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These Cream Tarts are all the rage! Also known as cream biscuits or cream cakes, they’re a beautiful and unique twist on traditional cakes. You can cut them into letters, numbers, or shapes, and decorate them with fruits, flowers, and all your favorite candies.
For the past few months, I’ve been obsessed with these cream tarts, without even knowing what they’re called. I would see beautiful double-decker pastries cut into letters or numbers on my Instagram explore page constantly, but the captions were usually just something unhelpful like “This is so pretty!” or “Loving this new cake trend!” Excuse me, Instagram, but I really must insist you spoon-feed me every little bit of information I require.
So I did a little web sleuthing, and I have to say, googling “letter tart” or “number cake” is kind of a frustrating experience. Do you know how many children’s birthday cakes I had to sift through in my quest to figure this out?! But google hasn’t failed me yet, and in the end I learned they’re most commonly called “cream tarts,” “cream biscuits,” “cream cookies,” or “cream cakes.” That clarifies everything, right?
As far as I can tell, these gorgeous desserts are the brainchild of Israeli baker Adi Klinghofer, who makes large cakes in the shape of numbers and initials. (Her work is beautiful and you should definitely check out her Instagram page!) Since first seeing her version, I’ve seen so many twists on the original idea, including tarts made out of red velvet or chocolate cake, fluffy sponge cake, and even rice crispy treats! I love that this idea has taken on so many unique forms.
I like large cakes, but I’m also a big believer in the appeal of adorable small desserts, so I opted to make six single-serving heart cakes instead. “Single-serving” might be a little generous, since they’re about 6 inches across and absolutely covered with goodies on top, but you get the basic idea–petite mini cakes, each perfect for two lovebirds or one glutton. (in other words, me!!)
As I mentioned above, there are a million different versions of this idea out there, so I would say there’s no wrong way to make these. Some people make them with a sweet tart dough, others use a basic sugar cookie recipe. I did a lot of reading and testing to see what I liked, and for these cookies, I ended up using a new-to-me recipe for honey cookies!
Full disclosure, I have no idea what the “official” name of this recipe might be. I found it on a charming Russian dessert blog, and I used Google translate to figure out the gist of the recipe. After trying it a few times, and making my own tweaks to the recipe, I’m in love! The cookies have a light honey flavor, which is lovely when paired with the white chocolate frosting I used.
The BEST thing about them, though, is the texture. Unlike sugar cookies or tart dough, they stay soft and supple after baking, thanks to the honey and the unique preparation method. I imagine most other cream tarts end up fairly soft, since the moisture of the whipped cream or frosting will soak into the tart and soften it up over time, but I like that these start off quite soft, because after a few hours’ chilling time in the refrigerator, their texture is absolutely cake-like.
The “cream” layer, too, can be anything you’d like. I recommend something light but stable and not too sweet. A stabilized whipped cream would be delicious, or diplomat cream (pastry cream mixed with whipped cream.) I used a super simple frosting made from white chocolate ganache and cream cheese. The cream cheese keeps the white chocolate from being too sweet, and it has a nice pipable texture without being too stiff.
For the toppings, I went a little wild–but isn’t that the point of cream tarts?? I used fresh strawberries and raspberries, fresh roses (you can wrap the stems in plastic wrap if you’re concerned about using fresh flowers), meringues, half macarons (because my cookies were smaller, using whole ones looked a little oversized), pink popcorn, and an assortment of pink and white sprinkles and Sixlets. You can use whatever you’d like, but an assortment of sizes and textures always looks best. If you want to make your own meringues, try my classic meringue recipe here!
You can enjoy these cream tarts right away, but I find that for the best taste and texture, I like them after they’ve been refrigerated for several hours. The frosting firms up a bit, the cookies soften even more, and it’s like eating a beautiful, delicious, petite piece of cake.
Have you tried your hands at making a cream tart yet? I’d love to hear about it!
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Trendy Cream Tarts
For the Tart Dough:
- 2 large eggs
- 5.5 oz granulated sugar, (3/4 cup)
- 3 oz honey, (1/4 cup)
- Pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3.5 oz unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 13.5 oz all-purpose flour, (3 cups)
For the White Chocolate Frosting:
- 10 oz white chocolate, finely chopped (or real white chocolate chips)
- 10 oz heavy cream
- 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature—do not use low-fat or non-fat varieties
- Flowers, berries, meringues, candies, or anything else you want!
To Make the Tart Dough:
- Combine the eggs, granulated sugar, honey, salt, and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan, and whisk together. Add the butter, and place the pan over medium heat. Watch the pan and whisk frequently while the mixture heats up and the butter melts. Continue to whisk until it starts to simmer, but don’t bring it to a full boil.
- Once the honey mixture is hot, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the baking powder and baking soda. It will foam up and get thick and frothy. Set aside to cool until it is warm but not hot.
- While you’re waiting for the honey mixture to cool, sift the flour to remove any lumps, then pour half of it out onto a cutting board or your countertop.
- Stir the other half of the flour into the honey mixture, and whisk until it’s all incorporated. The batter should still be pretty runny. Scrape the batter out onto the flour on your work surface, and gently use your hands to work the flour into the dough, gently kneading it just until the flour is incorporated and the dough is mostly smooth and only a bit sticky. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for an hour, until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Roll the dough out onto parchment or a sil-pat, dusting with a bit of flour only if necessary to prevent sticking. Cut out 6” hearts, then use a smaller 2.5” heart cutter to cut out the middle. (Alternately, you can cut any shape you’d like out of cardstock, and trace the shape with a sharp knife onto the dough.) Re-roll the dough until you’ve cut out 12 heart shapes, to make a total of 6 cream tarts. Use excess dough to make small hearts for decorations, if desired.
- Place the large hearts a few inches apart on baking sheets covered with a sil-pat or parchment paper. Bake for 6-8 minutes (I find that cookies on parchment cook faster than cookies on a sil-pat.) The cookies won’t take on any color on top, but should puff and expand a bit, and if you use a spatula to take a peek under the cookie, the bottom should be golden brown.
- Let them cool completely before decorating.
To Make the White Chocolate Frosting:
- Combine the chopped white chocolate and heavy cream in a medium bowl, and microwave it for 1 minute. Whisk the cream and white chocolate together until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until completely cold. It should have the texture of thick syrup after it has been chilled.
- Place the room temperature cream cheese in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until the cream cheese is creamy and no lumps remain. Switch to the whisk attachment, and add the cold white chocolate ganache. Mix on low at first, to incorporate the ingredients, then scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for a few minutes until the frosting becomes thick and holds its shape well.
- Fit a piping bag with a round coupler, and fill it with white chocolate frosting. Take one cookie and pipe two rows of frosting around the edges of the cookie, covering the top surface completely. Gently place a second cookie on top of the first, and repeat the frosting pattern.
- Decorate the top of the cookie with fresh flowers, fresh berries, candies, macarons, or anything else you’d like! They look best when covered with a colorful assortment of treats. Repeat until all of the cookies are frosted and decorated.
- Since the cookies remain soft after decorating, they can be enjoyed right away, but I think the texture is best after they have been refrigerated for at least an hour, so the frosting can firm up a little bit and the cookies soften a bit more—at that point, they have a cakey texture that’s divine! They can be enjoyed up to 8 hours after assembly, but I wouldn’t recommend pushing it much past that—the edges will start to get a bit stale. If you do need to do parts in advance, the cookies and frosting can both be made several days ahead of time, and then it’s short work to assemble everything on the day of serving.
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Hi, I tried this recipe n it was fabulous. Thank you for sharing such great recipes
Hey Shobana, I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it!! Thanks for your feedback!
I’m wanting to make this but can’t have honey. Is there an alternative ingredient that could be used so that the biscuits are still easy to cut through?
Hey Christy, I haven’t tried it with a honey substitute, but if I were going to experiment I would start with golden syrup. It has a similar consistency and a nice light flavor. If you give it a try I would love to hear how it goes! Thanks!
What would be the cooking time if you do a larger number as opposed to 6 small hearts
Hey Annushka, it’s hard to say for sure because it is going to depend on the size and shape of the number. I would suggest having 8 minutes be your base if it’s a bit bigger then keeping a close eye on it, checking it every two minutes. I would love to hear how it goes. I hope this helps!
Love it!!! But what can I use instead of honey (for the little kids)?
Hey Vera, I am not sure you would have much success replacing honey in this recipe. However you can totally use a sugar cookie recipe you know you like and do the same idea with it!
Hi Elizabeth – Cannot wait to try these — I am making them for a baby shower… I was thinking of making them about half the size (3″ circles), Wondering how you would adjust the baking time. Also how long did you bake the mini decoration hearts you have displayed in the video?
Hey Cheryl, if they are about half the size I would suggest checking them at around five minutes. It may still take about six to seven minutes but you will have a better guess at the five minute mark. As for the little hearts to be honest I cannot remember. My guess would be about four or five minutes. I would suggest just baking them on a separate pan and then keep an eye on them. I am sorry I can’t be more specific, I am so excited for you to try it out! I would love to hear how it goes! Thanks!
This recipe was great, but the process of making the dough was really different. It was interesting that you cook the eggs sugar and honey first before adding the other ingredients. Why do you do that? what does that add to the recipe?
Hey Tammy, cooking those first reduces the honey a bit and also cooks the egg slightly. Which makes the cookies more stable and less crumbly! I am so happy you gave it a try! I am thrilled to hear it worked out for you. Thanks for your feedback!
I made this for my daughters 7th birthday but made in the shape of a giant 7 with a few heart ones. I have had sooo many requests to make it again… especially the frosting which is insanely good. This cake is also really easy to make but looks so impressive! I’m making it again this week for my other daughters first birthday. Thank you!
Hey Emily, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed by so many! Thank you so much for your feedback, I love hearing that! Happy Birthday to your daughter!!
I tried to make this but I also found that the dough was extremely dry. I would recommend not using all of the flour and to add gradually. In my case I think 2 cups of flour would have been about right. I will give it another go next time. Fingers crossed!
Amazing recipe and so much fun to make! Quick question, the dough for the tart came out a bit to dry. Any way to make it more moist?
Hi, I am sorry to hear it came out a bit dry. There isn’t much you can do after the fact but in the future if you make these again my first thought is that you wouldn’t have needed to use all the flour. I would suggest next time that once it reaches the stage of being smooth and not sticky stop adding the flour regardless of how much is left on the cutting board. I hope that makes sense and can be of help!
how long can you keep this out? Can I assemble at night for a party the next evening? or better to assemble morning of?
Hey Benedetta, It is fine to assemble the evening before! That shouldn’t be problem at all, it works great and it also gives plenty of time for it to set. I would suggest putting it in the fridge so that it can get a little firm with the frosting, then just taking it out the day of so that it can get to room temperature for when you serve it. I hope that helps, I would love to hear how it goes once you give it a try! Good luck and have fun!
How can I make the tart layers chocolate? thanks
Hey, I haven’t tried it myself to be honest. I would say your best bet would be to just find a chocolate sugar cookie because you will have more of a guarantee of them turning out. If however you want to experiment and give it a try I would love to hear how it goes. I do plan on trying a chocolate version of this in the future so keep an eye out!
These cream tarts look very elegant and adorable! You are very talented 🙂
Hey Jimena, I really appreciate that! Thank you so much!
Would I be able to bake the cookies and fill it with the cream day before pickup?
Hi Rayan, that would work just fine! These cookies are great for a day, I would just suggest keeping them in a fridge!
Thanks for the recipe. I made a triple batch of dough and a double batch of filling to have enough for a large, three layer number cake. The dough was so easy to work with (I mixed the flour and warm liquid in a stand mixer without problems) and the cream cheese white chocolate filling was delicious. I supplemented the filling with milk chocolate mousse and raspberry SMBC as requested by the birthday celebrant. It was a huge hit. Looking forward to making this again.
Hey Virginia, that looks absolutely stunning!! I am so thrilled to hear it worked out so well, thank you so much for you sharing, I always love knowing that others enjoyed it as well! Thanks again!
I absolutely love this recipe1 I’ve made it multiple times and they are so much fun to decorate! I’m going to be making these tarts again for an upcoming tea party and there are some people coming who are Gluten Free. Would it be possible to adapt this recipe to be Gluten Free? What would you substitute the flour for? Thanks!
Hey Katherine, I am so glad to hear you love the recipe so much! That makes me so happy! As for gluten free, I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t say for sure. My first place to start would be replacing the flour for a blend like Cup4Cup you can usually just use equal parts. I am no gluten free expert though so I would love to hear how it goes. It would be so helpful for me and other readers to know how it went! Good luck! Thanks again!
Thank you so much for commenting back, Amelia! We went ahead and tried this tart, substituting a gluten free flour for the regular flour, and it turned out great! I just used the rest of the dough and made a second small tart from the recipe for our family and just finished decorating it with fresh flowers and cookies! I just love this tart so much! So glad to have found your recipe and these lovely creations!
Thank you so much you for sharing such great recipe. just want to ask if we could replace 1/4 of flour by cocoa to make a chocolate cream tart . thaaaaaaaaaaaaanks
Hi! I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. Please let me know how it goes if you give it a try!
Tried this recipe and I loved it. I found that the honey flavour was a tad bit overwhelming (Subjective) but other than that it came out great! My family loves it
How thick should the dough be rolled out before cutting?
Hello! I am excited to try this for my moms birthday this weekend! I will be making the number 60. Just curious about the baking soda and baking powder. Will that cause it to lose its shape?
Hi, can I make this dough a few days before and keep it in the fridge?
Hi! Curious.. could i add cocoa to this recipe?? To make it a chocolate honey cookie? Maybe it could work? Would you know how much i should add?
Absolutely loved this recepie!!
I have some of the frosting leftover. How long will that last in the refrigerator?
Hi, I was wondering if this icing will hold it’s shape if piped with a star tip?
Yes, Audria, a star tip would work fine!
Hello, how thick do you roll the dough out prior to baking? Thank you
Hi Angela! Roll it out about 1/4″ thick.
Made this recipe yesterday and it came out fabulous! Need to make it again for some requests i got, but im wondering if when i make the dough, instead of just leaving it in the fridge for an hour, if i can leave it overnight to roll out and bake the next day?
Hi Sofia! Yes, you can definitely refrigerate it overnight and then roll it out and bake it the next day. It’s quite firm right out of the fridge, so it might need to sit a bit longer to make it easier to work with, but an overnight rest is no problem. Even 2-3 days works well. I’m thrilled that you liked it!
Absolutely loved this! Made it for my dads 60th. I would like to try and eggless version for this recipe any idea what I could possibly replace it with please? Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Unfortunately it won’t let me add a photo.
I got everything ready the day before and my frosting was really stable and today I’m assembling the layers and I took out the frosting from the fridge and my frosting just started to soften up and melt I followed the recipe to the T but I just don’t know what I did wrong maybe it’s the humidity the weather is really hot and humidity is unbearable please help!
Can I make the cookie dough a day early and let it sit in my fridge overnight and bake it the next morning ?
Hi, is there a reason why the tart came out hard after refrigerating with the frosting?
I love this cake but every time I make, and I’ve made it more than 3 times now, my frosting is runny and I don’t know why. I follow the recipe to the dot and don’t understand what could he causing my issue. Please help
This happens to me too every time. Was looking for an answer in the comments but no luck.
What should I do when the frosting is too runny and doesn’t harden up?
I haven’t tried your GORGEOUS recipe yet, but I plan to this week. I will be making a LARGE cross (well two to be technical 🙂 )for my daughter’s first holy communion.
I have a few questions…I hope you receive this before I have to make it 🙂
1. Does the dough hold its shape well or does it spread? When I make sugar cookies, I always pop the cut outs into the fridge (or freezer if I’m limited on time) and my sugar cookies are pretty much always perfect in shape with no warping).
2. I will likely put the cake together (just the cookies and frosting) the day before. I am a bit nervous putting cut strawberries on to the cake too early on the day as I’m worried they’ll bleed and make a mess of the other toppings and possibly make the cake soggy, When you you suggest adding the strawberries?
3. When should the cake be removed prior to serving? How much time does it need be perfect for serving?
4. I will be adding a lot of toppings to the cake (mini cake pop bites, macrons, flowers, chocolates, minature decorated sugar cookies, etc… Is the icing stable enough to keep its pretty shape with the weight of all the toppings (and especially the frosting between the two cookies too…will they flatten at all?)
Thank you so much.
I hope my cake turns out a gorgeous as your little ones!
If the cookies are made a few days in advance, how do you suggest storing them until assembly?
Hi! I use this recipe all the time to make tarts – I love it! I wanted to try a chocolate version of this dough. Do you have a recommendation of how to add cocoa to this recipe?
Can I make the dough ahead of time and roll it out in the morning?
This tart looks delicious! I plan on making it this weekend. I have 2 questions… I’ve been reading the reviews and see that some people have said that the frosting wasn’t thickening up. I saw that you mentioned it could be the type of white chocolate being used. Could you recommend the best type to buy? And as silly as this sounds I’m having a hard time finding a 6” heart cookie cutter…any suggestions where to look? Thank you in advance for your help! I can’t wait to make it!
Yikes I’m so sorry I meant to give this recipe 5 stars on my previous question but pressed 1 by mistake !
Hi! This recipe seems like it’s the same or if not similar to Russian Honey Cake AKA Medovik. Do you know if it tastes the same because I want to make for a wedding I have in December but The cake that I’m making is Russian Honey Cake and I just don’t want to have the same flavors in the cream tarts any suggestions?
Hi Cristina! I’m sorry to say I’m not familiar with that cake. I did adapt this recipe from a Russian blog that I linked to in the post, maybe speaking with the author of that blog can provide more help? I will say the honey flavor is not very pronounced in the cream tarts, but perhaps it is still too close for comfort for you. I hope the wedding goes wonderfully well!
Hi I’m Janet from Armenia. I tried this wonderfull recipe to making a letter cake for my husband’s and my birthdays!
Thanks a lot
Gog bless you
Janet, I’m so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for the comment and happy birthday to you and your husband!
I would love to make these wonderful cakes but can you tell me how much 10 oz chocolate is in Grams?
I live in the netherlands and we only have grams.
I hope to hear from you.
Hi Henriette, 10 oz is about 285 g. The recipe card can actually covert to metric for you–underneath the ingredients, click the button that says “metric” and you’ll be able to have a metric recipe! It is an automatic conversion so some of the numbers are humorously precise (ie, 283.5 g instead of 285 g) but overall I hope you find it helpful in your baking.
I can not wait to make this! It is so beautiful and your Facebook live tutorial will be so helpful, thank you!
Question: I read that I can make the dough ahead of time (up to a few days) and it will be fine. Is that the same for the ganache filling? If so, do I make, refrigerate, and then let sit to reach til temp? And how long can a full pre assembled cake last – either before eating it or the leftovers? Thank you!
Hi Caitie! Yes, you can make the ganache in advance as well. You don’t need it to come to room temp before using, but it might need a little time at room temp if you’re finding it hard to work with (I prefer to use it slightly chilled). The cake lasts awhile, I actually think the limiting factor is most likely the toppings you use–fresh berries (especially if they’re sliced), flowers, and crunchy meringues are all best within about a day of being placed. You could use whole fruit, place flowers fresh, and avoid meringues and have a decent refrigerator life of ~3 days after assembly. I would also recommend loosely wrapping it with plastic wrap or putting it in a box in the fridge so the edges don’t dry out.
Will the frosting not come out good with low fat cream cheese. Why is this?
I always recommend full-fat cream cheese in frosting. The fat helps with stability (and honestly, flavor!) and more importantly, lower fat and non-fat cream cheeses often have other ingredients that act as binding agents, and they can do weird things to the frosting texture. You’re free to try it, of course, but you might not be happy with the outcome.