Homemade Pineapple Tarts Recipe (+ Eggless & Vegan Pineapple Tarts)

Pineapple Tarts or Kuih Tart in Malay, are the personification of the festive cookie in Singapore and Malaysia; melt in your mouth shortcrust pastry shells filled with homemade pineapple jam.
Pineapple Tarts (Kuih Tart) on small blue plate
Pineapple Tarts (Kuih Tart) on small blue plate
Pineapple Tarts (Kuih Tart) – as featured by the Singapore Malay Heritage Centre

What does the Malay word “Kuih” Mean?

There is no direct translation for this Malay word. It refers to a sweet, and can be baked goods, steamed or even fried.

However, the word will not include cakes, which is kek in Malay. In plural, we say kuih-muih, which also describes a variety of sweet delights.

Kuih is pronounced coo-way, the emphasis is on the second syllable. So go fast on coo. And k sound on the coo.

Pineapple Tarts Recipe with Condensed Milk

Our pineapple tarts recipe here is my late granny’s, and one I’ve been using since I was about 8! And it has a small amount of condensed milk in it, which is very handy for our eggless pineapple tarts recipe (also given below).

The pastry isn’t sweet because of it, as in the traditional recipe, we’re only using 1 Tbsp. In the eggless version, there is only a hint of sweetness, like sweet shortcrust pastry.

When I make these for Eid, they never fail to remind me of her.

Circle of Life

Just as we used to make these kuih tart with my grandma, the younger generations are doing the same thing. My girls do much of the baking for me these days, with the boys lending a hand.

And here’s an image of my sister and her granddaughter making the tarts in Melbourne for Eid 2022. And one of Sapphire making the tarts for Eid 2022. My girls tend to do most of the baking these days.

Best Melt in Your Mouth Pineapple Tarts Recipe

I’ve tweaked my granny’s recipe ever so slightly, but it still remains true to the one we used as kids, right down to the way I mix everything up, and even the brand of butter we use.

Funny really, I’ve discovered better butter brands for cakes, but when it comes to my kuih tart, I only ever use Anchor!

Our shortcrust dough is just slightly lighter, almost crumbly, which gives the cookie an almost melt in the mouth texture, the way I like it.

You need special cutters for the tarts (only available in said countries), ones that cut the pastry while making an indentation for the jam filling at the same time.

These days, the “kuih tart” cutters have grooves that will create a pattern on the cookies, see the image above. However, when we were young, we used to have to make these patterns using pastry crimpers, or sepit, in Malay. See image above, that’s my grandma’s almost-100-year old crimper!

Imagine making 1 000 little tarts, cutting them, filling them and then crimping them! My older brother used to roll out the dough and cut, my two younger siblings and I filled and my older sister crimped.

As we grew older, our responsibilities changed, and the younger ones would move on to the more difficult part of the assembly line!

A labour of love!

I still remember how our pineapple tarts had a reputation all of their own – my granny would receive orders by the thousands! And it followed us everywhere we went.

Once someone tasted our kuih tart, there was no turning back. Every year until I left Singapore for the UK, I’d get asked for “a favour”! Paid favours of course, and by the dozens!

Homemade Pineapple Jam

The pineapple tarts are filled with homemade pineapple jam (image below) which is simplicity itself. All you do is chop up the pineapple finely in a chopper and cook away on the stove. We add some sugar as well as a couple of cloves and a small cinnamon stick, for flavour.

The jam will last a week in the fridge and any leftover can also be eaten with bread and butter.

Homemade pineapple jam
Homemade pineapple jam

Can you make ahead Pineapple Tarts dough?

Kuih Tart dough can be made earlier and kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. Leave it at room temperature for 10 minutes before you start working on it.

It can also be frozen, like most other pastry. My advice is to freeze it for up to 3 months, but from one of the old comments left on LinsFood, one of my readers went 4 months with no problems.

Defrost it overnight in the fridge (covered). Then bring it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you’re ready to make it. Or you can defrost for 2 hours on the kitchen counter before you start to cut out the cookies.

a cup of tea is always nice!

Making Pineapple Tarts without the specialist cutters

Of course, you can always make these in the shape of ordinary jam cookies, or thumbprint cookies.

In fact, it has been quite fashionable for quite a while to make pineapple tarts into tiny rolls (called nastar), very popular and traditional in Indonesia. But let’s face it, these are much prettier!

Eggless Pineapple Tarts

My girls are allergic to eggs, so when I make kuih tart just for us (instead of clients and students), I make an eggless version.

All we do is:

  • replace the egg with 70g (1/4 cup) condensed milk. So that will be the 70g PLUS 1 Tbsp the recipe already calls for.
  • we also add 1/4 tsp baking powder sifted with the flour. Eggs also have lifting properties, and that’s what we’re replacing, to ensure that our tarts’ pastry remains soft and airy.

Vegan Pineapple Tarts

Converting this traditional kuih tart recipe into vegan pineapple tarts is pretty easy. The pineapple jam is vegan, so no problem there.

For the dough, we’ve already got the eggless version, as discussed above. Now what we do is simply:

  1. replace the butter with vegetable fat like Planta – when I was a kid, this was how many of our neighbours made their festive cookies. Maybe because it was cheaper than butter?
  2. use a vegan condensed milk, or replace the condensed milk with a combination of vegan yoghurt (soy?) and non dairy milk. See the full recipe in the recipe card.

Tips for Making Kuih Tart

The more you make them, the more you’ll get to know the process and will find it easier. Unfortunately, as this is only done once or twice a year, there is not a whole lot of practice opportunities. So here are a few things to help you:

  • you may not need all the butter. Every ingredient is different. Your butter may have slightly more moisture than the one I’m using. Your flour may absorb more moisture. Also, I live in a low humidity and cool country.
    >> So stick with the flour amount, but don’t use all the butter to begin with, as I have written in the recipe card below.
  • Use a sheet of plastic or cling film to roll out the dough. This will not only stop the dough from sticking to your rolling pin but it will also create a smoother surface. The cling film will lose its sticky feel very quickly as you use it.
  • Dip the cutter into the flour, shake off excess, then cut, after every 2-3 cuts! Trust me or it’ll stick!
  • In the recipe card below, I suggest putting the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes. We never did this in hot and humid Singapore, but the reason I suggest you do so is:
    1. for first timers, I’m not there to help you ensure the dough is of the right texture. If it’s too soft, placing it in the fridge will allow you to cut it better.
    2. for the same reason, the pattern will stay on better if your dough is softer than it’s meant to be.
that little brown plate was my granny’s, I always use it at Eid

Pineapple Tarts Prep and Cook Times

A note about the times listed here. On the recipe card, I’ve given you the time it will take to make the dough, cut, fill and bake 1 tray of about 24 kuih tarts. Let me break down the prep and cook time so we can work out how long it’s going to take us to make the amount here.

Did I mention “labour of love”?

  • Getting ingredients ready: 10 minutes
  • Making pastry/dough: 10 minutes
  • Chilling: 10 minutes
  • Rolling and cutting 1 tray of 24 tarts: 10 minutes
  • Filling with jam (1 tray x 24 tarts): 5 minutes
  • Cook time of 1 tray of 24 tarts: 15 minutes

Total for 1 tray of 24 tarts: 1 hour

120 tarts = roughly 5 trays. All you need to multiply is the rolling, cutting, filling and baking times.

10 + 5 + 15 = 30 minutes

So total rolling, cutting and baking time for 5 trays = 30 minutes x 5 = 150 minutes.

Unless you bake 2 trays at a time, which is what I do, so it’ll be 90 minutes.

Don’t forget the initial prep work though! That was 30 minutes in all (ingredients, making dough and chilling).

So add that to our times above.

Baking 1 tray at a time = Total time will be 3 hours.

Baking 2 trays at a time = Total time will be 2 hours.

Phew! Good thing I enjoy maths!

Pineapple Tarts (Kuih Tart)
perfect for little hands!

How long can you keep Pineapple Tarts?

Traditional homemade pineapple tarts can last up to 4 weeks, if kept in an airtight container. However, I’ve had them after 5-6 weeks and they were still edible. Personally, I think they are nowhere near as good after 3 weeks, the dough takes on a softer feel.

Eggless pineapple tarts, in my opinion, should be eaten within 2 weeks. As they aren’t as crisp to begin with, they don’t survive as long.

How many calories are in a pineapple tart?

With my recipe here, each pineapple tart has 48 calories. Bear in mind, that the amount of pineapple jam in the tart will affect this figure. Take a look at my recipe card below, and you’ll have a brief nutritional breakdown.

Why do pineapple tarts turn mouldy?

2 reasons:

  1. they weren’t cooked well enough – you need to ensure that the dough has a chance to fully cook through, a light golden beige is the colour we aim for. If unsure, just break a tart in half and taste the tart.
  2. storage conditions – in an airtight container in a cool dry place is the best. But hey, I grew up in Singapore, which is seriously hot and humid, and we never had a problem! So the first reason above is the most important.

Gosh, that’s probably more information that you were expecting!

Shall we get our aprons on?

If you like the recipe and article, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you! ♥

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood

Lin xx

More Festive Recipes

Head on over to the still-growing Eid Recipes page for more ideas for Raya.

Kuih Rose (aka Kuih Loyang, Rosette Cookies)
Full proof kuih rose recipe. Also known as kuih loyang, these are pretty easy to make, and last a good 2 weeks.
Check out this recipe!
kuih rose cookies on a blue plate
Traditional Kuih Makmur (Malay Peanut Filled Eid Cookies)
Kuih Makmur are pretty little Eid cookies with a leaf pattern, filled with crushed toasted peanuts, from Singapore and Malaysia.
Check out this recipe!
Kuih Makmur on a blue plate with icing sugar
Biskut Kacang (Peanut Cookies aka Biskut Mazola)
Biskut kacang recipe, melt-in-the-mouth peanut cookies from Singapore and Malaysia, perfect for Eid, Chinese New Year, Diwali and Christmas.
Check out this recipe!
Biskut Kacang (Peanut Cookies, aka Biskut Mazola)

Images by LinsFoodies

Pineapple Tarts (Kuih Tart) on small blue plate

Pineapple Tarts Recipe (Resepi Kuih Tart) (+ Eggless and Vegan)

Azlin Bloor
Pineapple Tarts or Kuih Tart in Malay, are the personification of the festive cookie in Singapore and Malaysia; melt in your mouth shortcrust pastry shells filled with homemade pineapple jam.
5 from 103 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Cookies
Cuisine Singaporean and Malaysian
Servings 60 (Recipe makes about 120 little tarts)
Calories 96 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 700 g plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp condensed milk at room temperature
  • 400-500 g salted butter, at room temperature (14 oz – 17.5 oz)
  • 1 portion pineapple jam
  • a bowl with extra plain flour for dusting
Eggless Pineapple Tarts
  • 700 g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 70 g condensed milk, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp condensed milk, at room temperature PLUS this amount too
  • 400-450 g salted butter, at room temperature (14 oz – 1 lb)
  • 1 portion pineapple jam
  • a bowl with extra plain flour for dusting
Vegan Pineapple Tarts
  • 700 g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 400-450 g vegetable fat or vegan butter at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vegan yoghurt (soy or anything else)
  • 4 Tbsp dairy free milk OR water (you'll probably not need all of it) COLD

Instructions
 

Making Pineapple Tarts Pastry

  • Sift the flour.
  • Whisk the egg and condensed milk with a wooden spoon until combined.
  • Add 400g (14oz) of the butter and mix in as much as is possible. You will most likely not get a smooth mix, and that's perfectly fine. The only way to get it smooth is with an electric mixer which we are not using here, as you will end up with a dough that's way too soft. It will get smooth as we add the flour.
  • Add the sifted flour and mix it in by using cutting motions with your spoon (or pastry cutter), i.e., north-south, east-west. If your dough feels too dry and crumbly, add more butter, bit by bit, but remember, we want to be gentle and not knead the dough. Just use your fingertips, see the video.
    You will probably not need all the butter.
  • Now, using your fingers, bring it all together lightly, do not knead.
  • Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 10 minutes, no longer as the dough will be too brittle.

Rolling, Cutting and Filling Pineapple Tarts

  • On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a depth of about ½ cm (⅕ in). Remember to place cling film on the dough before rolling.
  • Dust a small amount of flour on the surface of your pastry and very lightly spread it out with your fingers. This will aid in the pastry not sticking to the cutter.
  • Using your cutter, cut out shapes (dip in flour!) and place on cookie sheet. If your oven takes 2 trays at once, fill 2 cookie sheets.
  • Preheat oven to 160˚C/310˚F (Fan 140°C).
  • Fill the tart shells with jam, being careful not to overfill them. To me, they look rather unsightly when the jam is bulging out almost like a ball. Place the dough back in the fridge while filling the cut out tarts.

Bake ’em, Dano

  • Bake the pineapple tarts for 15-18 minutes until a pale golden colour, not brown. We are going for a beige look!
    If your oven runs cool, you may need more time, the full 18 minutes. One of my readers had to cook hers for 22 minutes each tray because her tarts were just not browning!
    Also, the thicker your tarts, the more time you will need.
    And, if baking 2 trays at a time, the one on the lower shelf will probably need 2-3 minutes more.
  • Repeat the whole rolling, cutting and filling with the rest of the pastry.
  • When cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature, every layer lined with baking/parchment paper to prevent sticking. They will keep for 2-3 weeks easily, that is, if they don’t get eaten up first!

Eggless Pineapple Tarts

  • Sift the flour and baking powder.
  • Add 400g (14oz) of the butter and mix in as much as is possible. You will most likely not get a smooth mix, and that's perfectly fine. The only way to get it smooth is with an electric mixer which we are not using here, as you will end up with a dough that's way too soft. It will get smooth as we add the flour.
  • Add all the condensed milk and mix thoroughly with the wooden spoon.
  • Follow the rest of the recipe as above and bake for and additional 3-5 minutes until you get a very light brown golden colour. The reason for the extra cooking time is because they are eggless, they tend to get softer as the days go by, so I like to give them a good crisp start.

Vegan Pineapple Tarts

  • Sift the flour and baking powder.
  • Add 400g the vegetable fat and mix in as much as is possible. You will most likely not get a smooth mix, and that's perfectly fine. The only way to get it smooth is with an electric mixer which we are not using here, as you will end up with a dough that's way too soft. It will get smooth as we add the flour.
  • Add the yoghurt and mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the sifted flour and mix it in by using cutting motions with your spoon (or pastry cutter), i.e., north-south, east-west. We want to be gentle and not knead the dough. Just use your fingertips to bring it all together, see the video.
  • Add the water 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough comes together. If you need more than 4 Tbsp, that's fine.
  • Bake for and additional 3-5 minutes until you get a very light brown golden colour. The reason for the extra cooking time is because they are eggless, they tend to get softer as the days go by, so I like to give them a good crisp start.

Fancy Kuih Makmur?

Video

Notes

See notes above the recipe for proper cooking times. The times here reflect the filling and baking of 1 tray of about 24 tarts.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tartsCalories: 96kcalCarbohydrates: 9.8gProtein: 1.4gFat: 5.6gCholesterol: 17.6mgSodium: 45.2mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.8g
Keyword eid recipes, raya recipes, resepi raya
Tried this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor or tag #linsfood!
Made it? Upload your Photos!Mention @azlinbloor or tag #linsfood!

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48 thoughts on “Homemade Pineapple Tarts Recipe (+ Eggless & Vegan Pineapple Tarts)”

  1. 5 stars
    Made them for the first time today with your recipe. They are so good, thank you! Selamat Hari Raya!

  2. 5 stars
    I tried a small batch, as it’s my first time. These are so good, really the best pineapple tarts I’ve ever tasted! Do you think I can freeze the cooked tarts?

    1. I’m pleased you think so, Cassie. And yes, you can definitely freeze them. Give them 2-3 hours to defrost and come to room temperature, depending on how warm it is where you are.

  3. What’s the difference between using salted and unsalted butter for these tarts? I’ve seen other recipes that calls for unsalted butter.

    1. Hi Billy, whether making savoury or sweet, you always want a tiny amount of salt in the pastry to give it an all rounded flavour. Without the salt, the pastry tastes a little flat.
      From a professional point of view, unsalted butter is the preferred choice when baking because pastry chefs like to control the amount of salt and add a pinch themselves. I’m one of the few who much prefers to use salted butter when baking. That means I don’t need to add any salt to my pastry.
      So if you see someone using unsalted butter, they should have a pinch of salt in the ingredients. If they don’t, then their pineapple tarts pastry will be lacking in depth ever so slightly.
      So the difference between the two is that salted butter or adding a pinch of salt when using unsalted, will produce better tasting tarts.
      I hope that helps.

    1. Hi Jane, a week in the fridge is too long, I’m afraid. 2 days is about as much as it will last. However, you can freeze your dough. Defrost it overnight in the fridge (covered). Then bring it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you’re ready to make it.
      Or you can defrost for 2 hours on the kitchen counter before you start to cut out the cookies.

  4. 5 stars
    Spending Eid for the first time away this year and I’m already trying some kuih before I leave. We all agree that this kuih tart recipe is the best one we’ve tried. Thanks Lin.

    1. Thanks Maggie, the recipe is just above this comment. Scroll up a little and you should see it.
      When you are at the top of this page, there are buttons that say “Jump to Recipe” and “Jump to Video”.

  5. 5 stars
    These are so good! Definitely the best melt in the mouth pineapple tarts I’ve tried. Thanks!

  6. Sheela Devi

    Hi Azlin, tarts looks so good. I am just wondering… Is using condensed milk in this recepi makes a difference compared to the ones without condensed milk? I want to try out d eggless one n just wondering to omit d condensed milk.

    1. Thank you, Sheela. In the first recipe, the one with eggs, the condensed milk doesn’t really make a difference to the flavour, it adds just the tiniest hint of creaminess and also softness. It’s my granny’s recipe, that’s how she made it and I have never tasted anything better.
      In the second recipe, which is my eggless version, the condensed milk takes the place of the eggs. So you definitely need them. It doesn’t make the tarts sweet though, just the tiniest bit. Like sweet shortcrust pastry, there is a small hint of sweetness that goes very well with the sweet filling.
      I hope that helps. Any other questions, just ask.

  7. 5 stars
    Thanks, I have to agree with everyone else here, the best kuih tart I have ever tasted! I had to stop the kids from eating too many before tomorrow!

  8. 5 stars
    My wife just made almost 500 of these for Deepavali and has asked me to say thank you to you. She says they are the best she has ever tasted. Having eaten a few, I have to agree!

  9. 5 stars
    I’m keeping your recipe. Particularly helpful on the one without egg ss thinking if for vegetarian.

    Question: I’ve seen recipe where the base is baked for about 5 mins before topping the jam. Is it necessary? What’s the difference?

    1. Hi Agnes, that’s interesting. I personally don’t think it’s necessary, as the pastry shells are so tiny compared to an 8 or 9inch tart. In that instance, we want to pre bake to prevent a soggy base.

      The pineapple tart base crisps up perfectly, not only because it’s tiny, to begin with, but we cook the pineapple jam to a pretty dry stage. So there really isn’t any moisture to worry about.

      I think this is a classic example of trying to “improve” or change a traditional recipe when it’s just not needed.

      When you get around to making it, let me know how it goes.

          1. 5 stars
            Realised that to be vegetarian it has to be more than eggless, can use milk too as I’ve your recipe. So cannot use your recipe eventually. Sorry. But that got me looking farther for vegetarian egg tarts. Found it, still taste pretty good though not buttery.

            Thanks for sharing regardless!

            1. I’ve had a few readers substituting the milk with soya and coconut products successfully. You are talking about it being vegan, aren’t you? Glad you found something that works for you.

  10. Rani Davendran

    5 stars
    These tarts were very, very good, Azlin, thank you. I did a quick try with quarter of the recipe, planning to make hundreds for Deepavali, to give to family. I know they will love them.

  11. Veronica Rodrigues

    Kuih cookies look delicious if only these cutters could be available in Toronto. Thumb print cookies do not compare to these atleast in presentation. If only we could buy them online, please let me know.
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you Veronica. I know, it’s a pain for so many of my readers. The last time I had visitors form Singapore, I got them to bring a whole lot, and I would post them on to my readers around the world , for free. Sadly, I’ve run out and because of these current times, haven’t had any visitors in a couple of years.
      Why don’t you try a search on Ebay Canada for “Kuih Tart cutters”? I found this on Ebay UK, the seller is in Malaysia and delivers worldwide: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/273672896453?hash=item3fb82cffc5:g:80MAAOSw3~5cS8CJ
      The price is pretty steep for what it is, but I suppose there is international postage to take into account.

    1. HI Indrani, I don’t think there really is a “true” version. Every family is going to mkae theirs a little bit different. Having said that, I’ve never tasted any that were better than this recipe, which was my granny’s.

  12. Hi.
    How do I get your pineapple jam recipe as well as best melt in the mouth version?

    Thank you

  13. 5 stars
    Last year, I buat resepi ni, sedaplah Kak Lin. Tapi, sekarang, anak tu dah jadi vegan. Boleh buat vegan tak?

    1. Hi Sue, boleh buat vegan, tengok recipe untuk eggless, tapi use margarine for the butter. Susu tu boleh pakai susu soya lah, pasal, cuma sedikit sehaja. Tapi, maybe nak tepung extra.

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