Caramel Chess Tart

The Easiest Tart EVER with a Thin Layer of a Caramelized Crisp over a Sweet Gooey Custard Filling and my Favorite Buttery Pie Crust!

Caramel Chess Tart | URBAN BAKES

It was only a week ago, when I heard of a chess tart for the first time. I came across it while looking for a little inspiration through a few older cookbooks. Had the recipe not said caramel in its name, I would have never known what the flavor was like. And still, I did a little search in chess tarts to gain a better understanding of its origin and how the name chess, arose.

I am no expert but according to several sources. it’s not clear on the true origin of the chess tart. Some say it originated in England and named after the town, Chester whereas, many other sources say, it’s from the southern states of America. Either way, this has to be the quickest and simplest tart ever made!

Caramel Chess Tart | URBAN BAKES

Most tart recipes found on URBAN BAKES are typically filled with either fruit, nuts or a combination of both but this particular tart has none of that! The best way I can describe its texture and flavor is similar to the custard-like filling from a pecan pie but without the pecans! It is without a doubt a sugary dessert. Best for those with a sweet tooth!

Caramel Chess Tart | URBAN BAKES

The recipe calls for very basic ingredients which you probably already have at home. The filling is made primarily of brown sugar with butter which gives the caramel flavor and the eggs provides structure while creating a custard like texture when baked.

If you’re looking to make this tart quickly, follow the original recipe which calls for a single refrigerated pie crust. I chose to take a step further and use my best buttery, flaky homemade pie crust that I simply cannot resist! Variations of this pie crust can be seen in these nut crusts such as this pistachio galette and almond tart. But if you want a nut-free dessert, this one is perfect!

Caramel Chess Tart | URBAN BAKES

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Caramel Chess Tart | URBAN BAKES

Caramel Chess Tart

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5 from 11 reviews

  • Author: URBAN BAKES
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 9 inch tart 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


The Easiest Tart EVER with a Thin Layer of a Caramelized Crisp over a Sweet Gooey Custard Filling and my Favorite Buttery Pie Crust!




  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted cold butter, sliced or cut in 1 cm cubes
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons (60 to 75 ml) cold water


  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (330 grams) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract


  • powdered sugar for dusting
  • whipped cream



  1. CRUST: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Toss in butter and coat with flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or long-tined fork, cut in butter and egg yolk until the mixture becomes crumbly about the size of small peas. Add water 2 tablespoons at a time and continue to cut into the flour mixture until a dough forms and is able to leave the sides of the bowl becoming one cohesive mass of dough.
  2. Shape the pastry dough into a flattened disk. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 450°F (230°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat; set aside.
  4. Once the pastry dough has chilled, lightly flour a clean and dry surface.  Roll pastry dough into a 10-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick.  Use remaining scraps to fill in any gaps or tears.  With the aid of a large bench scraper, transfer the sheet of pastry dough onto a 9-inch (23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.  Gently press into the bottom and up sides of the pan.  Avoid stretching of the pastry dough.  
  5. BLIND BAKE:  Lay above the unbaked pie crust a sheet of parchment paper and fill with ceramic baking beads or dried beans/rice.  Bake for 7 minutes.  Carefully remove beads and parchment paper.  Bake again for 2 minutes.  Remove pie crust from oven, set aside and reduce oven temperature to 350°F (175°C).    
  6. FILLING: In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar together until fluffy.  Beat in 1 egg at a time.  Stir in buttermilk, flour and vanilla. Pour filling into the partially baked crust. 
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until almost set.  Allow tart to cool completely on cooling rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and whipped cream.  ENJOY!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Cuisine: American

Recipe adapted from Pillsbury.

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12 thoughts on “Caramel Chess Tart”

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe! I wanted to make it and now I have the best recipe to do so… It’s so beautiful with simple ingredients and an all around great dessert!

  2. This tart is delicious! The filling came out so creamy and luscious, and the caramel added such a rich flavor. Well worth the effort!

  3. The tart is a nice switch from the traditional pies at Thanksgiving. We really love pecan pie but sometimes it can be a bit temperamental. This will be such a nice change. I’ve already gotten my tart pan ready for the holidays. This recipe is a keeper.

  4. I love caramel flavors and this tart looks like a perfect balance of crust and filling. I had never heard of a chess tart before but this looks like a recipe I could make often.

  5. I am all up for trying an easy, creamy tart! I enjoy the flavors of most tarts but sometimes get hung up with all the textures so this sounds perfect for me!

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