food 4 tots

Homemade pineapple rolls (pineapple tarts)

pineapple rolls, pineapple tarts


Come every Lunar New Year, you will find pineapple rolls/tarts being sold like hot cakes here in Singapore and Malaysia. It ranks top in the list of popular baked pastries among Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese celebrating this festive season. While they come in many variations (and ranges in taste, texture, and sweetness), we can simply place them into either the open, closed or rolled types. The rolled type, known as Nastar in Indonesia, is the one I liked best as it has the right combination of texture and taste that suits my taste bud.


I am a picky eater when it comes to eating pineapple rolls or tarts, and I find it hard to find in the market the “perfect” roll/tart that can satisfy my craving. So I decided to make them at home. The last time I tried my hands on making these rolls was a decade ago! It was a fun and enjoyable experience. Being ambitious, I even bought a custom-made  press to squeeze out the pineapple roll pastry but it has laid idle for six good years. (Dear old press, thanks for being so patient and loyal to me.)


Finally, my guilt got the best of me and I decided to use it to make my own pineapple rolls for this coming Lunar New Year. The only problem is “memory lapse” .  I could not recall my “decade-old” recipe. Not even a single clue! Oh gosh! (Hmm! Time for an overhaul service for my memory? Your highness (that’s right, you my husband), can you kindly approve my leave application for memory recall R&R as soon as possible?  )


Luckily, I managed to compile a handful of pineapple roll recipes from other food bloggers and cookbooks to recall and make comparison. Even though no one particular recipe actually met what I was looking for, there are two great references that I relied a lot when making these pineapple rolls. They are found in  “Baking Made Easy” by Agnes Chang and “At Home with Amy Beh” by Amy Beh respectively.


homemade pineapple rolls


Not to forget my good blogger friend Selba from Selby’s Food Corner (whose mother is an experienced Nastar baker and has been selling it for more than ten years) who unselfishly gave me very valuable advice and tips. Thanks Selba!!! One very important advice from her is “If you want to have the best pineapple jam, either you grate the pineapples yourself or you buy the jam. Never blend them.” Yes, I totally agreed with her, which I will explain in the following paragraph. Besides grating your pineapples, getting the right type of pineapple grater is also equivalently important if you are looking for the finest fibrous texture.


Never take any short-cut of blending your pineapples. I did that once and was very upset even though my pastry turned out delicious and crumbly. My hubby (who initially didn’t mind with the blending method) also got addicted to the fibrous and chewy jam texture made from grated pineapples. You can definitely tell the difference if you had a chance to taste and compare both versions.


Both the jam and pastry have to be done properly. They must compliment each other. And, having the correct proportion of jam and pastry is of utmost important and the key to success. I weight each jam roll to be exactly 6 gram as I find the final product comes out best when munched in the mouth. Neither too much pastry nor jam. Just the right proportion for maximum enjoyment. Preferably, the overall size of the roll is just big enough for one mouthful to have the melt-in-the-mouth feeling. This is the art of eating. My ultimate goal to have a “perfect” pineapple roll! So my advice is, you will need to adjust the size of the jam you use to match the size of the pastry.


homemade pineapple rolls


Tum…tum….tummmmm! (drumroll) Let me now present to you my “exclusive” recipe that will churn out the best pineapple rolls in town. (Just joking! ). But if you follow the recipe closely, you will get the melt-in-the mouth pastry combined with fibrous jam texture.


I must however forewarn you. Although this recipe is very simple-to-follow, it’s very time-consuming. You need to have patience. If not, please go to buy the ready-made ones.


If you’re craving for the authentic pineapple rolls like I do, it’s definitely worth spending the time and effort to make these rolls. It’s simply very rewarding. Once you start putting one of these bite-size pineapple rolls into your mouth, you can never stop the temptation of having another, and another, and………


>>>> Click on page 2 to get the recipe, tips and more photos on how to make pineapple jam ……………

>>>> Click on page 3 to get the recipe, tips and more photos on how to make pineapple rolls …………..

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  1. Ellena says:

    Wow… I love this I love this… The colour of your pineapple jam look great.. love the golden colour…. So excited to see your CNY goodies coming up…. keep more coming k 🙂

  2. peanutts says:

    Hello!, those look lovely , i can never have patience like that . Delicate pastries like that scare me hehehe. oh how a bout post on how to cook arrowroot? I keep seeing those every year during chinese new year and have wondered how its cooked

    • food-4tots says:

      Peanutts: Tks! Do give it a try. I’m sure you can do it too. Arrowroot can be cooked in many ways: steaming (with Chinese sausages), stir-frying and deep-frying as chips. Sorry, I don’t have any post about it at the moment. Will consider your suggestion if I can find a good recipe to share. 😉

  3. Little Inbox says:

    The making process is so tough, huhu I surrender.

  4. tigerfish says:

    Your pineapple rolls look very delectable. I like the size of the rolls, seems that can pop one whole roll in the mouth. ;p

  5. kongkay says:

    nice! does a refresh of memory mean a trip back to mom’s?

  6. Stunning. Absolutely beautiful photos of the process! Thanks for sharing!

  7. LCOM says:

    Beautiful and very evenly size. I like the golden color too.

  8. mycookinghut says:

    yum yum…this is my fav of pastry during CNY… I haven’t tried making them… to satify my tastebuds, I think I need to bake them!!

  9. Pei-Lin says:

    Oh, your nastars look so beautiful!! Funny! I’m gonna use the same recipe for the pastry tomorrow because I’ve got that book, too! LOL!

    Happy CNY baking! (It’s that time of the year when we bake like crazy! LOL!)

  10. Your tarts are perfect! I love pineapple tarts but it’s such a chore to make them!

  11. Quinn says:

    Think you made a typo here:

    Pineapple tarts must be cooled completely before storing so that the rolls/ tarts will be turn moldy easily.

    Blending or not blending I personally think it’s a personal preference. I have relatives who sell them every year and they actually blend it. I personally prefer even more fibrous jam that the one produced from grater. Guess we gotta be really picky to be able to tell!

    Having said that, your roll is so beautiful…how did you glaze they without destroying the patterns? Just wonder if I can add milk powder to the recipe. If yes how much? I just like mine milky. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous nastars!

    • food-4tots says:

      Quinn: Tks for pointing out the error. I had amended it already. Tks a lot for your compliment. If you dilute your egg with milk, it will be easier to glaze. Also try to be gentle when brushing the egg wash on the patterns. Sorry, I haven’t tried with milk powder before. You can refer to this post for reference. Btw, I love your “heart shape” pineapple tarts. They look so impressive! 😉

  12. lingzie says:

    wah your pastry press really very unique! and you weighed your pineapple rolls?? ~salute~
    lovely photos as always! 🙂
    my aunt wants me to make another batch of pineapple rolls for her… i am thinking twice! lol

  13. Dora says:

    Yeah! i like pineapple inside (i.e. rolls) instead of tarts. 😀

  14. NKOTB says:

    that’s the reason why this cookie is selling slightly higher than that others… I can’t imagine if am doing this… the entire kitchen will be in a mess! 🙂

  15. zurin says:

    beautiful tarts!!! tq for the tips ..will keep in mind….i believe u cld grate using the grating disc of a food processor as well? grating by hand is a lot of work no? but all for love!!! :))

    • food-4tots says:

      Zurin: Tks for dropping by and your kind comment. Tks for your suggestion. I had tried it once but it didn’t work for me. Grating by hand is not really very difficult as the amount I made is not much. 😉

  16. tia says:

    how could you do these without that pastry piper?

    • food-4tots says:

      Tia: It’s best to get the pastry press or mould from the baking supplies shops as it will save you lots of time and works. But you can try my “poor man method” by rolling the pastry into a thin layer and then cut into long strip. 😉

  17. tracieMoo says:

    Grating it must have been hard work. Well, I see all the effort being paid off!
    They look really delicious. I just fell in love with your pineapple tarts!

  18. Tom says:

    These are absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing all the tips. Pineapple tart is a lot of hard work, no wonder they are so expensive!

    To Tia, kindly see this post here by Quinn of Quinn’s Baking Diary, a lot of work but I hope it might help you.

    • food-4tots says:

      Tom: Tks for visiting my blog and your compliments. Yeah, pineapple tart is always the most expensive CNY pastries. Btw, tks for sharing with us Quinn’s wonderful pineapple tarts recipe. 😉

  19. Alice says:

    Oh my my…. these tarts are so awesome and I believed it really melt-in-mouth! 😀 Can you bring some for me? hehe…. 🙂

  20. allie says:

    My favourite biscuit during CNY. My aunts always bake this too, but she buy those pre-make pineapple jam.

  21. juliet khoo says:

    Can i know where can i buy the pineapple roll press/mould that you are using ?

    • food-4tots says:

      Juliet Khoo: I bought mine from a baking supplies shop at Kepong Baru, KL 6 years ago. Not sure whether they are available now. But I’m sure you can find something similar from other baking supplies shops in Malaysia and Singapore. 😉

  22. Selba says:

    Hooray! Congratulations on your pineapple tarts! 🙂

    Love your pictures as always!

  23. Beautiful! The product of hard work and love. 🙂

  24. Mrs Ergül says:

    So pretty! I could see all the hard work behind the scene!!

  25. Wow, so beautiful !
    Your pineapple tarts look so perfect. I’d really want to try yours, please send these pretty homemade tarts to me….^0^

  26. felicia says:

    wow. this looks like THE recipe!
    im gonna get my grandma to make some with me!
    the ‘base’ resembles the pineapple 🙂
    nicely done!

    • food-4tots says:

      Felicia: Tks! After trying, do share your feedback with me yeah. If your grandma has any extra good tips to add on this recipe, please feel free to let me know. Happy Baking! 😉

  27. gattina says:

    I remember when I stayed in Sg, not many stores carried good the pineapple tarts… after reading your post then realize that it’s just not easy to make them. You are the elite of baker! your rolls sound superb, and they are too pretty to eat 😀

  28. CuppaMocha says:

    Thanks. Your tarts looks superbly delicious. You have also unselfishly shared the recipes/tips and steps. Thank you so much.

  29. noobcook says:

    your pineapple tarts look fab! And woah you made your own jam too, I salute you because I know it’s a lot of work as I made it with my family when I’m young, but nothing beats the taste of home-made =) I’m thinking of buying a tigger plushie to place in my home this CNY haha

    • food-4tots says:

      Noobcook: It’s my craving that motivates me to do all these things. In short, I’m very “wai sek”. LOL! I think the Tigger plushie supplier will earn lots of $$ this CNY. 😉

  30. felicia says:

    yay thanks!
    am going to drag my grandma to make these with me.
    hehe 😀

  31. beachlover says:

    your pineapple tart look really cute and prefect! well I did blend the pineapple filling,the problem is I didn’t cook them dry enough so when I bake it,the filling spread out!

  32. these are beautiful and love that they’re in rolls and different from the usual shapes and patterns available! Happy CNY 😀

  33. Y says:

    Thanks for unselfishly sharing your recipe and steps for making these ultimate tarts!

    If I don’t want to add any sugar to the pastry can I just omit the sugar without making other adjustments to the recipe? Thanks.

    • Y says:

      I made it anyway, the dough was soft so I added 2T water then it was too soft so I added 2T corn flour! ;-p But is the original recipe dough on the soft side? They tend to split when I’m rolling it up.

      I have some dough left over (I only cooked 1 pineapple). What can I do with them?

      Thanks and Happy Chinese New Year!

      • food-4tots says:

        Y: It’s soft but manageable. If the dough is too soft, chill the dough in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before you continue. Just to confirm, did you use the baking spoon for measurement? For those leftover dough, I just rolled them out into a flat dough, cut with cookie cutters and bake as usual. Hope it helps! 😉

        • Y says:

          Yes, I used a baking measuring spoon. I will try it again, I bought another pineapple. 🙂 I find the jam sweet so I don’t want the pastry to be sweet too but I will try it this time.

          Also, my filling was only 4g instead of 6g (I weighed them after having problems rolling!) and I found that when I made the filling bigger it was easier to roll.

          • food-4tots says:

            Y: Is your pineapple half-ripe? Use only half the amount of sugar at the initial stage and add the rest only when it is necessary. This way you can control the sweetness. You’re right, your problem may be caused by the pastry. Different presser/ mould will give different weight. Tks a lot for sharing your personal experience. Much appreciated! Hope to have your feedback again 😉

    • food-4tots says:

      Y: Tks a lot for your wonderful comments. I’m so flattered! The amount of sugar is very minimum. I suggest that you stick to my recipe for your first trial. 😉

      • Y says:

        Ok, I’m set to do my second try this week. I cooked the jam last week till it was quite dry. But now I can see that some juice has come out from the jam (it’s in the fridge). What should I do? Leave it or stir so the jam will absorb the liquid? When it’s wet it’s hard to roll, can’t get it as well shaped as yours.

        • food-4tots says:

          Y: How much is the juice? If it’s too much, then better leave it. Mixing it with the jam will cause it becoming too soft. It’s best to chill the jam (at least overnight) before rolling it into a small elongated roll. Use gentle pressure to roll the jam just like making glutinous ball. If you still encounter problems, then you can wet both your palms slightly. Hope it helps. Good luck! 😉

  34. […] pineapple tarts for the first time. Recipe from Food-4tots. The pineapple jam was great. Loved it. But the base wasn’t what i was looking for. It was too […]

  35. cookie says:

    awesome pineapple tarts!

    I always have a problem trying to get the jam to the right consistency-it tends to end up too wet or too dry… and I only able to tell after the whole thing is wrapped and bake. Are you able to share any tips to get this right?

    • food-4tots says:

      Cookie: The consistency depends on what type of pineapple rolls you make (open, close or roll). Make sure the juices are fully evaporated. Cook until the jam is sticky and looks shiny. Use low heat towards the end. Jam for closed type needs to be drier as compared to jam for open type. Jam for rolls will be in between these 2 types. Hope it helps. 😉

  36. YEA!! Love this. I stumbled your post!

  37. melissa says:

    I salute you! You have absolutely gorgeous looking tarts there! And your jam looks beautiful!

  38. yasmin yeong says:

    Hi there,
    Your tarts looked so professional and delish!! You can sell them and I am sure people will rush to you. Looks real good.
    keep it up !

  39. yasmin yeong says:

    I just commented your tarts which looked soooo good!!

    Your jam looked a little bit wet and didn’t you have a problem after keeping them for a day or so, did the pastry kind of softened not kept well ? I love to bake and have had this problem for many years and finally I knew why, my jam were just too wet. Now I bought them (they were well cooked and “dry”) so now I do not have a problem keeping them. They now last for at least a week and still fairly good.

    • food-4tots says:

      Yasmin Yeong: I had cooked my jam until all the juices was evaporated. The shiny look of the jam is not the juice but the caramel glaze formed. I had kept my jam in the fridge for 3 weeks and it was still ok. Yes, the pastry is a bit crumbly for this recipe but it will not turn too soft. Still can keep well for 3-4 days. If you have a better recipe for the pastry, do share with me yeah. 😉

  40. Justina says:

    Thank you for sharing. Your pineapple rolls were fantastic! I am currently using a plastic cookie press for the rolls. Wonder if you would advise me as to where I could get the copper cookie press that you are using. Thanks again.

    • food-4tots says:

      Justina: It’s my pleasure to share. I bought my copper cookie press from a baking shop in Kepong Baru, KL about 10 years ago. May I know where are you staying now?

  41. joeychin says:

    hi, btw where i can buy the pineapple roll pastry press?

    • food-4tots says:

      Joeychin: I bought mine from a baking supply shop in Kepong Baru, Kuala Lumpur. For normal plastic type, you can try at any local baking supply shops in your neighbourhood. 😉

  42. Mime says:

    As I told you , I discovered you blog this morning, I shut my computer and tried this recip. I have made Dulce de Membrillo and I don’t have some pineapples around So I used my Membrillo as stuffing .
    I cant tell you how amazing they turned out . my whole family love it and they finished all of them .


  43. Marie Sersansie says:


    Where i can buy the pineapple mold.

    Thank you

  44. Rosamundwo says:


    I like my pastry to taste like cheese.. how can i make this?

  45. Shirley says:

    Hi LK

    With regards to the mold, the cake shop I went sell a plastic roller with patterns on it. How do I roll them? Spread the dough out and use the roller on them and cut into strips?

  46. Shirley says:

    oh didnt take the photo while at Phoon Huat. I wasnt sure if that works so i didnt buy it. If it is so difficult to get your mold i guess i have no choice but to use that.

    • food-4tots says:

      Shirley: If can, try to do a google search to look for the photo and send me the link. I don’t think it is available in Singapore as I bought this mould from KL many years ago. 😉

  47. Mavis_Ssmama says:

    Your photo makes me wanna try baking them… They look so yummylicious! Thanks for sharing!

  48. Mavis_Ssmama says:

    What type of milk to use for the pastry?

  49. Shirley says:

    LK, will it be the same recipe and method if I do the open faced tart? Thanks.

    • food-4tots says:

      Shirley: I haven’t tried it out myself but I guess you can give it a try. For open faced tart, you need to cut down slightly the cooking time for the pineapple jam to prevent it from turning dry during the baking process. Some bake the tart first and add the jam half way. Hope it works for you too. 😉

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