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Sugar Cookie Tart Crust


sugar cookie crust, unbaked

Traditional pie and tart crusts are great, no doubt about it. They’re tasty and work with just about every kind of tart filling you might imagine. But as much as I like them (and like making them), I also like variety and always have an eye out for alternative crusts that will work well with particular tarts.

This crust is a sugar cookie crust. It is made in much the same way as cookie dough – butter, creamed with sugar, then combined with dry ingredients – but is more crumbly and contains neither eggs nor leavening agents. The lack of leavening (and eggs, which can contribute rise to a dough) is pretty important for this crust to work because the cookie dough is pressed into the pan, not rolled out, and since there is nothing to give it “lift,” it holds its shape very well during baking.

I like this tart crust for no-bake fillings. A cream cheese and fruit filling, for instance, would work well here, as would a rich chocolate ganache filling. Since it is really little more than a simple cookie, it could also be paired with ice cream or custards to make a really quick and easy summer tart. For all no-bake fillings, the crust should be baked fully, until it is firm and golden, before being used. If you want to use it for a baked tart, where the filling is put into a partially baked crust and the whole thing is put back in the oven, you can simply par-bake the crust and put it back into the oven for a second go-round when you are ready.

Sugar Cookie Tart Crust
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp milk (low fat is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light. Beat in flour, salt, milk and vanilla, until mixture is moist and crumbly (it should clump together if you press it between your fingers).
Pour dough into a 9 or 10-inch tart pan and press it up the sides, making sure the layer on the bottom is even.

For a no-bake filling: Bake for 25-30 minutes, until crust is golden. Cool.
For a baked filling: Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is set and firm at the edges. Cool, then fill with desired fillling and bake as that recipe directs.

Variations: Add a bit of almond extract to the tart crust during mixing to compliment a chocolate filling. Add a tablespoon of lemon (pictured) or orange zest for a citrusy touch.

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  • Bellini Valli
    December 27, 2007

    This sounds perfect for my strawberry, cream cheese & chocolate pie!!

  • Ann
    December 28, 2007

    What a nice idea! I’ll try it next time I make a custard or fruit tart!

  • Lalaine
    December 28, 2007

    The worst thing ever for my diet is a site like yours!

    Thank you for making me wake to the fact of how hungry I am!

  • rxbtamo amjg
    January 22, 2008

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  • Meredith
    September 19, 2008

    I just stumbled across your this recipe . . . would this be similar to a shortbread crust? Do you have a recipe for that? My mother is British, and often her grandmother used to make apple pies in a ‘shortbread’ crust . . (served with double cream) . . and I’d love to do this for her for Christmas (as it was always served around that time). Would this be similar? Or no. 🙂

  • muttertag
    May 1, 2009

    Were did you find these informations?

  • kontaktlinsen
    October 24, 2009

    This looks delicious

  • jenny
    November 23, 2009

    I tried this recipe and the sides slide down when baking for a non-cook filled recipe. Perhaps you should add that the shell needs to be filled with rice when baking.

  • Sally
    July 27, 2010

    I tried it too, and mine was perfect. It did seem a little soft so I popped it in the freezer for 5 minutes before baking and no sliding at all.

  • jenger
    September 8, 2010

    trying this tonite

  • Ariana
    August 7, 2012

    u can also use this to make cookies if u dont have any eggs! makes 11 cookies cook 375 degrees for 10 min and ur good! very simple and delicious i added boysenberry jam for simle thumbprint cookies

  • Katherine
    September 28, 2013

    I used your tasty sugar cookie crust in some Breaking Bad themed cupcakes I made over the weekend. It worked out wonderfully and tasted great! Thank you! http://www.goudamonster.com/2013/09/breaking-bad-blue-meth-cupcakes/

  • Shawna
    December 1, 2014

    I have made this crust three times it always comes out good! I cannot make a good traditional crust at all but this cookie crust is fab. I used it on a cherry pie and two apple pies

  • Shawna
    June 30, 2015

    I have used this recipe as a fruit pie crust four times now. It is so good you cannot go wrong!! I just double the recipe for a pie because I like to put a crumble on top. Thanks for this recipe!

  • Dani
    June 5, 2016

    Thank you for this beautiful recipe! Omit the ingredients that make it rise when using the torte pan for a flat bottom when inverting it, duh, but I never thought of that! I wanted to make a fancy fruit pizza and this recipe worked great for a pretty crust in my 10inch pampered chef tart/torte pan when increased by half. I set out to make two tarts since I have two 10 inch pans so I doubled the recipe, but when I divided the dough in half it was not enough to cover the bottom & also make the edging so thankfully I just stole dough from the other ball to have one complete tart & the kids got a few bonus cookies from the leftover dough. I sifted & carefully measured the flour, maybe that led to less flour? But I would recommend using a recipe and a half to ensure a strong crust. The crust was nice & thick, no fear of breakage when flipping & transferring the crust to a platter. I did cook it about 5 minutes longer, but was happy that the inside of the tart was fully cooked & not moist unlike the store bought dough which I had to return to the over once removed from the tart pan to dry up the top of the tart. Thanks for this super easy & helpful recipe, I’ll be making this tasty crust for my tarts from now on!

  • Michele
    June 20, 2017

    Easy to make but did not keep its shape when baked, slid right down the sides of the pan. If you only need crust on the bottom it’s fine. If I make it again I will use more flour to stuffin the mix.

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