We’re talking 8 ingredient simplicity here. This easy bakewell tart is a classic for good reason. A moist and flavourful almond filling with jam and the most buttery, crispy pastry and it’s all homemade.

The bakewell tart is a very close cousin of the French frangipane tart like this pear almond tart and this strawberry almond tart.  

A bakewell tart, with a slice cut out, sitting on a white cake platter.

What is bakewell tart

This classic English tart is essentially a tart crust filled with raspberry jam and a thick frangipane topping. The cherry bakewell is a variation that includes an iced topping and cherries on top. It’s delicious and here’s why I know you’ll love it.

  • Crisp, buttery pastry: Though you could use store-bought shortcrust, I urge you to make your own pastry as I have here. It’s buttery and perfectly crisp and easier than you might think.
  • Jam: Traditonally made with raspberry jam, I used strawberry here and it works perfectly.
  • Almond topping: The spongey but moist almond topping is rich and incredibly delicious. It also takes just minutes to make.

Typically a traditional bakewell tart is topped with flaked almonds as well and they do add a satisfying crunch if you want to add them.

Ingredients

You only need 8 ingredients and I bet you already have most (if not all) of them.  

Ingredients for bakewell tart on a white marble surface.
  • Flour: Just plain (all purpose) flour is all you need.
  • Butter: This is in both the pastry and the almond filling and gives loads of lovely buttery flavour.
  • Salt: Just a touch in the pastry is all you need to enhance the flavours.
  • Eggs: Also used in both the pastry and the almond filling, these add richness and bind everything together.
  • Sugar: Regular white sugar is perfect.
  • Vanilla: This adds a little flavour to the filling
  • Jam: Traditionally raspberry, I’ve used strawberry but you could use your favourite or what you have on hand.
  • Almond meal / almond flour: This is finely ground almonds and makes up a large part of the filling. It adds moisture and wonderful flavour.

How to make it

Homemade bakewell tart is actually very simple to make, even with 3 layers. You’ll spend the most time on the pastry but I promise it’s worth it. You could even make a double batch while you’re at it and freeze half for the next time you feel like a bakewell.

A collage of 4 images showing how to make the pastry for the tart.
  1. Make the pastry: Use a food processor to keep it simple and blend together some flour, sugar, salt and butter (photo 1). Process in an egg until it looks yellow and sandy (photo 2) then bring it all together until clumping with a bit of ice water (photo 3).
  2. Make the tart shell: After chilling the dough (especially important), roll it out and lay it in your fluted tart tin. Trim off the overhang (photo 4) then dock it, which just means to prick it all over with a fork (photo 5). Add a sheet of baking paper and fill it with pie weights, rice (photo 6) or dried lentils and blind bake.
A collage of 4 images showing how to assemble the bakewell tart.
  1. Make the almond filling: First cream together butter and sugar, then add eggs (photo 7) and vanilla and beat it all together. Mix in some flour and the almond flour.
  2. Assembling: Spread jam over the pastry crust base, then spread the almond filling over the top (photo 8). Now just bake a little longer and it’s ready.

Ideas to get ahead

Homemade bakewell tart can be made a day or two ahead. Serve it at room temperature with a little icing sugar dusted over the top and maybe a dollop of cream on the side.

You can make the pastry ahead and either refrigerate or freeze, depending on when you need it. If you freeze the dough, make sure to wrap it really well.

You can even make the tart shell up to the point right before the first bake and freeze it in the tart tin for up to 2 months. You can blind bake it from frozen but give it an extra 5 minutes.

A slice of bakewell tart sitting on a white dessert plate.

Pro tips and tricks

  • Don’t over-process the pastry dough: You want the dough to still have little bits of butter in it. These will melt and release steam as it bakes, making the crust crisp and flaky.
  • Use cold ingredients in the pastry: For the same reason as above, keep all the ingredients for the pastry cold and don’t handle it too much.
  • Chill the dough: There is two chilling times in the recipe, and this is really important. It helps the pastry bake up crispy and lessens the amount it shrinks in the tin. If you want to save time, the dough can be made ahead. See my tips above.
  • Room temperature ingredients for the filling: Unlike the crust, you want the filling ingredients to be at room temperature, so they beat together smoothly.
  • If your pastry is shrinking back as you roll it, stop and chill it a little longer. That elasticity is caused by gluten and will toughen the pastry if you continue rolling it out this way. It needs a little more time to relax the gluten.

Variations

  • Other jams: If you don’t feel like making your bakewell tart traditional, then don’t. Use whatever jam you like most or what you have on hand.
  • Add almonds: Add some flaked almonds to the top before baking.

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A slice of bakewell tart sitting on a white dessert plate with a forkful to the side.

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A bakewell tart cut into slices on a white marble cake platter.

Easy Bakewell Tart Recipe

5 from 2 votes
With gorgeous, crispy pastry, a layer of jam and a simple almond topping, this is easy bakewell tart recipe is an absolute British classic. So easy to make and so delicious, it’s the perfect afternoon tea treat.

Ingredients

FOR THE PASTRY

  • 165 g plain (all purp) flour (1 ¼ cups / 2.3oz) (notes 2)
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar (notes 1)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 85 g unsalted butter, small cubes chilled (¾ stick / 3oz)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

FOR THE FILLING

  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • 113 g unsalted butter, softened (½ cup / 1 stick)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons plain (all-purp) flour (notes 1)
  • 1 cup almond meal (ground almonds) (95g / 3oz)
  • cup strawberry jam

Equipment

Instructions
 

FOR THE PASTRY

  • Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and blitz on low until it looks like chunky breadcrumbs – you should be able to see pieces of butter around the size of a lentil.
  • Add the egg and blitz again on low until the dough begins to look like a really yellow fine couscous.
  • With the processor running on low, drizzle in the water until it starts forming large clumps.
  • Turn the dough out onto a board and just gently pull it together and smooth it slightly to a disk shape – don’t knead it too much. Wrap it in a sheet of baking paper and place it in the fridge for at least ½ an hour to rest.
  • Set aside the baking paper, then dust a clean surface and the top of the dough with a little flour, then roll out to a large circle (11 inches in diameter). Move it often as you roll so that it doesn’t stick to the surface.
  • Place the rolling pin in the middle and lay one side of the dough over the top of it, then lift and transfer it to a 9 inch loose-bottom tart tin. Cut off any overhang at the top with a sharp knife. Prick all over with a fork, then chill for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced.
  • Place the set aside baking paper over the tart shell and fill with pie weights (or rice or lentils). Bake for 15 minutes then remove the weights and bake a further 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

FOR THE FRANGIPANE FILLING

  • Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Finally, mix in the flour and almond meal.
  • Spread the jam over the base of the tart shell, then dollop over the filling then gently spread out evenly.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, turning the tray half way through, until golden and springy on top.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with a little icing sugar dusted over the top.

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons)
  2. For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  3. All ovens are different, test for doneness 3-5 minutes before for the pastry blind bake and 5-10 minutes before for the end.
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