Apple Rose Tarts

mini apple rose pies

♫ Listening to: Disconnected by Shy Child ♫

These vegan apple tartlets are like mini apple pies dressed up as roses. Baked in a cupcake/muffin pan, these are the perfect little serving size for picnics, potlucks, or brunch in bed (hinnnnt, is anyone I live with reading this? Knowing my dog, she’s like yeah, I’ll pretend to bring you brunch in bed but I’ll show up empty-handed licking my face).

These are low in sugar, so they’re perfect for parents or anyone else who likes low-sugar desserts. I made these for mother’s day last year to bring to my maternal humans. They loved them! The apple variety doesn’t really matter, but my favorites are pink lady and mutsu apples. If you like apple pie, you might also like my apple hand pies.

This recipe makes 12 mini apple rose pies.

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup vegan butter (I like the organic whipped earth balance, but they also have a soy-free one if you avoid soy) or spectrum palm shortening (or a combination of both)*
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons ice water

Crust Directions

prep time: 40 minutes

Dollhouse Shortcut

Make the dough up to 3 days ahead of time, wrap well, and chill it in the fridge.

Coat the inside of 12 cubbies of a cupcake pan with vegan butter or coconut oil.

Sift flour over the entire cupcake pan.

Process 2 cups all-purpose flour, ⅔ cup vegan butter and/or spectrum sustainable organic palm shortening , ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar using a food processor fitted with the S blade.

(Optional) Mix pink vegan food coloring into 5 tablespoons of ice water. I used pink pitaya, and the color faded when I baked them, so if you want pink crusts, you may want to avoid the all-natural food colorings.

Drizzle in 5 tablespoons of ice water while the food processor is still running. The dough should start to come together into a dough ball.

Wrap half of the dough in cling wrap and chill until you’re ready to use it.

Roll the other half of the dough as thinly as possible (between ⅛ and ¼ inch thick) on a rolling mat if you have one, because it makes it easier to transfer the dough later.

Cut out as many heart shapes as you can using a heart-shaped cookie cutter and leaving as little space as possible between each cut out. I used the third size from the smallest in this heart-shaped cookie cutter set.

Layer 4 dough hearts in a circle around the perimeter of each cubby of the cupcake pan.

Press on the bottom of each cupcake cubby to seal the dough hearts at the bottom. If you still see gaps, fill them in with the dough scraps you have leftover from cutting out the hearts.

Chill the cupcake pan in the refrigerator while you roll the rest of the dough and repeat the same steps, until all of your cubbies have pie crusts.

Chill the cupcake pan in the refrigerator again while you prepare the apples.

making mini vegan pie crusts

Apple Pie Ingredients

  • 3-5 apples depending on their size (I used 3)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (I used the juice from half a lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon organic or vegan sugar*
  • pink vegan food coloring (optional)
  • organic coconut oil or organic butter (if you avoid soy, get the soy-free earth balance)*
Rolling Mat
Large Silicone Pastry Mat Extra Thick Non Stick Baking Mat with Measurement Fondant Mat, Counter Mat, Dough Rolling Mat, Oven Liner, Pie Crust Mat (L-16''(W)24''(L), Red) Buy on Amazon

Apple Pie Directions

prep time: 35 min | bake time: 25-30 min

Dollhouse Shortcut

You can skip making simple syrup to save time and just spread the lemon juice and sprinkle the sugar.

Juice a half a lemon (or use 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice).

Heat the lemon juice on low heat on the stove, while whisking in a tablespoon of sugar.

Remove from heat once the sugar is dissolved.

Optional: add pink vegan food coloring to half the lemon juice. Again, I used pink pitaya, which I DO NOT recommend, as it fades when you bake your mini apple pies.

Slice the apples in half, and remove all the cores.

Slice the apples as thinly as possible (but not so thin that they break). I used a mandoline that I’m pretty sure my parents bought in the 70s, but it still works so i’ll continue using it until it doesn’t. For my size apple, half an apple made 2 roses.

Lay the apple slices out on the rolling mat and paint them with the lemon juice mixture. I painted half of mine pink and half them uncolored so I could experiment with different colored designs, but I made the mistake of using pink pitaya powder instead of food coloring, and it all faded away when I baked them. So sad.

Arrange around 12 apple slices lengthwise in a straight line, overlapping each other. Make as many rows as you can fit, experimenting with different designs if you’re using half pink.

Remove the cupcake pan from the fridge and set it near your apple rolling area.

Roll each rose starting at the end closest to you.

Transfer each rolled apple rose to one of the crust-lined cubbies in the cupcake pan.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Repeat with the remaining apples until all the cubbies are filled.

apple rose tartlets ready to go into the oven

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for an hour before you remove them from the pan. You might need to shimmy a silicone spatula between the crust and the pan to loosen the stubborn ones, but for the most part, they should easily pop right out.

apple pie roses fresh from the oven

mini apple rose pies

mini apple pie roses

Here’s a video of how I made them.


* I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook, but I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to purchase all organic ingredients. Therefore, I only specify organic on the ingredients that really matter - when buying the organic version is the only way to ensure that the item is vegan.

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