Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts: Easy and delicious, these sugar cookie tarts are fun, fresh, and perfect for summer! Plus they have an easy secret ingredient that enhances their depth of flavor!
One of the cutest beach towns I’ve ever been to is Coronado in San Diego. Across the Coronado Bay Bridge is this quaint beach community that has one of the most beautiful hotels, the Hotel Del. The hotel is situated right along the beach and has an outdoor cafe and restaurant that is open to the public. When I was a kid and we would go down to visit this coastal city, I always imagined what it would be like to stay in a hotel as grand as that one. And while I never have stayed there, I still love going to visit and sitting outside of the cafe relaxing by the ocean.
One of my fondest memories is sitting outside of the hotel and sharing one of the most delicious fruit tarts I have ever had with my parents. It was the first time I’d ever had a fruit tart, and I was drawn to it because of the perfect looking fruit atop. I was somewhere around eight or nine, but I still remember the taste of that fruit tart. Ever since, I have been a tart fanatic.
So, today, in honor of my tart love, I bring you sugar cookie fruit tarts. Non-traditional yet amazing, these tarts will knock your socks off. Unlike my healthier tart recipe, these are pure sugary goodness.
A fruit tart is composed of three parts: the crust, the custard, and the fruit. And I can’t really tell you which component is my favorite. But, I really do like crust, which is actually what inspired this tart-baking day. After making my lemon sugar cookies, I realized that sugar cookie dough as a crust would be so good.
And, I was in the mood for a dessert I could whip up at a moment’s notice–hence sugar cookie fruit tarts. Instead of a traditional custard, I opted for instant vanilla pudding (I use this all of the time! Even in cookie recipes and cream pies!), which is a perfect custard substitute when you’re in a hurry. Mix in some fresh whipped cream or frozen whipped topping, and you’ve got a light, airy instant custard.
I made mini tarts from tart pans from Pampered Chef. I was at a Pampered Chef party with my mom, and they were just so cute. I didn’t order them, but they wound up under the Christmas tree a few months later–my mom knows me too well! Of course, you can make one large tart or make teeny ones in muffin cups, but these mini tarts are too cute! And for me, the perfect sized dessert!
Now, the secret ingredient I mentioned earlier is lemon–just a little. Why is that a secret ingredient? Because it adds a summer freshness to the dessert without overwhelming it. You can’t even taste the lemon, yet it brings a richness to the dessert that is incredible.
And, as I’ve stressed, this is so easy to make! I know, I probably sound like a broken record, but besides the yummy taste and pretty looking fruit, this is one of the tart’s main selling points. The sugar cookie dough is quick and easy to put together, and while it must be rolled out if making cookies, here you can just press the dough into the tart pan. The dough will expand, so press 1/4″ inch of dough into the pans.
Use baking beans and parchment paper to add weight to the dough to keep it from expanding too much. Bake the cookie dough at 350 for a 8-10 minutes, or until done.
While the dough is cooking, take the instant pudding mix, milk, and a just a squeeze of lemon and mix together for about 5 minutes.
In a mixer, whip heavy whipping cream until the cream forms soft peaks. Gently fold the cream into pudding. When cookie shells have cooled, pop them out of their tray, and fill with pudding. Top with any kind of fruit, and enjoy!
See, I told you that was ridiculously simple. 😉
- 1/4 c butter, softened
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 c almond milk (you can use regular milk as well)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 3/4 c flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3.4 oz box of Vanilla instant pudding
- 2 c milk
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Any kind in season
- Baking Beans
- Parchment Paper
- Preheat oven to 350.
- By hand, using a standing mixer, or a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fully combined. Add in lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, egg, vanilla, and almond. Stir.
- In a separate bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix dry ingredients into wet.
- Gradually, add more flour (about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup) until dough feels manageable and not sticky.
- Lightly grease 8 mini tart tins, press cookie dough in tart pans, about 1/4" thick. Place parchment paper ontop of dough and then place baking beans atop each tart pan. The added weight will ensure the dough will not rise too much.
- Bake for about 8-10 or until done.
- Follow boxed instructions, or whisk instant pudding mix into 2 cups of milk. Whisk about 5 minutes. Add in the lemon juice, and give it a quick whisk.
- Pour heavy cream into a bowl, and with a hand mixer or a standing mixer, whip the cream until it reaches soft peaks, about 5-8 minutes.
- Gently fold cream into the pudding mix. Because the tart is already sweet enough, there is no need to add any sugar to the cream mixture.
- When the cookies are cooled, pull out of tart pans. Spoon in pudding mixture, about a 1/4 cup in each tart shell. Top with sliced fruit.
Here are some other sugar cookie recipes I love: