These mini pecan tarts are decadent and delicious. Made with phyllo shells and maple syrup, they are the perfect bite-sized appetizer or dessert for your next party. The crunchy pecans and gooey filling are reminiscent of a pecan pie but with fewer calories!
In an attempt to lighten up one of my favorite desserts, I decided to miniaturize a pecan pie recipe. I stumbled upon some pre-shaped miniature phyllo shells at the grocery store and used this as a base for my pecan pie filling. If you want a full-sized dessert, I recommend my pecan tart with bourbon and orange.
Why you'll love this recipe
- A quick and easy party dessert that comes together in under 20 minutes.
- A small bite-sized tart packed with all the buttery, sugary, and nutty delciousness you love .
- At only 65 calories each, this is a healthier version of your favorite classic dessert.
Key ingredients and why we love them
This easy pecan tart recipe has only eight ingredients!
Maple Syrup: I make these pecan tarts without corn syrup. Instead, I replace the corn syrup with maple syrup. The filling still sets and tastes delicious. The richness of pure maple syrup adds an earthy flavor and robustness to these tarts.
Pecans: Pecans have a rich and buttery taste that lends itself very well to baking. You can toast your pecans before adding them to the tart filling for an added depth of flavor.
Mini Phyllo Shells: These individual-sized tart shells are the perfect compliment for a rich and decadent part filling. The serving size is ideal for entertaining.
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! You can swap maple syrup and corn syrup in equal measure in this recipe. However, corn syrup is a little thicker, and you may find the filling sets up a little more firmly.
If your pecan tart has a slight jiggle when you shake it, then it's done! However, if the filling is still mostly liquid, you want to cook it for longer.
The biggest difference is that tarts don't have an upper crust. Tarts are also often baked in a shallow baking pan.
These miniature tarts are delicious served warm. However, make sure you allow them to cool first so the filling can set fully.
Homemade whipped cream is the perfect topping for this dessert. While the tarts are cooling, whip up a batch and add a dollop to the top before serving!
Making these miniature pecan tarts is simple.
HEATHER'S HELPFUL HINT
Keep your phyllo shells in the freezer until you are ready to fill them. They will hold their shape better in the oven if they don't come to room temperature before baking.
In a medium bowl, combine butter, egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Whisk until well combined. Add chopped pecans and mix until incorporated.
Remove phyllo shells from the freezer and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Scoop approximately one tablespoon of filling mixture into each phyllo shell.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. Starting at 10 minutes, keep a very close eye on your phyllo shells to ensure they don't over-bake or bubble over. Place baking sheet on a wire rack and cool for about 15 minutes, or until the filling has set completely. Enjoy!
Make ahead and storage tips
Make-Ahead: You can cook your mini pecan tarts in advance and then freeze them for up to 2 months. To thaw, allow them to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours. Then, reheat in a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes before serving.
Storage: These tarts should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Any longer than that, and I recommend freezing the tarts.
These mini tarts are incredibly versatile, and you can make many additions and substitutions to the recipe.
- I have also made these tarts using agave nectar, honey, and corn syrup in place of the maple syrup. While the taste will vary, all are fantastic substitutes.
- Phyllo shells also come in a chocolate flavor. This would be a delicious swap in this dessert. Especially paired with a light drizzle of chocolate on the top—YUM!
- If you're not a fan of phyllo shells, you could swap these out and use Pillsbury pre-made pie crust in miniature muffins pans.
Try these other pecan desserts
Don't stop with these mini phyllo pecan tarts with maple syrup! Be sure to check out some more of our delicious pecan dessert recipes linked below.
Mini Phyllo Pecan Tarts with Maple Syrup
- 19 x 13-inch half-sheet baking pan
- Silpat baking sheet
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 1 egg large
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 15 mini phyllo shells
- Place a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a half-sheet baking pan with a Silpat or aluminum foil.
- In a medium bowl, combine butter, egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined. Add chopped pecans and mix until incorporated.
- Remove phyllo shells from the freezer and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Scoop approximately one tablespoon of filling mixture into each phyllo shell.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes. Starting at 10 minutes, keep a very close eye on your phyllo shells to ensure they don't over-bake or bubble over.
- Place baking sheet on a wire rack and cool for about 15 minutes, or until the filling has set completely.
Notes and Tips
- Make Ahead and Freezing Tips: You can cook your mini pecan tarts in advance and then freeze them for up to 2 months. To thaw, allow them to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours. Reheat in a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes before serving.
- Silpat Baking Sheet: If you don't own a silpat, use parchment paper or cover the baking pan with aluminum foil.
- Phyllo Shells: You can find phyllo shells in the frozen section of your grocer store. They are located by the frozen desserts and frozen fruit.
- Pecans: You can lightly toast your pecans for 7-10 minutes in a 350-degree oven for an added depth of flavor.
- Maply Syrup: I love the flavor of maple syrup in this recipe. You can substitute with agave nectar, honey, or corn syrup.
I originally posted this recipe in February 2016. I updated it in November 2021 with new pictures and a few updates to the recipe.
Did you make this recipe? First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try! Please leave us a rating and leave any feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and what didn't — with a recipe!