Christmas Tart Recipe

When you bite into a slice of this Christmas tart filled with caramel, cinnamon, and white chocolate mousse, you’ll know exactly why it’s a Christmas dessert!

Made with simple but flavorful ingredients, this tart will have everyone saying “Ho Ho Ho” during the holidays. Get the recipe below.

christmas tart with cinnamon caramel, white chocolate mousse, and a pecan crust

What’s in a Christmas Tart?

This Christmas tart recipe consists of a pâte sucrée pecan crust, soft cinnamon caramel, and white chocolate mousse.

The white chocolate curls are optional but add a lot of festive cheer to this dessert, don’t you think?

Why This Tart Works

When it comes to creating recipes, I focus on the balance of flavors, textures, and the overall experience.

For me, it’s very important that each element of a dessert is good enough to eat all on its own. No element should need to be “covered up” to taste good.

  • The pecan crust of this tart is divine without any additional toppings.
  • The cinnamon caramel, you could easily eat by the spoonful and not feel bad about it at all!
  • And the white chocolate mousse is light, not too sweet, and not too rich

When I combined all 3 together, it was important for the flavors to support each other instead of overpowering each other.

For instance, I had way too much cinnamon initially, but after testing and tasting, I found the right balance for this Christmas tart.

As a recipe developer, it’s important to think about the individual elements and overall experience. That’s how we make truly memorable desserts.

Every ingredient, every step, and every element works together to dazzle the taste buds.

And this Christmas tart recipe definitely meets all of the criteria for a drool-worthy dessert!

Slice of a white chocolate mousse and caramel tart

The Easiest Way to Make Caramel

Making caramel can be intimidating, especially if this is your first go.

Have no fear, though. I’ve chosen a really easy and delicious method that requires no experience!

To make the cinnamon caramel filling, combine the sugar and butter in a heavy bottom skillet with high sides.

By cooking the butter and the sugar together throughout the entire process, it’s easier to control the color of the caramel so it doesn’t burn.

You know that the caramel is ready for the heavy cream when the sugar and butter caramel sauce are the color of almond skins.

Can you make the caramel lighter? Yes. But for a deep flavor, cook until the caramel is deep golden brown.

side view of the inside of a Christmas tart with caramel cinnamon and white chocolate mousse

Tips for Making White Chocolate Curls

White chocolate curls are super easy to make!

To start, you need a bar of white chocolate.

It’s easier if you have a solid bar of white chocolate that won’t break easily. I have used Ghiradelli white chocolate bars, but the Baker’s brand is a more substantial, solid bar that won’t break.

But take your pick and grab a sharp pairing knife to make the curls.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Warm the chocolate bar for 10 seconds at a time until the bar is just slightly soft but not melty.
  2. Hold your pairing knife at a 25-45 degree angle, and gently shave the chocolate away from you. If the chocolate is crumbling and won’t curl, warm the white chocolate for a few seconds longer.
  3. Run the pairing knife along at least half the chocolate bar’s length to get some nice big curls.

Be careful not to handle the white chocolate curls too much, or they can melt or break. It’s easiest to sprinkle them onto the Christmas tart with a spoon.

white chocolate curls on a christmas tart

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Christmas Tart Recipe

christmas tart with cinnamon caramel, white chocolate mousse, white chocolate curls on top, and a pecan crust, on a rustic plate

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Chill Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: tarts

Ingredients

Units Scale

Pecan Crust

  • 113 g (1/2 c) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 40 g powdered sugar
  • 25 g egg (lightly whisk a whole egg and then weigh out 25 grams from the egg)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • 33 g cake flour (substitute AP flour if you can’t find cake flour)
  • 60 g pecans, finely chopped
  • Pie weights
  • 9.5 inch tart pan

Cinnamon Caramel Filling

  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 113 g unsalted butter
  • 237 ml heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp fleur de sel (or flaked sea salt)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

White Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 4 tsp water
  • 4 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 237 ml heavy cream
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 4 oz white chocolate bar (for making chocolate curls if desired)

Instructions

To Make the Pecan Crust

  1. Cream the butter and sugar on low in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  2. Add the egg and mix.
  3. Add all dry ingredients and nuts, and mix just until combined. Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a flat round disk.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. If the dough is too sticky to roll, form it into a disk, wrap it, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then, roll it out.
  5. Transfer dough to a 9.5-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the tart pan, and trim the excess dough off the edges with a pairing knife.
  6. Put the formed tart shell in the freezer for 30-60 minutes so it’s frozen. You will bake it straight from the freezer.**
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and begin making the tart.
  8. Line the tart with parchment and pie weights (or rice) so that the tart keeps its shape while baking.
  9. Bake tart for 24-28 minutes, removing the weights and parchment for the last 4-5 minutes. Bake until the edges are lightly golden brown.
  10. Allow tart crust to cool completely before filling

To Make the Cinnamon Caramel Filling

  1. Combine butter and sugar in a large, heavy bottom saucepan on medium heat. Do NOT use a small saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, bring heavy cream to a simmer in a small pot and keep on low heat until ready to use.
  3. Allow butter and sugar to melt, stirring often. If sugar granules stick to the sides of the pot, wet a pastry brush with water and gently wet the sugar granules on the sides of the saucepan so they dissolve. This may need to be done repeatedly until the sugar is fully melted.
  4. The sugar and butter will look somewhat grainy for about 5-7 minutes, but eventually the sugar will start to turn amber and will begin to look smooth.
  5. Once the sugar and butter mixture is a deep almond color, remove from heat and slowly whisk in the heavy cream in small amounts until fully combined. The caramel will seize up if you add the cream too fast, so add the cream slowly. 
  6. To finish, remove the caramel from the heat and add the salt and cinnamon. Stir until combined and pour into a heat safe bowl. Let cool for 15 minutes, then pour into the tart crust.
  7. Refrigerate the tart uncovered for 1 hour before adding the white chocolate mousse.

To Make the White Chocolate Mousse

  1. Pour water into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the water. Let gelatin bloom for 5 minutes.
  2. Bring 60 ml of heavy cream to a boil and stir in gelatin.
  3. Put chocolate into a bowl and pour the heavy cream mixture over the white chocolate. Stir until melted. Let cool for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Whip the remaining heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form. 
  5. Stir 1/4 cup of whipped cream into the chocolate and then fold in the remaining whipped cream.
  6. Pour the white chocolate mousse into the tart and spread evenly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and enjoy. Keep leftover tart slices refrigerated for up to one week
  7. Can top tart with white chocolate curls or leave as is.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

** You can freeze the tart crust for up to a month. Store it in an airtight container if you are not baking it within a couple of days of freezing.

Christmas tart recipe

8 Comments

  1. How do you halve an egg?
    I want to make this for Christmas dinner and want to be sure it turns out the way it should!

    • Hi! Lightly whisk your egg first, then measure out the correct number of grams on a kitchen scale. I hope this helps!

  2. Thanks so much for the quick response! That really helps! I would not have thought to whisk and then measure. Obviously I’m not a professionally trained pastry chef! 😉 I can’t wait to make and taste this tart! So many of my favourite flavours and textures all rolled into one.

  3. Can you substitute cornstarch for gelatin in the mousse?

  4. Your directions are a little confusing when it comes to the mousse and caramel. Is it 237 grams or ml’s cause you have both listed and I’ve already made the caramel with 237g so I’m a little confused. And with the mousse, I have to measure grams or ml’s and then subtract in cups? Could you please elaborate. Thanks!

    • Hi Jen, sorry for the confusion! I just updated the recipe so it says ml for both heavy cream measurements. Your caramel will still turn out beautifully whether or not you used grams or ml for the heavy cream (I speak from experience). With the mousse directions, I changed it to reflect ml in the recipe as well. I hope this helps!

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