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Mini Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Recipe for an easy but stunning and festive dessert: Chocolate Cranberry Tarts are made even more stunning when topped with sugared cranberries.

I don't want to cause any hard feelings, but can we all agree that some desserts are just more festive than others?

I mean, no one loves an oatmeal raisin cookie more than I do; but if I want to bring a festive dessert, I'll probably leave the oatmeal raisin cookies at home. Oatmeal raisins just say  “Let's get our flannel PJs on and stay home and watch Hallmark movies in front of the fire”.  And 9.7 nights out of 10, I am firmly on team Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

But everyone once in a while you need a little festive action and these little Chocolate Cranberry Tarts… now these little sweeties say ‘festive' to me.Mini Chocolate Cranberry Tarts with Whipped Cream and Sugared Cranberries

They say, “I am here to celebrate whatever you are celebrating! I have my sparkly jewelry on and my dancing shoes and I'm ready for fun and festivities!” and “You will be so surprised how easy I am to make” and “You'll also be pleased to know that most of my parts can be made ahead of time and assembled at the last minute!” Overhead shot of mini Chocolate Cranberry Tarts

Well, it would say all that but you will most likely have popped it in your mouth right after “I am here to celebr…..”

So yes, not only are these Chocolate Cranberry Tarts festive, but they ARE easy to make AND you can make several of the parts ahead of time and assemble at the last minute.

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I used my tart pan to make a bunch of tarts and then stored them for a good 5 days. I did use dried beans as pie weights so that the dough didn't puff up.Williams Sonoma Mini Tart pan makes preparing the mini Chocolate Cranberry Tarts so very easy

I also made the Cranberry Curd several days ago and stored it in the refrigerator. On a related note, is there any other word in the English language that we can substitute for ‘curd'? I mean, for something so tasty, it should have a much better name…something like…”sublime cranberry custard'…just saying. I actually considered calling this custard instead of curd, but upon further research realized that a custard is less fruity than a curd…so this really is a curd…sadly.

Make the Chocolate Tarts and Cranberry Curd ahead of time

I assembled these delightfully festive treats by dolloping a bit of curd in the tart shells, baking the tarts for 10-15 minutes and then topping them with stabilized whipped cream once the Chocolate Cranberry tarts were cool.  I used my 1A large piping tip for the whipped cream dollop. And as much as I dislike ‘curd', I do enjoy ‘dollop'! What a fun word to say…'dollop, dollop, dollop!'

The stabilized whipped cream can easily be made earlier in the day or the day before and stored in the fridge. Piping Stabilized Whipped Cream

And then…I topped them with the sugared cranberries.

Oh my!  Now these are tasty little treats.

While I made the sugared cranberries to garnish these tarts, I found myself snacking on them just as is. They are the original ‘sweet tart'. Prepare these easy to make sweeties earlier in the day and store them at room temperature.  Easy to make Sugared Cranberries

Chocolate Cranberry Curd Tart with Sugared Cranberries

Chocolate Cranberry Curd Tart with Sugared Cranberries

Yield: 2 -3 dozen depending on tart size
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Festive tarts with a chocolate tart, cranberry curd, whipped cream and sugared cranberries.


Chocolate Tart Dough

  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup cold butter (2 sticks), cut into small pieces
  • 2 egg, beaten

Cranberry Curd

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

Sugared Cranberries

  • 1 cup cranberries or as many cranberries as you have tarts
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar or put your granulated sugar in your food processor a let it whirl for a minute or two.

Stabilized Whipped Cream

  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 4 tsp water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


Chocolate Tart

  1. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt into the bowl of food processor and pulse to mix.
  2. Add the butter all at once and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with just a few larger pieces
  3. Add egg and pulse until dough holds together when pinched
  4. Divide dough into two discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350'
  6. Once fully chilled, take one disc out of the refrigerator and let sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes.  Very lightly flour counter or silicone mat and roll dough out to slightly less than 1/4".  I use my pastry mat on the bottom and my silicone mat on the top and bottom, eliminating the need for too much flour.
  7. Cut out and fit into mini tart pan and return to refrigerator for 30 minutes.  
  8. Gather scraps together and re-chill for 20 minutes to repeat the process.
  9. Add baking beans, rice or pie weights to each tart and bake at 350' for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Let cool on wire racks. Once cool, store in air tight container until ready to be filled.

Cranberry Curd

  1. Place the cranberries and water in a medium-sized sauce pot over medium-high heat and stir. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until all the cranberries have popped and become mushy, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Pour the cranberries into a food mill or fine-meshed strainer set over a medium-sized mixing bowl and press the cranberry puree through using a spatula. Discard the skins.
  3. Allow the puree to cool to room temperature.
  4. Add the sugar, eggs and yolks, lemon juice and salt to the puree and stir thoroughly until the mixture is even.
  5. Return the mixture to the saucepan and set the burner to medium. Stir the curd continuously, making sure to scrape the bottom and side of the pan. Cook until the curd starts to thicken, coats the back of a spoon, and registers about 150°, give or take, on an instant-read thermometer. This should take 10-12 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter all at once. Stir until the butter has completely melted
  7. The curd can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to be used.

Sugared Cranberries

  1. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes
  2. Reduce heat to medium low, add cranberries and swirl pan for 1 minute over the heat. Don't increase heat or your cranberries will pop.
  3. Remove from heat and using a slotted spoon place your cranberries over a rack over a cookie sheet.  Let sit for 1 hour
  4. If you are using regular granulated sugar, then run your sugar through your food processor for a minute or two to make it superfine-ish.
  5. Gently toss the cranberries in the sugar and let sit to dry for another hour.
  6. These cranberries will only keep for a day before they start oozing their juices, so make them right before you will be serving them.

Stabilized Whipped Cream

  1. Place cold water in small microwaveable bowl, sprinkle gelatin over it and let it sit for 5 minutes while you continue with the next step
  2. Add heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment
  3. Once gelatin is set, place the gelatin bowl in microwave and heat until gelatin turns to liquid, about  7-10 seconds.
  4. Turn on mixer and let it run for about 1 minute on medium. Turn the mixer on high and very slowly pour in the melted gelatin in a thin but steady stream.
  5. Continue beating cream until you reach medium-stiff peaks. Spread or pipe whipped cream as desired.

Construct Tarts

  1. Tart shells and curds can be made days ahead, but tarts should be assembled shortly before serving.
  2. Preheat oven to 350'
  3. Put small dollops of curd into each tart shell
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes
  5. Let cool over rack until fully cooled.
  6. Pipe or dollop a wee bit of whipped cream
  7. Place a sugared cranberry and a mint leaf on each tart.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 97mg Sodium: 81mg Carbohydrates: 30g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 19g Protein: 4g

They are small enough for one big bite, if you aren't worried about being dainty. While each of these elements is delicious on its on, this is a great example of  Aristotle's wise observation that “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

I'll be making more of these Chocolate Cranberry Tarts for my upcoming gathering this week. Delicious Mini Chocolate Cranberry Tarts with Sugared Cranberries

If you think you'd like to save this recipe Chocolate Cranberry Tarts for a future baking day, then bookmark this page or pin the following image for your future reference.Looking for a recipe for festive sweet treat to take to your next holiday party? These mini Chocolate Cranberry Tarts are so festive, yet easy to make with parts that can be made ahead of time. Fruity Cranberry Curd, Crisp Chocolate Tart, Stabilized Whipped Cream and Sugared Cranberries make a delicious, holiday-inspired dessert. Christmas

And for more Christmas Cookie Recipes and Sweet Treats:

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Until next time…









  1. Patti

    December 4, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Hi Lynn,

    These reminded me of some beautiful and delicious mini fruit tarts my mother used to make. I was thinking of making them for the holidays, but haven’t got around it them yet. Now that I see these (total chocoholic here) I definitely have to try them. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration.

    • lynn

      December 5, 2017 at 7:00 am

      Oh Patti, I do hope you enjoy them as much as we did. They are so easy to make and taste so very yummy.

      Thanks for stopping by to visit my friend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  2. Carole West

    December 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Lynn these are beautiful and I could take a plate of these and watch Christmas Hallmark movies any day… Awesome inspiration for stepping out and making something beautiful that I bet taste fantastic… I may have to venture out and try this.

    • lynn

      December 5, 2017 at 6:59 am

      Carole, no one said we couldn’t eat both Oatmeal Raisin cookies AND Chocolate Cranberry Tarts while watching Hallmark movies! Right? Tell me what time to come over!

  3. Carolann

    December 5, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Lynn, love your instructions! These tarts look so delicious! I’d love to make them this year. I just love cranberries and they look so pretty too!

    • lynn

      December 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks Carolann…I am getting ready to whip up another batch for a party tomorrow night.

  4. Trish

    December 15, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Scrumptious looking! Is there anything you can’t do? I’m a big fan. 🙂

  5. heather

    September 6, 2018 at 4:52 am

    Coalescence was suggested as a synonym for curd – cranberry coalescence?

    coalesce [koh-uh-les]
    verb (used without object), co·a·lesced, co·a·lesc·ing.
    to grow together or into one body: (The two lakes coalesced into one.)
    to unite so as to form one mass, community, etc.: (The various groups coalesced into a crowd.)
    to blend or come together:

    • lynn

      September 6, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Hmmm…I’m not sure about Coaslescence! Like you said, Cranberry Coalesce just doesn’t’ have the ring! What do you think? Should I stick with curd? As ‘curdly’ as it sounds?


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