Who can resist a cute dessert like these mini salted caramel tartlets? The combination of a buttery sugar cookie cup for the base and an easy caramel sauce filling will have you hooked.

  • Quick and easy to make.
  • Seriously delicious – salted caramel and sugar cookie, yum.
  • So versatile – dress them up with chocolate or nuts.
  • Perfect for gifting or for finger food parties.
  • No candy thermometer required.

These mini caramel tarts have a cookie cup crust instead of a pastry base and it’s buttery, crumbly and tastes so good. That crust takes all of 10 minutes to make and the caramel is even quicker. Important since you’ll want to eat them as quickly as possible.

I adapted the cookie base from my giant wagon wheel recipe. The caramel, I’ve used time and time again like on these salted caramel cinnamon cupcakes or in these chewy caramel coconut bars.

This post was originally published on 15th Aug 2019 and has been updated with new images and information.

A batch of salted caramel tartlets with some on a wire rack.

Ingredients you’ll need

All the ingredients are very common to cookies – you know, butter, sugar, egg, flour – but a few notes to keep in mind.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Butter: Stick to unsalted butter since salted varieties all have varying degrees of salt added.
  • Sugar: I use two types of sugar – brown and white to add both sweetness and a slight chewiness.
  • Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavour. Steer away from vanilla essence which is synthetic.
  • Baking powder: Make sure to use baking powder, not baking soda (bicarb soda) as they do give different results.
  • Caramels: I use Werthers chewy caramels and mix them with cream to get the easy caramel sauce for these salted caramel tartlets.
  • Cream: Here in Australia, we call it thickened cream but elsewhere in the world, you’ll be looking for heavy cream or double cream. To be honest, even evaporated milk will do the trick.

How to make salted caramel tartlets (step-by-step)

A collage showing how to make salted caramel tartlets.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Beat together sugar and butter until creamy before adding the egg and vanilla and beat those in well too (photo 1). Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as often as necessary.
  2. Add the dry ingredients with the mixer on low until the dough forms large clumps (photo 2).
  3. Roll out the dough to 3-4mm thick, then use a 7cm round cookie cutter to cut out circles (photo 3).
  4. Push the circles of cookie dough down into the holes of a non stick mini muffin tin (photo 4) then bake them for 12 minutes.
  5. Making the easy salted caramel sauce is as simple as heating caramels and cream in a pan over low-medium heat, stirring often until it’s smooth. Then, stir in  some salt and it’s ready to be poured into your cooled tartlet shells (photo 5).
  6. Chill in the fridge until the caramel has set.

Want to make the caramel from scratch? No problem. Use my salted caramel sauce recipe and keep them stored in the fridge for the same perfect chewy texture.

Tips and tricks

  • Whenever you beat butter and sugar, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl regularly.
  • If your mini muffin tin is not non-stick, spray the holes with a little oil first or use mini cupcake papers to line the tins.
  • Roll the dough out to 3-4mm thick. The thicker the dough, the more tricky it will be to shape. The thinner the dough, the more likely it is to break
  • To shape the cookie dough without it breaking, gather in the edges just a little so it’s like a little open sack, then gently press it into the hole and straighten it out again. .
  • Make sure to press the dough right into the corners of the muffin holes so you get nice edges.
  • Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes in the tin then to release them from the tin, press down lightly with your thumb and finger on the edges and give a gentle twist. Once they twist you can pull them out.
Salted caramel tartlets topped with chocolate and nuts.

Substitutions

Above, you can see some of the ways I change these little tartlets up.

  • The brown sugar gives a richer flavour but you can use all white sugar if you prefer.
  • Add some mini choc chips to the cookie dough
  • Add a little milk chocolate to the top of each one to turn them into Twix cookies
  • Press a nut into the middle of the caramel – my favourites are pecans, macadamias or peanuts.
  • Swap the caramel for Nutella
  • Some dark chocolate topped with flaky sea salt
  • Use store bought mini tartlet shells if you don’t feel like making them and they’re even quicker.

Yield and storage

The quantity will depend on the size of your muffin pan, however, the wonderful part about this caramel tartlets recipe is that you can make them to whatever size you like. I get 30 from my really mini muffin pan but in one that I have where the holes are slightly larger, I get 26. You could make these in a regular muffin pan and get 12 or even use individual mini tartlet molds.

These can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a little while but are best stored in the fridge. They’ll last up to a week like that.

Top down view of a batch of salted caramel tartlets.

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A salted caramel tartlet on a stone benchtop with more around it.

Salted Caramel Tartlets

4.5 from 13 ratings
These salted caramel tartlets will make you weak at the knees. Bite sized cookie cups filled with buttery salted caramel and they’re so easy to make! Grab your mini muffin tin and let’s get baking.

Ingredients

FOR THE COOKIE TART SHELLS

  • 85 g unsalted butter, room temperature (¾ stick / 3oz)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 260 g plain (all-purp) flour (2 cups / 9.1oz)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

FOR THE CARAMEL FILLING

  • 250 g chewy caramels (notes, 8.8oz)
  • ¼ cup thickened cream (heavy cream or double cream)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Sea salt flakes for topping

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • FOR THE COOKIE TART SHELLS:
    Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, whisk to combine and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together the butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla beat until well combined scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly tip in the flour mixture and beat until just combined and the dough starts forming large clumps.
  • Pull the dough together with your hands into a ball, then roll it out on a well floured surface to about 3-4mm thick.
  • Use a round cookie cutter, approximately 8.5cm wide, to cut circles. Try to cut as many as possible from the first roll. If necessary, re-roll the dough only once and finish cutting circles.
  • Using a non-stick mini muffin tin, gently push the circles of dough into the muffin holes (notes) then prick the bottom of each with a fork.
  • Bake for 12 minutes until just golden on the edges the let them cool for 10 minutes in the tin. To release them from the tin, press lightly on the cooled edges with a thumb and index finger and give a little twist. Once they twist you can simply lift them out.
  • FOR THE CARAMEL FILLING:
    In a small saucepan over low heat and stirring constantly, melt together the caramels and cream until smooth.
  • Fill each cookie cup with caramel while it’s still warm (reheat if you need), then let them sit for 2-3 minutes before topping with a sprinkling of sea salt.
  • Chill the salted caramel tartlets in the fridge until set (about 1 hour). They can be stored at room temperature for a day or so or in the fridge for up to a week, always in an airtight container.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.

Notes

  1. Caramels: I like to use the Werthers chewy caramels but some other caramels and even caramel fudge will work.
  2. Shaping the cups: So as not to break the dough when pressing them into the muffin tin, gather in the edges a little, press it down into the hole, then carefully straighten out the edges again. ‘
  3. Change them up: Feel free to top your caramel tarts with a little dark chocolate or some chocolate ganache and flaky sea salt. Some milk chocolate will make them taste like Twix bars. Or press nuts into the top of each one – my favourites are pecans, macadamias or peanuts.
  4. 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).
  5. Don’t feel like salted caramel? Just leave the salt out.
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