How To Make Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tarts (Baked Lava Cheese Tarts Recipe)

How To Make Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tarts (Baked Lava Cheese Tarts Recipe)

by Ayako Kidokoro

Baking Cheese Crowd Pleaser Dessert Kid-friendly Make Ahead Party Food Potluck-friendly Vegetarian

"Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tarts" – ever heard of them?

They're a culinary delight originating from Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido. Resembling egg tarts with their size and golden-brown crust, they offer a heavenly blend of buttery, flaky crust and rich, creamy cheese filling.

These tarts trace their roots to Sapporo, Hokkaido, with LeTao, a pastry company founded in 1996, often credited with their creation. Initially a spin-off from their classic cheesecake, Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tarts gained fame, with Kinotoya, another renowned bakery from Hokkaido, further popularizing them, especially for their in-store baking. Both of these are definitely worth checking out if you visit Hokkaido. If you can't visit Hokkaido anytime soon, then you can make these delicious Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tarts at home.

While simple ingredients like cream cheese and heavy cream are used, the process requires some patience due to cooling times. For freshness, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days or refrigerate for up to a week.

Whether freshly baked or chilled, they're a treat. Freshly baked, they boast a soft cheese dough texture, gradually turning fluffy with time. Chilled, they adopt a mousse-like consistency, with the crust softening alongside the cheese dough. Try out both variations and let us know in the comments which was your favorite!


Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 35 mins

Total time: 1hr 5mins

Total servings: 6

Difficulty: Medium

  • 120 g All Purpose Flour
  • 40 g Granulated Sugar
  • 60 g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 170 g Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 50 g Granulated Sugar
  • 30 cc Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 Egg Yolk (for egg wash)

Expert's Tip

How To Make Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tarts (Baked Lava Cheese Tarts Recipe)

To mix heavy textures like cream cheese, this 30cm whisk is incredibly helpful. Its comfortable grip reduces hand fatigue, making your culinary tasks more enjoyable. I believe it could greatly enhance your baking adventures!


1) Gathering the Ingredients and Recipe Preparations

Gather the ingredients together. Grease your muffin tin with butter.

2) Making the Tart Crust Dough

With a hand mixer, cream the butter until soft, then add sugar and cream on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the egg yolk and continue mixing until combined. Then add vanilla extract and flour, blending on low speed. Press the dough softly with a spatula until it comes together without falling apart.

Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

3) Forming the Tart Crust

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F).

Roll out the dough to 3mm thickness, then cut it into a circle slightly larger than the muffin tin molds. Trim a portion as shown in the photo. Press down with your finger on the overlapping parts to form a neat tart shape, then let the dough rest in the freezer for 1 hour.

After removing it from the freezer, pierce the dough with a fork, and place the dough into muffin cups. and top with pie weights or beans.

4) Baking the Tart Crust

Bake at 170°C (325°F) for 15 minutes, then remove the pie weights and bake for an additional 5 minutes. You'll know the tart crusts are ready when the edges start to turn golden brown.

Remove the crusts from the pie tin and let them cool on a wire rack.

Tips: If the tart crusts are difficult to remove from the mold, allow them to cool for 30 minutes to an hour before removing.

5) Making the Cream Cheese Filling

Whisk the cream cheese until smooth, then gradually add the heavy cream in two batches along with the vanilla extract, ensuring no lumps remain as you mix.

6) Beating the Egg White

Add half of the sugar to a bowl of egg whites. Beat with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form. Then, add the remaining sugar and beat again.

7) Adding the Cheese Tart Batter to the Tart Shells

Gradually add the meringue mixture to the cheese mixture and mix with a whisk until smooth.

Neatly pour the cheese mixture into the tart shells. Brush the egg yolk onto the surface.

8) Baking the Hokkaido Cheese Tarts

Bake the cheese tarts at 170°C (325°F) for 8 minutes, then bake for an additional 10 minutes at 200°C (400°F).

Enjoy them freshly baked or chilled!

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