Easy Berry Cream Tarts

If you’re looking for the perfect Independence Day dessert, I’ve got you covered–these little single serving Berry Cream Tarts come together in just a few minutes, can mostly be made ahead of time, and look super impressive even though they’re crazy easy, and don’t involve turning on your oven. Plus, they’re incredibly delicious.

Ingredient Notes

  • Cheesecake-flavored Instant Pudding – Cheesecake-flavored pudding mix gives this dessert a delicious cheesecake flavor with minimal effort.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – Sweetened condensed milk is going to provide some sweetness to our whipped cream. When combined with the pudding mix, it creates a finger-licking-good mousse!
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – Heavy whipping cream has some thickeners and stabilizers in it that regular whipping cream does not. It often contains a bit more butter fat as well. All of these things help the heavy whipping cream hold it’s form better, which is exactly what we need in these tarts, both in the cheesecake mousse and whipped cream topping.
  • Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar is used to sweeten the whipped cream topping.
  • Vanilla Extract – I prefer real vanilla extract here. Imitation vanilla usually works well in baked goods, but for desserts and things that are going to be eaten fresh, real vanilla provides the best flavor.
  • Almond Extract – Almond extract provides a unique boost of flavor that really elevates this fairly simple dessert. If you don’t care for almond, orange zest, extract, or flavoring oil would be another great choice.
  • Individual Graham Cracker Crusts – You’ll need12 mini graham cracker crusts. Find these on the baking aisle.
  • Fresh Berries – When aiming for a red, white, and blue dessert, I prefer a mixture of strawberries (hulled and cut in half), blueberries, and blackberries. Although you could theoretically top these with frozen berries or pie filling, the best flavor and texture option is fresh fruit! Feel free to experiment with other fruits according to your preference.

How to Make Easy Berry Cream Tarts

  1. In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix, cold water, and sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Mix well and place in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes.
  3. Place the graham cracker crusts on a baking sheet (or something large enough to transport them easily but small enough to fit in your refrigerator) and set aside.
  4. In another medium bowl, whip 1 cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form.
  5. Remove the pudding mixture from the refrigerator and gently fold the whipped cream into it. Divide the mixture evenly among the crusts and place the pan in the refrigerator.
  6. In the same mixing bowl you used to mix the first cup of whipping cream, add the remaining cup of cream, vanilla and almond extracts, and powdered sugar. Whip until soft peaks form. Divide the whipping cream among the tarts, then garnish with fresh berries.
  7. Serve immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these ahead of time?

Due to the fresh fruit, these tarts are going to look and taste their best if assembled close to serving time. However, you can certainly plan ahead to make assembly a breeze. Prepare your filling and either fill your crusts or store it in a zip top bag in the fridge. Wash and prep your fruit, pat dry, and store in a tightly sealed container lined with a paper towel in the fridge. It’s best to whip your whipped cream topping right before assembly. When ready to assemble, cut the corner off your filling bag and pipe the filling directly into the crusts if you haven’t already. Top with freshly whipped cream, then top with fruit and serve.

I read why heavy cream is recommended, but I only have regular whipping cream. Can I replace the heavy cream with regular whipping cream?

Heavy cream contains stabilizers and sometimes more butter fat that helps hold everything together in the final mousse. Because we are also using pudding mix that has thickeners as well, you can certainly try regular whipping cream. Just be aware that your mousse and topping will be a little thinner and may not hold up your berries as well. I promise it will still be just as delicious, though.

What other fruits could I use?

It’s hard to go wrong with cheesecake and fruit! If planning ahead avoid bananas because they will go brown very quickly. As a general rule, fresh fruit is going to be better than canned fruit. Berries are easy to mix and match. You could try a tropical version with mango and strawberry. Strawberry and kiwi would be delicious as well. I would avoid melons or anything with a very high water content. Simply cut up your favorite fruits in similar sized pieces and top your tarts as desired.

Do I have to use fruit?

Not necessarily. Since the base of these tarts is cheesecake flavored, you can always get creative with other toppings. Chocolate brownie chunks, candied pecans, and a drizzle of caramel would make a delicious turtle brownie cheesecake tart, for example.

Easy Berry Cream Tart

5 from 1 vote
An easy and perfectly portioned dessert showcasing fresh berries–perfect for summer celebrations!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings12

Ingredients

  • 3.4 ounce serving size cheesecake-flavored instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 12 individual graham cracker crusts 12 crusts
  • 1 pint strawberries hulled and sliced in half
  • 1 small package blackberries
  • 1 small package blueberries

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix, cold water, and sweetened condensed milk. Mix well and place in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes.
  • Place the graham cracker crusts on a baking sheet (or something large enough to transport them easily but small enough to fit in your refrigerator) and set aside.
  • In another medium bowl, whip 1 cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form. Remove the pudding mixture from the refrigerator and gently fold the whipped cream into it. Divide the mixture evenly among the crusts and place the pan in the refrigerator.
  • In the same mixing bowl you used to mix the first cup of whipping cream, add the remaining cup of cream, vanilla and almond extracts, and powdered sugar. Whip until soft peaks form. Divide the whipping cream among the tarts, then garnish with fresh berries. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • These tarts are best eaten soon after assembly. You can make them completely up to a couple of hours before serving and simply place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until serving.
  • If storing leftovers, you can store them on a baking sheet in the fridge as outlined above, or in a tightly sealed storage container in the fridge. They are best as close to the time of assembly as possible, but are certainly safe to eat for several days if refrigerated the whole time.
  • Since the base of these tarts is cheesecake flavored, you can always get creative with other toppings. Chocolate brownie chunks, candied pecans, and a drizzle of caramel would make a delicious turtle brownie cheesecake tart, for example.
  • Using orange zest, extract, or flavoring oil instead of almond extract would be delicious with the berries as well! 

Nutrition

Serving: 1tart, Calories: 373kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 56mg, Sodium: 232mg, Potassium: 230mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 696IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 131mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 4th of July, Easy Berry Cream Tarts
Calories: 373kcal
Author: Our Best Bites
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I don’t know why this doesn’t have more comments, this was amazing! I made it tonight so I didn’t have to turn on my oven and it was divine! A new favorite!