Nutella Tarts – Two Ways – Melty & Crispy

Hello again! I’m back with another item for the festive season.

This one was a bit of a rush recipe for me but I hope you will enjoy it.

I had recently flew back to Singapore for the Christmas/New Year period and whilst there I took full advantage of the fact that as Chinese New Year was coming up and the shops were filled with CNY cookies and snacks.

And this saw me hulling a luggage/box full of cookies and treats back to Melbourne with me 🙂

Because it had been awhile since I last had the chance to be back in Singapore before the CNY period, I haven’t actually bought CNY snacks in awhile which left me feeling out of touch with what everyone has been enjoying on their festive tables these days.

Whilst back in Singapore, I had posted an Instagram story asking for recommendations on CNY snacks to get and one of the popular ones was Nutella tarts.

And this got me feeling intrigued.

It does feel like almost like a cheat alternative to making pineapple tarts but I would say that this treat does have its merits.

Firstly, it is pretty easy to make.

Secondly, it is not just a CNY type of snack but an everyday snack.

Chuck some into your backpack as you leave for school/work and nom on it with your coffee or tea during your break, or just bring it along with you on your next road trip.

It is a pretty shelf stable item so long as it is packaged and stored right (like most of your CNY treats) and who didn’t grow up enjoying their guilty treat of Nutella smeared on toast right?

But take that childhood breakfast item and push it one step further and you’ll get yourself a cookie instead.

You might wonder why this is 2 ways rather than just one?

And that is because when I was asking for recommendations people were suggesting that I try the nutella tarts from 2 different home bakers. One was the melty type whilst the other had more of a snap to it.

And since I couldn’t decide on which to make I figured why not both right?

Mind you, I have only tried the melty ones from the home baker Pelynoobakes and not the other style which was the other recommendation. After trying the Nutella tarts, I can kind of understand the appeal and love for it but I wanted to make my own version of this.

So here is the main thing to note: This recipe is honestly neither of those 2 versions nor a copy cat recipe but rather one that is inspired by the concept of their tarts.

So if you are looking for a copy cat recipe then this is probably not the one for you, but if you are looking at my take on the treat with a similar concept then this is what you’ll find.

Let’s get on with the recipe shall we?

The 2 Types

Whilst they are called Melty and Crispy versions here, they are technically both melty. It is just a slight difference between the bite when you first sink your teeth into the cookie and the texture of the cookie experience.

The melty version has more of a shortbread type texture which isn’t going to provide as much resistance as the crispy one. The crispy one is also lighter in texture due to the air whipped into it along with the use of only egg whites as compared to the melty type that has a bit more of a denser melt and utilises egg yolks as well as not as much air is beaten into it.

The Difference + My Take On It

So, I am probably on the side of the minority of people who aren’t really a huge fan of Nutella. I enjoy it but I don’t love it nor crave it.

As a kid I loved it as it was an excuse to have dessert for breakfast, but as I grew up my tastes have changed. And if I were to pick a preference now, I would rather have a bueno type chocolate spread instead.

And this relates to my take on this tart.

I tend to find that whilst Nutella is a chocolate hazelnut spread, the distinct aroma of hazelnuts end up getting drowned out by the overwhelming flavour of cocoa and sweetness of sugar.

So to bring it back into the balance of being a chocolate hazelnut treat, I have added hazelnut meal into the pastry.

This aroma of hazelnuts adds another dimension of flavour and texture to the base ensuring it isn’t just soft on soft when it comes to texture as you munch on them and that there is also that lingering aroma of hazelnuts that penetrates your senses. It also helps with mellowing out the sweetness of the overall cookie.

I strongly recommend using hazelnut meal/flour in this as it brings out the flavour, but otherwise you can use almond meal instead which has more of a neutral profile. Other nut meals would work well with it too, it will just introduce a different flavour to it.

Should I have the time to spare I will update the recipe with a nut free base option. But for now I am a little low on time to experiment on alternatives for you.

You will also noticed that I had sprinkled flaked salt onto the cookies prior to baking, this is because I like the way the salt mellows out the sweetness of the Nutella.

If adding flaked salt, you can do so before you bake it after piping on the Nutella or after it comes out of the oven. I find it just sticks better (but doesn’t look as visually pretty) when sprinkled on prior to the second bake.


The “specialty ingredients” that this recipe calls for is custard powder, hazelnut meal and milk powder.

They might not be special to be honest as they are rather common items in your pantry if you bake asian pastries as things like milk powder and custard powder is a rather common ingredient in recipes.

With the custard powder used, I use the Foster brand custard power as it is the easiest one to find in the supermarkets here. But the Asian marts here have a different type of custard powder. You can definitely use either or but it will affect the final result because of the composition of the powder when it comes to fat content and sugars in it, however it shouldn’t affect the cookie too much.

To be honest, my preference will be the Asian brand Dapur Desa of custard powder (image below) over Foster Clark’s brand as the aroma is nicer. I ran out of that custard powder when testing the recipe so didn’t use it for the video.

As for the milk powder using, I am using full fat milk powder as this is just what I like to use and it is my go to for the recipes I am sharing.

The only truly “special” item in the recipe is the hazelnut meal/flour that I had mentioned above.

This hazelnut meal that I am using is 100% ground hazelnuts. It is also not of a super fine texture but just the standard hazelnut meal you find in shops.

If compared to the almond meal in shops here, it is slightly coarser, but keep in mind that almond meal is ground to a different consistency in different countries so I have shared a visual in the video for you to have a look at.

It doesn’t really affect the flavour but it might affect the texture of the cookie. Coarser pieces will leave a little more of a textural crunch due to the larger bits in it, a finer ground will just provided more of a uniform texture that will blend into the pastry. Each has its own positives.

With the butter used, I am using Western Star cultured butter which has a butter fat between 82-83%. I suggest finding something with a nice higher fat percentage if you can.

Shapes and Tools

I am using a pineapple tart press for the melty version and star piping tips for the crispy version.

You will also need a piping bag to pipe the Nutella on, how much Nutella you would like on each tart is up to you.

Melty version: I am using a no.118 jem tart flower cutter but you don’t need to use this. You just need any cutter that is at the size of 3.5cm wide. If you want an indentation in the tart, you can use the back of a spoon otherwise you can simply do without any indentations in the dough.

Crispy version: I am using a size 5 piping tip to pipe the Nutella on and a size 7 piping tip for the base for the crispy version. You want to pipe the dough to the size of approximately 3cm wide. The cookie will spread as it bakes so do not fret if that happens.

Sizing as shown below:

Shortbread Flavour, Texture and Bake Times

As this cookie is split into 2 bakes – Parbaking the shortbreads initially to set them before baking them for the second time to set the Nutella and ensuring that the tart base is baked through thoroughly.

The texture and flavour is dependent on how long they bake for. Flavour more so than the texture in this instance.

I recommend baking the nutella tarts until they are nice and properly golden (darker bake timings as mentioned in the recipe) to bring out that toasted flavour of the hazelnut nuts in the pastry. With the other melty version, you want some colour on it to bring out the aroma but you do not want it too dark as it will make it too crunchy.

I have provided 2 timings of the crispy version for you but it is ultimately your decision to make. At 7mins it has a little more of a softer texture and at 9mins it has more of snap. My strong recommendation is to go for the 9mins (or do a short test with both timings to see which your preference is before baking it off)

So the key is balancing the initial bake and end bake times. You might wonder why there is a need to balance it, the reason will be the Nutella as I will explain in the next bit.

Nutella Texture and Bake Times

So there is a few things to note with the Nutella.

Firstly, be sure your Nutella isn’t too soft, if you leave in a warm environment with a very soft Nutella at room temp, then I recommend chucking the Nutella tub into the fridge for a short period to firm it up. This will ensure it will be easier to pipe and will hold its shape as it is being piped.

As mentioned, you want your Nutella at a cool firmer texture (my room temp of 22C tends to keep the Nutella at a decent texture that isn’t too soft). Which brings me to the part of the cool down period between each bake.

You want to ensure the tarts are fully cooled before you pipe your Nutella on otherwise you will end up with the risk of the Nutella spreading from being too soft.

Once your Nutella has been piped on, it is time for the second bake.

Now this is where you might be wondering the same thing as I was before I had the tarts for the first time, why doesn’t the Nutella tarts stick to the one another when stacked?

Well this is where the second bake bake times play a big role.

You want to bake the tarts in this second round for at least 7-9mins. 7 mins in the oven is the minimum time I have pushed for the Nutella to set when I was doing my tests at home, but every oven is different so do be sure to do a small test before committing to baking the full batch.

At 7 mins the surface is set but the area underneath is a little soft. To be honest, this is a little risky as they do have a hit or miss chance of sticking to one another once sufficient pressure has been applied.

At the 9 mins mark it is definitely more set and the Nutella takes on a firm texture which will prevent the tarts from sticking to one another. At 10 mins they are definitely set.


What to do if your melty dough feels too soft or hard to handle?

Fret not, just add a touch more flour when you roll it out. It is also better to work in smaller batches when rolling out your chilled dough to ensure your dough stays cool if you are making a large batch. Be sure to dip your cutter in flour to prevent sticking.

Why is my melty dough so soft?

There could be a few reasons for it. One being the type of butter you have used. Each butter behaves differently at room temp. For example, a dry butter may feel more malleable than soft at room temp than one with a lower fat content.

But it could also be your climate (humidity), flour type etc. So just work with the recipe as you see fit 🙂

I think I may have added too much flour?

In that instance you might have to simply bake it for longer to ensure that it is baked through.

Nutella Tarts – Two Ways – Melty

Makes approx 45 tarts

What you’ll need

  • 100g unsalted butter (82% fat min)
  • 30g pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 1.5g fine sea salt (1/8 tsp)
  • 14g egg yolk (approx 1 large yolk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 20g custard powder (see above for notes on brands)
  • 14g milk powder
  • 30g hazelnut meal (or almond as alternative)
  • 110g cake flour
  • Nutella, as needed
  • Flaked salt (optional)

Making it

Beat the butter to ensure it is soft.

Add sugar and salt together and beat until creamy.

Add custard powder, milk powder and hazelnut meal and until fluffy.

Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until well incorporated.

Sift in the cake flour and fold it into the dough.

Cover in cling wrap and let sit in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hr to firm up.

Preheat your oven to 160C

Roll the dough 6mm thick. `

Dip your cookie cutter in flour and use your cookie cutter to slice and stamp out the dough.

Tip: If not using a tart press you can use any cutter that is around 3.5cm in diameter and use the back of a measuring spoon coated in flour to create the indents or simply go without the indents, But do poke some holes in the middle to ensure it doesn’t puff up.

Bake at 160C for 10mins.

Let it cool to room temp before piping on the Nutella

Pipe Nutella onto your pastry and then sprinkle with flake salt if you wish.

Bake for another 8-9 mins until light golden.

Let cool before storing it in airtight containers.

Nutella Tarts – Two Ways – Crispy

Makes 40+ tarts

What you’ll need

  • 103g unsalted butter (82% fat min)
  • 43g pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 1.7g fine sea salt (1/8 tsp)
  • 26g egg white
  • 5g vanilla extract
  • 10g custard powder (see above for notes on brands)
  • 12g milk powder, full fat
  • 30g hazelnut meal (or almond as alternative)
  • 90g cake flour, sifted
  • Nutella, as needed
  • Flaked sea salt (optional)

Making it

Preheat oven to 160C

Cream butter gently to ensure it is soft, add icing sugar, salt and beat well on high speed until pale.

Add egg white and vanilla and beat really well, it will start to look almost off white as it lightens in colour.

Add custard powder, milk powder and hazelnut meal and cream well.

Add the cake flour and fold it in until you no longer see any flour streaks.

Transfer to a piping bag with a star tip attached to it (see notes above for sizes)

Pipe approx 3cm rounds

Use a finger (or small measuring spoon) dip in flour to create indents in the middle of the cookie.

Use toothpicks or skewer to poke some holes in the indents to prevent puffing in the middle.

Bake times for 1st bake:

  • For Lighter Bake: 7 mins
  • For Darker Bake (recommended): 9 mins

Let the cookies cool on the tray to room temp before piping on Nutella.

Sprinkle on the flaked salt if you wish and bake for another…

  • For Lighter Bake: 7 mins
  • For Darker Bake (recommended): 9-10 mins or until golden

Let cool before string in airtight container.

No Nut Melty Tart Base

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 34g icing sugar
  • 2.2g fine sea salt (between 1/8-1/4tsp)
  • 14g egg yolk (approx 1 large yolk)
  • 22g custard powder
  • 15g milk powder
  • 130g cake flour
  • 5g vanilla extract
  • 1/4tsp ube flavouring (only if making ube version)
  • Nutella or Speculoos/Cookie butter spread as needed

Notes: Please proceed as per the melty tart version for Nutella Tarts.

For Speculoos/Cookie Butter Tarts:

Simply bake the tarts once at 160C for 15mins for no no-nut tart base version. For nut base versions, bake for 13-15mins or until golden.

Once cooled pipe on the cookie butter and sprinkle some crush biscuits on top. Let it rest a bit to allow your spread to firm up if it is really soft before stacking them. This will prevent the speculoos from sticking to one another when stacked. You can place the tarts in the fridge/freezer for a very short period just to cool them down.

Do not do a second bake for the cookie butter/speculoos tarts as that will melt the cookie butter/speculoos spread. We are doing a longer bake to ensure the tart base is crisp and won’t require a second bake.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Rocky says:

    They look great! Where can I get a cookie cutter press like that which leaves an indent for filling? Thanks.


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