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Bite-Size Cherry Tarts {with Canned Pie Filling}

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Bite-Size Cherry Tarts with a homemade cookie crust and sweet cherry pie filling are simply irresistible. Cherry desserts are always a good choice for July 4th, Memorial Day, or any Summer picnic, but since these little tarts are made with canned cherry pie filling, you can enjoy them all year long!

Bite-Size Cherry Tarts can be served at room temperature or chilled, as well as plain or with a drop of whipped cream. Either way, you’ll have a hard time stopping at just one of these little dessert bites!

3 bite size cherry tarts on a patriotic napkin

Bite-Size Cherry Tarts {with Canned Pie Filling}

Just in time for celebrating Independence Day, these little cherry tarts are really pretty easy to make. We won’t be throwing a big party this year, but I still wanted to try something festive. Everyone needs cheering up now and then, right?

I used a mini muffin pans to bake a batch of 48 tasty tart shells. These don’t bake up flaky like pie crust, so don’t expect them to taste like cherry pie. Instead, this crust is slightly sweet and tastes almost like a shortbread cookie.

Not too sweet and bite-size — sounds just about perfect to me!

preparing miniature tart shells in a muffin tin

How to make miniature tart shells

There are two options for making your own tart shells at home, individual fluted aluminum tart pans or miniature muffin pans.

I made my tart shells in miniature muffin pans because I wanted bite-size tarts. You could also make the shells in a regular size muffin pan for larger tarts. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Make the dough. Cream together butter and confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, and flour until a dough forms. Dump the dough into a gallon-size ziplock bag and press together to form a disc. Chill the dough or at least 1 hour.
  2. Shape the tart shells. Working with a third at a time, roll the chilled dough to 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.
  3. Bake and fill. Bake the shells at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes or until slightly golden. Cool completely, then fill with a teaspoon of canned cherry pie filling.
pressing tart dough into a muffin tin

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.

filling a miniature tart shell with canned cherry pie filling

More easy tart fillings

  • Canned pie filling, like cherry, blueberry or lemon
  • Chocolate ganache
  • Pudding, any flavor
  • Lemon curd
  • Fresh fruit or berries topped with whipped cream

Recipes ideas for July 4th celebrations

bite size cherry tarts on a cooling rack

To make this recipe, you may need…

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If you entertain often, a non-stick miniature muffin pan will come in handy for making cute little desserts like today’s bite-size cherry tarts, my Buckeye Brownie Bites (YUM!), and other tasty muffins and treats.

I also used my Pampered Chef Mini Tart Shaper to press the dough into the muffin cups. If you want perfectly formed fluted tart shapes, try these aluminum tart molds.

Place the cut-out tart dough inside a mold and then 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.

What else is new? Check out my Life, Love, and Good Food Store on Amazon! Thanks so much for being a part of our community!

3 bite size cherry tarts on a patriotic napkin

Let’s bake some tarts!

If you’re pressed for time, here’s a shortcut — substitute a package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough for the homemade tart dough in this recipe. Flatten or roll out the packaged cookie dough on a lightly floured surface and follow the rest of the instructions to make tart shells.

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Yield: 48 mini tarts

Bite-Size Cherry Tarts

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


  • 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


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.


Tart shell recipe adapted from Hanielas

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

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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

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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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