What Are They?
It's a cheese tart that's been so popular throughout Asia. Originally inspired by Hokkaido's dairy products and originated in a bakery in Sapporo, Hokkaido.
They are really something not to miss out. The tart crust is flaky and the cheesy filling is creamy.
Making These Tarts in Spain
Yes. I've never been to Hokkaido or Japan myself. I would love to, one day. So obviously I'm not using Hokkaido's dairy products nor the original bakery's recipe. This is my take on the ohhh-so-famous-and-yummy Hokkaido cheese tarts.
I first heard of the tarts like 2 years ago from my sister. She sent me a photo of the Hokkaido cheese tarts that she bought in Malaysia. She was raving on how delicious they were and I thought ok, that cannot be. I simply have to taste it. That means recreating it.
So today I'm sharing my take on it with you.
I'm using local dairy products from Spain. Actually all of the ingredients are from Spain. My point is, you can still enjoy these delicious tarts wherever you are. I'm so passionate about limitless cooking. Cooking should not be bound to certain places and ingredients. It should carry the same freedom as life does, and adaptable to where we are. That's the beauty of cooking.
This recipe is simple even though you have the crust and the filling components to tackle. I'm adding lemon zest in the crust as it just brings the taste to another level. Just a note though. Where I am now is super hot in the summer.
So that's why I'm chilling the dough for a while so that it's firm enough to handle before pressing it into the tart moulds. If you don't have that problem, by all means skip the chilling process.
I do say to place the unbaked crust in the freezer for a while though. With this type of crust it's always good to have it cold before baking. More when we've been manipulating the dough a lot when pressing into the moulds.
After piping the filling into the baked shells, put them in the freezer until the filling is firm enough to the touch. Why? Because we will be brushing the top with some egg yolk and it's going to be too soft to directly brush on it without putting in the freezer for a while.
The filling is pre cooked as a custard before we grill it. So it won't take long. Just enough to get that beautiful slight charred looks.
So I know what I would be serving my sisters when they come to visit. And if they don't put it in writing that my Hokkaido cheese tarts are the best in the world (muahaha!) then they might be spending the night in the roundabout across the street. Ha!
More Tart Recipes
- Mini salted chocolate tarts
- Hong Kong style coconut tarts
- Coconut and dulce de leche tart
- Strawberry cheese tarts
- Peanut butter cheesecake tarts
Hokkaido Cheese Tart
- 16" Disposable Decorating Bag Set
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter (75 g), soften
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar (25 g)
- 1 egg yolk , room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup all purpose flour (130 g)
- 3.5 oz cream cheese (100 g)
- 3.5 oz mascarpone cheese (100 g)
- 1 oz Parmesan cheese (30 g), grated
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter (30 g)
- ⅓ cup milk (80 ml)
- ¼ cup icing sugar (30 g), sifted
- 1 tablespoon corn starch , sifted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 egg , lightly beaten
- 1 egg yolk , to brush to top
- Add butter and sugar into a bowl and mix them well using a spatula. Then add in egg yolk, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Mix well to combine.
- Finally add in flour and mix just to combine. Don't over mix. Place the dough on a cling film and wrap it. Then place it in the fridge for 1 hour. Meanwhile let's make the filling.
- Use a thick base pot and place it on medium heat. Add in the 3 cheeses together with milk and butter. Cook until the cheeses are melted.
- Then add in icing sugar, corn starch and mix until smooth. Finally add in egg, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens. Sift into a bowl to discard any lumps. Cover the bowl with the cling film touching the top surface of the filling and set aside to cool completely.
- Remove the dough from the fridge after 1 hour. Take some of the dough and press it evenly inside a 2.5 inch (6.5 cm) tart mould. Cut off the excess dough with a knife and prick the base with a fork. Repeat until the rest of the dough is finished.Tip: Place the unbaked shell in a freezer for 10 minutes to firm up a bit.
- Bake in a preheated oven on the lowest rack at 340ºF (170ºC) for 15 minutes. Cool completely and then remove the shells from the moulds. Tap the bottom a few times to help releasing it.
- Fill the filling in a piping bag and pipe in inside the shells. Then place the unbaked tarts in the freezer for 30 minutes for the filling to firm up. Then brush the top of the filling with some egg yolk wash.
- Grill for a few minutes in the oven until the top is slightly charred. Enjoy!
Thumbs up. Love it. Malaysian myself and I know exactly how it taste like. We used to buy like 12 pieces to bring it back to The Netherlands and store it in the frezer.
There is no need anymore. Thank you so much for sharing.
Bea & Marco says
Great to have another fellow Malaysian here! I get to know about these tarts from my sister back in Malaysia. Hope you'll like them as much as we do (and no more freezing!), thanks Tasha!
Hi Jessica, I'm thinking of using melted brie instead of mascarpone as well. How did yours go when you used brie?
Jessica Salazar says
Do you think ai can use melted brie instead of the mascarpone?
Hi Jessica! I haven't tried it but I'm thinking, why not? Let me know how it goes 😊.
GREATTT THANKS FOR SHARING!
What can i substitute for mascarpone cheese? Its hard to find where i am from...
Yes, just use cream cheese instead. Hope it helps.
Hi Bea! Your recipe is amazing! I just want to know if I were to reheat these filled tarts later on, what temp would you recommend reheating at ? I do not want to overheat it and make the cheese lose its creaminess.
Hi Paula! I'm glad that you liked them, thanks! You can reheat them at 350ºF (175ºC) for a few minutes, just until warm. Hope it helps.
Hi Bea, just a question do you need baking beans to weigh tart shell?
Hi Yuliana! No, you don't need them. Just bake straight away.
OK what am I doing wrong? Followed the crust part exactly but it's still crumbly, how do you make it doughie like in the video. Think I could only achieve that if double up butter? Thanks.
Hi John! Sorry to hear that. Perhaps it's because the amount of flour. Using scale is more precise. If you're using cup measurement, please use the spoon and level method else you'll end up with more flour, resulting crumbly raw dough. Hope it helps.
Hi, just wondering whether it would be okay to make the pastry a day before and leave it in the fridge for longer than an hour for convenience? Or will this change the texture? Thank you very much 🙂
Hi! You're referring to the raw pastry dough, right? Yes, you can leave it longer than 1 hour, no problem. Hope it helps.
Hey, yes I was. Thank you very much 🙂
Hi, how long is the shelf life for the tarts assuming it's on the fridge? Worried that the cheese might spoil or will it not since it's cooked?
Hi Hannah! The cheese filling is cooked, you can refer to the video or the recipe instructions above. They're best consumed within 2,3 days. Hope it helps.
Kerry Tapia says
I want to make ahead of our dinner date. Are these eaten hot or can you reheat them or eat cold.
You can serve them hot or cold/room temperature, it's totally fine. Have fun!
What is the size of the mini tart shells used? Please advise. Thanks.
Hi! The size is 2.5 inch (6.5 cm). Hope it helps!
Can it last for 3 days in room temperature?
Depending if your place is super hot or not but I'd recommend you to keep them in the fridge if you were to consume them after 3 days. Hope it helps and thank you!
Made these tarts recently and they were amazing, omg so decadent. Just a quick question can I make the shells and leave them in the freezer for future use? If so, do I store them baked or unbaked?
Thanks in advance 🙂
Yes, of course. I always freeze them already baked (personally for me it's easier) but either way works great. I do pop them for a few minutes in the oven after thawing to bring them back to life though. Hope it helps and thank you, Kevin!
Hi! What's the temperature when grilling the tart?
How many tarts does this make?
This recipe makes 9 tarts 🙂
What if I dont have mascarpone? Can I use cream cheese + cream cheese instead of mascarpone + cream cheese?
Yes, of course. You can use cream cheese instead of mascarpone. Hope it helps.
Thank you! ☺️
Really wan to try the recipe.
Can I make it as a one big tart ? Or does the filling will spill out ?
Just wondering, can we leave out the parmesan cheese?
Hi Anne. Yes, skip it if you don't like it. Hope it helps.
Hi bea I’m using homemade cream cheese which I blended it prior to storing in a tub. The texture is not as smooth as store bought cream cheese. May I ask if there’s any difference between Baine Marie and blending the tart filling? I done using baine marie but the filling texture is not creamy. I wonder if I could mix all the filling and blend it in a blend to smoothen it? Thank you
Fabulous tarts. I made it just now and the kids love it. I left the lemon juice and zest out as I'm afraid it might be too sour for them. I replaced mascarpone cheese with creme fraiche and turned out good too. Thanks for the recipe.
I'm glad to know that, thank you Samuel!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, me and my mum used to live in Japan and she really misses the mini cheesetarts, I’m super happy that I found a recipe so I can make them for her tonight!
Tim Herring says
Look great - how many shells does this make?
This recipe makes 9 tarts, hope it helps 🙂
What I can use to substitute the mascarpone cheese? Thank you
You can put more of cream cheese instead. Hope it helps!
Hi! I will never have enough space to freeze the filled tarts before baking, can I just refrigerate them for longer before baking..?
Yes, you can 😊.
I was too lazy to make my own shell. But used your filling and instead of icing sugar I used granulated sugar. Still tastes great and not too sweet. The only part I butchered was the broiling to char the top. It got a bit too burnt. But still tastes yummy!!
Could I not brush with egg and just broil for a few min?
Hi Cheryl! I'm happy to know that you liked it! Yeah when broiling you kind of need to keep an eye on it 😀 . The brushed egg at the end is what gives it that golden charred color, if you don't mind that, yes skip it. Thank you so much Cheryl! XO
Hi , I have all the ingredients except for the mascarpone cheese.. what should I substitue? I was wondering if I can substitute a yougurt?
Hi Tracy! I'd say use more cream cheese instead. Hope it helps 🙂
Hi, I tried to bake this using pre-made shells and in an airfryer but the taste turn out to be a bit sour. Any reason for this?
Ate my first tart in Toronto and consider it one of the best cakes I have ever had.
I like to make them now back in Germany and wonder if they are actually taste sweet enough with just 30g sugar?
Hi Chris! These tarts are not overly sweet so if you're into sweeter ones you can adjust the sugar amount to your liking. Hope it helps!
I’m getting into the world of baking and I loved the cheese tarts that I had tried when I visited Japan. I tried to recreate your recipe but the tart came out tasting slightly like egg? What did I do wrong and how can avoid this problem in the future?
Hi Laura! Sorry to hear that! I think most probably it was when cooking the filling, don't use high heat or cook until the filling came to a boil. Hope it helps.
Turns out I left it in the oven too long at the end. I couldn’t get the right color but now I broil it and it’s fantastic! Thank you for this delicious recipe!
Can you please tell me if it makes a difference if we use whipped vs regular cream cheese? Which one is preferred?
Hi Unbareen! Honestly I haven't worked with whipped cream cheese product before so I don't know what are the ingredients included in it. Personally I would use regular cream cheese. Hope it helps.
Thanks for sharing.
I want to know:
1/ How long the unbaked tart could be freeze? Could it be up to 2 weeks or longer?
2/ can I use the toaster oven to bake the tart too?
Hi Sammi! Yes I would say they would last more or less 2 weeks. I don't have a toaster oven and haven't tested using it so I can't really say. Sorry!
What are your thoughts on using pre-made tart shells for this recipe? I.e the one you can buy from the frozen ailse on the grocery? Im thinking would save time and just make the custard! : )
Hi Ryan! I would really recommend you to try making the shells to really enjoy and appreciate the cheese tart 🙂
This recipe is so delicious! It really reminded me of Tokyo Station’s BAKE!
I’ve tries making it four times it turned out really good expect the consistency of the filling. I’ve been having troubles making it thicker. Sometimes I used corn flour instead of cornstarch and cooking it more than 10 minutes. The result was very liquid like and had rice sized clumps. The only time the consistency was okay when I accidentally burnt the filling a bit (Still turned out great!! But smelled like grilled cheese sandwich a bit and wasn’t smooth).
So, any tips to make the filling thicker? Do I need to add more cornstarch?
Hi Bea, can I skip the pre-baking procedure of the shell? Is it possible to bake both the shell and the filling without having pre baking the shells.
Thanks for your reply
Hi Ella. Nope, you'll need to bake the shells first since the cooked filling won't take long in the oven. Hope it helps 🙂
This recipe is amazing!!! Thank you so much for making my family, boyfriend, friends, and coworkers tummies quite happy!! I just wanted to note that at first the cheese mixture, though quite delicious, was definitely rich and I wanted to balance out the flavors a bit and add that special something SO I put a little nutmeg and cinnamon into the mixture. It turned out perfectly! Also the addition of the lemon zest to the tart shells were superb. What a lovely recipe! Thank you!
Nutmeg and cinnamon sounds yum! I'm happy to know that everybody loved it, thank you so much Noel!
Ann Chuah says
Am I able to get a recipe for the Hokkaido STRAWBERRY tarts - they are absolutely incredible. I buy heaps when I’m in Brisbane, but it’s a 3 hour drive and I would love to have a go at making some. Bless you
You could probably substitute the vanilla extract with strawberry extract to make sure that the balance between wet and dry ingredients stays and you have strawberry flavor.
Melanie Hart says
I love the combination of cheeses that you put, brilliant!
Parmesan in a sweet dessert, I would have never thought it would be so incredible. Thank you for this.
Right? Parmesan is sweet dessert is just delicious! Thank you so much Melanie!
Hi Bea! I tried the Baked cheese tarts at Tokyo station recently and loved them! Your recipe looks amazing. I would love to try it but have a question. Can the shell be made thinner or will it break apart if I try to do so?
Hi Radhika! Well you can try making the shells thinner but not so much though because they're flaky. Let me know how it goes for you. Thank you!
Hi Bea, apologies for this question. I have all the ingredients here except for mascarpone and parmesan cheese. My cheese are only cream cheese and cheddar, do you think I could use these 2 cheese for this recipe? If yes, by how much? Thanks in advance.
Hi! No need for an apology, we're all here to share and learn 🙂 . You can use the same amount of mascarpone for the cream cheese. And use the same amount of parmesan for the cheddar. The taste won't exactly be the same though but it would work. Hope it helps.
Thanks a lot. 🙂
Hi! I just had some for the first time yesterday from a Japanese bakery. And I plan to bake some. My question is do you need to grease the tart rins? Also, we don't have mascarpone readily available. Can I use Creamcheese?
Hi! I don't grease the tart moulds since they never stick in mines. And yes, use cream cheese with no problem. Hope it helps 🙂
Excelsior Crocker says
Hi, I have a question about the tart. After filled the tart with filling do you have to bake the filled tart? Or just filled and freez since the cheeses was cooked already?
Hi! Baking the tarts is to get that charred marks on top, making them look more beautiful. If you don't want to, then skip the freezing part because freezing is to make the filling harden a bit, easier to paint with egg wash before baking. Hope it helps 🙂
eileen chin says
this was quite a work for me but it was worth it. lol. very flaky pastry. I also love that the cheese is not that sweet. thank you for sharing. god bless.
Haha! Good to know that it was worth it 😀 Yes the cheese filling is not so sweet, which for me is just perfect. Thank you Eileen!
Amazing tarts! They were a hit in our office Christmas pot luck the other day.
Thank you for sharing, I love your recipes!
Hi Deb, I'm excited to hear that you made them for your Christmas pot luck and everybody loved them 😀 Thank you so much Deb!
Dordy Bubb says
They truly sound amazing. This is one recipe I will give ago on making.
Thank you for sharing.
I'm waiting on my new home to be finished.
When I get my new kitchen this is what I shall bake.
Congrats on your new home! That's exciting I bet :). And yes, the tarts are amazing if I can say so :D. Easy to make also. Hope you'll like them. Thank you Dordy!
When baking the filled tarts, is the temperature set at 170C ?
El Mundo Eats says
Hi Karenina! Yes the temperature is 170ºC for baking the tarts. Oven temperature varies so bake them until golden brown and fully cooked. Hope this helps 🙂