{Inspired by Hong Kong} Coconut Tarts

Hong Kong Coconut TartsThis is my first baking post this year! I haven’t posted a baking recipe since last December when I made Snow Cloud Coconut Pancakes in Hong Kong and here I am today posting a delicious recipe inspired by devouring many coconut tarts in Hong Kong!

Coconut tarts are sold in bakeries all over Hong Kong and I sampled many on our week there, they varied from bland to incredibly moreish and the cherry seemed to be an optional extra depending on the bakery. The tart pictured below came from the famous Tai Cheong Bakery found on Lyndhurst Terrace in central Hong Kong. Famed for their delectable egg tarts, their coconut tarts were rather a let down if I am totally honest.

Tai Cheong Bakery Coconut Tart, Hong Kong

Tai Cheong Bakery Coconut Tart, Hong Kong

The most delicious coconut tarts I ate in Hong Kong came from a tiny bakery near the Vietnam Embassy in the Wan Chai district. Their tarts were full of taste, buttery pastry filled with gutsy coconut sponge, and no glacé cherry. It was these tarts that I fell completely in love with.

A delicious Coconut Tart at the Boh Tea Plantations, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

A delicious Coconut Tart at the Boh Tea Plantations, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

I came across coconut tarts again when we were travelling around Malaysia, most prominently in the cafes of the tea plantations up in the Cameron Highlands. These tarts pair up heavenly with a cup of tea. It is interesting to me that they appear in two very colonially British places, yet the bakeries {in Hong Kong anyway} were Chinese, these bakeries creating a tart that combines the abundant coconut of the east with the buttery comfort baking of the west.

Hong Kong Coconut Tarts

Certainly these nostalgic little tarts look more like something baked from an old Be-Ro recipe book, found languishing in most old kitchens behind the more modern cook books, than they do a Far Eastern inspired bake.

They are very simple to make, even more so if you buy ready-made pastry. In Asia they are usually made in individual little fluted tins using a soft cookie dough-like pastry that is pressed into the tin, however I have made them with a buttery sweet shortcrust as I am more comfortable with this and it works wonderfully. Made in a shallow tartlet tin, these tarts are smaller than their Asian counterparts but perfectly delicious and very portable.

You can bake them with a half glacé cherry on each or if you’d rather make them prettier {although less portable} the cherry can be popped on once the tarts come out of the oven.

Hong Kong Coconut Tarts


{Inspired by Hong Kong} Coconut Tarts

Oven 180 C / 350 F / Gas 5

12 hole shallow tartlet tin, baking parchment for rolling the pastry out

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry {this pastry recipe is by Lorraine Pascal and I love it!}

  • 250 g {2 cups) plain flour
  • 125 g {1 stick + 1 tbsp} chilled if using a processor, cubed unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 free-range egg yolks
  • pinch salt
  • a splash of milk if needed

Either rub the butter into the flour or whizz them together in a food processor until you get fine breadcrumbs.

Tip into a bowl and stir in the sugar and the salt. Add the egg yolks and ‘cut in’ with a table knife and mix well.

Bring together into a soft dough, adding the milk if needed to bring it together. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for half an hour.

Once rested, remove from the fridge and allow to warm up a little before you try to roll it. This is a buttery dough and is best rolled out between two sheets of baking parchment for ease.

Or use bought sweet shortcrust pastry

Roll out to 3-4 mm thickness and cut out discs using a fluted cutter to line your tartlet tin. Pop the pastry-lined tin into the fridge while you prepare the coconut filling.

Coconut Sponge Filling

  • 100 g {1 cup} desiccated coconut
  • 75 g {1/3 cup} caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100 g {a scant half stick} unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 50 ml {1/5 cup} evaporated milk
  • glacé cherries, halved {optional}

Simply combine the desiccated coconut, the caster sugar, the flour and the baking powder. Add the butter, the egg and the evaporated milk and mix everything together into a fairly stiff batter.

Remove the tartlet tin from the fridge and use a teaspoon to heap the batter into the pastry-lined tin. Place a half glacé cherry onto each if you wish or add it later once the cooked tarts are cooling.

Bake for around 12 minutes in the oven. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container.

Fresh from the oven, or Aga in this case.

Fresh from the oven, or Aga in this case.

I wrote a guest post!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this travel inspired bake, I wrote about the coconut tarts I found in Asia in a guest blog post for Kerry Cooks, sharing some of the tasty sweet treats I found in my recent travels, pop over and have a read.

Kerry Cooks Guest PostHappy Baking!

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(Inspired by Hong Kong) Coconut Tarts


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By Rachel A Davis   Follow on Bloglovin

14 Responses

  1. This is torture. They look soooo delicious.

  2. Yay, I’ve missed your baking posts! These look yummy. After this month’s #travelbookclub I totally think you should write a baking/travel book;)

  3. huntfortheverybest says:

    these are great!

  4. I’m finding all your posts very inspiration at the moment as I am planning a trip to hong kong, vietnam and cambodia. But I am very pleased to see you post a baking recipe again! I should make these for when we sit down to start booking our trip for a sneaky taste of what is to come 😀

    • Oooo, they would be perfect with a cup of tea for some intense travel planning. It’s good to be back in a pinny but I still wish I was in flip flops and travelling the world!

  5. Welcome back to the baking world! These look absolutely delicious, I love all the little treats you can find in a Hong Kong bakery 🙂 x

  6. Wow! Those tarts look so good *_* I’d like to taste one, good work!