How to Make a Giant Peanut Butter Cup With Shortbread Crust

This vegan tart isn’t too complicated to make, but it’s fancy, fun, and elegant enough for a birthday celebration

Alicia Kennedy
Published in
3 min readJul 10, 2020
Photo: Alicia Kennedy

There is no wrong season for a giant peanut butter cup with a cookie bottom, but there are seasons during which this nostalgic dessert may melt. Don’t worry about it. The PB-Chocolate Tart with Shortbread Crust keeps well in the fridge and can withstand some coming and going from chilled to room temperature to sweltering summer sun and back again. This isn’t a layer cake, precious and dainty, but it is just as fun, just as indicative of an occasion. Put some candles in it, throw on some brightly colored sprinkles, and it’s a birthday cake; sprinkle it with flaky sea salt and it’s elegant.

A lot of the time, as a baker and a creator of dessert recipes, I’m embarrassed by the simplicity I’m drawn to — like, should I throw in a random spice here? Do I need a dried herb there? But the more I publish recipes, the more I find that people want and need the basics — especially for vegan desserts, which tend to come in two forms: too complicated, or too simplistic. I like to create the kinds of things that would (secretly) work exactly the same way if someone swapped in animal-derived ingredients, because then I know the principles are firm and the adaptability is endless.

Here, a recipe that brings together a few things I’ve already published — from the shortbread crust to chocolate ganache — with peanut butter buttercream in the center to bring it all together.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart with Shortbread Crust

Fits a thin 12-inch fluted tart pan or thick 8-inch pan; can also work in a 9-inch springform pan

Vanilla Shortbread Crust

  • 3½ ounces vegan butter, cold
  • 53 grams sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150 grams all-purpose flour
  1. Beat the butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer (fitted with the paddle) until creamy and thick.
  2. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, fully incorporating.



Alicia Kennedy

I’m a food writer from Long Island based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter on food issues: