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Bite-Size Cherry Tartlets

These cute mini cherry pies are made with canned pie filling, so you can enjoy them all year long!

Cherry desserts are always the perfect choice for 4th of July celebrations, Memorial Day, and Summer picnics. With a homemade shortbread cookie crust and sweet cherry pie filling, these bite-size cherry tartlets are simply irresistible!

Cherry Tartlets may be served at room temperature or chilled, as well as plain or with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Either way, you’ll have a hard time stopping at just one of these yummy dessert bites!

Looking for more cherry confections? You may enjoy my cherry cake with buttercream made with fresh cherries. Or, my super easy fresh cherry cobbler. I also have a sour cherry tart that is fantastic!

3 bite size cherry tarts on a patriotic napkin

Why you’re going to love it!

  • Easy to make. No cherries to pit!
  • Light and flavorful. Perfect for any occasion.
  • Serves a crowd. One batch makes 48 tartlets.

Cherry Tartlets {with canned pie filling}

Just in time for celebrating Independence Day, these easy cherry tarts come together quickly by using canned pie filling. If you are planning for a big group, double the tart crust recipe and make one batch using blueberry pie filling for a really patriotic dessert tray!

I used my mini muffin pans to bake this batch of 48 tasty tart shells. The tart shells aren’t flaky like a pie crust. Instead, the crust is just slightly sweet and tastes like a shortbread cookie. Not too sweet and bite-size — sounds just about perfect to me!

Key ingredients and substitutions

  • Canned cherry pie filling — or make your own
  • All-purpose flour — Although the filling is pre-made, the tart dough is made from scratch. If you’re pressed for time, substitute a package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough and skip mixing up the dough.
  • Confectioner’s sugar — Gives these tart shells just the right amount of sweetness and a lovely texture.
  • Butter — Although you normally use cold butter in pie crust recipes, here we use unsalted butter at room temperature.

Special equipment needed

tip

  • Baking in aluminum tart molds — Place the cut-out tart dough inside a mold and nest another mold on top to gently press it in place. Remove the second mold, prick the dough, then bake (in the bottom mold) on a cookie sheet.

How to make miniature tart shells

STEP 1 | Make the dough

  • The dough will need to chill for an hour, so you’ll want to plan ahead.
  • Use room temperature butter and cream together with confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, and all-purpose flour and mix just until the dough comes together.

tips

  • To soften the butter quickly, fill a glass with hot water and let it stand for one minute. Empty the water and dry the glass, then invert it over the stick of butter. It will soften to room temperature in a couple of minutes.
  • You may substitute a package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough for the homemade tart dough. Flatten or roll out the packaged cookie dough on a lightly floured surface and follow the rest of the instructions to shape the tart shells.

pressing tart dough into mini muffin tins with a wooden shaper.

STEP 2 | Shape and bake

  • Roll the chilled dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use a round cookie cutter that is slightly larger than the size of the muffin cups to cut out the dough.
  • Gently press the cut out dough into each muffin cup with your fingers (or with a mini tart shaper), then prick the bottom of the shells with a fork.
  • Bake the shells until slightly golden around the edges. Shortbread doesn’t brown like pie crust, so the shells will be a pale color.
filling a miniature tart shell with canned cherry pie filling

STEP 3 | Fill the tarts

  • Cool the baked shells completely, then fill each with a teaspoon of canned cherry pie filling.
  • Serve plain or with a dollop of whipped cream.

Frequently asked questions

Can you freeze baked tart shells?

Baked tart shells can be frozen as long as they are unfilled. They thaw quickly and make cute last minute treats. It’s best to freeze them in a container instead of plastic bags to avoid them getting crushed.

How long do cherry tarts last?

After filling the tarts, they will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

bite size cherry tarts on a cooling rack

More easy tart filling ideas

  • Canned pie filling, like cherry, blueberry or lemon
  • Chocolate ganache
  • Pudding, any flavor
  • Lemon curd
  • Fresh fruit or berries topped with whipped cream
3 bite size cherry tarts on a patriotic napkin

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Yield: 48 mini tartlets

Bite-Size Cherry Tartlets

3 bite size cherry tarts on a patriotic napkin

Bite-Size Cherry Tarts with a homemade cookie crust and sweet cherry pie filling are simply irresistible.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 54 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 21-oz. can cherry pie filling

Instructions

Make the Dough

  1. In a medium-size bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour with a pinch of salt.
  2. Place the butter and confectioner’s sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low speed until the mixture is well combined and smooth.
  3. Break the egg into a small cup and add the vanilla extract, beating it together with a fork. Pour the egg mixture into the creamed butter.
  4. Continue mixing on low speed until incorporated, scraping down the sides a couple of times. Gradually add the flour and mix just until the dough starts to come together — do not over mix.
  5. Dump the dough into a gallon-size ziplock bag and seal. Press the dough in the bag to form a disc. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Bake the Tart Shells

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the cups of mini muffin pans with cooking spray.
  2. Remove the tart dough from the refrigerator and divide it into thirds. Roll out one third at a time (refrigerate the rest until ready to use) on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/8 inch.
  3. Use a round cutter to cut the dough into rounds and gently press one into each of the muffin cups. Repeat with the remaining dough until all the dough has been used.
  4. Prick the bottom of each tart shell with a fork a couple of times. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until slightly golden.
  5. Remove the tart shells from the pans and cool completely.
  6. When cool, fill each shell with a teaspoon of cherry pie filling. Store covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Notes

Tart shell recipe adapted from Hanielas

Baked tart shells may be frozen (unfilled) for up to 3 months.

After filling the tarts, they will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

48

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 52Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 7mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

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sheila thigpen in her kitchen

Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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Joan

Friday 22nd of January 2021

What size cookie cutter did you use for your mini tart shells? Thank You.

Sheila Thigpen

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

Hi, Joan. I used a 2 1/4-inch cookie cutter for my tart shells and found it worked perfectly for the mini muffin pan.

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