5 from 5 votes

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Irish Cream

Bittersweet chocolate tart with shortbread crust and piped whipped cream with chocolate shavings.

By now I am sure you’re aware of my dear friend Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog. If you’ve watched Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network, you’ve seen us make her famous pan-banging cookies together. Sarah even photographed me doing the how-to photos in my latest cookbook, Zoë Bakes Cakes. We go way back.

So it makes me very excited to tell you about Sarah’s brand new cookbook, Baking for the Holidays! This book is so beautiful, but that’s what we’ve all come to expect from Sarah. It’s filled with more than 50 recipes for easy morning pastries, treats to serve at your holiday table, ideas for gifting (Caramel candies! Turtle bars! Peppermint bark!), and so many more recipes that will quickly become family traditions. She’s also a genius story teller and even included a section of music to bake to. You know how much I love dancing in the kitchen!

Plus, so many of you comment about how you love the ribbon in my new cookbook and Sarah’s includes a glittery ribbon to save whatever page you’re on.

Sarah Kieffer with her cookbook Baking for the Holidays.

I am also excited to share a gorgeous and truly delicious chocolate tart recipe from Sarah’s new cookbook. Sarah came over and we had an absolute blast making her Bittersweet Chocolate Tart together. You can watch how simply it all comes together in the video below!

This chocolate tart is so good I could eat it for breakfast—a perfect pair with Irish coffee! The rich chocolate filling sits on top of a buttery shortbread crust. I piped the whipped cream in fleur de lis and it’s so pretty when you top it with chocolate shavings. It’s impressive but so, so easy to make, which pretty much sums up all the recipes in Baking for the Holidays!

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Irish Cream

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Irish Cream

This chocolate tart is so delicious—I want to make it a new tradition at the holidays. I had to pipe the whipped cream into fleur de lis to guild the lily and you must garnish with chocolate shavings! If you don't want to include the Irish cream, you can omit it.
5 from 5 votes
Servings: 1 10-inch tart


Shortbread Crust

  • 10 tbsp (142g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract make homemade vanilla
  • 2 cup (284g) all-purpose flour
  • Egg wash See notes

Chocolate Filling

  • 9 oz (255g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup (180g) heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup (80g) Irish cream optional
  • 1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract make homemade vanilla

Whipped Cream


Shortbread Crust

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on low speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and salt and beat again on low speed until creamy and combined, 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed until the dough comes together.
  • Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 10 in [25 cm] tart pan with a removable bottom (see note, page 104).Press and smooth the dough with your hands to an even thickness. Place the pan on a sheet pan and transfer to the freezer until the dough is firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Remove the pan from the freezer and line the pan with parchment paper, covering the edges to prevent burning. Fill the center with pie weights.
  • Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, until the dough is light golden brown and no longer wet. Remove the tart pan from the oven and carefully remove the pie weights and parchment paper. Brush the center of the tart with the egg wash. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 3 to 6 minutes, until deep golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Chocolate Tart Filling

  • Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is simmering and just about to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the plastic and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the Irish cream, if using, egg, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.

Assemble the Chocolate Tart

  • Pour the chocolate filling into the prepared tart shell. Bake until the center seems set but still jiggles slightly, like Jell-O, when the pan is shaken, 15 to 18 minutes.
  • Move the pan to a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream (instructions below). The tart is best eaten the day it is baked, but can be stored loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Whipped Cream

  • Ten minutes before whipping the cream, place the bowl and whisk from a stand mixer in the freezer and let chill.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the chilled whisk, whisk together the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt in the chilled bowl on low speed for 30 to 45 seconds.
  • Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 to 45 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until the cream is smooth, thick, and nearly double in volume, 30 to 60 seconds. The whipped cream can be made 2 hours ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Tart pans come in many different depths; some are very shallow. You will need a pan that is 1 1⁄2 to 2 in [4 to 5 cm] in height for this recipe.
To make an egg wash, use a fork to whisk 1 large egg, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon of water together in a small bowl.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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8 thoughts to “Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Irish Cream”

  1. Doesn’t omitting the Irish cream change the texture of the filling? Is there a reason you don’t just add more liquid? Thanks.

    1. Hi Pete,

      I asked Sarah and she said they made it without the Irish Cream at the bakery she worked at. It may be a little bit tighter without the extra liquid. You can also replace it with more heavy whipping cream or another flavor if you prefer.

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. Can I make the shortbread crust the day before I plan on serving the tart then finish making the tart the next day? If so, would I store the shortbread crust in the refrigerator or keep it at room temperature overnight?

    1. Hi Izzy! There are three options that would work. 1). You could make the entire tart and refrigerate overnight, then just make the whipped cream before serving. 2). You could do the crust step, bake and leave at room temperature or 3). You could prepare the crust, but hold off on baking and bake the next day before continuing with the rest of the recipe. All of these options should work well! Happy baking.

  3. Thank you for your response. If I make the entire tart the night before does it need to be reheated before serving or is it best served at room temperature?

    1. Hi Izzy! It’s best served at room temperature. After it’s fully assembled you wouldn’t want to reheat as it would melt the chocolate. Enjoy!

  4. 5 stars
    A simple and delicious recipe to make.
    The tart is so easy to make and a delicious shortbread texture. The filling is amazing. I didn’t have any Irish cream and skipped it. But will definitely make it again with the Irish cream. Next time around I’ll also use less of the dough as I prefer a thinner tart shell.
    All in all, an excellent recipe and definitely a keeper. Thank you Sarah.

  5. 5 stars
    You call for salt in the instructions for the tart filling but it’s not listed in the ingredients. Is this a typo?

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