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overhead shot of japanese tarts sprinkled with icing sugar

Hokkaido Cheese Tarts

Homemade Hokkaido cheese tarts – shortcrust pastry shells filled with an incredible cheese filling. A very popular and addictive Asian dessert.
Course Pies and Cheesecakes
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 18 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 360kcal
Author Adina


  • Pastry Note 1:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Filling:
  • 3/4 cup mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 2/3 cup full-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • To brush:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk



  • Combine: Place flour, icing sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse shortly to combine. Add the very cold, cubed butter and pulse a couple of times to combine. Add egg yolk and cold water and pulse a few times more to combine. Don't overmix; you should still be able to see tiny pieces of butter in the pastry.
  • Refrigerate: Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour or longer.

Cheese filling:

  • Stir: Place mascarpone, cream cheese, yogurt, milk, and salt in a bowl. Slowly heat the mixture on bain-marie, stirring almost constantly until everything is combined (Note 2).
  • Thicken: Sift the icing sugar and the cornstarch over the mixture, add the vanilla extract and the egg and whisk continuously until the mixture thickens and is very smooth. The mixture is thick enough when you can see the traces left by the whisk in the mixture.
  • Cool: Remove from the heat and pour the filling into a large bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the mixture and let cool.


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need 12 mini-tart pans of about 10 cm/ 4 inches; some with removable bottoms are great.
  • Roll: Divide the dough into 12 pieces and form little balls. Roll each ball on a lightly floured surface into circles slightly larger than the tart pans.
  • Line: Carefully press each dough circle down into the tart pan to line its bottom and sides, then cut out the excess. Poke the bottom with a fork. Place the tart forms on a baking tray.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or until the pastry is lightly golden. Leave to cool slightly in the pans.


  • Increase the oven temperature to 230 degrees Celsius/ 445 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fill each pastry shell with the filling. Whisk the egg yolk and the milk in a small bowl and brush each Hokkaido cheese tart with the mixture.
  • Bake: Place the tray with the tarts in the hot oven and bake for another 5-8 minutes until the filling turns very golden with a few darker spots here and there.
  • Cool: Remove the tray from the oven and allow the cheese tarts to cool slightly before serving.


  1. Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it ensures the best results (Amazon affiliate link).
  2. To make the bain-marie, I place the bowl with the ingredients on a pot with water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 158mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g