Let’s be real – I almost never have room for dessert after enjoying a Mexican meal. Chips and guac, tacos, and margaritas are all the treat I need. But, should you have occasion to need a dessert that nicely rounds out your meal, this churro chocolate tart is a perfect option. As much as I adore churros, I wouldn’t dream of making them for entertaining purposes. No one wants to be dealing with frying anything when guests are around. This tart gives you that delicious flavor (and does include actual churro!) but enjoys the advantages of being made in advance as well as being easily portable. No utensils are actually necessary. Just grab a wedge and enjoy!

Let’s break it down so you know what we’re dealing with. Though this dessert does have a handful of components, I promise they each come together quickly. The final product is well worth the effort. This baby starts with a basic tart dough spiced up with a dash of cinnamon. It is filled with Mexican chocolate ganache and topped with fluffy clouds of a vanilla bean mousse made to mimic the vanilla ice cream I love for dipping churros. The whole thing is finished off with a generous sprinkle of churro crumble. What is churro crumble, you ask? Basically, churros that have been chopped or torn up and dried out in the oven. AKA your reason to go ahead and enjoy a churro in advance of Cinco de Mayo. Churro crumble has made an appearance before in the infamous churro cake, which is another excellent dessert option if you’re feeling layer cake fancy. Whichever way you decide to go, it’s going to be a hit.

  • Yield 1 (4 x 14-inch) or (9-inch round) tart


For the churro crumble: 

  • 1 cups plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. (1 oz.) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups canola oil (for frying)

For the tart dough: 

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

For the ganache: 

  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 oz. heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • Dash of cayenne pepper

For the vanilla bean mousse: 

  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2½ tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    To make the churros (which will become the churro crumble), combine 1 cup of the sugar with the cinnamon in a pie dish and whisk to blend well. Set aside. Combine the milk, salt, butter and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the flour into the pan with the milk and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the flour is fully incorporated and the mixture begins to cook. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer. Let cool in the bowl for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer on to medium speed and add the eggs one at a time, mixing each until fully incorporated before adding the next. Meanwhile, add the oil to a medium saucepan and heat to 350˚ F. Once the batter is finished mixing and the oil is heated, transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe lengths of batter into the hot oil, filling the pan with a single layer and leaving space between each churro. Let cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the oil with a slotted skimmer and transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Once cool enough to handle, coat in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat with the remaining batter. (You will have more churros than you need for this recipe but too many churros is not a thing.) Reserve the left over cinnamon sugar.

  • 02

    To make the churro crumble, heat the oven to 250˚ F. Chop some of the cooled churros up into small chunks (about ½-inch) to yield at least 1 heaping cup of churro chunks. Toss with 2-3 tablespoons of the left over cinnamon-sugar from coating the churros. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes, tossing halfway through the baking time, until they are golden brown and crunchy. Let cool on a wire rack completely. (They will continue to harden as they cool.)

  • 03

    To make the tart shell, whisk together the egg yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl; set aside.  Place the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a food processor.  Process briefly to combine.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses.  With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.  Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a rectangle (or disc, depending on what shape of tart you want to make.)  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

  • 04

    Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  (If refrigerated for more than an hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable.)  Unwrap and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface so that it is large enough to cover your tart pan, including the sides, with a small amount of overhang on all edges.  Transfer the dough to the tart pan.  Mold the dough to the sides of the tart pan and remove the excess off the top.  Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes.

  • 05

    Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to middle position.  Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a 12-inch square of foil into the frozen shell and over the edge, and fill with pie weights.  Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.  Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights.  Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5-8 minutes longer.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before proceeding.

  • 06

    To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Warm the cream in the microwave or a small saucepan just until bubbling. Pour over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes before whisking into a smooth, thick ganache. Whisk in the butter cayenne and cinnamon. Pour the ganache into the cooled tart shell and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate until chilled and fully set.

  • 07

    To make the mousse, combine the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and seeds scraped from the vanilla bean in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Whisk just until stiff peaks form (but be careful not to over beat!) Gently fold about one third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Repeat with the remaining whipped cream in two separate additions, until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag with a decorative tip and pipe in swirls or scallops onto the top of the ganache, leaving a small exposed rim around the edge.

  • 08

    When ready to serve, generously sprinkle some of the churro crumble over the tart and slice into wedges.