These easy pineapple tarts are a buttery, crumbly pastry filled with a delicious homemade pineapple jam. They just melt in your mouth! With this no-fail recipe, they'll be the best pineapple cookies that you'll try.
What Is Pineapple Tart Made Of?
Pineapple tart is famous in South East Asia and was introduced by Portuguese merchants back in the 16th century. It's a buttery, elongated shaped pastry filled with pineapple jam.
The rich pastry is mainly made from butter, egg, and flour. It also has some type of flour like corn starch that contributes to its tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
The pineapple jam is made by cooking grated pineapple into a thick jam paste. In some variations, the jam is infused with clove, cinnamon, or star anise.
Throughout the years, there have been many variations of these pineapple tarts cookies. What stays the same is, they're delicious!
Why This Recipe Works
Because this is my family's pineapple tarts recipe and we've been making it since I was a teenager! For many years we've been selling these Malaysian pineapple tarts during the end of Ramadan and Chinese New Year. They were a hit!
Despite the fancy looks, they're easy to make and this is a no-fail recipe. I promise! I've improved the method of my old-fashioned pineapple tart recipe so that it's even easier to make.
Ingredients For These Tarts
Pineapple - Not fully ripe. Think of it as to be consumed in 2-3 days. Choose one that still has some green skin on it.
Sugar - Granulated sugar (white or brown) for the pineapple jam and powdered sugar for the pineapple tarts. Powdered sugar gives that delicious melt-in-your-mouth texture!
Powdered milk - Full fat or skimmed works great in this recipe. It adds delicate flavor like in my snowball cookies without nuts (milky Arabic cookies) and milky cashew nut cookies. Yum!
Instant custard mix powder - It makes the dough easy to manage since it acts as a thickening agent, apart from adding flavor and color. Find the no-cook instant mix, where you only add water and whisk to make the custard.
*See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Here's how to make pineapple tarts using a pineapple-shaped moon cake mold and without using any mold at all.
1. Make pineapple tart filling. Blend pineapple and cook with sugar on medium heat until it thickens. Once it's cooled, roll it into grape-sized balls. Chill in the fridge meanwhile.
2. Make the dough. Mix flour, salt, instant custard powder, and powdered milk in a bowl. In another bowl, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla using a spatula. Gradually add in the flour mixture and bring everything together into a ball.
3. Make the leaves dough. Remove 2.1 oz (60g) of dough and mix it with matcha powder. Divide into 15 small balls.
4. Make the pineapple dough. Divide the balance of the dough into 15 balls. Wrap a piece of jam with dough and roll it into an oval. Repeat with the rest.
5. Shape the leaf. Press 1 green ball on the leaves area of the mold.
6. Shape the pineapple. Place the pineapple dough into the pineapple tart mold and press it on the working surface. Gently lift it up, remove the dough, and place it on a lined baking pan.
7. Bake. Brush the yellow part of the tart only with egg yolk. Bake at 350ºF for 17-20 minutes. Cool on a rack. Easy, right? Enjoy your pineapple tarts!
8. Not using a mold. Make mini pineapple tarts! Divide jam and dough into 25 balls. Wrap a piece of jam with dough and roll it into a log. Make a shallow criss-cross on top using the back of a knife and bake as per recipe instructions.
Recipe Expert Tips
- Use splatter guard. The jam will splatter at the beginning of cooking process, and I like to use a splatter guard for safety and less mess!
- Use softened butter. This is so that it blends in the dough well. Else you'd find your dough crumbly and won't hold together.
- Cover dough with cling film. Always cover the dough/balls at all times to prevent them from getting dry.
- Weigh to be precise. I love to use a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients as it's more precise. I also weigh the dough for the leaves and pineapples so they're the same size.
- Don't linger. The dough has instant custard mix powder which makes it easy to dry as time passes. Shape the dough immediately. Else it'll get dry and crumbly.
How To Store
At room temperature - In an air-tight container, they're best consumed within 5 days.
In the fridge - In an air-tight container, they're best for up to 2 weeks.
In the freezer - Place pineapple tarts on a lined pan with parchment paper and freeze for 1 hour. Place frozen tarts in a zip-lock bag or an air-tight container for up to 3 months. Thaw them at room temperature.
No worries! Wrap a piece of jam with dough, then roll it into a log. Optional, flatten it a bit and make a shallow criss-cross on top using the back of a knife to mimic the pineapple pattern.
In an air-tight container at room temperature, best consumed within 5 days. They last up to 2 weeks in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
Absolutely! Just freeze them for 1 hour on a lined pan with parchment paper. Then transfer to a zip-lock bag or an air-tight container, and back in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw them at room temperature.
Because there's too much filling and not thick enough dough covering it. The dough will melt a bit in the oven before it sets, so if the dough is not thick enough it will form cracks.
It also cracks when it's over baked. The steam from the jam will push the pastry, thus making it crack.
Related Cookie Recipes
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Pineapple-Shaped Tart Cookies
- 1.3 lb peeled pineapple chunks
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon powdered milk
- ¼ cup instant custard powder mix (no-cook)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup butter , softened
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg , room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon matcha powder
- 1 egg yolk
- Always cover the dough with cling film to avoid it from getting dry.
- Blend pineapple chunks in a food blender briefly for 10 seconds. We don't want a super fine texture. Cook in a pot (preferably a non-stick) with sugar on medium-high heat until it stops splattering and most liquid evaporates.
- Use medium heat and continue cooking until it's thickened and golden brown in color. Stir frequently at this stage to avoid it from getting burnt.
- Place into a bowl and let it cool completely. Make 15 grape-sized balls of 0.4 oz (12 g). Chill in the fridge meanwhile.
- Mix all-purpose flour, powdered milk, instant custard powder mix, and salt in a bowl, and set aside.
- Mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl using a spatula. Mix in the egg. Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients at a time, mixing well after each addition. Bring everything together into a dough ball at the end with your hand.
- Remove 2.1 oz (60 g), place it in another bowl with matcha powder, and mix. Divide into 15 balls.
- Divide the other dough into 15 portions of 1.2 oz (33 g) each. Form into balls. Flatten one and fill it with the jam, seal and roll it into an oval shape. Repeat.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC) using top and bottom heat, without the fan. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle some cornstarch inside the mold and shake off the excess. Press 1 green ball into the leaves part of the mold. Then place one jam-filled dough inside.
- Press on the working surface, lift it up and gently peel the pineapple-shape dough out of the mold. Place on the prepared baking pan. Repeat with the rest.
- Brush only the yellow-colored dough with egg yolk. Bake on the middle rack for 17-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before storing. Enjoy!
Without Using A Mold
- Divide the jam and dough into 25 balls. Wrap a piece of jam with dough, roll it into a log, flattening it a bit. Make a shallow criss-cross on top using the back of a knife. Repeat with the rest. Bake as per the recipe instructions above.
- Use the spoon and level method if you're using cup measurement.
- Use a portable oven thermometer to ensure the accuracy of your oven's temperature (I use it all the time).
- Using a kitchen scale will result in more precise measurements and similar-sized cookies.
- The pineapple jam takes more or less 1 hour to thicken into a paste. Use a splatter guard for safety and less mess.
- Use no-cook instant custard powder mix where you just add water and whisk to make the custard.