Mini Bakewell Tarts

My first memory of a Bakewell tart was, as a child. They would appear on Sunday tea time in a box from Mr Kipling. They reminded me of a clown’s face consisting of just the nose. Buttery pastry case, filled with something sweet and topped with pure white icing, centred with a single glace cherry.

I later learnt that a regular Bakewell tart, associated with the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire in the 1860s is a little more restrained and certainly less sweet.

Its roots are firmly planted in English history, This sweet treat with a strong almond flavour became a popular tea-time, high tea delicacy. It consists of a shortcrust pastry shell spread with jam and then topped with a layer of delicious frangipane finished with flaked almonds and glace cherries. Purists would say it should be left unadorned except for a light scattering of toasted flaked almonds. I have made a few interpretations over the years, almost all, well-received

With its crisp, short and buttery pastry case the perfect edible receptacle to hold the soft gooey frangipane.

  • Sweet
  • Almondy
  • Delicious
  • Crisp
  • Gooey

A dessert my family love but I am not keen on.

I had a few attempts at making this tar, I first used aquafaba but I wanted something with more body. I had made some vegan condensed milk for a recipe and had some left so I thought I would try it along with some soya cream. I was very happy with the results.

Another idea that worked was using Cracked vegan egg liquid, just replacing the vegan condensed milk with equal measures of that.

I made this one both vegan and gluten-free. Not one person noticed or missed the eggs. It was polished off with relish.

Tips and FAQ’s

  • If you using a flax egg then you need to mix 1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds mix 3 tbsp of warm water. Mix and leave to thicken and then use.
  • If you are coeliac or intolerant then please make sure that your ingredients are gluten-free, such as ground almonds.
  • Can I freeze my Bakewell tarts? The answer is yes. I would suggest that you freeze them before you decorate them.
  • I suggest you get the tarts in the oven once they are filled. the raising agents start to work once combined. 
  • To store them then I suggest you use an airtight container, they will keep well for up to 5 days.

What you need

Cherry Jam

Use a cherry conserve or jam, shop bought or homemade. These are equally good with raspberry jam.

Glace cherries

I know these sticky blighters may seem a bit 1970 but in my mind, they have their uses. I cannot use them without popping a couple in my mouth. I now use natural glace cherries, If you are coeliac then please check the labels as some are not gluten-free.

Flaked almonds

These you can buy ready toasted. If not just buy the untoasted and a few minutes in a pan will lightly toast them.

Shortcrust pastry

The recipe I have listed is the one I use all the time. Unlike wheat-flour pastry which you chill before using, gluten-free pastry just needs a little rest. Chilled, gluten-free pastry is unworkable and breaks and splits.

Vegan condensed milk

Now there are quite a few brands of condensed milk available now. Me I prefer the Carnation brand.

Plain dairy-free yoghurt

For this recipe use an unsweetened plain dairy-free yoghurt, if you do not have a soya allergy then I would suggest that would be a good option because of its higher protein content. Any other vegan plain yoghurt will do the same job.

Dairy-free single cream

Either use an oat or soya-based single cream. They are such good quality.

Ground almonds

Almond extract

Mini Bakewell Tarts

  • Preparation 30 Minutes
  • Baking Time 25 Minutes
  • Makes 12

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free

Ingredients for the pastry

  • The frangipane

  • Icing

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c
  1. For the pastry place the flour, ground almonds and dairy-free butter in a large bowl. Rub together gently until it resembles breadcrumbs, you could also use a pastry cutter.
  2. Add the water a little at a time and with your hands bring it together until it forms a ball. This can also be done in a food processor.
  3. Roll out on a floured board to slightly larger than a tart tin and then lift carefully into the tin. Press in around the sides and then gently prick the bottom with a fork, not right through the pastry.
  4. Cover the pastry with a sheet of baking parchment and fill it with baking beans.
  5. Place into the oven for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes before removing onto a cooling rack.
  6. Once fully cooled you can then decorate with glace cherries and toasted flaked almonds.


 If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page I love seeing your versions of the recipes. I would love to hear your comments too.

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