Egg Tart: How To Make Hong Kong Egg Tarts

An egg tart is a kind of custard tart that comes from the English custard tart and the Portuguese pastel de nata found in Greater China. The pie is made of an exterior pastry crust filled with egg custard. Egg tarts are sometimes served in dim sum restaurants and chaan tengs.

The egg tarts were created in the early 20th century in Guangzhou, China’s capital city of Guangdong province, as a hybrid of traditional Cantonese steamed egg pudding and an English custard tart. The position of Guangzhou, as the only port open to international traders, has led to the growth of Cantonese cuisine having many outside influences.

In the 1940s, egg tarts were introduced to Hong Kong via Guangzhou but could initially only be found in restaurants of the higher-end Western type. Chaan tengs started serving egg tarts in the 1960s, making the pastry popular with the Hong Kong working-class population. 

Hong Kong Egg Tart

  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Chinese / Hong-Kong Style

The whole preparation and cooking time is 1 hour and 30 minutes. This recipe will produce at least 18 egg tarts.

Photo credit: @manteigaria.oficial /

Hong Kong Egg Tart Ingredients

  • 5 eggs, beaten, reserve 3 tablespoons for your pastry dough
  • 1 cup water, hot
  • 7 tablespoons sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • a dash of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 118 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

Hong Kong Egg Tart Instructions

Step 1: For the pastry, sift the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Then apply melted butter. Put the mixture together with your fingertips, be careful not to knead the pastry dough too much or harden the pastry.

Step 2: Whisk the egg yolks into the flour mixture and apply the 2 tablespoons of beaten yolk. Mix in until smooth. If the dough is too sticky it will help to coat your hands with flour.

Step 3: Cover with plastic wrap, then let it cool for 30 minutes or until the dough is firm.

Step 4: Melt sugar and salt with hot water, to make the custard filling.

Step 5: Mix then let cool until dissolved. Stir in the remaining egg yolk. Incorporate the sugar water, vanilla,  and evaporated milk. Stir all together and mix well.

Step 6: Strain the filling to ensure there are no lumps. Chill in the freezer. Take the dough and split it into 18 equal portions. Spray a thin oil coating of oil onto the tart pan.

Step 7: Take one piece of your dough and roll it into a ball and place it in your shell. Press the shell with your fingertips to form the dough. Seek a uniform the thickness of the shell, and avoid a dense bottom. Repeat until the dough is gone.

Step 8: Pour the custard filling in the shells until it is around 80 percent full.

Step 9: Next, bake for at least 20 minutes. Don’t take it out until the surface becomes golden brown, and a toothpick can stand for several minutes in the egg tart.

Step 10: Take the egg tarts out of the oven. While they are still hot, serve them.

Hong Kong Egg Tart Additional Information

  • Per serving, this recipe has 203 calories, 22g of carbohydrates, 10g of fat, 4g of protein.
  • This recipe will make 18 egg tarts.
  • These egg tarts will take 1 hour and 30 minutes to make.
  • In comparison to the original Guangzhou egg tarts, which were larger and could be served as a single item, Hong Kong egg tarts are usually smaller and are served in twos or threes.
  • The custard filling can be infused with chocolate, green tea, abalone, or bird’s nest, and the outer shell can be made with shortcrust pastry or puff pastry.

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About Hong Kong Egg Tart Recipe

When Guangzhou’s economy expanded their trade and contact with Britain, pastry chefs at the city’s Western-style department stores were asked to create new pastries every week to draw competitors’ customers. A department store invented the egg tart, which features a lard-based puff pastry crust and a filling similar to steamed egg pudding, for one of these “Weekly Extra” contests. The restaurant Zhen Guang in Guangzhou is also credited with inventing the Chinese egg tarts.


Hong Kong egg tarts fillings are neither milky nor creamy. Although the texture of the filling depends on the freshness and temperature, it is close to the consistency of denser, just-set jello. For more international dessert recipes, click here.

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