These Strawberry Rose Tarts are beautiful and romantic! A crunchy pistachio shortbread crust is filled with delicious strawberry-rose cream, and topped with sliced strawberries in the shape of a rose. They’re fruity, floral, and completely dreamy.
🍓Strawberry Roses add an elegant touch
I don’t say this lightly, but mini tarts just might be the perfect dessert. They’re elegant and classy, they’re single-serving, they’re on the easier end of the dessert spectrum, and, not to be shallow, but they’re really beautiful as well. Satisfying my stomach and my judgmental nature? SOLD!
These tarts have 3 components: the crunchy shells, creamy filling, and fresh strawberry rose decoration on top.
The tart shells are made with just 3 ingredients! All you need are shortbread cookies, toasted pistachios, and some melted butter to make a super simple, crunchy shell with a sweet nutty flavor. The pistachios can be swapped for any nut of your choice–see the Ingredient section below for some suggestions.
The strawberry filling is MAGIC. I’m calling it a strawberry-rose cream, but it’s on the hazy border between mousse and stabilized whipped cream. It has the lightness of whipped cream, but the stability of a mousse, and a vibrant strawberry-rose flavor. It’s made with white chocolate, cream, (optional) rose water, and freeze-dried strawberries.
Finally, the strawberry rose on top looks intricate, but is actually simple to make! I have step-by-step photos in the Instructions section down below taking you through the whole process.
For more strawberry desserts, take a look at this awesome collection of strawberry dessert ideas and recipes. You’ll love our Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cakes, Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream, and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.
Table of Contents
🧾 What you’ll need
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Shortbread cookies: I love using shortbread cookies to give the tart shells a rich, buttery flavor. You can substitute other crisp cookies or graham crackers if you’d like. If you use grahams, you will probably need to add additional butter (since shortbread cookies have a lot more butter naturally) – you can look at our Graham Cracker Crust recipe for some guidance.
- Pistachios: Lightly toasted pistachios are ground up along with the cookies and give the tart shells a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. You can swap in toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans if you’d like.
- White chocolate chips: When possible, I recommend using real white chocolate chips, or chopped white chocolate bars. Real white chocolate contains cocoa butter, and it has a deliciously smooth texture that improves the final product. Anything labeled “white chips” or “white baking chips” is not real white chocolate, and although you can use it in this recipe, the end result might be a little stiffer and less creamy.
- Rose water: Rose water is optional if you’re not able to find it, but I think it really makes the filling special. A big bottle of rose water is usually fairly inexpensive and lasts forever–plus you’ll only use a spoonful or two at a time. But if you’d like, you can omit it and use vanilla extract instead.
- Freeze-dried strawberries: Freeze-dried strawberries are ground into a strawberry powder for this recipe–a super easy and convenient way to pack a LOT of strawberry flavor into desserts without ruining the texture by adding liquid! It also helps stabilize the whipped cream, so it holds up under the strawberries and has a more mousse-like consistency. The recipe card has notes for swapping in strawberry puree if you can’t find freeze-dried berries.
- Pink food coloring: A touch of pink gel food coloring gives the filling the perfect pink hue.
- Fresh strawberries: You’ll need 6-8 fresh strawberries per tart (depending on the size of your berries.) Look to find the ripest, freshest berries you can for the best results.
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- Tart pans: This recipe calls for 8 5-inch mini tart pans. If your pans are a different size, your yield will vary. You can also use one large 10-inch tart pan instead.
- Food processor: A food processor makes short work of crumbling cookies and nuts, and grinding the berries into strawberry powder. You can probably do these tasks by hand or with a blender, but your results might not be as smooth.
📋 How to make a strawberry rose design
The strawberry rose decoration isn’t difficult, but I found a little method that saved me some time when assembling the tarts, so I’m going to break it down here with step-by-step photos. Once you get the hang of it, they go pretty quickly, and your roses will be done in no time.
- Start by washing your strawberries well, then gently pat them dry. Slice the tops off of the strawberries.
- With the berry sitting on the sliced end, cut off a sliver from one side so that when you turn it on its side, it can rest flat.
- With the berry on its side, cut it into paper-thin slices—the thinner, the better! (Using a very sharp knife makes it easier to get thin slices.) As you cut, keep the slices together in a berry shape.
- When it is all sliced, fan out the slices along the knife blade so they’re all touching and can be transferred in a single row.
- Use the knife to transfer the row of berries to the tart, and arrange them along the outside edge.
- Repeat with the remaining berries, overlapping them around each other in a spiral pattern until the tart’s surface is covered.
- Finish off by rolling a slice up into a spiral and placing it in the center of the tart.
- Brush the fresh berries with warmed strawberry jelly to give them a beautiful shine and prevent them from looking wilted.
Want to play with your food? (Me too!) Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Instead of making 8 smaller tarts, make one larger (10- or 11-inch) tart. Or make several rectangular tarts–rectangular tarts (like this Coconut Macaroon Tart) always look extra-fancy for some reason.
- Use this strawberry rose decoration idea on cakes, cupcakes, or an old-fashioned cheesecake.
- Use other fruit on top. Stone fruit like peaches, nectarines, and plums work well. Mangoes and persimmons are a good choice too – check out our Persimmon Almond Rosette Tarts for some inspiration.
- Make a mixed berry tart – use freeze-dried blueberries or raspberries in the filling, and keep the strawberry rose on top.
💡 Tips and FAQs
❤️ More mini tarts you’ll love
Fresh Peach Tart
Coconut Macaroon Tart With Passion Fruit Cream
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Strawberry Rose Tarts
For the Tart Crust:
- 1 lb shortbread cookies, (to yield 3 cups crumbs)
- 5 oz pistachios, (1 cup) toasted
- 4 oz unsalted butter, (1 stick) melted
For the Filling:
- 4 lbs strawberries
- 1/3 cup strawberry jelly
- 2 TBSP water
To Make the Crusts:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray eight 5-inch tart shells with nonstick cooking spray, and set them on a baking sheet.
- Place the shortbread cookies in a food processor, and process until they’re fine crumbs.
- Transfer the crumbs to a large bowl, and put the pistachios in the processor. Process the nuts until they’re finely ground, and combine them with the shortbread crumbs. Whisk briefly to mix everything.
- Pour the melted butter on the crumbs and stir everything together with a fork, until the crumbs have the texture of wet sand. They should not be soggy, but should hold together when pressed between your fingers.
- Divide the crumbs between the tart shells, pressing them into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides.
- Bake the tray of tart shells at 350 F for 10 minutes, until they’re slightly puffed and the surface looks dry. They won’t take on too much color while baking. Let them cool completely while you make the filling.
To Make the Filling:
- Combine the white chocolate chips,1/2 cup of cream, rose water (if using), and salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then whisk well. If some unmelted chocolate remains, microwave in brief intervals, and whisk until melted and smooth.
- Add 1 drop of pink gel food coloring, and whisk well. Let the mixture cool until it is no longer warm to the touch, about 10 minutes. Whisk occasionally as it cools.
- While you wait for the white chocolate to cool, place the freeze-dried strawberries in the food processor and process until they’re a fine powder.
- Whip the remaining 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream to medium peaks—it should have the texture of shaving cream at the end.
- Whisk the strawberry powder into the melted and cooled white chocolate. It will be quite thick at this point! Fold in the whipped cream in 3 batches, using a light hand so the cream doesn’t deflate. Fill the tart shells with the cream, and spread it to the edges.
- You’ll need about 6-8 strawberries per tart, depending on their size. Slice the tops off the strawberries, and with the berry sitting on the sliced end, cut off a sliver from one side so that when you turn it on its side, it can rest flat.
- With the berry on its side, cut it into paper-thin slices—the thinner, the better! Keep the slices together in a berry shape. When it is all sliced, fan out the slices along the knife blade so they’re all touching and can be transferred in a single row.
- Use the knife to transfer the row of berries to the tart, and arrange them along the outside edge. Repeat with the remaining berries, overlapping them around each other in a spiral pattern until the tart’s surface is covered. Repeat until all of the tarts have strawberry “roses” on top.
- Combine the strawberry jelly and water in a small bowl, and heat for 10 seconds, then whisk well. If the jelly still has lumps, continue heating in small bursts just until it can be whisked into a smooth glaze. Gently paint the tops of the tarts with the glaze to give the berries a nice shine and prevent them from looking wilted. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- The strawberries do transfer their moisture to the tarts over time, so they’re best enjoyed within a few hours of assembly.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.
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