Tart Dough (pâte sucrée)

Tart Dough, Pâte Sucrée, Sweet Dough. Call it what you will, this is a versatile dough is perfect for your favorite tart or miniature tarts. This is essential recipe comes together in minutes.

an empty tart shell with white chocolate chips.

Pâte sucrée is a super versatile tart dough

This dough bakes up with a nice crisp bite and is strong enough to hold soft fillings like pastry cream or fresh fruit without getting soggy. This is the dough you want to use to make a tart shell for a classic Fruit Tart with Custard filling.

Sweet Tart Dough couldn’t be easier to make. Cream the butter and sugar, add the egg and then the flour and you’re done.

Ingredients

ingredients for sweet tart dough in bowls on a white surface.

How to make Tart Dough (pâte sucrée)

A bowl of butter and sugar with yolks and sugar. Sweet Tart dough before kneading in a bowl.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until creamy, but not aerated.
  • Add the egg yolks and vanilla.
  • Add the flour and salt.
  • Mix until it comes together in a crumbly mixture.
Sweet dough before during and after kneading.
  • Dump the crumbly mixture onto a surface.
  • Use your hand to squeeze together the clumps.
  • Knead the dough then form it into a disc. You can use it right away or refrigerate until you’re ready to roll the dough.

How to roll a tart shell

  • Press down on the dough with the rolling pin to loosen it up. Roll the dough until it is about 1/8″ thick and it at least 4″ larger than the size of the pan.
  • Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and lift it onto the pan. Unroll the dough over the pan. Then use your hand to tuck the dough into the sides and bottom of the pan.
  • Roll the pin over the edge of the pan to cut away the excess dough.
  • Remove the excess dough. The dough scraps can be saved up and used again.
  • Use a fork to dock the bottom of the tart. If your recipe calls for an unbaked tart shell refrigerate the shell until you’re ready to finish your recipe.
  • If your recipe uses a baked tart shell bake the dough at 375°F for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown, or follow the instructions for pre-baking in your recipe.

How to store Tart Dough

The unbaked dough can be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.

A baked tart shell can be stored (unfilled) at room temperature for 2-3 days.

FAQS

What is the difference between tart crust and pie crust?

In fact, the difference between tart crust and pie crust is the pan that it is baked in. But in practice (in the US), the difference between the two is more than that. A pie crust is usually made with a flaky, savory dough and a tart crust is usually made with a sweet short dough.

What type of flour is best for tarts?

All purpose flour is a good medium protein flour for making tart dough.

Do you have to prebake tart shells?

It depends on the recipe. For a tart with an unbaked filling (like a Rhubarb Meringue Tart) the tart shell should be pre-baked. For a tart with a baked filling (like a Pear Fangipane Tart) there is no need to prebake the tart shell.

Which type of dough is most often used for tarts?

A sweet short dough (pâte sucrée) is most often used for dessert tarts.

beauty shot of fruit tart slice.

This recipe is the base for many, many gorgeous tarts:

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

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4.74 from 19 reviews

Tart Dough (pâte sucrée) Recipe

The classic dough used to line a tart pan.
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
12 servings
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Ingredients

  • 4 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 4 oz granulated sugar (½ cup)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ½ oz all purpose flour (1 ½ cups, see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Cream 4 oz unsalted butter and 4 oz granulated sugar until combined and slightly aerated. Add 2 egg yolks and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, mix to combine and scrape down the bowl and beater.
  • Add 7 ½ oz all purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix until the dough just comes together. Remove from the mixer and knead into a ball. Flatten the ball to a disc. Use right away or wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. The dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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Notes

If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
This recipe makes enough for a 10-12″ tart crust. 
This dough freezes very well. Double wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 279IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

5 Comments

  1. Nice recipe to have on hand. One thing though – your instructions are a little light on assembly instructions. I gather you baked the tops and bottoms separately, then dusted the tops, plopped them down on the bottoms, then piped the jam into the center?

    1. The focus of the recipe was the dough itself so I didn’t go into great detail regarding the cookies. Cookies are just one of the items that can be made with this dough. If you look through the photos you can see that the tops and bottoms of the cookies were cut and baked separately and put together exactly as you described. I have a separate recipe for Linzer cookies that uses a really nice dough and that recipe goes into more detail regarding the assembly. Thanks for the comment!

  2. I was looking for a good pâte sablée recipe for a fruit tart I am making tomorrow. This is perfect, I’m sure it’ll taste amazing, thank you!

    1. Hi Taylor,
      If you’re making cookies I would set the oven to 325°F with convection setting or 350°F without convection setting. The tops brown quickly so you might have to take them out of the oven before the bottoms.

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