl combine flour and salt
  2. Place the butter in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, and beat until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy
  3. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating just until incorporated
  4. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix just until it forms a ball.
  5. Flatten the pastry into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes or just until firm (can place in freezer for about 10-15 minutes.)
  6. Lightly butter and flour, or spray with a non-stick vegetable/flour cooking spray, an 8 - 9 inch (20 - 23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. Evenly pat the chilled pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Or for mini tartlets form dough into molds and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes
  7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Lightly prick bottom of pastry crust with the tines of a fork (this will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes). Place tart pan on a larger baking pan and bake crust for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake the crust for about 15 minutes or until dry and lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before filling. Can be covered and stored for a few days. For mini tartlets - bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly golden brown.
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