Milk tart and milk tart shooters

Milk Tart and Milk Tart Shooters

There are many desserts in South Africa that have been acquired during the period of its colonization.  One of these is the Traditional milk tart or “melk tert” as we call it . It has Dutch influences, both in its ingredients and in its name. “Melk” is the Dutch word for milk, and “tert” is an Afrikaans derivative of the Dutch tart.  It is a mildly sweet custart tart sprinkled with ground cinnamon.  There is nothing more delicious than its smooth creamy taste, enjoyed with tea or as a dessert.

Every family has their own version of this delicious and simple custard dessert.  These recipes have been passed down through families, and improved upon with each generation.  They can be made as individual tarts or as a large one.  This particular recipe is an easy, but honestly, too delicious for words version of a Traditional Milk Tart.  I will be adding some really nice alternatives in the months to come.

Now if you are not into puddings but want something sweet and a little boozy, try the best shooters in the whole world.  Milk Tart Shooters, otherwise known as “Turkish Tigers” taste just like milk tart in a glass. They take exactly 2 minutes to make , but be warned, you will probably be making them all night for your guests, because one tastes like two, and two tastes like ……… well you know what I mean, why carry on counting .

One thing I really dislike about reading recipes, is when they are not explained properly. I try my best to give you as many details as possible, so that  when you make these recipes, they are without fault. I encourage you to make comments below, either positive or negative, so that others can benefit from any mistakes made, or problems encountered. I would be more than happy to answer any questions as well.  Hopefully you will find these easy to follow and delicious to eat.  I would love to hear from you.

4.8 from 5 votes
Milk Tart Shooters - Turkish Tigers
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Course: Drinks and Dessert
Servings: 4
Author: Ev @ Shades of Cinnamon
  • 50 ml vodka
  • 125 ml condensed milk
  • 125 ml evaporated milk
  • ground cinnamon for sprinkling
  1. Mix the vodka, condensed milk and evaporated milk together.
  2. Chill well
  3. Pour into small glasses.
  4. Sprinkle with a light dusting of cinnamon. Do not use too much as it will overpower the taste of the drink.



4.8 from 5 votes
Milk tart and milk tart shooters
Milk Tart
Recipe Type : Dessert and Drinks Author: Ev Prep time: 45 mins Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 1 hour Serves: 10
  • 125 g butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • cinnamon stick
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  1. Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat well.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat until a fine breadcrumb consistency. Then using your hands form the crumbly mixture into firm dough.
  3. Press into a 23x3cm deep (9.1 x1.2in) round pie dish, spreading the pastry up the sides so that it is even all over. This quantity is the perfect amount for this size pie dish if you like a thick pastry base. For a thinner base, dont use all the pastry. If you would rather make individual small tarts you can use muffin or cup cake trays. Once the pastry is evenly distributed, prick it with a fork all over the base, and bake at 180°C until light brown. This should take about 10 – 15 minutes depending on the size of your tarts and your oven temperature, so watch them closely. The longer the pastry bakes, the crisper it will become
  4. Place the cinnamon stick in the milk and bring to the boil gently and making sure not to burn the bottom of the pot – as the taste of burnt milk will ruin the delicate flavor of the filling. Remove the cinnamon stick .
  5. Beat eggs in a bowl and add the sugar, flour, cornflour and salt, mixing well.
  6. Once the milk has come to the boil, pour it into the egg and flour mixture and stir well.
  7. Return this to the stove and whisk gently but constantly until the mixture thickens. You don’t want any lumps in your filling so be prepared to stand over this mixture until it has boiled and thickened properly.
  8. Add butter and vanilla essence and mix well.
  9. Pour into cooked shell. The tart is not baked again, it sets in the fridge.
  10. Allow to cool on a shelf until it is room temperature and then transfer the tart to the fridge.
  11. It will take a few hours for the mixture to cool, and set properly. Once cooled sprinkle with cinnamon.
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  • Reply Carol Gary August 29, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    Oh, my goodness! Not only are your photos gorgeous enough to eat, but your choice of recipes is making me hungry…and I just ate! I can’t wait to try the shooters and the chicken salad I saw in the previous post will be on my menu too! I am almost afraid to look at your other posts! 🙂

  • Reply Tricia August 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Hello… arrived here via ‘Behind the Scenes’ just love what I’m looking at…looking forward to working with you

    best wishes

  • Reply Shades of Cinnamon August 29, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Hi Tricia, its going to be fun, cant wait.

  • Reply Mignon August 29, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Wow, blown away by your site. Why are you in the blogging class?! 🙂 Your photos are gorgeous and so easy to understand. I’m a complete foodie so can’t wait to try some of your recipes.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon August 29, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      Thanks so much, but I have loads to learn. This is all very new to me, so need to hear others ideas and get motivated. Kim is the best – so what better person to learn from , dont you agree. Looking forward to sharing with you.

  • Reply anjabythesea August 30, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Hi, I’m also from ‘Behind the Scenes’. What a beautiful blog, and I just love the title! Please keep going!!

  • Reply co September 5, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Looks fab – gonna try it with our home made tagliatelli

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon September 6, 2012 at 5:08 AM

      Oh there is nothing better than home made pasta, and its such fun making it too. Enjoy

  • Reply Yum Girl October 18, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    So intriguing! If I may, I’d like to invite you to submit your photos to the new YumGoggle, a photo sharing site with the philosophy that if you worked hard to cook it and photograph it, we should show it off! Hope to see you there soon!

  • Reply Eleni June 18, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    I can’t WAIT to try this! The only down side is, it makes me miss home!

    • Reply Ev June 18, 2013 at 6:18 AM

      Ah, there is nothing quite like home, but how wonderful to be experiencing life somewhere else as well. Take care and enjoy.

  • Reply Eva June 18, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Been looking for a good milk tart recipe for ages – tastes of my childhood! Going to give yours a try

    • Reply Ev June 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      Hi Eva, I think you will enjoy it, and its really easy. Enjoy

  • Reply Emmanuelle June 18, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    I’m not too much into pre-baked crust, so I would suggest a crushed biscuit shell or even no crust, at all, just pour into ramequins.for an individual dessert. In fact, I’ll try it today and tell you afterwards! I’ve been looking for things I can do with milk (not evaporated milk, not cream), because I live in the Ghanaian bush with no garbage collection and I want to keep my waste to a minimum, which means that I buy a gallon size can of powdered milk and use it until it’s empty, recycle it into a storage bin or other creative recycling project, and buy another, etc. It’s a challenge since I grew up in an environment where we cook with quite a lot of cream (French Alsatian region), but I love challenges, and I love to try new recipes or adapt old ones taking my constraints as creative opportunities.

    • Reply Ev June 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      That does sound like a challenge Emmanuelle, please let me know how it turns out. I LOVE crustless milk tart. Also LOVE hot rice pudding and bread and butter pudding.

      • Reply Emmanuelle June 19, 2013 at 12:30 AM

        I dp cook or bake a lot with powdered milk now. It’s a technique that has to be learned but I make my own evaporated milk when the need arises, all starting from powder, and substitute it for cream in recipes like quiches. As for your milk tart, I finally opted for a crushed biscuit shell in individual muffin-size silicon moulds. They’ll be served tomorrow. I’ll give you a full review from myself and my guests. I just went to the fridge where they’ve been setting since early afternoon to check how good they looked and whether I could remove them from the moulds easily. I had to spoil one and got the hang of it at the 2nd try (yeah right! just wanted to eat two!). Passed with flying colours, as far as I am concerned! Easy, cheap and yummy.

        • Reply Ev June 19, 2013 at 9:22 AM

          Thats fantastic that they worked well with the powdered milk. A generous sprinkling of cinnamon on the top always does the trick for me. I Hope your guests enjoy them.

          • Emmanuelle June 19, 2013 at 10:33 PM

            Yes they did! I regret having added cinnamon in the crust though, it detracted from the delicate flavour of the milk filling. I may want to try variations on the theme next time, for example infusing grated ginger in the hot milk before straining it and proceeding with your recipe… This has tons of potential. Thanks for the recipe and the beautiful pictures (anything is so much better when your mouth starts watering when you see an enticing picture!)

          • Emmanuelle June 19, 2013 at 10:38 PM

            About powdered milk: you have to be very careful and read the small print on the packet. A lot (most!) of the powdered milks contain various % of vegetable fats and other strange-named ingredients, which do alter the taste; fat-free versions give the reconstructed beverage an unpleasant chalky texture. For pastry, full-cream, cow-milk only powdered milk it is. You just can’t get a quality end-product with rubbish raw materials.

  • Reply Eva June 19, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    I tested the custard portion of your recipe today, I have to admit I cheated and used a store bought pastry shell. Best milk tart ever!!!!
    I have been hunting for a good easy recipe for years. This one will be on my blog soon, with full credit to you ofcourse! Thankyou

    • Reply Ev June 19, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      Life’s too short to do everything, so a store bought shell sounds the way to go. Glad you enjoyed it.
      Love your bathroom by the way !!!!!!! – wish I was brave enough to do something dramatic like that

  • Reply Alyssa June 20, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    I was wondering if I can cut the sugar down in this recipe? I have very small children that react to lots of sugar and so our pallets have gotten used to things being a little less sweet. However, I also now that sugar helps develop the texture in a lot of sweets. How low do you think I could go on the sugar amount?

    • Reply Ev June 20, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      Hi Alyssa,If your children are used to stuff less sweet, using less sugar should not affect the outcome of the custard. This recipe makes a really large milk tart, maybe what you could do is halve the quantity while you are testing it ( make small tarts) . In this way you wont be wasting the ingredients if you dont like . I would say you could go down to 1/2 the quantity of sugar in the recipe. Hope that helps, and let me know how it turns out.

  • Reply Delarose July 19, 2014 at 4:13 AM

    I don’t know cornflour? In your milk tart recipe, is it cornstarch? Could you explain this more to me please.

    • Reply Ev July 20, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      Hi, Yes cornflour and cornstarch are the same thing. Hope you enjoy . If you need any more help please let me know. Ev

  • Reply Charles July 19, 2015 at 10:56 AM


    Just thought i’d tell you, out of hundreds of milktart recipes I have tried over the years, yours is by far the best and most authentic. I have a milktart fetish, and I have scoured the web looking for the perfect recipe – and having tried what feels like a million milk tarts, of which most ended in the bin right away – yours remind me of my childhood, and one specific milktart I had, on one specific day. the taste was so prolific, it stuck with me all my life. My friends all gasp at the full rounded deliciousness of this recipe – and they never believe its home baked. Thanks for sharing this – I will keep baking this recipe, and will insist on having it served on my funeral too! 🙂


    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon July 19, 2015 at 10:32 PM

      Charles thank you so much for your amazing comment. Its people like you that make blogging all worth while. This recipe is a family one which has been tried and tested hundreds of time, and is always a crowd pleaser. All my recipes are triple tested before I post them, as I know the feeling when you spend lots of $$$$ on ingredients, only to bin the finished thing because it doesn’t work out. This exact thing happened to me yesterday when I tried someone’s recipe. I feel honoured that I have been able to share this milk tart recipe with you.

  • Reply Zirkie October 2, 2015 at 9:26 PM

    I am so glad that I have discovered this recipe for milktart shooters!

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon October 2, 2015 at 10:25 PM

      You are going to love them – “Turkish Tigers” as we call them are my favourite shooters. Thick and creamy with a great little kick. Enjoy

  • Reply Becca September 11, 2018 at 11:07 PM

    I’ve used this recipe several times and it always comes out great! I like to play with what is infused with the milk. This time I did early grey tea and lavender flowers. It turned out spectacular! Thanks for such a great recipe!

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon September 12, 2018 at 9:14 AM

      How fabulous, it sounds amazing Becca. I agree this is one of those recipes that stands the test of time, and I think the trick is that the custard is not baked in the oven so you are always guaranteed to get the perfect results. Thanks for sharing your great idea.

  • Reply Melktert (Milk Tart) – Stevenson Recipes March 15, 2019 at 11:12 PM

    […] a traditional South African dessert with many variations. In the end, I mostly used the one here:, which is very similar to the one in the video. However, other variations that may be worth trying […]

  • Reply Sarah June 18, 2020 at 8:46 PM

    Fantastic milk tart recipe- thanks for sharing it! The tarts were easy to make and taste absolutely delicious! I made tartlets in a muffin tin, and the recipe made 12 tartlet shells but enough filling for 24- therefore for anyone planning to make little tartlets instead of one big one, I would recommend doubling the pastry part of the recipe. The pastry shells were a nice golden brown after baking for about 8min. They puffed up a lot whilst baking and I had to press them down in the centre once out of the oven in order to have somewhere to pour the filling, so next time I might fill the pastry with pie weights before baking. Otherwise, all turned out wonderfully and I look forward to making these many times again! Thanks!

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon June 22, 2020 at 9:17 AM

      Great Sarah thanks for that info… its wonderful to have everyone’s comments and recommendations. This is what keeps our beautiful baking community together. Take care and stay safe.

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