An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Bakewell, Well-Baked


Steeped in centuries of tradition, the bakewell tart is perhaps the quintessential pastry of England, invited to every party, from daily tea time nibbles to grand celebrations alike. Jam and almond frangipan daintily layered in a shortcrust shell, many variations of this simple assembly exit, creating controversy amongst fiercely loyal fans. The question is: Soft, custard-like interior, or fluffy, cake-like crumb? Although the bakewell failed to make such a splash across the pond here in America, never providing me the opportunity to try it previously, I had always believe that the pudding-eque version would be far better. What’s the point of baking a sponge cake into a rigid crust, anyway? It was due time to finally see what the big deal was for myself, so this month’s Daring Baker challenge was quite appealing.

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.

Being a crazy yankee though, I just had to go muck things up and make a dessert that looked absolutely nothing like a tart, bakewell or otherwise.

All the components are there, only rearranged and reinterpreted. Strawberry jam demispheres, softly jelled with agar, form the base, on top of which rests a slab of chocolate shortcrust pastry. A deep green pistachio frangipan, even more dense and rich than I could have imagined, follows to complete the standard requirements for a bakewell tart.  Garnished simply with fresh strawberries, mint leaves, and chocolate decorations, it was fun to eat as it was to make.  Although I would have prefered the frangipan to be slightly lighter, it was undeniably delicious.

No longer a foreign oddity, I can easily see the appeal of the bakewell tart.  If for nothing else, the simplicity of the recipe allows a lot of room for creativity, and truly lets fantastic ingredients shine.  That’s the sort of dessert that I think everyone can appreciate!

Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

73 thoughts on “Bakewell, Well-Baked

  1. Simply beautiful! ALMOST too beautiful to eat ;)

  2. “If for nothing else, the simplicity of the recipe allows a lot of room for creativity, and truly lets fantastic ingredients shine.”

    I really have to agree with that. I was so pleasantly surprised by this recipe.

  3. Also, your take on it is really creative and sounds delicious.

  4. Oh my gosh! Its beautiful! You must have had a lot of patience to put this together. I bet it tastes as good as it looks too :)

  5. Holy @#$&!!!, woman! You’re ridiculously creative, you know that? In a very, very good way. :D

  6. Hannah, your dessert looks amazing! What a stylish presentation!

  7. That is stunning! I was going to do pistachio frangipane myself, but decided to just keep it basic this time around. Amazing job as ALWAYS, and you have to give me some photo tips, chicky!

  8. What er um he I’m stunned speechless what a creative job you did on this challenge and it looks much to good to eat but I would in an instant. Bravo bravo bravo and kudos to you for this EXCELLENT result. Cheers from Audax

  9. Wow, looks stunning and you have a lot of creativity.

  10. I’ll second Audax’s comment. That’s quite some re-intepretation! Now you’ll have to find a name for it, because that just isn’t pudding! :)

  11. wow! stylish just gorgeous!!…

  12. So nice et so grafic !
    Waouw the best !

  13. Absolutely beautiful and must have been very tasty as well!

  14. j’aime le côté destructuré de la tarte bakewell ! c’est superbe et bien imaginé :)

  15. I tried to come up with a creative twist on this challenge, and nothing came to mind. So not only am I so impressed by your Tart, but I am a bit jealous because I lacked the creativity to come with such a unique version. Clearly I have a lot to learn from you.

  16. That is a work of art! I love it. I had a teacher in nutrition school that used to remind us all the time “Where everyone thinks alike, no one thinks at all”. I think yours is the perfect Bakewell Tart!


  18. A brilliant deconstruction, Hannah. Excellent photo, as well.

  19. A stunning creation! The frangipan sounds so intriguing, too. What a delectable combination of tastes and textures!

  20. i love your interpretation! so original :)

  21. Everytime I visit your blog and see a baking challenge I must prepare myself. Then I scroll down and literally gasp. Your creations are so beautiful Hannah!

  22. Looks delicious! I love your interpretation of the tart. :)

  23. Fancy! I love your interpretation!

  24. Oh, this is such a unique presentation of the bakewell tart. Yours should definitely be called a “lookwell tart”. Superb photo!

  25. Very very impressed!!What a fantastic and creative twist you have given to the recipe! Wow… Looks amazing!

  26. that is such a creative twist on a classic, it looks delicious!

  27. It’s a piece of artwork. I love your interpretation, very lovely.

  28. Nice approach to a traditional English recipe!

  29. As always, a wonderful and interesting take on the challenge – I especially like the strawberry jam demispheres (maybe because demispheres is just fun to say!). Beautiful job!

  30. This is such a unique, fancy take on the Bakewell Tart! It’s so creative and nearly too beautiful to eat… but it sounds delicious too!

  31. Been to Bakewell…lol

    Looks good even tho it looks nothing like what I consider a Bakewell tart to look like :D

  32. This is a beautiful work of art! I love your combination of flavors, especially the pistachio frangipane. Fantastic and very original interpretation!

  33. LOVE the deconstructed tart, Hannah! Beautiful job making this challenge a bit more snazzy!

  34. You are so creative! Great job on this month’s challenge.

  35. I have never heard of a bakewell, but that sounds fabulous!!

  36. Oh I love how you did the base and the frangipane! Very clever :)

  37. Wow, what a mindblowing take on that recipe! Your creation is splendid!



  38. That is really beautiful and looks crazy delicious! Nice interpretation!

  39. What a wonderful presentation! Very creative. Awesome!

  40. Oh my gosh, you are SO CREATIVE! Your take on this recipe is an edible work of art!

  41. Wow, that’s gorgeous!

  42. Beautiful and super creative! It also sounds really delicious.

  43. Interesting…and very beautiful, too!

  44. Wow, I admire your creativity! And beautiful presentation as well :D

  45. Wow,looks absolutely beautiful. Love the presentation and the picture too!

  46. MMMM, I love the variation of flavors you used and as always your plating is specatular! You’re so creative.

  47. It’s stunning! I really love the color of the pistachio frangipane.

  48. Gorgeous! Your lovely little baked treats are always so bright and whimsical!

  49. Wow your interpretation of Bakewell Tart is so clever! They look really great :D

  50. Creative genius Hannah. Your interpretation is inspirational! WOW, you did the challenge in style. It’s GORGEOUS!!

  51. Mmmm I made the banana muffins from your cookbook today – SO GOOD! (:

  52. Deconstructed Bakewell Tart, I love it! And the pistachio frangipane looks delicious! Gorgeous presentation, I’m really impressed! Way to go!

  53. That is the coolest interpretation of a tart ever!

  54. Wow!! Your tart looks amazing =D. I love your presentation and the jam demispheres!!

  55. I’ve never heard of this tart but your version looks delicious and beautiful!

  56. I love the pistachio frangipan idea; it would be so perfectly rich with the berries! Great interpretation!

  57. Beautiful job, Hannah! I love your deconstructed approach, so pretty…and pistachio, yum!

  58. So fun! Great execution on thinking out of the box! Turned out perfect!!

  59. I always fascinated by a deconstructed dessert, especially one that looks as fabulous as yours. Great job. Very creative

  60. Well, it still looks delicious to me…even if you say it does not look like the tart.

  61. Your green pistachio frangipane is playing like a favorite song in my head and I don’t want it to stop!

  62. I love your interpretation. It looks great!

  63. Hannah,
    I always love checking out your Daring Baker posts because they always involve a twist or a new intepretation of the classic recipes.

  64. Just have to say, I’m English and it isn’t a neccessity at every party! Looks very individual though, but I need mine topped with neon sugared cherries :)

  65. Beautiful. I went for a deconstructed Bakewell Tart as well, but yours is absolutely STUNNING….well done.

  66. Very creative. Nicely done!

  67. GORGEOUS! Wow.

  68. There’s some mechanical engineering going on there…

  69. What a posh looking tart. :) Looks wonderful and sounds like it tasted that way too.

  70. Amazing. Very creative.

  71. so far the most creative and amazing bakewell tart i’ve ever seen..

  72. That’s no bakewell tart! It looks quite amazing though :)

  73. that looks pretty amazing!

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