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Cranberry Tartlets (Easy Mini Cranberry Dessert)

These Mini Cranberry Tarts will help you use up any leftover cranberry sauce from your Thanksgiving meal. They’re the perfect fall appetizer and take just 30 minutes to make!

overhead photo of cranberry tartlets on a white serving platter

Creating This Cranberry Tart Recipe

Baking is one of the things that I think everyone likes best about this time of year. There are so many treats to bake and so little time!

I promised when I shared my recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish that I’d share some leftover cranberry sauce recipes too.

These Mini Cranberry Tarts are the perfect little sweet treats to pop in your mouth and will help you use any leftover cranberry sauce that you may have. Or, you just might like them enough that you’ll have to make another batch of cranberry sauce to prepare them.

Mini Muffins pans, such as this 4 Cup Mini Muffin Pan, are the perfect way to make mass quantities of mini tarts at once. Treats like this are so simple to prepare and that can be a nice thing this time of year when we’re all so busy with family and other Holiday activities.

photo of cranberry sauce in a white bowl to make cranberry tarts

Tools Needed to Make Mini Cranberry Tarts

Here are a few of the kitchen tools that I like to have on hand when preparing this recipe:

  • Rolling Pin – to roll our the pie crust dough for the cranberry tartlets.
  • Piping Bag – not required, but a piping bag makes it easy to fill the tart shells with the cranberry filling.
  • Pan for Baking – a mini tart pan (for bite sized tarts) with removable bottom or a mini muffin tin work well for cooking these tasty tarts. For larger cranberry tarts, use standard sized muffin cups.
  • Wire Rack – to cool the cranberry tarts
step by step photos showing how to make cranberry tartlets

Ingredients for Mini Cranberry Tarts

Not sure what to do with all that leftover cranberry sauce? Make these cranberry tarts! Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe:

Seriously, that’s all you’ll need to make this simple cranberry appetizer!

What Can I Use Instead of Pie Crust Dough?

Frozen puff pastry or phyllo shells are great quick shortcuts that would work in place of the pie crust dough when you’re making these mini cranberry tarts.

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

photo of mini tarts being filled with cranberries to make cranberry tartlets

How to Make Mini Cranberry Tarts

This leftover cranberry sauce recipe is a breeze to make. I’ve given detailed instructions in the recipe card below, but here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Prepare the cranberry orange relish according to recipe instructions.
  2. Prepare the pie crust according to recipe instructions.
  3. Roll the crust into an 1/8-inch thick round.
  4. Using a round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut four dozen 3 – 3 1/2 inch circles.
  5. Grease a mini muffin pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  6. Place each round into a muffin cup, pressing lightly to form to the shape of the cup.
  7. Place a heaping tablespoon of the cranberry orange relish in each dough-lined cup.
  8. Bake until the dough is lightly golden and the filling is hot.
  9. If desired, brush the edges of the crust with melted butter.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

How to Garnish These Cranberry Tarts

Like to get a little fancy? Garnish these cute, mini pies with simple ingredients like sugared cranberries, orange zest, and/or fresh rosemary sprigs

photo of a white platter with cranberry tartlets and fresh cranberries on it

Tips for Making Mini Cranberry Tarts

  • Use any round object you have to cut out the mini tarts (the lip of a jar, lids, etc.). I prefer to use small biscuit cutters.
  • If desired, you can use a Mini Tart Shaper to help shape the dough.
  • I used homemade pie crust and cranberry sauce to make this recipe, but you’re welcome to use store-bought alternatives if that’s easier for you.

How to Store Cranberry Tarts

The cranberry tarts can be stored at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to three days. Note that the crust will dry out over time.

Can Cranberry Tarts Be Frozen?

Yes! Once baked, let the tarts cool to room temperature. Then, seal inside a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container for up to three months.

When you’re ready to eat the tarts, set them on the counter to thaw (they thaw out quickly).

photo of a woman serving a platter of cranberry tarlets

When to Serve these Cranberry Tarts

There are so many fun opportunities to serve these cute mini cranberry Tarts during the holiday season. Here are a few ideas:

  • As a fun snack to use up cranberry sauce leftovers
  • With all the other appetizers on the holiday table
  • Makes a fun addition to festive holiday desserts
  • New Year’s Eve Appetizer

Can This Recipe Be Prepared in Advance?

Once baked, the tarts are best eaten right away. However, both the cranberry sauce and the pie crust can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator prior to assembling and baking the tarts.

photo of a woman eating mini cranberry tarts

Try these Cranberry Tarts!

Next time you’re looking for a way to use up a little cranberry sauce leftover from your holiday meal, give these Cranberry Tartlets a try!

Did you think they were the perfect appetizer idea? Leave a comment below and give it a review for others to see what you thought of this recipe for cranberry tarts.

On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me with @goodlifeeats and #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see your photo of these Cranberry Tartlets!

woman holding bowl of cranberries

More Leftover Cranberry Sauce Recipes:

Here are some of our favorite recipes using leftover cranberry sauce:

Leftover Turkey Sandwiches are a great way to use up leftover turkey, cranberry sauce, and rolls!

Whipped Cranberry Butter is a great way to use leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving! My family loves this on toast, buttermilk biscuits, sweet potato rolls!

Stir some leftover Cranberry Sauce or Cranberry Relish into real Maple Syrup to make Cranberry Orange Maple Syrup. This tastes great on homemade waffles!

Stir some leftover cranberry sauce into plain yogurt for some Cranberry Yogurt! You can layer it in a glass with granola for a special breakfast treat!

Be sure to check out my Guide to Thanksgiving Leftovers! You’ll find a great selection of recipes that can be made using your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, ham, and cranberry sauce.

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Bite-Sized Mini Cranberry Walnut Tarts

Bite-Sized Mini Cranberry Walnut Tarts

Yield: 48 bite sized tarts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These Bite-Sized Mini Cranberry Walnut Tarts are the perfect little sweet treats to pop in your mouth and will help you use any leftover cranberry sauce that you may have.


For the Filling:

  1. Prepare the cranberry orange walnut relish according to recipe instructions. Get the recipe at the following link: Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish.

For the Crust:

  1. Prepare the pie crust according to recipe instructions. Get the recipe at the following link: Perfect All Butter Pie Crust.
  2. Roll the crust into an 1/8 inch thick round. Using a round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut four dozen 3 - 3 1/2 inch circles.
  3. Grease a mini muffin pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  4. You will need 48 total muffin cups (unless you half the recipe). Place each round in a muffin cup, pressing lightly to form to the shape of the cup.
  5. If desired, use a Mini Tart Shaper to help shape the dough.
  6. Place a heaping tablespoon of the cranberry orange walnut relish in each dough-lined cup. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until the dough is lightly golden and the filling is hot.
  7. If desired, brush the edges of the crust with melted butter.


Both the cranberry sauce and the pie crust can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator prior to preparation and baking.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 48 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 10Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 1mgSodium 7mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 0g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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Wednesday 23rd of November 2011

Mint Dazzler

2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed 1/4 cup butter, melted 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar 3 eggs (for safety, you may want to use pasteurized eggs) 3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted 1 1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped 1/2 package mini marshmallows 1/2 cup peppermint stick candy, crushed

Mix the vanilla wafers and the melted butter. Press into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Cream the softened butter and confectioner's sugar. Add 3 eggs, beat well. Add the squares of melted unsweetened chocolate. Beat until light and fluffy. Spoon over crumbs and set in freezer. Whip the whipping cream. Fold in the marshmallows. Spread marshmallow mixture over set chocolate layer. Sprinkle with the peppermint candy. Freeze.

Donna B.

Sunday 20th of November 2011

This is my all-time favorite - I adapted it from an apple pie recipe I found years ago.


2 cups sugar 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/4 cup orange juice 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon apple pie spice 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice 4 cups sliced peeled tart apples 1 cup dried cranberries, rehydrated in 1 cup warm apple cider or apple juice for 30 minutes, then drained 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1/4 cup caramel baking chips (I get mine from King Arthur Flour), or you can use caramel candies chopped finely 1 Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches) 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons sugar Directions

In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Add apples cranberries, walnuts and caramel; toss gently. Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry. Add filling; dot with butter. Roll the remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Cut vents in pastry. Place over filling; seal and flute the edges.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment, place the pie on the cookie sheet (doing this will save your oven in case is boils over). Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F; bake 50 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar while it's still hot. Place on wire rack and allow to cool.

Donna B.

Sunday 20th of November 2011

Here is one of my very favorite holiday baking recipes - I stumbled across it last year and it's been a hit! I must have made 5 or 6 batches last year between Christmas and Easter.

Brioche Cinnamon Buns

For the starter 2 tbs (1 oz) water 1 tbs (1/2 oz) sugar ¼ tsp instant yeast ½ cup (2.5 oz) unbleached all purpose flour 1 large egg

For the dough 1 cup plus 1 ½ tbs (5.5 oz) unbleached all purpose flour 2 tbs (.75 oz) sugar 1 ½ tbs instant yeast ½ tsp salt 2 large eggs, cold 8 tbs (4 oz) unsalted butter, soft

For the filling 8 tbs (4 oz) butter, melted 2 tbs (.75 oz) sugar 1 tbs cinnamon Pinch salt 1 egg mixed with 1 tsp of water (for egg wash)

Lemon glaze (recipe follows)

In an electric mixer bowl, combine the water, sugar, yeast flour and egg. Whisk by hand until very smooth – about two minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and instant yeast. Then whisk in the salt (otherwise the salt would come into contact with the yeast and kill it). Sprinkle the flour mixture over the sponge, covering the sponge completely. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Add the two eggs to the dough mixture and mix on low speed with the dough hook until the flour is moistened – about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Raise speed to medium and beat for about 7 minutes, until the dough is shiny and smooth and massed around the dough hook (it won’t completely clear the sides of the bowl). Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, waiting for each piece to be completely incorporated before adding the next piece.

Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size – about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Gently deflate by stirring it with a rubber spatula.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work space and gently roll into a rectangle (it doesn’t matter which size rectangle). Give the dough a business letter fold. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, and give it another business letter fold. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to overnight, to develop flavor.

Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a rectangle, about 14 inches by 12 inches. Brush the top of the dough all over with the melted butter. In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, sugar and salt for the filling. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up from the long side into a tight roll. Brush the final flap of dough with egg wash and pinch to seal the bottom edge. Gentle press the ends of the dough log to shorten the log – the final log should be 12 inches long.

Turn the dough so that the bottom side is facing down. With a very sharp knife, cut the log into 12 1-inch piece. Place each roll on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled – about 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375. Before baking, gently brush the rolls with egg wash, then place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through, until the rolls are deep brown.

Remove buns from oven and place on a rack to cool. When the buns are just warm to the touch, lightly drizzle with the lemon glaze. Buns are best served warm, with coffee.

For the lemon glaze Juice of 1 lemon 1 cup (4 oz) powdered sugar, sifted

In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth.


Saturday 19th of November 2011

This recipe is from Eva Longoria's cookbook, we made this last week and it was sooooo goooood!!!!!

11 T Unsalted butter 1/2 C packed light brown sugar 3 very ripe bananas 1/4 C dark rum 1/4 C cognac 2 C all purpose flour 1 t salt 1 t baking soda 1/2 t baking soda 1 C sugar 2 large eggs well beaten 1 T sour cream or buttermilk( I substituted plain greek yogurt cuz I had it and didn't have sour cream) 1 C chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt tablespoons of butter. Add the brown sugar and cook stirring often, until the sugar melts completely and the mixture forms a syrup, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat if sugar is browning too quickly. Don't worry if the sugar looks like it's clumping; it will smooth out as it cooks. Stir in the bananas, rum and cognac; mixture will harden and become sticky. Cook another 10-12 minutes, until the sugar has melted nnd well blended. Remove from heat and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 5x9 loaf pan, set aside. In a large mixing bowl place flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Whisk until blended.

In work bowl of a electric stand mixter (I used a hand held and a large bowl, my wish has not yet been granted for one of those beauties) fitted with the paddle attachment place sugar and remaining softened butter. Beat on med high speed until fluffy and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and beat until blended. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just blended. Add reserved banana/liquor mixture, sour cream, and beat until just blended. Fold in nuts if using. Pour into loaf pan. Bake until well browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Place pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and finish cooling.

Thanks for the contest.

We almost tossed the batter thinking maybe we had burned the pan mixture but decided to go ahead and glad we did the final product was yummy.

Molly Jo

Thursday 17th of November 2011

I absolutely love cranberry flavors, but I don't like actual cranberries. I especially love a cranberry-orange-nut mix, so I'm looking forward to trying out your Tart recipe next week!

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