Pin It!

Mini Pecan Tarts

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details

These Mini Pecan Tarts are made with a soft pie crust and filled with a brown sugar pecan filling. It’s similar to pecan pie, but in a bite-sized treat. The simple pecan filling is only 5 ingredients, plus there’s no corn syrup!


A small white dish filled with pecans with a mini pecan tart on top, with a bite taken out of it to show the gooey filling

Day 3 of Christmas Cookie week ya’ll and it’s a recipe from my Grandmother’s sister-in-law on my dad’s side.

There’s nothing better than bite-sized portions of your favorite desserts. So naturally, these Mini Pecan Tarts are a favorite. It’s just like a two-bite pecan pie, gooey pecan filling and all.

I must admit, I don’t really remember making these when we were kids, probably because pecan pie was not a very popular dessert in our family- at least on my dad’s side. We were all about the pumpkin pie.

A small white cake stand with mini pecan pies on top

However, when I was sorting through the hundreds of recipes my mom gave me, I pulled this out because it came from my dad’s side of the family and I wanted to make sure I kept the recipe card. Not all the recipes were labeled with who they were from, so whenever I came across one that did, I made sure to set it aside.

I’ve also shared my Nana’s Mac and Cheese and her Sausage bread recipe, but I most remember her famous “dirt” cake and that she always had ice cream in her freezer.

As I was choosing recipes to share for cookie week, I focused on recipes that would be great for parties and cookie exchanges. I feel as though cookie exchanges might be dying out with our generation, but I am the first person to throw my hand up to keep the tradition alive.

A stack of 3 mini pecan tarts with a small white cake stand blurred out in the background

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to eat a slice of pie with a glass of wine in your hand, it’s not always easy. So, bite-sized pies are perfect for holiday parties!

I was also very intrigued because the crust only called for 3 ingredients: butter, cream cheese and flour. I’ve never made a crust recipe with cream cheese before. I was amazed when I took my first bite how soft and delicate the crust was.

These Pecan Tarts are made in a mini muffin pan, but you could certainly make them a little bit bigger and use a regular sized muffin pan.

Once you make the dough, simply roll a ball of dough in between your hands and then push it into the muffin pan and use your fingers to push and shape the sides.

A hand holding a pecan tart with a bite taken out of it

When your dough is ready, you can make this quick filling with brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla and chopped pecans. Then you’ll use a teaspoon or a mini cookie scoop to spoon the filling into the prepared pie crusts.

These pecan tarts first bake at 350°F and then you reduce the oven temperature to 250°F and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Be sure not to open the oven, as you don’t want to lose any of that heat.

You’ll get a thin little crust on top and a nice gooey filling in the middle.

A wide angle shot of pecan tarts on a small white cake stand, with a jar of milk in the background

This is one Christmas cookie I don’t recommend shipping, as they’re quite delicate. Instead consider them for a holiday party, neighbor gift or cookie exchange!

More Christmas Cookie Recipes

Follow Beyond Frosting:

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram 

A small white cake stand with mini pecan pies on top

Mini Pecan Tarts

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 24-30 tarts


These Mini Pecan Tarts are made with a soft pie crust and filled with a brown sugar pecan filling. It’s similar to pecan pie, but in a bite-sized treat. The simple pecan filling is only 5 ingredients.


For the crust:

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 1 ½ cups (330g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (120g) pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a mini muffin pan.
  2. For the crust: In a medium sized bowl, combine the softened butter and cream and beat together until very well combined.
  3. Next, slowly add the flour and beat until all the ingredients are well combined and it has turn into a ball of dough.
  4. For the filling: In a medium sized bowl, combine the brown sugar eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract and beat together until well combined. Then fold in the chopped pecans.
  5. To assemble: It’s helpful to divide the crust in half and then separate out 12-16 balls of dough, approximately 1 tablespoon in size.
  6. Press each ball of dough into the greased muffin pan and press into the center of the dough, patting the dough against the edges to shape the crust.
  7. Fill each crust with 1 heaping teaspoon of filling.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 250°F for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Nutrition Information:
1 tart
  • Category: Cookie


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

24 Responses
  1. Priscilla

    Hello. I didn’t have the mini muffin pan so I made these in the regular size muffin pan. Quite a size difference, so adjusting the baking time was a guess. Do you have baking times for a the larger muffin pan? Also, how thin should the dough be? Although the filling was delicious and everyone loved them, the crust seamed too thick.

    If you have a video to see the technique on how to form the crust around the muffin pan, that would be great.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Priscilla, I will be adding a video this year for the holidays. I’ve never baked these in anything other than a mini muffin pan.

  2. Nancy Williams

    So good!
    I think they tasted even better the next day. Two things- when I mixed the flour in for the crust, the batter climbed up the beaters and it was pretty messy. Maybe a dough hook works better on the mixer? I am visiting my daughter and only had beaters for the mixer.
    Secondly- I had made pecan tarts before but couldn’t find the recipe so thought I’d try this one. I like this better. The top of the pecan tart has a nice little crust and it’s delicious.
    I would definitely make this again- with a dough hook on mixer

  3. Jennifer Snowhite

    I remember in the 1970s my mom making these, and it being my job to carve them out of the pan in a single piece. Today when I was making them, I realized that rather than pressing the dough into the muffin tin, I first sprayed the muffin tin, then took each ball of dough and made a pinch pot in my hands before gently placing it in the tin. Popped right out!

  4. Miriam

    I have used this recipe for many years, but recently I moved to a very high altitude city and I found that they just explode. Do you have any suggestions on how to modify the filling if you make it at a high altitude so that it won’t explode? Thank you for any help you can give me. I have been experimenting but just can’t find the right ratios.

    1. Ellen

      I have the same problem. Try searching for “Making Pecan Tarts at High(er) Altitudes. I found a few, now just have to decide which one or ones to try. Good Luck.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      I haven’t tried it but you should be okay, you just may need to give it some time to soften if it’s difficult to work with.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      I have not actually tested freezing this recipe- so I can’t say with certainty. I did some Google research and it seems similar recipes have said they can be frozen.

  5. Sarah Cortes

    LOVED this recipe! My family started drooling over them after I made them. Such simple ingredients! They said it was the best thing I had ever made 🙂 Love your website. I used one of your recipes for my final project (I go to UCSB) in a class on the anthropology of food and the whole class loved it! Wish I had enough time to try every recipe. Keep up the awesome work.

Subscribe to my newsletter and get my fav tips to take your cakes & cupcakes to the next level.