Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Updated Oct. 12, 2023

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
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Briefly simmering fresh strawberries in a light sugar syrup before baking them into a tart keeps the berries plump and juicy and the crust from becoming soggy. Here, the syrupy berries are layered with a cream cheese filling and baked on a sheet of store-bought puff pastry, which turns golden and flaky in the oven. Quick to put together and elegant to serve, it’s a terrific way to showcase the fresh berries.

Featured in: 3 Smart Techniques for Better (and Beautiful) Strawberry Desserts

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Yield:6 to 8 servings

    For the Berries

    • pounds fresh strawberries, trimmed and halved or quartered if very large
    • ¼cup/50 grams granulated sugar
    • ¼teaspoon fine sea or table salt

    For the Tart

    • ½cup/4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1egg yolk
    • 1tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 1tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • ¾teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
    • teaspoon fine sea or table salt
    • All-purpose flour, for rolling
    • 1(14- to 18-ounce) package puff pastry, preferably all-butter, thawed if frozen but still cold

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

432 calories; 27 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 14 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 42 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 13 grams sugars; 6 grams protein; 297 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar and salt. Let mixture sit for 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until the berries get a little juicy. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are just beginning to soften and the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer berries to a plate to cool. Bring the syrup back to a simmer and let it cook until it reduces by half, 3 to 7 minutes.

  3. Step


    In a medium bowl, use a fork or a wooden spoon to mash together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, lemon juice and zest, vanilla and salt until smooth. (It’s OK if there are a few small lumps of cream cheese.)

  4. Step


    On a lightly floured surface, roll puff pastry into a 13-by-11-inch rectangle about ⅛-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking pan. With a sharp knife, score a 1-inch border along the edges of the puff pastry (don’t cut all the way through).

  5. Step


    Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly inside the scored border. Arrange the strawberries on top in a single layer. (If they don’t all fit nicely, save the remaining berries for snacking.)

  6. Step


    Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden, 22 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes or up to 8 hours before serving. Right before serving, gently brush some of the reduced syrup over the fruit and crust to add shine and more strawberry flavor. If you like, you can serve the remaining syrup as a sauce drizzled on top of the tart, or save it to use in seltzer or serve over yogurt or ice cream.



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Cooking Notes


An amazing cook on this app provided information to ensure puff pastry is cooked at the bottom, start baking on bottom rack then move to top rack. Half time on bottom rack, half time on top rack; it works. No more soggy bottom. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful tips snd making us all better cooks!!


I find unless I blind bake a puff pastry crust for a tart like this that it never crisps up and stays raw in the middle. Did anybody have this problem? This sounds sooooo good, but I’m not up for the uncooked crust anymore. And I’ve done this kind of crust at least a dozen times.


I’m sure it’s obvious, but, just in case, one step was left out of the instructions. Once you have both the cream cheese and strawberry layers on, fold up all sides of the puff pastry along the scored lines to just cover the edge of the filling.


Someone suggested that a step was left out and the scored border should be folded over the filling around the edge. This can certainly be done, and many rustic fruit tarts are made this way, but in this case the intention was not to fold over. The partial scoring of the frame frees those pastry layers from being held down by the filling, allowing them to puff up higher all around the edge.

Willy B

To get a crispy crust, I have pre-heated the pan in the oven, so when the raw dough on on unheated parchment paper is placed on the baking pan, it immediately starts to cook the bottom of the dough. This looks like a great recipe, and I just bought strawberries yesterday. Back to the store now for the puff pastry dough and cream cheese. Yummmm! thank you.


A comment on a couple of people curious about the rimmed edge of pastry. Melissa is correct in just running a scored border around the puff pastry. The outer edge will puff up as it does not have a coating of cream cheese. No need to fold up the edges.This works perfectly in Melissa’s excellent asparagus tart. P.s turn the sheet pan upside down to bake. It will slide off beautifully when done.

Chris Starkes

Made this today…for a breakfast treat. Came out ok…the directions are a bit off. The list indicates a 14 to 18 oz package if Puff Pastry - the best I could find was a 17 oz (Pepperidge Farm), but that was two pieces combined. I didn’t use both but for some reason I didn’t have enough strawberries to cover the tart based on the 1.5 lbs that I used based on the recipe. The middle wasn’t done…I think someone also pointed that out. I baked mine on 450 convection. Flavor was good in the end.

ES London

Why give us the metric measures for the berries and not for the tart? 113g cream cheese21g granulated sugar15ml fresh lemon juice4g lemon zest5ml vanilla extractpinch of salt


Made this nearly according to the recipe, and it turned out terrific. The only change: had only 1 container of strawberries, so I added a few blueberries along the edges.Also, this may be important, I didn't use the cheaper Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, which had preservatives and additives. Used a more expensive, all-butter, no preservatives puff pastry, and it baked up well. I did follow the suggestion of baking it for the first half on the bottom rack and moved it to the top rack after.


Yes, they sit there in the pan for about 20 minutes while the sugar draws out some of their juices. Then you simmer them. You could macerate them in a separate bowl before cooking them, but this saves a step and results in one less bowl to wash.


In the photo it looks like there’s a rim around the edge - is that where the scoring is done?


Yes.. the scoring creates the frame.


Lovely and low sugar!! Thank you, Melissa!

D fuser

Made this on a whim. I didn’t have cream cheese, but drained ricotta works fine. I usually blind bake my puff pastry, so I brushed a little melted butter on the crust, baked it for five minutes, then added the filling.Worked out fine.


I don't think so.


@dpcoppola - I always use the Dufour French Butter pastry if I am not making my own butter pastry. It is wonderful. Also, Step 4 is critical, do not skip! My sides puff up nicely, and my bottom is not undercooked or soggy.

Stephany L

This recipe is so good!! I followed all the steps as is and had no issues with a soggy crust. I added thyme to the strawberries to enhance the flavor. Also, the only change I would suggest would be to cook the strawberry sauce later while the tart is baking. I found that the sauce hardened by the time I went to use it.


Made this today using sliced peaches and purple seedless grapes. It was perfect, bottom nice and crisp, and the Thomcord grapes (a mix of concord and Thompson?) gave it an unexpected extra kick. Will make this again for sure--so easy.


Everyone liked this, but the strawberries (fresh and local) were mushy and gray after baking. Don't really understand the point of all the extra steps when the raw fresh strawberries would look and taste much better. Used Pepperidge Farm pastry, but will look for a better brand next time.

leigh ann

I wish i had read the comments before making this. It’s delicious and low sugar but the bottom is very soggy.


I used more strawberries, and I patted them dry


I followed the recipe exactly and the pastry turned out bland. I was going to bring this to a dinner party tonight but I'm so disappointed!


Some ideas if pastry (laminated or choux) is consistently underbaked: check oven temperature calibration with a thermometer, use a perforated baking pan with parchment or a perforated silicone mat, bake on lowest oven rack with a very well preheated baking steel under the pan (moving to upper rack for last 1/3 of baking time), and/or parbake for a few minutes before adding filling.


This was good—I lowered the salt in the berries, and also used less vanilla than was called for. Not crazy about the vanilla in the cheese—might skip that next time. We actually liked it better the second day, after the strawberries had time to infuse the cheese—it was like a big danish. I took the tip from another reader of preheating the tray, and that seemed to work well.May try again this summer but with raspberries or with peaches!


Even though I strained the strawberries, they still had a lot of juice. The crust was a soggy mess. I threw it away

Jean Genie

This was a hot mess. I followed the instructions to the letter and ended up with a soggy crust and strawberry juice everywhere. Wasted an afternoon and good ingredients. I especially enjoyed the big dome of crust that blew up in the middle of cooking.

Follow the recipe for best results!

I have made this several times with great success each time and many compliments when I brought it to a dinner party with a group of sophisticated diners. I used DuFour Puff Pastry From Whole Foods and it comes wrapped in parchment paper so there you go; you are ready to put it on a sheet pan.I have made this several times with great success each time and many compliments when I brought it to a dinner party with a group of sophisticated diners. Use classic strawberries… Not the large ones


Made this yesterday to bring to a group meeting. Tasty, but I'd double the cream cheese layer if I made it again.


This was good. If I make it again I'll divide the pastry into several sections, all scored around the edges. As-is, there's a large middle section that has no puff pastry edge and is prone to sogginess.


The taste was lovely. However, I feel like this recipe was written for large California strawberries. When using just picked, really ripe local berries, the simmer time is too much, the sugar is too much and the amount of strawberries too little.

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Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart Recipe (2024)
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