Belizean Coconut Tart

Any coconut lover will have a hard time resisting a Belizean coconut tart! 

Belizean coconut tarts are often made to be sold for a little extra money.  Why? Because they sell fast; word has gotten out they are a small decadent treat.  At your average gas station, you might see a few in a case next to the register, likewise, they are often sold at fundraisers or as a side business.

Making Coconut Tarts:

For the correct coconut tart look, use a tart pan: this is a pan very similar to a muffin tin, but the edge is crinkled, and the cups are a little shallower.  In a pinch, a muffin tin works well too!

The most time consuming part of making these tarts is cracking and grating the coconut. Check out our coconut-cracking tips here!  Other then that, it is a fairly simple recipe with simple ingredients!

Tips for the lactose-free:

If you, like us, have someone in your house that is allergic to lactose, you are often avoiding recipes that use sweetened condensed milk.  There are two replacements for sweetened condensed milk that we have discovered:

  • Sweetened condensed coconut milk or sweetened condensed soy milk: The coconut version can often be purchased at a thai grocery, asian grocery store, or large supermarket with an asian section.  The soy version can be found in the vegan section of large groceries.  Amazon also sells both these products, although they are more expensive than the same thing from the supermarket.  This may only be an option for lactose-free-Belizean coconut tart lovers in large cities in the US/Canada… let us know what you find!
  • Caramelizing your own coconut milk:  Pour coconut milk (about 1.5-2 cups) into a sauce pan over high heat stirring constantly with a whisk.  As coconut milk begins to caramelize, add brown sugar (.5 – 1 cups) and continue to stir.  This caramelized coconut milk works a little differently once baked in the filling, and is browner in color,  but is still delicious.

For this recipe, we found sweetened condensed coconut milk to be an amazing substitute, almost identical to using normal sweetened condensed milk!

Belizean Coconut Tarts

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 mins
Yields: 18


  • Filling: 1 coconut, grated
  • Filling: 1/2 can condensed milk
  • Filling: 1/2 nutmeg seed, grated
  • Filling: 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Filling: 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • Dough: 2 cups flour
  • Dough: 1/2 lb shortening
  • Dough: Cold water


  1. Drain your coconut, crack it, chip the meat out, peel off the brown skin, and grate it. Set aside. For complete instructions on how to crack a coconut, see "coconut" under "ingredients" on this site!
  2. Make the dough: Combine flour and shortening mixing by hand. Add a little water as you need until you have a soft pliable dough. Pull off ping-pong-ball-sized portions. Roll these into disks and press into your tart pan.
  3. Make the filling: Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Spoon the filling into the dough crusts. Filling should be just below the top edge of the crust, it will "grow" a little in the oven!
  5. Cook in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Pro Tips

5 Replies to "Belizean Coconut Tart"

  • comment-avatar
    Brenda May 27, 2017 (7:55 pm)

    I love these little treats

    • comment-avatar
      chicapost June 5, 2017 (12:38 am)

      Oh my, I do too… hard to eat just one 😉 Let us know how this recipe worked for you, or if you would like to see others!

  • comment-avatar
    Dave November 19, 2017 (10:22 pm)

    My wife is from Belize and craves these every time she is pregnant. I was just informed that she was craving tarts, lucky me child number 6! She loves these and lemon ones too!

    • comment-avatar
      chicapost November 26, 2017 (3:49 am)

      Oh wow, lucky you indeed! Let us know if this recipe works for you!

  • comment-avatar
    Brenda Johnson October 9, 2018 (11:07 pm)

    Tank yo for this recipes that brought back my childhood in Belize incorporating them in my Chef program these were the best time in my life my childhood in Belize thank yo to help preserve that for some of us tat is far away from home yet home travel with us. One Love.

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