Sweets & Dessert

Coconut Tart with Strawberries

Coconut Tart with Strawberries

This Coconut Tart with Strawberries is a stunner of a dessert! This tart is made with a Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust that is filled with a creamy Coconut Panna Cotta. To finish, we decorated this tart with fresh strawberries, strawberry jelly, toasted coconut flakes and a savory sprinkle of pink peppercorns! This gorgeous chilled dessert tastes as good as it looks!

Coconut Panna – Whatta? What is Panna Cotta?

The favorite Italian dessert, panna cotta translates to “cooked cream” in English. Essentially, panna cotta is a custard made without eggs. Instead of using eggs to thicken and stabilize the custard, panna cotta uses gelatin to lightly set the liquids. Once chilled, the gelatin helps the panna cotta to keep it’s shape (like a soft jello). The gelatin also lends to a rich, silky mouthfeel to the jiggly custard.

For this Coconut Tart recipe, we used both coconut milk and coconut cream to create a panna cotta filling that is creamy, perfectly smooth, easy to slice, and full of coconut flavor. The Coconut Panna Cotta is poured into the baked Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust and refrigerated until set. It’s a simple process with spectacular results!

Simple Sablé – Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust

One of the best parts of this Coconut Tart recipe is the Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust. This tart shell recipe was based off of the classic preparation of the French Sablé cookie. The Sablé style of shortbread is fork tender, buttery, and crumbly. For this recipe, we added toasted coconut to the shortbread-style crust and fitted the dough to classic tart shell. The Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust is blind baked to a beautiful golden brown before being filled with creamy Coconut Panna Cotta. It’s simply delicious!

If not done properly, this Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust can act a bit pesky and shrink or crack, during the bake. Check out all of our advice for making a flawless tart shell, below!

Best Practices for Stunning Shortbread Tart Shells

Follow these foolproof tips and tricks for a perfect Coconut Tart shell!

  • Use a tart pan with a removable bottom. The removable bottom allows you to slip the outer ring of the pan off of the tart leaving just the flat disk underneath. You can use that disk beneath the tart for serving, or slide the tart shell off the base and onto a serving platter with ease.
  • Butter your tart pan thoroughly. Using room-temperature butter and a pastry brush, brush the fat over all edges of the pan – especially if your edges are fluted!
  • Do NOT overwork your dough! This style of shortbread should be dry and crumbly, when mixing. Mix only until the dough sticks together and not a moment longer! Overworked dough will not only become toughened undesirable, it will also shrink considerably during the bake.
  • Rest the dough for a minimum of one hour before rolling and shaping. By giving the dough time to relax, the flour will fully hydrate and the gluten will allow for easier rolling and less chance of shrinking.
  • Roll the dough between two sheets of greased parchment paper for easy transferring to the pan!
  • Keep the dough chilled! This Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust is made from a dough with a LOT of butter. The pastry melts very easily and needs to be kept chilled, throughout the process. Chill the dough after mixing, after rolling AND after shaping to the tart pan, for the best results.
  • Blind bake the shell with pie weights, rice or beans. First, line the chilled dough with crumpled parchment or a large coffee filter. (We use paper Chemex coffee filters). Then fill the tart shell with ceramic weights, dried beans or rice. The added weight will help keep the shell perfectly shaped!
Cutting into Coconut Panna Cotta Tart

Delectables Decorations & Details

This Coconut Tart is a blank canvas that can be decorated however you desire! For this Spring-inspired preparation we chose to accent the coconut flavors with strawberries. We love the combination of the coconut and strawberry flavors, but feel free to experiment with your own flavor combinations, as well! Tropical fruits like pineapple, mango or passion fruit would be fabulous pairings, as well!

To decorate this tart, we used fresh strawberries and strawberry jelly! The berries make for a gorgeous contrast on top of the tart. To decorate with strawberries as photographed, keep some strawberries whole, some halved, and some diced into different sizes. Keep the whole and larger pieces or strawberries on one half of the tart, and taper off into the smaller diced pieces on the other side. Along with the strawberries, we added some lightly toasted flakes of coconut and a sprinkle of pink peppercorns!

Did You Say Pink Peppercorns!?

Indeed! Pink peppercorns are a lovely addition that add a bit of intrigue to this recipe! Admittedly, we can’t take credit for this clever idea! In fact, pink peppercorns were added to a Coconut Panna Cotta dessert that was served at a restaurant that Scott and I used to work at, in Denver. The restaurant has since shuttered it’s doors, but this unique flavor combination deserves to live on!

Pink peppercorns are much softer and more delicate in flavor than their black peppercorn counterpart. In fact, pink peppercorns have notes of fruity spice and lend a pleasant textural crunch to this Coconut Tart. Of course, this garnish is totally optional. However, we would definitely encourage you to try a sprinkle of pink peppercorns on this dessert! When paired with coconut and strawberries, the hint of savory spice adds lovely balance and intrigue! Pink peppercorns can be found in the spice aisle of some grocery stores, in spice shops and online. We purchased ours at our local Whole Foods.

Slices of Coconut Tart with Strawberrieswberries

Share Your Success!

This Coconut Tart with Strawberries is sure to become a beloved dessert-course show-stopper! We know you will love this creamy Coconut Panna Cotta layered into a buttery, Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust and topped with lots of strawberries! When this recipe makes its way to your table, be sure to drop us a comment below! And, as always, tag @foodworthfeed in your Instagram posts and stories. We’d love to feature you! We love having a seat at your table, you’ll always have one at ours!

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Whole Coconut Tart from overhead

Coconut Tart with Strawberries

  • Author: foodworthfeed
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Inactive Chill & Cooling Time: About 6 Hours
  • Cook Time: 40 Minutes
  • Total Time: About 7 Hours
  • Yield: 1, 11 inch (28 centimeter) Tart, 8 – 12 Servings


This Coconut Tart with Strawberries features a homemade Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust layered with Coconut Panna Cotta! To finish, we topped this beautiful tart with fresh strawberries, strawberry jelly, toasted coconut and a delicate sprinkle of pink peppercorns! So delicious! 


Coconut Tart with Strawberries

  • Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust
  • Coconut Panna Cotta
  • Fresh Strawberries, as desired for garnishing
  • Coconut flakes, lightly toasted, as desired for garnishing
  • 23 Tablespoons strawberry jelly, as desired for garnishing
  • 13 teaspoons pink peppercorns, optional, lightly crushed, as desired for garnishing

Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust

  • 195 grams (1 1/2 Cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fine, sea or kosher salt
  • 23 grams (about 1/4 Cup) unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted (and crushed, if necessary – See Note: a)
  • 154 grams (1/2 Cup plus 3 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room-temperature, plus more for greasing the tart pan
  • 60 grams (1/4 Cup) powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg, room-temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Non-stick cooking spray, as needed

Coconut Panna Cotta

  • 7 grams (1 standard US packet or about 2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin powder (See Note: b)
  • 398 milliliters (1, 13 1/2 ounce can) unsweetened coconut milk, divided
  • 398 milliliters (1, 13 1/2 ounce can) unsweetened coconut cream
  • 50 grams (1/4 Cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Special Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • 11 inch x 1 inch (28 centimeter x 2.5 centimeter) Tart Pan, preferably with a removable bottom (See Note: c)
  • Pastry Brush
  • Parchment Paper (or large, silicone baking mats)
  • Rolling Pin


Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust

  1. Gather, measure and prepare the ingredients as listed. For the most consistent results, we recommend using metric weight measurements whenever possible.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and toasted coconut. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and powdered sugar together on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. (It is not necessary to process further or aerate, as you would with a cake.)
  4. Next, while processing on medium-low speed, add egg and vanilla. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl, as necessary. 
  5. Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix, on the lowest speed, until just combined and crumbly. If additional flour or crumbs remain at the bottom of the bowl, gently fold and press them into the dough with a rubber spatula. Gently flatten the dough into a disk and refrigerate for, at least, one hour, or overnight. To do this, we turn the dough onto a sheet pan prepared with parchment paper sprayed non-stick cooking spray. With slightly wet hands (to prevent sticking), gather the dough into a round ball shape. Then,  top the dough with an additional sheet of parchment paper that has also been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Using a second sheet pan, press down over the dough to flatten it into a thin, even disk. This method helps to keep the dough evenly shaped for easy rolling. 
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the tart pan. Using a pastry brush, brush softened butter in a thin layer over the inside of the tart pan. If using a pan with a removable bottom, be sure to grease both the outer ring and the flat bottom of the pan. 
  7. Once the dough has rested and chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator. While keeping the dough sandwiched between the greased parchment, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large circle about 3/8 of an inch (1 centimeter) thick. The dough will need to be about 13 inches (33 centimeters) in diameter to properly fit the tart pan.
  8. Once rolled, return the dough to the refrigerator to chill for an additional 5 – 10 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees celsius).
  10. Once chilled remove the dough from the refrigerator and carefully remove the top piece of parchment paper. Lifting the dough with the bottom piece of parchment, carefully invert the dough into the pan. Working quickly to avoid warming the dough, carefully press the dough into the tart pan. Remove the parchment paper and discard. With floured fingers, press the dough into to the edges of the tart pan. Trim any excess dough from the perimeter of the pan. With the excess scraps of dough, patch any cracks or holes in the crust, as necessary. 
  11. Return the Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust to the refrigerator for 20 – 30 minutes to chill until firm. Do not skip this step! The dough needs to be thoroughly chilled to prevent shrinking in the oven.
  12. Once ready to bake,  line the chilled tart dough with crumpled parchment or a large coffee filter. (We use paper Chemex coffee filters). Then fill the tart shell with ceramic pie weights, dried beans or rice. (The additional weight will prevent the pie crust from bubbling at the base). Bake the shell for 25 – 30 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through baking. Remove the shell from the oven and remove the parchment/coffee filter and weights. Return the shell to the oven to finish baking for 5 – 10 minutes or until the tart shell appears matte, dry and is golden brown along the edges.
  13. Allow the Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust to cool completely before filling.

Coconut Panna Cotta

  1. Gather, measure and prepare the ingredients as listed. 
  2. In a small bowl add about 59 milliliters (1/4 Cup) coconut milk. (If your canned coconut milk is separated into a creamier cap and more liquidy coconut water, use the coconut water for this step.) Sprinkle the gelatin over the coconut milk to bloom (hydrate) while proceeding to the next steps.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining coconut milk, coconut cream, sugar and vanilla. Whisk to combine and bring to a light simmer. (Do not boil). Remove from heat and allow to cool for ten minutes.
  4. After cooling, add the gelatin mixture to the saucepan and whisk until gelatin has fully dissolved. 
  5. The Coconut Panna Cotta is now ready to be used in Step 3 of the Coconut Tart with Strawberries procedure, below. 

Coconut Tart with Strawberries

  1. Gather, measure and prepare the ingredients as listed. 
  2. Transfer the chilled Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust to a serving platter. 
  3. Once prepared, carefully pour the Coconut Panna Cotta into the tart shell. With a clean fingertip, pop any small bubbles that may form on the surface of the Coconut Panna Cotta. Chill the Coconut Tart for, at least, 4 hours or overnight, to set.
  4. Once set, garnish the tart with fresh strawberries, strawberry jelly (we used a piping bag for the jelly), toasted coconut and pink peppercorns, as desired. 
  5. Serve chilled and enjoy! 


a. We recommend incorporating small pieces of toasted coconut into the dough. We used Bob’s Red Mill unsweetened shredded coconut (not a sponsor) and the pieces were naturally small and comparable to coarse sand or gravel. If you are using coconut flakes, or a different brand of shredded coconut, you may need to crush the toasted coconut with a food-processor, sharp-knife or mortar and pestle. 

b. Some gelatin behaves slightly differently from brand to brand. This recipe was developed using Knox brand gelatin (not a sponsor). We recommend using Knox brand gelatin due to its product consistency and wide availability in the United States. Gelatin can be found in the baking aisle of your local grocery store, or purchased online.  

c. Tart pans with removable bottoms can be purchased in most superstores (Target, Walmart, etc.), homeware stores (Bed, Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, etc.) or online. They typically run between $15 – $20 USD and are great for tarts, pies and quiches. Ours was a lucky $2 USD find at a second-hand thrift store! 

  • Category: Dessert, Pie
  • Method: Baked, Stovetop & Chilled
  • Cuisine: American, French, Italian

Keywords: Coconut Tart, Coconut Strawberry Tart, Coconut Panna Cotta, Coconut Tart Shell, Coconut Shortbread, Toasted Coconut Shortbread, Sable Crust

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