Caramel Nut Tart

Do you love nuts? This caramel nut tart recipe combines walnuts, pecans, and almonds, in a caramel filling, served in a buttery crust.

  • Yield: Serves 10


Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (200 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 112 g) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (62 g) pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) slivered blanched almonds
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Special equipment:


1 Make the tart dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the cut up pieces of butter and use a pastry cutter to cut into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are no bigger than a pea. (You can use a food processor for this if you want.)

Sprinkle with vanilla and add 3 tablespoons of ice water. Use a fork to work the water and vanilla into the dough. (You can use a food processor.) Add up to a tablespoon more of ice water, just enough so that the dough easily sticks together when you pinch it with your fingers.

Form the dough into a ball, kneading once or twice if necessary, and flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough disk in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

2 Roll out the dough, place in tart pan, freeze: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes. Place the dough on a lightly floured clean surface. Roll out the dough to a 12-inch round. Place the dough in a 9 1/2-inch-diameter tart pan with a removable bottom.

Press the dough down and into the sides. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to even off the top edges.

Pierce the bottom of the dough in the tart pan all over with fork. Freeze for 30 minutes.

3 Pre-bake the crust: Bake the crust at 375°F for 20 minutes, piercing the bottom with fork if bubbles form. Transfer to a rack to cool.

4 Make the caramel nut filling: Put sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan with high sides. Heat on medium-low heat and stir until sugar dissolves.

Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium high. Boil without stirring until caramel is deep amber color, occasionally swirling the pan, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.

Slowly stir in the cream. Be careful as the mixture will bubble up significantly (this is why we are using a high sided pot). Stir until the caramel is smooth.

Add the butter, honey and vanilla. Stir until the butter has all melted.

Stir in all of the nuts.

5 Bake: Pour caramel mixture into the pre-baked crust. Bake at 400°F (205°C) 20 minutes. Remove from oven to cool completely on rack.

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional).

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  • Sophie

    The caramel didn’t work out so well the first time: the sugar didn’t dissolve and it turned solid again after a while, so we tried again. It didn’t turn out much better, the sugar solidified again so we decided to melt the sugar. Then we added all the rest of the ingredients. One huge solid lump formed but the rest of it worked. We just took the lump out and then it was fine. It turned out DELICIOUS: perfect consistency and pastry was AMAZING!!!!!

  • Peter Bishop

    Best recipe
    My first pastry and first toffee ever. Supercook wife unhappy at the ease that I managed this( credit to magnificent instructions)


  • Judith Hanses

    I don’t own a tart pan, yet. Can I use a round cake pan (which I also don’t own, yet)? Is there much of a size difference? This recipe looks amazing. Thanks so much for posting this.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Judith, the tart pan with a removable bottom will help you take this rather stiff tart out of the pan. If you just use a plain round cake pan, you may find it difficult to remove from the pan. If you try it anyway, make sure to line the bottom of the cake pan with a round of parchment paper.

      • Euphemia

        You don’t have parchment paper, right? Cut up an old brown paper bag, that’s what my mother used to do.

  • Krystle


    Just wondering – how best to store this? Also, it was fairly easy to cut right out the oven, but got hard (very hard) a few hours later. Is this normal? I kind of had to break off a second piece rather than cut it! The flavor is good and my family likes it. Thank you!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Krystle, I store this tart on my counter, covered with plastic wrap, for several days. It’s basically caramel nut candy in a crust. Both the fat and the sugar do a good job at preserving it. It does harden a bit when it cools, but if you are breaking off a piece rather than being able to cut it, that tells me that perhaps the tart got a little too cooked. Like in candy making when the temp goes up and takes it from “soft ball” stage (soft caramel) to “hard crack” (peanut brittle). So next time, maybe take it out of the oven a few minutes earlier.

  • Nadia

    I wanted to ask if I can use Splenda in this recipe. If not, is there another alternative.
    I lI’ve this recipe, I have tried it many times.

  • Karin Jung

    Wow, this is one of the best tarts I’ve ever made! We had similar individual nut tarts served at my wedding as part of the dessert buffet. Everyone at my house for Thanksgiving said it took them right back to the day. I will be making this tart every year as part of my baking repertoire. I was even thinking of using the crust as a cookie and sprinkling with sanding sugar. Delish! Thanks Elise, you have become one of my “Go-to-Gal’s” for all of my recipe needs.


  • louis

    I am very grateful to you sharing this recipe. This is really amazing. I own a bakery and my hobby is to try new recipes. It’s a really good one. Again thank you very much for sharing such a wonderful recipe.


  • susan ohlson

    One of the best recipes I have made…I love making desserts and this one received rave reviews.


  • Somia

    I just have to comment on this – this was a HUGE hit at our Thanksgiving dinner! One of best desserts I have ever had the pleasure of baking and eating. Top recipe!!


  • Catherine

    I have just taken this out of the oven ready for a late Thanksgiving meal tomorrow…it looks amazing – thanks for the recipe!!
    – I needed half a cup of water to start the caramel – and it took around 20 minutes of boiling to turn amber.
    – I was taken aback by the amount of steam produced when I added the cream – might be worth mentioning in the recipe.

  • Jordie

    Hi, I am planning on making this an your apple pie for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Can I make the pie dough 2 days in advance and then make both or either on Wednesdy? Thank you!

    Yes. ~Elise

  • Karin

    I just made this and it was rather great, though I wish I’d cooked it for not quite as long – it was a bit too much on the chewy side for my tastes. Still, thank you!

    (Also, I made the crust with my fingers. Worked just fine.)

  • Maxia

    Hi, Elise! I want to make this tart for my mom on Mother’s Day, but I don’t have a food processor. Is it possible to make the crust without mixing the ingredients in it? Thanks for your time :)

    Sure. Use a whisk to whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Then use a pastry cutter, two butter/dinner knives, or your fingers to cut in the butter until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Then mix in the vanilla and the water until the dough is just moistened enough to hold together. ~Elise

  • Caitlin

    I made this and I suggest raising the amount of water in the caramel to 1/2 cup because the sugar kept crystallizing and it was easier with more water. You definitely need to wash down the sides of the pan with water because if you don’t it will crystallize!

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Lady – nut pies are great, aren’t they? Not so forgiving for the waistline… ah well. You only live once.

    Hi Michele – sweet potato pie with pecans is another great use of pecans. Yummm.

    Hi Somia – I’m so glad you made the pie! Isn’t just fabulous? I brought some to my acupuncturist who declared it the best pie he’d ever had, ever.