Valentine’s Bakewell Tarts for #SundaySupper

Posted by on Feb 10, 2013 in #SundaySupper, Sweet Treats | 37 comments

Valentine’s Bakewell Tarts for #SundaySupper

Valentine’s Day. Love it, hate it, there’s no escaping it. So we’ve got a Valentine’s #SundaySupper to help you enjoy it. Hosted by Jen of Juanita’s Cocina, there are a record number of sweet treats on the menu this week. My offering is no exception, but I’ve kept it quintessentially British, with just a few Valentine’s tweaks.

I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day. I’m just not a hearts and flowers girl. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a dreamer with a penchant for pretty things, but I dislike the saccharine pink commercialisation of Valentine’s Day. It’s also a day of mixed emotions for me, because Valentine’s Day was my Grandad’s birthday. This will be the second year we will spend it without him.

However, I like that it is a celebration of love, and that it reminds people to say: I love you. It’s something we should do a lot more of.

It’s also given me the perfect excuse to experiment with Bakewell Tarts, a classic British teatime treat which is not-quite-a-pastry, not-quite-a-cake, but a bit of a mixture of both.

Bakewell Tarts

Originating from the town of Bakewell, in Derbyshire’s Peak District (a wonderful area of the country to visit), a traditional Bakewell tart consists of a sweetcrust pastry base, spread with a layer of jam and topped with frangipane. It can then either be sprinkled with flaked almonds before baking and be served warm with cream or custard, or it can be finished with icing and a cherry. Numerous adaptations on this theme exist, but it is the layers of pastry, jam and frangipane which make a Bakewell Tart – and it is a divine combination.

I’ve made miniature versions, partly because it’s easier when working with gluten-free pastry, and partly because I wanted to decorate them in a couple of different ways. I’ve conceded to Valentine’s Day with glace-cherry hearts and pink icing, but they’re not overly cutesy, I hope!

Valentine’s Bakewell Tarts

Cherry Bakewells

(Makes 24)


For the sweetcrust pastry:

  • 8oz plain flour (I used a gluten-free blend)
  • 4oz butter
  • 2 tbsps icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Milk

For the filling:

  • Raspberry Jam
  • 3oz caster sugar
  • 3oz butter
  • 3oz ground almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 drops almond essence
  • Toasted flaked almonds
  • Glace cherries, about 12.


First, make the pastry. Rub the flour, icing sugar and butter together between your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well andtip in the egg. Use a spoon/spatula to combine the egg. Add a very small amount of milk and bring together to form a round ball of dough. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 mins.

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two cupcake tins.

When the pastry has rested, lightly flour a worktop and roll it out quite thinly. Use a small fluted cutter to cut out circles. Lightly press the pastry circles into the tins, then spread a small amount of jam onto the base of each one. Use about half a teaspoon of jam per tart.

To make the frangipane, Cream the butter and caster sugar until soft and airy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. add a small amount of the ground almonds with the eggs. Then add the remaining ground almonds and fold in, incorporating plenty of air. Crush a few flaked almonds and lightly stir in, along with 2 drops of almond essence.

Place a generous teaspoon of the frangipane into each pastry case so that it completely covers the jam. Bake for about 10-15 mins until the pastry is cooked and the frangipane is golden and spongy.

Turn the tarts out onto a wire rack to cool.

Cut the glace cherries into heart shapes (cut a tapered sliver off each side, then a small triangle in the top – great tip from my 14-year-old brother, who cut the cherries for me!)

When the tarts have completely cooled, make some glace icing by mixing icing sugar with a small amount of water, until just runny enough to ice the tarts. Cover half the tarts with white icing and top with the cherry hearts.

Add some pink/red food colouring to the remaining glace icing and stir well. Use this to ice the remaining tarts, and arrange two almond flakes on each to resemble hearts.

Of course, you can experiment with decoration as much as you wish; these are just the two Valentine’s ideas I came up with! Cherries on white icing are traditional for iced Bakewells.

Enjoy with a cup of English Breakfast Tea.

Iced Bakewell Tarts

For more Valentine’s ideas, look no further –  there are even some savoury dishes for those of you without a sweet tooth!

#SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Breakfasts, Apps & Main Dishes:

#SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Sweet Eats:

#SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Drinks:

#SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Tablescape:  A Romantic Table For Two Please from An Appealing Plan

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, February 10th to talk all about Valentine’s eats and treats!  We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world.  Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.  Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos!


  1. Sooo delightful, Katy to be introduced properly to Bakewell Tarts. I can see how cream or custard would be a perfect compliment to the pastry. And I can appreciate how a cup of tea and the treat would work wonders for one’s serenity as one is gazing upon the greenery of the Derbyshire Peak District =)

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. Very glad to know, too that gluten-free flour works as well.

    • Thank you! I’m glad to have made the introductions! I’ve been trying different pastry recipes for a long time to get gluten-free flour to play the game – enriched sweet pastry is by far the best when gf!

  2. Okay, I have been promising to make my hubby this for a long time. This post pushes me over the edge. I am making it this week for a surprise Valentine’s gift. We aren’t big Valentine’s Day people but any excuse for a homemade Bakewell Tart. :)

    • How exciting! I hope they work out well for you :)

  3. I´ve been wanting to make this tarts for a long time, another thing that I never got around to. They look so cute and delicious! I´m pinning this recipe!
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen recently posted..Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream with Cherry Sauce #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • thanks Paula!

  4. So pretty, so dainty, so much want one right now!
    Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious recently posted..Meyer Lemon Marmalade for Valentine’s Day and #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you Dorothy, if you were a little closer I’d send you some!

  5. What sweet little tarts! They are just beautiful and not too cutesy at all. They would be perfect with a cup of tea!
    Stacy recently posted..Banana Cream Napoleons for #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you Stacy, so glad they are not cutesy! That’s not me at all :)

  6. I’ve never had a bakewell tart, but they sound lovely! I’m sorry to hear about your grandad. It’s definitely tough to spend holidays and birthdays without your special loved ones, but I’m glad you also take Valentine’s Day as a reminder to say I love you to those who are still with you. It’s something we all need to remember to do more often. Thank you for sharing these lovely tarts with us!
    kelly @ kellybakes recently posted..Dark Chocolate Raspberry Torte for #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Glad to introduce you to them, Kelly!

  7. I’m always looking for beautiful gluten free sweets to add to my arsenal when entertaining. These will certainly be there.
    Amanda @ Marocmama recently posted..Garlic Shrimp Bruschetta for Your Valentine #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thanks Amanda :) The best thing is, the enriched pastry holds together really well, and with no flour in the frangipane, they are very easy to make gluten free!

  8. I would tall under the “hate” category for valentine’s…but definitely in the LOVE category for these tarts!!
    Conni @FoodieArmyWife recently posted..Strawberry Shortcake for a Sweetheart’s #SundaySupperMy Profile

  9. So cute! Perfect for Valentine’s Day.
    Shelby | Diabetic Foodie recently posted..Maple-Date Bars for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  10. So cute and they look delicious.
    kathia Rodriguez recently posted..CHOCOLATE ROLL FILLED WITH NUTELLA CREAM a Valentine’s #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you Kathia!

  11. Yummy! I love bakewells, but havent had them in ages
    Sarah Reid, RHNC (@jo_jo_ba) recently posted..Red Velvet Fudge for Valentine’s #SundaySupperMy Profile

  12. oh my goodness! I love these!! I am tempted to make these on a Sunday and enjoy while watching Downton Abbey! :)
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted..Green Olive, Goat Cheese and Basil Crostini for Valentine’s Day #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Downton Abbey would be the perfect accompaniment to these!

  13. Ooh, These look so pretty. Love the almond, pink variations. I doubt I would get such pretty cookies if I made them, but I can enjoy gawking at yours !!!
    Sunithi recently posted..Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Mousse With Coconut Cream #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • I’m sure you would, Sue, they are very simple to decorate!

  14. Awwww look at these little tarts! so cute!
    Angie @ Big Bear’s Wife recently posted..Pink and Purple Layered DrinkMy Profile

    • Thank you Angie!

  15. Thanks for introducing me to Bakewell Tarts! Never tried them when we were in the UK :) Will definitely be looking for them in our next visit :) They look absolutely gorgeous!!!
    Soni recently posted..Indian Shrimp Pulao for Valentine’s Day#SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Glad to have introduced you, Soni!

  16. Thanks so much for sharing the background on Bakewell Tarts! I’m allergic to nuts, but would love to make a nut-free version of these. They look soooo good.
    The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..#SundaySupper: Chocolate Coconut Creamy Truffles with Strawberry JamMy Profile

    • My Grandma makes a similar thing which we call ‘pastry, jam, sponge and icing’ (we’ve yet to come up with a snappy title!) which is basically a bakewell tart without the almonds (sponge cake rather than frangipane.) That would be a good alternative!

  17. I never heard of Bakewell tarts they sound delicious!
    Cindys Recipes recently posted..Barley, Oats and Buckwheat Groats RollsMy Profile

  18. I have never heard of or tried a Bakewell tart before, but now I really want to! Thanks for sharing it!
    Katie recently posted..My Travel Bucket ListMy Profile

  19. Beautiful & delicious looking treats :)
    Bea recently posted..Happy Valentine’s Day and a very Happy MamaMy Profile

  20. They are just perfect Katy!! Love them!!
    Tara recently posted..Cheddar and Asiago Mac and CheeseMy Profile

  21. I’ve never heard of a Bakewell cake but their description sounds absolutely delicious! You just can’t go wrong with a pastry/cake hybrid topped with jam. And I’m sorry that you’ll be missing your grandfather each Valentines. I’m sure you had many good years with him and countless wonderful memories.
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked recently posted..Cheesecake Swirled Brownies on an Oreo Crust for February’s #ChocolatePartyMy Profile

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