Vegan Sweet Tart Crust (Pâté Sucrée)

This vegan sweet tart crust or pâté sucrée has a tender, crisp texture but is sturdy enough to hold various tart fillings.

closeup of baked tart crust on marbled table

This vegan sweet tart crust is a modern creation and has immense versatility. From light chocolate ganache to heavy frangipane fillings, this dough is a great base to use.

Pâté Sucrée is the French term for sweetened pastry. When baked, it’s is crispy and compact, like a cookie.

These crusts are not crumbly like the ones used for pies. They’re slightly sweet pastry sheets that harden for a beautiful snap — this makes them best for your tarts.

Read on and learn all the secrets behind this easy-to-make tart shell, including a step-by-step recipe with substitutions and tips.

Ingredient Notes

  • Bleached All-purpose Flour – Bleached flour is lower in protein than unbleached all-purpose flour. This gives the crust enough structure without making it tough.
    Pastry flour is an alternative but it’s even lower in protein, which could make the crust slightly more crumbly.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar – granulated sugar is an alternative, however confectioners’ sugar dissolves easier into the dough.
  • Vegan Butter – Use buttery sticks and not spreadable margarines which would add too much moisture to the dough.
  • Xanthan gum – acts as a binding agent and a substitute for eggs. You may also use ground flaxseeds.
  • Vanilla Extract – A few drops of vanilla will give the crust some flavor. Almond extract is a good subtitute for a lovely nutty flavor.
  • Kitchen Utensils – You’ll also need a few mixing bowls, a hand or stand mixer, cling film or parchment paper, a rolling pin and an 8 to 10-inch tart mold.
close up of edge of tart crust

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Add the water to a bowl and gradually stir in the xanthan gum until it becomes a thick egg-like consistency. Set aside.

hydrating the thickener

2. Incorporate the sugar and the softened butter in the mixer until creamy and lighter in color. 

making vegan pate sucree tart crust

3. Add the xanthan gum mixture and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.

4. Gradually mix in the flour until fully incorporated. The dough should be soft and smooth.

making vegan tart crust

5. Scrape the sides and fold over the dough with a spatula a few times to gently knead – about 10 seconds. This ensures the dough is evenly mixed and develops a bit of gluten to give the crust some structure.

6. Wrap the dough in parchment paper (preferably cling film) and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

vegan tart crust dough

7. Lightly flour a clean work surface and rolling pin. Unwrap the dough and roll out to at least 1 inch wider than the tart pan and about ⅛ inch or 3mm thick. Start at the centre of the dough, working outwards.

If the dough is too hard to roll, allow it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes.

rolling out vegan tart crust dough

8. Lightly brush inside the tart pan with oil or vegan butter.

9. Lift the dough carefully using the rolling pin and line the pan. Tuck the dough into the sides and corners, then trim the excess pastry.

how to make vegan tart crust
vegan tart crust pate sucree

10. Blind bake the tart crust or use as directed in a recipe. For best results, freeze the crust before baking.

How to blind bake pastry

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. If you haven’t done so before, prick the unbaked, frozen tart crust all over with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking.

unbaked tart crust pricked with a fork

3. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper or foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Granulated sugar also works in a pinch.

unbaked tart crust covered with parchment and filled with sugar

4. Bake for 30 minutes for partially a baked crust or up to 45 minutes for a fully baked crust.

5. Carefully remove the parchment paper and pie weights. If you need more color on the crust, return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

baked tart crust on marbled table

6. Remove the crust and allow it to cool.

Key Tips 

  • Be sure to rest the dough overnight or at least 8 hours. This makes it easier to roll out and keeps the dough from crumbling easily after baking.
  • Most fruit tart fillings are unbaked, so make sure you blind bake your tart for a crispier crust that won’t go soggy.
  • Cool the pie weights before returning to storage. If you used sugar, cool before storing in an airtight container. Use as normal in baking recipes.

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

  • Add a 1/4 cup of finely ground almond flour for additional flavor. However this will make the the dough slightly more crumbly.
  • If you react negatively to xanthan gum, replace it with one tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds mixed into 2 tbsp warm water. Set it aside to thicken.
  • Substitute the confectioners’ sugar for granulated cane sugar.
  • Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder for a chocolate crust.

Storage Suggestions

Roll the unbaked dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap with two layers of cling film or place in a ziplock bag.

Store it in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3-6 months. 

You’ll need to thaw it thoroughly before using, though, and you’ll need to blind-bake the dough to eliminate all the extra moisture.

If the tart pan is already lined with dough, store it in an air-tight freezer bag. 

Wrap and store baked tart shells. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw before using. They can also be re-crisped in the oven at 350°F/180°C for about 10 minutes.

Common FAQs

Is tart crust the same as pie crust?

Although both crusts are pretty similar, a significant difference separates tart crusts from pie crusts — the texture. Pie crusts are often crumbly, and more often than not, flakier.

Pies doughs are often dispersed with pieces of butter or shortening of various sizes. When, baked they melt and form pockets in the dough, leading to flakier crusts.

Tart crusts are more like a giant cookie and have a firmer texture.

How do you keep a tart crust from getting soggy?

The most reliable way of preventing your pie crust from getting soggy is by baking it blind, either entirely or partially.

That means baking it before you add your tart filling. The crust will become more golden and more resistant to moisture. 

What happens if you don’t blind bake pastry?

The problem with not blind baking your pastry is that it might get soggy and not have that nice crispiness.

In a worst-case scenario, the tart crust might break if the filling is too liquid.

Blind baking is better understood if you think of it as pre-baking. You want to make sure the crust keeps its shape.

More Vegan Tart Recipes

baked tart crust on marbled table

Vegan Sweet Tart Crust (Pâté Sucrée)

4.50 from 2 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 282kcal
Print Pin Rate
This vegan pâté sucrée has a tender, crisp texture but is sturdy enough to hold various tart fillings.

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or mixing bowls
  • Rolling Pin
  • 8 to 10 inch tart pan or tart ring

Baking Recipes: For more accuracy, use Metric measurements and measuring spoons.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups (300 g) bleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (150 g) plus 2 tbsps vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted), softened, stick not spreadable
  • ¾ cup (100 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum, See Notes
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water
  • ½ teaspoon (2 ml) vanilla extract, or almond extract

Instructions

  • Add the water to a bowl and gradually stir in the xanthan gum until it becomes a thick egg-like consistency. Set aside.
    1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum ,1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • Add the softened vegan butter and sugar to a bowl. Mix by hand or with a stand mixer until creamy and lighter in colour.
    1/2 cup (150 g) plus 2 tbsps vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted) ,3/4 cup (100 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • Add the xanthan gum mixture and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
    ½ teaspoon (2 ml) vanilla extract
  • Gradually mix in the flour until fully incorporated. The dough should be soft and smooth.
    2 1/2 cups (300 g) bleached all-purpose flour
  • Scrape the sides and fold over the dough with a spatula a few times to gently knead – about 10 seconds. This ensures the dough is evenly mixed and develops a bit of gluten to give the crust some structure.
  • Wrap the dough tightly in a sheet of parchment paper (or preferably cling film) and rest in the refrigerator overnight for best results.
  • Lightly flour a clean work surface and rolling pin. Unwrap the dough and roll out to at least 1 inch wider than the tart pan and about ⅛ inch or 3mm thick. Start at the center of the dough, working outwards.
  • Lighty brush inside the tart pan with oil or vegan butter.
  • Lift the dough carefully and line the pan. Ensure the dough is tucked into the sides and corners. Trim the excess pastry. Use the tart crust as directed in a recipe. (See: How to Blind Bake Pastry)

Notes

  • Replace xanthan gum and water with 1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds mixed into 2 tbsp warm water. Set aside to thicken.
  • If the dough is too hard to roll out, allow it to rest at room temperature for a few minutes.
  • Most fruit tart filings are unbaked, so make sure you blind bake your tart for a crispier crust that won’t go soggy.
  • Cool the pie weights before returning to storage. If you used sugar, cool before storing it in an airtight container. Use as normal in baking recipes.
  • More Vegan Pie and Tart Recipes
Tried this recipe? Upload a photo in the comments below!If you enjoyed it, please consider leaving a rating. It really helps the blog.

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 2g | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

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2 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Pretty good! I baked mine for 45 minutes with weights and 5 minutes without to get a little color on the covered part. The edges got quite dark. I might try baking it for a shorter time covered and longer uncovered. I don’t know if this is a problem with my xantham gum but it would clump up when I added it to water and become unstirrable. So I stirred in the dry xantham gum to the creamed butter and sugar before adding the water with the flour. But the taste and texture were good. Lightly sweet and crispy!

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback Blake! Good to know that adding the xanthan gum to the creamed mixture worked out well.