This simple chocolate shortbread crust is easy to prep and bakes into a tender, flaky crust that is perfect for tarts, pies, and more. Buttery, chocolatey, and not too sweet, this chocolate crust makes a delicious base for any sweet treat in need of one.
The chocolate shortbread crust has an easy, press-in pastry dough, and you don’t even need a rolling pin! The dough is very versatile and easy to work with. Press it into a tart pan with short sides or into the bottom of a rectangular baking pan.
This chocolate crust recipe is a cocoa-packed version of our easy shortbread pastry. It’s just as rich, flaky and buttery, but chocolate.
Pair it with our butterscotch tart, chocolate caramel tart or this delicious frangipane fig tart. Or, use this chocolate shortcrust pastry as the base for a dreamy pie like our no-bake peanut butter pie, chocolate pecan pie or Irish coffee mousse.
Why this Recipe Works
This chocolate shortbread crust recipe is quick, easy and super simple. Tender, crumbly and buttery- just like any truly good shortbread should be.
Here’s why we love this recipe:
- It takes just a few minutes to prepare.
- The crust has a rich cocoa flavor enhanced by a bit of espresso powder.
- It’s rich and buttery, and each bite melts in your mouth
The Ingredient List
To make this simple chocolate shortbread crust, you will need:
- powdered sugar
- egg yolks– whisked lightly
- sea salt
- butter- melted and cooled
- all-purpose flour
- espresso powder
- cocoa powder
Our Chocolate Shortbread Crust Recipe
This chocolate shortbread pastry dough comes together in just a few minutes. The dough is soft enough to mix in a bowl with a spoon, but you can certainly use an electric mixer, too.
Here’s how to prepare the chocolate shortcrust pastry (for the full printable recipe card, scroll to the bottom of the page):
- Preheat the oven and prepare your tart pan. We use an 11-inch tart pan.
- Mix the dough. When you finish mixing the ingredients, the dough forms a smooth ball.
- Press into the pan. Press the dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Prick the crust with a fork for vent holes and set it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Bake the crust. Press the sprayed side of foil very tightly against the bottom and up the sides of the crust, then add pie weights and bake.
Recipe Tips for the Best Results
- The dough will be very soft after it gets mixed but don’t add any extra flour to the dough unless it feels sticky.
If the dough is sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour at a time until it’s soft and smooth but no longer sticky.
- Traditional tart pans have a removable bottom. Make sure you place the pan on a baking sheet so that you can easily transfer the pan. If you lift the tart pan from the bottom, then the outer ring will fall off.
- If you don’t have pie weights, you can use uncooked rice or beans (seen in the photos above).
- You can use this chocolate crust recipe for a 9×13-inch baking dish, as well.
This chocolate shortbread crust recipe makes the perfect chocolate crust for a creamy pie, delicious fruit tart, mousse or custard filling. The chocolate is rich but not overpowering, and the buttery crust is just delightful.
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- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 egg yolks, whisked lightly with a fork
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray the bottom of an 11-inch tart pan with non-stick baking spray.
- In a medium-size bowl, mix with a spatula or wooden spoon, the powdered sugar, vanilla, egg yolks, and sea salt. Add the butter and mix to a smooth consistency. Add the flour, cocoa, and cornstarch and stir until the dough forms a smooth ball.
- Transfer the dough to an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. With your fingers and a tablespoon, press the dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pan. You can also use the bottom of a measuring cup. Prick the crust, bottom, and sides, with a fork set the tart pan on a baking tray, and transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet with the crust from the freezer, spray a piece of aluminum foil with non-stick spray. Press the sprayed side of foil very tightly against the bottom and up the sides of the crust. Add pie weights and transfer to the middle rack of the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil and pie weights. Continue to bake uncovered for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack before filling.
The dough is very soft after it gets mixed. Don't be tempted to add more flour unless it is sticky. If the dough feels sticky then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour at a time until it is soft and smooth but no longer sticky.
Traditional tart pans have a removable bottom. Make sure you place the pan on a baking sheet to make it easier to transfer the pan. If you lift the tart pan from the bottom then the outer ring will fall off.
If you don't have pie weights you can use uncooked rice and/or beans. That is what we used in the photos above.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1/12th of a tart
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.