Milk tart is a classic South African heritage recipe and it’s utterly delicious. The filling consists of either an uncooked or cooked custard and the tart itself can be baked or unbaked. It’s the most similar to a Portuguese pasteis de nata and originates from the Dutch part of our heritage. I have done a baked milk tart recipe on my site and it’s a really nice one. I added a twist and infused Earl Grey tea into the filling turning it into a London Fog rendition, but you could leave that out and make a traditional version. These unbaked individual milk tarts are delicious, and I made them for my client Bakers biscuits using their iconic Tennis biscuits.

A recipe for classic South African unbaked milk tarts

These mini tarts are novel but they require more biscuits for the base and take a little longer to make. It’s much easier to go with one large milk tart and then use 1 packet of biscuits. I’ve included instructions to do it both ways. 

After making this I was reminded how much I really love milk tart. There is something so comforting about eating a confection that can take you right back to your childhood and to other times throughout your life. It’s what heritage recipes are all about and I love the nostalgia of it. 

To make this into 1 large milk tart:

This recipe can be made into 1 large milk tart using 200gms (1 packet) tennis biscuits and 100gms butter as the base. To make 12 individual tarts you will need more crumb base so I have done 1.5 times the recipe to make 12.

A recipe for classic South African unbaked milk tarts

Recipe – makes 12 mini milk tarts

A classic South African unbaked milk tart
Write a review
  1. 300gms (1 .5 packets) Tennis biscuits
  2. 150 gms butter, melted
  3. 700ml full cream milk
  4. 1 tin condensed milk
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 2 eggs, separated
  7. 50gms cornstarch
  8. 50ml water
  9. pinch of salt
  10. Cinnamon to decorate
  1. Break the Tennis biscuits into fine crumbs by hand or by using a food processor and mix in the melted butter until well combined.
  2. Line the base and sides of 12 x 8cm individual tart cases with the biscuit crumbs and press to compact. Place in the fridge or freezer to set while you make the filling.
  3. In a medium-sized pot, heat the milk, condensed milk and vanilla over a medium until boiling point (make sure you stir until the condensed milk is dissolved).
  4. While that is heating up, separate the eggs and whisk the eggs whites to soft peak in a bowl. Set aside.
  5. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch, water and salt.When the milk is at boiling point take it off the heat and allow it to cool for 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk mixture slowly while whisking vigorously all the time. Return the pot to a low heat and continue to whisk constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the egg whites to the milk mixture and whisk for about 2 more minutes until well combined.
  7. Pour the filling into the lined pastry cases and allow to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge to set completely.
  8. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
Drizzle and Dip


Find me on Instagram and Pinterest




  1. Wow, those sound and look divine! I make a crustless milk tart because I usually don’t like the pastry base. But this tennis biscuit base sounds yum

Leave a Reply