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Several mini jam cakes on white cloth, sprinkled with powdered sugar

Scandinavian Jam Tarts

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cakes 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Scandinavian

Description

Crumbly and sweet, these raspberry Jam Cakes turned out to be one of the best cookies I ever made! It is like a filled shortbread baked in muffin tins. I tried them with berry jam and Nutella, because, you know, we all love it.

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


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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

Instructions

  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 video in 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 onto the paper cups going halfway up 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 cool completely on a wire rack and serve with a bit of powdered sugar sifted on top.

Notes

  • Dough: it comes together easily if you have the butter at room temperature. It doesn't include an egg. If for any reason the mixture is too crumbly, add a teaspoon of water to bind it together. I made it a few times and never needed it, but just in case.
  • 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.
  • Keeping: they keep very well at room temperature for a day. You can freeze them already baked, 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 (jam version), use paper liners or use the ridged version (image below) which is what I used for the Nutella version.

Nutrition

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

Keywords: jam cakes, nutella cakes, scandinavian cakes