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Mini shortbread raspberry jam cakes on a white cloth, sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Shortbread Jam Tarts

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4.8 from 17 reviews

These raspberry jam tarts (or jam cakes) are amazing. Crumbly and sweet, it's like a filled shortbread baked in muffin tins. They were one of the best cookie cups I have ever made. Perfect to add to your holiday baking they are a total crowd-pleaser. And I added a Nutella filling option.

Watch the video in the post for step-by-step instructions!

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cookies


  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (75g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) all purpose or cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup cornstarch (60g to 80g) - Note: I use the whole amount, but a few readers commented that the dough is too crumbly for them. So start with the 1/2 cup and see if the dough comes together without being too soft and sticky.
  • 1/2 cup (more or less) raspberry jam or Nutella
  • 1/2 cup (or so) sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
  2. Have ready paper muffin cups (many readers have a hard time taking these jam tarts out of the muffin pans, so use paper cups for easier handling). Or butter/spray the muffin pans. I have used both with good results.
  3. In a large bowl mix soft butter, zest and vanilla.
  4. Add sifted powdered sugar and mix well.
  5. Add sifted flour, baking powder, and salt in 2 parts and mix well. Use a spatula or wooden spoon so you don't overwork the dough.
  6. Add sifted cornstarch and mix well until you have a soft dough (see comment above).
  7. It is soft and not sticky. You can watch the video in the post for details on how the dough should be. 
  8. Make walnut-sized balls or use a measuring spoon to fill muffin cups, and pat them onto the paper cups halfway up the sides.
  9. Carefully, with a spoon, fill each cup with raspberry jam or Nutella.
  10. Top with some sliced almonds and bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden and dry.
  11. Let them cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack and run a smooth-bladed knife to ensure they didn't stick to the sides. Let them cool and remove them from the pan. They are very soft, so help yourself with the knife and your hands.
  12. Serve with a bit of powdered sugar sifted on top.


  • Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Dough: it comes together easily if you have the butter at room temperature. It doesn't include an egg. If the mixture is too crumbly, add a teaspoon of water or milk to bind it together. I made it a few times and never needed it, but I know readers who had this issue.
  • Make-ahead: make the dough ahead and have it ready in the fridge. If you freeze it remember to defrost it in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature. You can also freeze the dough in the pan, already patted.
  • Flavorings: the lemon zest and vanilla are perfect, but you might want to change the flavor of the dough depending on the filling. Maybe orange zest and blackberry jam? Or some ground cardamom?
  • Almonds: In my opinion, there is nothing like sliced almonds for that thin crunch that is hard to achieve with any other nut or if they are chopped. So, I highly suggest them.
  • Storing: they keep very well at room temperature for a day. You can freeze them already baked, and well-wrapped. Defrost at room temperature uncovered and warm for a few minutes in a medium oven.
  • Muffin pans: you can bake them directly in regular muffin pans like I do, or use paper liners. The latter is a good idea if you're hesitant about them being too crumbly to remove from the muffin tins. 
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Scandinavian


  • Serving Size: 1/20
  • Calories: 176
  • Sugar: 7.1 g
  • Sodium: 22.7 mg
  • Fat: 9.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.1 g
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 1.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 24.4 mg