Coconut Tartlets – Colorful Christmas Dessert Baskets

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Light baskets of coconut in beautiful pinks and greens, these tartlets are a must-have on every Christmas platter that you send to that favorite relative.

Looking as pretty in pink and green as letri, the tartlets are far tastier, or sweeter if that’s what you want to call them. Only made for Christmas, these traditional East Indian coconut baskets are almost too cute to eat!

Added to the Christmas dessert tray, you’ll enjoy these affordable yet tasty desserts!

Steps to Follow for Making Coconut Filled Tartlets

Tartlet baskets on a black platter.

Step I – Prepare the tartlet dough and Bake It

This was mom’s handwritten recipe for tartlets. I was just comparing mom’s book with aunt’s book, and their writings are so similar. 🙂

Mom's old handwritten tartlet recipe.
Mom’s old handwritten tartlet recipe

It’s quite simple really. Mix the dry dough ingredients together – that’s the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then mix and add the wet dough ingredients – eggs, ghee, and vanilla essence. Form into a ball and refrigerate for a few hours. If you’re in a hurry, skip the refrigeration. We’ve skipped it quite a few times. It’s a little more difficult to roll the dough, but still works.

Ingredients for the tartlet dough
Ingredients for the tartlet dough
Flour in a large steel flat pan.
Flour in a thala
Flour and powdered sugar in a steel thali.
Start with flour and powdered sugar
Eggs, ghee and vanilla added to flour and sugar.
Add eggs, ghee and vanilla
Ball of tartet dough.
Form the tartlet dough

Roll the dough out and place into tartlet moulds. We also roll a little bit of dough fine to form U-shapes by hand. We’ll use these as basket handles. Not everyone makes these. So it’s an optional step.

Tartlet shells baking in the oven.
Bake the tartlet shells
Baked tartlets cooling down.

If you have any leftover dough, freeze it for later use. Or make some coconut surprise cookies or coconut pies like we do.

Step II – Prepare the Coconut Filling

All you need is almonds, pistas, coconut and sugar. You canl actually skip the pistas like we do. The method is simple, make a mel of the sugar, add the coconut and cook. Then add minced almonds and keep stirring till quite dry, but still a little wet, just like pancake filling. Yes, that’s how it’s said! Haha!

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After that split it into three lumps, add green and red/pink color to two, and mix well. This will be your tartlet filling. You can also grate some pistas for the topping, but we don’t do that anymore.

Ingredients for the tartlet coconut filling.
Of course, we used a lot more coconut than that!
Grated coconut and sugar in a pot.
Optional: Minced almonds can be added to the tartlet filling

And here’s another quick tip: We know you’re busy and don’t have time. So just do a filling dump like we sometimes do. Simply add all the ingredients in one shot to the pot and stir till cooked. No waiting till the sugar melts first and what not.

Minced almonds added to the tartlet filling ingredients.
Optional: Minced almonds can be added to the tartlet filling
Cooked tartlet filling.
Cook similar to pancake filling
Three lumps of tartlet filling.
Separate the tartlet filling into 3 lumps
Red color added to one section and green color added to another dough section.
Add red and green colors to two of the sections
Sections of green, white and pink tartlet filling on a plate.
Mix the colors separately
Colored coconut filling for tartlets left slightly wet.
Leave the filling slightly wet!

Step III – Assemble the Tartlets

Assembling the traditional Eastya tartlets is as easy as spooning the coconut filling into the basket. Really easy peasy! It you want to take it up a notch, add the basket handle like mom does!

Mom adding the basket handles on top of the coconut.
Mom adding the basket handles
Three tartlets on a black tray.
Abby holding tartlets.
Top view of the East Indian coconut dessert called tartlets.
Tartlets are almost too pretty to eat!
Dad holding a tartlet basket in his hand.
The things we make our parents do!
Front view of Tartlet baskets.
Top view of the East Indian coconut dessert called tartlets.

Tartlets (Coconut Filled Dessert Baskets)

Light baskets of coconut in beautiful pinks and greens, these tartlets are an East Indian Christmas dessert that’s a must on every dessert platter.
5 out of 5 Stars by 2 readers!

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Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Course Christmas, Dessert
Cuisine East Indian
Servings 40 Tartlets
Calories 80 kcal
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For the Tartlets Baskets

For the Coconut Filing

  • 1 Coconut (Grated) Freshly Grated
  • 200 grams Sugar
  • 20 Almonds Minced
  • 100 ml Water
  • 100 ml Rose Water If using desiccated coconut


For the Tartlets Baskets

  • In a thalie, add the maida, powdered sugar, and salt and mix together together.
  • Add the ghee, egg, vanilla essence and cold water and form into a dough.
  • Add more cold water till the dough is fully formed.
  • Store the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours. (This is an optional step, and we skip it sometimes.)
  • Roll the dough out into circles and mould into tartlet shapes.
  • Roll out some dough really fine to form handles on another baking tray.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.

For the Filling

  • Grate one fresh coconut. If fresh coconuts are not available, use 200 grams of desiccated coconut powder.
  • Mince the almonds and set aside.
  • Add the powdered sugar and water to a vessel and form a syrup or mel.
  • Add the coconut and mix well on a low flame. (If using desiccated coconut, add 100 ml more water or add rose water.)
  • Once cooked, add the minced almonds and mix well.
  • Take off the flame once quite dry.

Filling the Tartlets

  • Add spoonfuls of coconut to the tartlet baskets.
  • Add baked handles on top.
  • Once set and dry, they're ready to distribute to loved ones.

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Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 0.001mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

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Tips for Making Tartlets

  • You can skip the handles. Many people don’t put them.
  • You can make single-colored tartlets, two-colored tartlets, or three-colored tartlets.
  • You can also change the colors used in the tartlets.
  • The coconut filling can be made a day ahead.
  • Leftover tartlet dough can be refrigerated for future use, or turned into cutout cookies.

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Hand holding a tartlet basket.
Pinterest image of tartlets.
Pinterest image showing tartlet baskets.

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