Vegan Chocolate & Cherry Reindeer Tartlets

Saturday 22 December 2018

This post may contains affiliate links. Read my disclaimer policy here.

Rudolf the red nose reindeer, has a very cherry nose...

And an absolutely tasty crust filled with cherry jam and topped with a smooth dark chocolate ganache. And even though these cuties may seem too adorable to eat, all you've got to think is that they are just fulfilling their festive purpose; to be eaten and enjoyed. Both of which I did plenty of.

vegan cherry chocolate reindeer tartlets

My favourite part of a tart or tartlet has to be the crust. I am such a huge pastry lover, I love the texture when it's firm but not too flaky and has a lovely bite to it.

Seeing as this is the very first time I have ever used a shortcrust pastry (or any sort of pastry for that matter), I have used a ready-made block - and there is no harm in that. Despite how quick and easy the shortcrust pastry recipes I have seen are, seeing as it's Christmas, we need all the baking help we can get. While you're learning to bake, or trying things for the first time, it's ok to buy premade. You'll start to learn how things should look and feel, which will only make your baking better. It's how I learnt and improved my skills and will continue to do so until I'm a baking master. (Which means I'll be doing it forever).

vegan cherry chocolate reindeer tartletsvegan cherry chocolate reindeer tartlets

I have used mini tartlet cases, but you can use a large tart case and create lots of mini reindeers, perfect for slicing. To make your pastry cases, roll the dough out until it's the thickness of a £1 coin (the old kind), and cut circles big enough to fill your tartlet case. Use a piece of pastry to push the pastry right into the corners. Don't push too hard as you don't want to stretch it and make it thin. Carefully push the top of your pastry down so the top of the case is slightly thicker, and use a knife to clean the top. Then using that spare piece of pastry, press the thicker piece up so it's above the case. This is in case there is any shrinkage. Use a fork to poke a few holes, repeat with the rest of your cases and keep in the fridge for about an hour.

I'm learning how to make these adorable reindeer tarlets with @helloaycan

An important stage of making the perfect shortcrust is to blind bake. This is when you'll bake your crust first before adding the filling. To do this, you need to add a little weight to the top of your cases. The weight will stop the cases from rising in the oven. Add a piece of parchments paper first, and line your cases with baking beans, dried beans or rice. Make sure you get right into the corners and pack them up high. Bake these for about 15 minutes, take them out of the oven and remove the paper and weights, brush with a little milk and sprinkle with ground almond. Bake for another 5 minutes until they're a lovely golden colour.

vegan cherry chocolate reindeer tartlets

Cherries and chocolate are the perfect duo don't you think? Once your cases have cooled, add a spoonful of cherry jam, and pour over the chocolate ganache. Wait for the ganache to set slightly before you start to decorate otherwise they will sink straight through. Such a quick and easy recipe to do, but so full of flavour. You have the buttery pastry with a fruity sharp cherry jam, topped with that soft and smooth dark chocolate ganache. Serve these individual delights up after your Christmas dinner, and enjoy every single bite.

vegan cherry chocolate reindeer tartletsvegan cherry chocolate reindeer tartlets


This recipe makes 4 miniture reindeer tarts.


  • 250g shortcrust pastry (check that it's vegan)
  • Ground almonds (optional)
  • 4 tsbp cherry jam
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 120ml dairy-free milk
  • Pretzels, glace cherries, and fondant eyes for decoration


  1. Roll your shortcrust pastry out to about 3mm, and line the base of your tins. Prick the base with a fork a few times and put them into the fridge for 1 hour.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 180°C(fan) / 370°F / gas mark 6. Place a piece of parchments on top of each case and fill with baking beans or other weights. Place in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Take the cases out of the oven and remove the paper and weight. Brush over a little milk and sprinkle with ground almonds. Place back into the oven for another 5 minutes until your cases are a golden brown colour. Leave to one side to cool.
  4. To make your ganache, heat your milk in a small saucepan. Break the chocolate up into small pieces into a bowl and pour over the warmed milk. Leave to sit for a little before mixing. It should feel smooth and glossy with no lumps.
  5. Once the cases have cooled, spread about a tablespoon of jam across each base. Pour over the ganache to about 3/4 of the way, and leave to set slightly before decorating.
  6. Serve once the tartlets have fully set.

Let me know in the comments below what are your thoughts on these mini reindeer tarts. Are you a fan of cherries and chocolate? Catch up on all the other 10 bakes on my advent calendar.