Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts

Sunday 5 December 2021


Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts 
If there is one thing my family loves more than almost anything on earth, except for Fish & Chips it is jam.  We ADORE jam!  We love it on our toast, over ice cream, in cakes, tarts, etc.

I would say it was our Scottish heritage, but my father is the real jam nut and he is French Canadian.  Having said that, however, the Scots have always had a close tie to France.  Mary, Queen of Scots, was brought up in France.  

So jam is probably popular on both sides of the English Channel!

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts 

The Scottish do love their jam though and they love their coconut.  These are some of the most popular tarts in Scotland. You will see them on offer in all of the bake shops.

They are just called Coconut Tarts there, but I like to call them Coconut & Jam Tarts.  Whatever you call them, they are delicious!

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts 
One of my early ancestors, Boyd McNayr was born near Glasgow in the 1700's.  He came to Canada as a young boy.  His father was a soldier in the King's service named James.   

He left Boyd in Halifax with friends at the tender age of 8 and left to do some soldiering duties. Not he, nor his ship, was ever seen or heard from again.  Tragic really.

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts 
Boyd and his wife Rachel Beals started a settlement out in Springfield, Nova Scotia.  They were built of strong stuff.  All those early pioneers were. You can still go there and see their headstones.  I am really proud of my pioneer heritage.

One of the favorite things I was able to do when I was in the UK was to travel to Scotland and Glasgow, as well as to the Highlands. It is a stunning, stunning country.  If you ever get a chance to go, take it, don't pass it by! 

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts 
Back to the tarts. These are quite simply fabulous.  Crisp buttery pastry, with a raspberry jam filling and sweet coconut macaroon topping. They are incredibly moreish.

Especially enjoyed with a nice hot cuppa. Today I opened day four from my Tea Advent calendar and enjoyed it in my new Susan Branch Winter Mug. I have wanted one of those mugs for years so when I saw that they were back in stock, I snapped one up.

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts 


Simple store cupboard ingredients for the most part. Nothing more, nothing less. If you keep frozen tart shells in the freezer, you will never be very far away from making these. 

  • 12 unbaked tart shells (you can make your own from scratch if you like, I used the Tenderflake frozen ones.)
  • raspberry jam (I used seedless today)
  • shredded unsweetened coconut
  • butter (I used salted. Most of the time that is all I have in my fridge)
  • 1 large egg (I only use free range)
  • sugar (I used granulated white sugar)
  • vanilla extract (I only use pure vanilla extract)

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts

It is important to note this is the shredded coconut, which is finer than the flaked coconut. It is very close to desiccated coconut which is what they would use in the UK.  

I never saw flaked coconut the whole time I lived over there.  It just wasn't available. I sometimes would bring some back from Canada when I visited home, and could often get it at an American supply warehouse, when it was in stock.

It often was sold out.

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts 

The tart shells I used are by Tenderflake, and come frozen in sets of 12.  They are about 3 inches in diameter and work perfectly for this recipe. 

I only ever use large eggs, unless otherwise specified and always free range. I will not support an inhumane industry if I can help it and avoid eggs from caged hens at all costs! I do not mind paying a bit more for my eggs.

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts 


Its very simple really. I would call this a doddle actually.  You begin by preheating the oven. Once it has reached your temperature I like to prebake the tart shells for about 5 minutes. 

This simple thing helps to prevent soggy bottoms, and the timing  is just long enough to whisk together the filling ingredients. Nobody likes a soggy bottom.

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts 

Just whisk the sugar, egg, vanilla, melted butter and coconut together in a small bowl. It is almost like a loose macaroon mixture.

Take your partially baked shells out of the oven.  Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of your jam into the bottom of each shell.

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts 

I used seedless raspberry jam because that is the only raspberry jam I had in the house. I normally buy seedless as I  have diverticulitis and the seeds play havoc with my system.

If all you have is seeded, then by all means use that! 

The coconut filling gets spooned into the tart shell, over top of the jam and then you bake the tarts for 20 to 15 minutes.

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts 
They are done when the tops are golden brown and set, and the pastry is crisp and golden brown as well.  I dusted them with some icing sugar to pretty them up a bit. 

The Scots really enjoy their sweets.  Another popular bake up there are Scottish Snowballs Cakes.  These are two puffy cookies, sandwiched together with jam and rolled in a glace icing and coconut.  You can find my recipe for those here.

They are incredibly yummy!  

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts

These would be really lovely on the Christmas cookie/treat tray. I am giving them as a gift along with a Christmas card to my next door neighbor. 

Only a few mind you. I don't want her to feel beholding, and you know how older people can be sometimes.  She might think she has to give me something back and I don't want anything.

I basically just want to thank her for being a good neighbor, and I think these cake/tarts are an excellent way to do just that!

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts

Scottish Coconut & Jam Tarts

Yield: Makes 12 tarts
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min
This is a classic Scottish treat. Incredibly delicious and very easy to make using frozen tart shells.


  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 TBS butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup (115g) shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • raspberry jam
  • 12 unbaked tart shells


  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F/ 180*C/ gas mark 4. Place your tart shells on a baking sheet. Pre-bake for five minutes.
  2. Whisk the egg, sugar, butter, vanilla and coconut together in a bowl.
  3. Place 1/2 tsp of jam in the bottom of each tart shell. Top with 1/12th of the coconut mixture. (fill about 3/4 full)
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Leave to cool then remove from the tart tins. Serve at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
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  1. I've made the for the cookie exchange at work. There were only four of us involved, we each made two dozen, so a good assortment.

    I've used black currant and peach jams in the past. But raspberry is the more traditional.

  2. I'll have to look for frozen tart shells. I don't think I've ever seen them in the stores here. What a good find. These look delish!

  3. Your neighbour is going to love these. I'm going to make them, too. I have the Bonne Maman Advent Calendar and sometimes I can't finish the little pots of jam before it's time to open another one. They would be perfect in these tarts and I could have a variety. I have Susan's Winter cup, too. It's my very favourite of all her cups. Enjoy your Monday. Love and hugs, Elaine

  4. Our family has always called these "Maid of Honour Tarts". Exact same recipe. Family favorite to the point when my son got married they didn't want a wedding cake, instead they wanted these tarts. So there I was two days before the wedding making 45 dozen tarts. Everyone loved them!


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