This beautifully bejeweled-looking cranberry frangipane tart combines sweet, buttery almond cream and tart, juicy cranberries, all atop a toasty almond crust. Sugared cranberries add a decorative touch, and we all loved this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Each bite is so soft, so moist, and so delicious that no one will realize it’s naturally gluten free!
To be honest, my pie dishes get a lot more regular use than my tart pan, but I absolutely love a good tart recipe. And this is a good tart recipe. I don’t mean “good for a gluten-free dessert”—I mean, just plain good… just like my gluten free apple crisp.
Juicy, tangy cranberries contrast beautifully with the flavor and texture of the sweet almond crust and filling, and they add a bold pop of color, too! Festive and tasty—this cranberry tart definitely deserves a spot on your Thanksgiving pie recipes shortlist.
In addition to a tart pan (my team and I tested this cranberry frangipane tart recipe in both a 9-inch tart pan and a 10-inch tart pan, and it works in either), you’ll need a food processor for the crust, and an electric mixer for the filling. Beyond all that, this is a pretty easy gourmet-looking dessert to make!
3 Parts to This Cranberry Frangipane Tart
- Crisp and toasty almond crust
- Soft, sweet, & buttery frangipane almond cream filling
- Tart and colorful fresh cranberries
What Is Frangipane?
Frangipane is almond pastry cream—think of it as a creamier homemade almond paste. It’s incredibly versatile and tastes delicious paired with fruit. Some bakers grind their own nuts for frangipane, but using store-bought almond flour is a handy shortcut.
You could even use pistachios or hazelnuts for a flavorful twist!
Frangipane is most commonly used in tarts, like a classic Bakewell tart, or piped inside croissants for an extra-special pastry treat. I also love it in a galette, like this blueberry peach frangipane galette.
Grab These Ingredients:
These are all of the ingredients you need for the entire tart. You’ll appreciate that the crust and filling use a lot of the same ingredients.
- Almonds: This is the main ingredient in the tart crust, and I prefer to use roasted and salted almonds for extra flavor. Grinding down whole almonds gives the crust some much needed texture under the soft filling.
- Almond Flour: You need this for both the crust and the filling. Almond flour is now widely available in most grocery stores. I usually find it in the baking aisle by the regular flour, and/or in the natural food/gluten-free section. Or you can make your own by pulsing blanched almonds into a flour-like and mealy consistency. You’ll need a food processor for the crust anyway, so this is an easy option.
- Sugar: We’re sweetening this tart with granulated sugar.
- Butter: You’ll use melted butter in the crust, and softened butter in the frangipane filling. In both cases, the butter plays an important role both in binding the ingredients together, and in giving the tart a delicious buttery flavor. It’s also what makes the frangipane creamy.
- Salt: A little salt draws out all the flavors, particularly if you’re using unsalted almonds.
- Eggs: Eggs turn this frangipane into a custard-like filling that puffs up beautifully when baked. Without them, the frangipane would be more like a stiff spread.
- Almond & Vanilla Extracts: The main flavors in the frangipane.
- Lemon Juice & Zest: A hint of lemon brightens up all the flavors and really makes them sing—don’t leave it out!
- Fresh Cranberries: Fresh cranberries are ideal in this tart, but you could use frozen and thawed instead. If you don’t love cranberries, raspberries or blueberries are fantastic in this.
Notice there is no all-purpose flour: Some frangipane recipes use all-purpose flour to smooth the frangipane out. I skipped that here, so the filling stays gluten free. If desired, feel free to replace 3 Tablespoons of the almond flour with all-purpose flour.
Here’s the almond frangipane. You’ll use an electric mixer to prepare it:
Gluten Free Almond Crust
- Combine almonds, almond flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor. Pulse until the almonds are finely chopped, then add the melted butter and process until everything is combined. This crust is a lot like the crust I use in this gluten free chocolate coconut almond tart.
- Press the mixture into a 9- or 10-inch tart pan.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. You can use pie weights if you’d like, but I don’t find them necessary with this crust.
Next, spread the filling into the warm pre-baked crust. A small offset spatula is helpful for this step. And yes, I realize the filling looks like hummus in these photos. LOL.
Add the Cranberries Last
Dot them on top, and give them a very light press into the filling. It will look like polka dot pie at this point, but the frangipane rises a bit as the tart bakes, so you can see the beautiful sweet almond cream between all the fruit.
This is totally optional, but while testing this recipe, I sprinkled the cranberries with coarse sparkling sugar. I loved the extra crunch and glitz! Again, it’s optional.
Here is the cranberry frangipane tart before & after baking:
This sparkly cranberry frangipane tart is wonderful all on its own, but I recommend you try it warm with a scoop of ice cream. Yes, you can slice into it while it’s still warm! I know we all appreciate desserts that can be enjoyed right away. Reserve your patience for cheesecake and pumpkin pie. 😉
This recipe is part of Sally’s Pie Week, an annual tradition where I share a handful of new recipes that fit into the pie/crisp/tart category.
You’ll have a new love for almond frangipane after 1 bite of this cranberry-bejeweled tart! Naturally gluten free, this recipe combines an almond crust with a soft almond cream filling and plenty of juicy tart cranberries. You can enjoy this dessert warm or at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse the almonds, almond flour, sugar, and salt together until almonds are finely chopped. Add the melted butter. Pulse/process until the mixture is combined and crumbly.
- Press the dough evenly into a 9-inch tart pan or 10-inch tart pan. Mixture will be crumbly at first, so press it in with medium pressure so it stays together.
- Bake crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes as you prepare the filling.
- Make the frangipane: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until combined and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula as needed. The mixture will look separated and chunky at this point—that’s ok. Add the almond flour, salt, vanilla and almond extracts, and lemon juice and zest, and beat on medium speed until combined. Spread the frangipane into the slightly warm crust. A small offset spatula is helpful for this.
- Dot the filling with the cranberries, lightly pressing them into the frangipane. Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar, if desired.
- Bake for 38–40 mins, or until the edges of the filling are lightly browned and the cranberries look juicy. During bake time, if the tart is browning too quickly on top and around the edges, tent with aluminum foil.
- Carefully remove the tart from the oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes before removing the rim of the pan. I like to garnish the tart with sugared cranberries, but this is optional. Slice and serve while the tart is still warm or wait for it to cool completely at room temperature.
- Cover and store leftover tart at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make-Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can prepare and assemble the tart through step 6, then cover and refrigerate up to 1 day ahead of time before baking. Bring to room temperature before baking. This is not the best tart to freeze because the cranberries separate from the filling a bit as it thaws. However, if you have leftover slices and aren’t concerned as much about the appearance, you can freeze leftover tart for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Food Processor | 9-inch Tart Pan | Cooling Rack | Citrus Zester | Citrus Juicer | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Small Offset Spatula | Coarse Sugar
- Pie Dish: If you don’t have a tart pan, you can make this in a regular 9-inch pie dish. The slices may not be as neat, so try your best to pack the crust into the dish as tightly as possible.
- Almonds in Crust: Taste testers and I prefered this tart with roasted salted almonds in the crust. You can use raw instead, if needed. If using unsalted almonds, increase the salt in the crust to 1/4 teaspoon.
- Lemon: Lemon really balances the flavors in this sweet tart, and I do not recommend leaving it out. If desired, you can use orange juice & zest instead.
- Smoother Filling: If you aren’t concerned with the recipe being gluten free, you can replace 3 of the Tablespoons of almond flour in the filling with all-purpose flour. This smooths out the filling a bit more.
- Dried Cranberries: I do not recommend dried cranberries in this recipe, as they are much too sweet for the sweet almond filling. Use fresh or frozen (thawed).
- Other Fruits: Instead of cranberries, try this with blueberries or raspberries.
- Sugared Cranberries: A fun and tasty optional garnish pictured on this tart! Learn how to make sugared cranberries.
Keywords: cranberry frangipane tart