Milk Tart

I recently found out about milk tart, which is a South African dessert.

It’s essentially a sweet pastry crust that has been filled with a creamy cinnamony milky filling.

IT IS SO GOOD, SO CREAMY AND HAS SUCH GOOD FLAVOUR, and also it’s pretty easy to make.  Thank you South Africa I love this dessert.

The milk tart on a wooden chopping board.

Video Tutorial

The crust

The first thing we are going to make is the crust.

Here are the ingredients I used for this:

  • Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
  • Icing sugar – also known as powdered sugar.
  • Salt – a small amount just to enhance the flavours.
  • Unsalted butter – you want this to be cold, so use it straight from your fridge.
  • An egg yolk
  • Some water

Making the dough for this is very easy, the best way is to use a food processor. You just throw everything into it and process until you get a dough.

How to make it without a food processor

If you don’t have a food processor NOT TO WORRY, you can just do this by hand.

But instead of mixing everything together at once, do it this way instead:

  • Mix together the flour, icing sugar and salt.
  • Add the cold butter. Then rub the butter and flour together with your fingers, until you get a crumbly mixture.
  • Now add the egg yolk and water, mix until you get a dough.
The dough inside of a tart tin, before being baked.

Blind baking the crust

Once you have added your dough to your tart tin, we’re going to freeze this for about 30 minutes. 

This just stops the crust from shrinking as it bakes. It makes a huge difference so make sure not to skip this.

But then we are going to blind bake it.

The reason why we are blind baking the crust is because we don’t want it to rise as it bakes. We want the crust to stay flat.

So blind baking helps with this and it also helps give you a crispier crust.

Without blind baking, the crust could end up soggy once the filling has been added.

How to blind bake the crust

To do this, first you want to poke some holes into the base of your unbaked crust, using a fork.

Then get a large piece of baking paper and press this down into your tin, on top of the crust.

At this point, you need something to weigh the crust down as it bakes.

A lot of people use baking beans, which are just ceramic beans that have been made for blind baking.

I personally just use rice though. Lentils will also work, or any kind of dry beans.

So just use whatever you have.

We’re going to fill the tin with this, then bake your crust for about 20 minutes at 200c.

After 20 minutes, take it out, then remove the baking paper and beans/rice/whatever you decided to use.

Now place the crust back into your oven and bake until it turns a nice golden colour, about 15-20 minutes.

And now your crust is ready for the filling!

The tart tin after being filled with rice.
The crust after being baked.

The filling 

These are the ingredients you are going to need to make the filling:

  • Milk – make sure to use whole milk.
  • Double cream – also known as heavy cream. I added this for extra creaminess, but you could replace if with more milk if you wanted too.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg – for flavour.
  • Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
  • Corn flour – also known as corn starch.
  • Granulated sugar – caster sugar works too.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract – this is optional but it’s a nice addition.
The ingredients needed to make the filling.

A few tips when making the filling

Don’t let your milk mixture boil too much

The first step in making the filling is to heat together the milk, cream, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.

You only want to heat this until it comes to a simmer. You don’t want it to boil.

We’re going to mix this into the rest of the ingredients, and one those ingredients is eggs.

If the milk mixture becomes too hot, you risk cooking your eggs. We don’t want scrambled eggs in our filling, so don’t boil the milk.

With that being said, if you get a little distracted and the mixture accidentally comes to a boil, this is ok.

You just don’t want it to have been boiling for a while. 

Constantly stir the mixture when waiting for it to thicken

Once all the ingredients have been mixed together, we’re going to cook the mixture over medium heat.

Again, there’s eggs in this. We don’t want the eggs to get too hot and cook.

So make sure not to walk away, you want to be constantly stirring. It doesn’t take long for the mixture to thicken.

Sieve the mixture

Once it has been made, I recommend sieving it to get out any lumpy.

This is optional I guess, but it gives you a smoother filling which I think tastes better.

Leave the tart to set in your fridge

Once you have added the filling to your crust, you want to leave it in your fridge to set.

Don’t try skipping this, if you try cutting into it too early, it will fall apart and you will have a disaster. And the texture will not be right at all.

So chill it!

4 hours is good enough BUTTTT overnight is much better, I really recommend waiting. The texture and the flavour will be way better the next day.

Here are some other recipes I’ve posted recently, they’re very good you should try these too:

Milk Tart

4.3 from 3 votes


  • For the crust:
  • 200g plain flour

  • 80g icing sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 120g unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 2 tablespoons cold water

  • For the filling:
  • 400ml whole milk

  • 100ml double cream

  • 30g unsalted butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 20g plain flour

  • 20g corn flour

  • 150g granulated sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)


  • Start by lightly greasing a 9 inch tart tin. Leave this aside.
  • Making the crust:
  • Put all of the ingredients for the crust into a food processor. Process until you get a crumbly dough.
  • Using your hands, form this into a ball.
  • Lightly press the dough into your tart tin until the bottom and sides of the tin are fully covered. Cut off any excess dough that is hanging over.
  • Leave this in your freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Baking the crust:
  • About 10 minutes before you are about to bake your crust, pre-heat your oven to 200c.
  • Once the crust has been left in the freezer for 30 minutes, take it out and poke some holes in the base using a fork.
  • We're going to blind bake this crust, so get a large sheet of baking paper and press this down into the tin. Then fill this with rice or baking beans.
  • Place this into your oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then take it out, remove the baking paper and rice/baking beans, then place it back into your oven for another 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is a golden brown colour.
  • Once baked, leave aside to cool whiles you make the filling.
  • Making the filling:
  • In a pot, add the milk, cream, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg. Give this a mix.
  • Place this on medium heat and let this come to a simmer. YOU DON'T want it to come to a boil, just a simmer.
  • Meanwhile in a bowl, add the flour, corn flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Whisk just until combined.
  • Once your milk mixture starts to simmer, slowly pour this into the flour/egg mixture, whiles whisking.
  • Once all of the milk has been mixed in, pour this mixture back into your pot and place this back onto medium heat.
  • Keep heating this, whiles constantly mixing, until the mixture thickens. You want it to be a custard like texture.
  • Push this through a sieve to get out any lumps, then add this to your tin, on top of the baked crust. Spread this out, then sprinkle some more cinnamon on top.
  • You want to leave this to set in your fridge for at least 4 hours, but overnight is much better. But then take it out of the tin, cut into it and enjoy!

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