Ube tarts are the perfect 2-bite ube treats. Imagine creamy ube cheesecake filling within a buttery shortbread crust. So good! They’re easy to make too. Using ready-made tart shells, this recipe takes less than an hour from start to first bite.
(Love your ube pastries individual-sized? Try these ube pies, puff pastry hand pies filled with ube jam then baked until golden brown. Delicious.)
Most ube desserts have ube halaya or ube jam as its base. It’s one of my favourite things in the world and I use it in a lot of the ube recipes here on The Unlikely Baker. From ube ice cream to ube cake, from ube donuts to ube brownies.
These ube tarts (or ube cheesecake tarts or ube halaya tarts) are my latest ube creations.
I saw them on social media a while back (very popular in Oahu and Honolulu) and decided to work on my own recipe.
I don’t know how those from Hawaii taste like but these ones are delicious! And one of the easiest ube dessert recipes ever.
Why you’ll love making this recipe
- Uses ready-made crust. Unlike other tart recipes — including the popular Filipino boat tarts — you don’t have to deal with finicky dough. Just buy frozen ready-made tart shells, thaw according to package instructions, and you’re good to go.
- No eggs in the filling. This recipe also contains no eggs in the tart filling. Just ube halaya or jam, cream cheese, condensed milk, ube extract and a little salt.
- You only need one bowl. This is a simple, one-bowl recipe. Easy to make, quick to clean up.
- Smooth and creamy. The tart gets its sweetness from the sweetened condensed milk, also adding to its smooth and luxurious texture.
- Ready in no time. Total baking time takes about 20 minutes and prepping takes even less time than that.
- So pretty! This recipe is very forgiving and comes out pretty whatever you do! Turn it up a notch and serve with whipped cream on top. Perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas or any occasion. You can also give them out as gifts.
How to make ube tarts
You only need 6 ingredients to make ube tarts. And for a simple recipe like this one, I always make sure to get the best ingredients.
- Frozen tart shells — I use 2-inch tart shells for this recipe and I get a total of 36 mini tarts. You can also use 3-inch tart shells. You’ll get less tarts but you don’t have to adjust baking time by a lot. What I would suggest is to buy the best tart shells budget allows. You can really taste the difference.
- Cream cheese — make sure to buy the cream cheese available as a block and not as a spread. And ideally, buy full-fat for a richer taste and a creamier texture.
- Ube jam — I always say that ube jams are not created equal. Some are sweeter than others, some contain more cornstarch than purple yam. When buying ube jam for baking, make sure to pick one that you like eating on its own. Better yet, make your own! Here’s my recipe for homemade ube halaya. It’s easier and quicker to make than you think. And it tastes so close to the authentic, Good Shepherd ube jam if I say so myself.
- Ube extract — readers always ask how I get my ube baked goods so vibrantly purple. Ube is naturally a lovely purple colour but that gorgeous pop comes from the ube extract. I always use McCormick. I love the colour and the flavour it brings to my ube cakes and pastries. And they didn’t even pay me to say that lol!
Baking tools you’ll need
You won’t need any fancy baking tools or pans to make this recipe. Just the following:
- Large bowl
- Handheld electric mixer or stand mixer
- Baking sheet
- Spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl with
- And I like to use a cookie scoop to transfer the tart filling to the shells, but you can also just use regular spoons
Now that we have all that covered, we’re ready to make ube tarts!
First thing you’ll want to do is preheat your oven to 375F, place your thawed tart shells on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until they turn a light golden brown. Carefully remove from their moulds and set aside to cool. Lower oven temperature to 350F.
Beat cream cheese and ube jam until smooth and well blended.
Add sweetened condensed milk, ube extract and a pinch of salt to the ube mixture. Continue to beat until incorporated.
Transfer the tart filling to your pre-baked tart shells (fill almost to the brim) and bake for 10 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.
Expert baking tips
Easy, right? Here are more tips for perfectly baked ube tarts every time.
- Room temperature ingredients — make sure to use room temperature ingredients. They will be easier to work with and incorporate.
- Pre-baking the crust — this step is important because it ensures your tart crust will be fully baked and browned, and not soggy
- Baking the filling — it takes me 10 minutes to bake the filling. Every oven is different so watch your tarts carefully so you don’t over bake them. Over-baked tarts will crack and harden unnecessarily. You want them smooth and creamy. You’ll know they’re done when they turn matte and firm up slightly.
Frequently asked questions
Ube is often mistaken for taro because they look similar on the outside. However, if you look inside, ube is a vibrant purple while taro is light coloured speckled with dots.
It’s also often confused with purple sweet potato or the Okinawan sweet potato but they’re all different kinds of vegetables.
Here’s a great article if you want to read more about it.
You can buy ube jam from Asian groceries and sometimes you can find them at the Asian aisle of your local supermarket. They’re also always available on Amazon.
Similar to ube jam, you can find ube extract at Asian stores or online.
Ready-made tart shells are located in the frozen section of your supermarket.
If you can’t find mini tart shells at the store or you prefer to make your own, you can certainly do so.
I always use ready-made ones in this recipe, but here’s a homemade mini tart shell recipe you can try from a fellow blogger.
Pre-baking ensures that tart shells or pie crusts are properly baked and can firm up enough to hold in the filling. It also ensures you don’t end up with soggy tart or pie bottoms.
The ube cheesecake filling takes very little time to bake, so pre-baking also ensures you don’t end up with an undercooked shell and an overcooked filling.
You can serve ube tarts chilled or at room temperature. You can also top with whipped cream or macapuno right before serving to make them even more fun and festive.
Kept in a covered container on your counter, ube tarts will last for a day. Best to keep them in the fridge, where they will last for a week.
How to Make Ube Tarts (Easy No-Fail Recipe)
- Preheat oven to 375F. Place tart shells on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until they turn a light golden brown.
- Carefully remove from their moulds and set aside to cool. Lower oven temperature to 350F.
- In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer or using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and ube jam until smooth and incorporated.
- Add ube extract, condensed milk and salt to the ube mixture and continue to beat until well blended.
- Fill tart shells with ube filling (fill to the brim).
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.
- Remove from oven, cool slightly and serve. You can also opt to chill the tarts before serving. Enjoy!
- You can also use 3-inch tart shells. You’ll need at least 24.
- Make sure to use an ube jam you enjoy eating on its own.
- Careful not to over bake the tarts. You’ll know they’re done when they turn matte and firm up slightly.
- See post for more baking tips, FAQs and step-by-step photos.
Nutritional information are estimates only.
Did you make this ube tart recipe? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. If you’re looking for more Filipino desserts, check out this delicious collection of must-try Filipino desserts.