Now Reading
Classic Canadian Butter Tarts

Classic Canadian Butter Tarts

Did you know? Canada is famed with creating a few delightful sweet treats!  The Nanaimo bar, Saskatoon Berry pie, Blueberry Grunt, Beaver Tails, Tarte au Sugar, and the Butter Tart.

Butter tarts are made with butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and cream. An easy recipe that mixes up quickly, you can make your tart pastry or pick up some from the grocers’ freezer.  Many additions have been tried in these sweet tarts, various types of nuts, bacon bits, coconut, skor bits, dried fruit, chocolate chips, but to the purest, just filling is best. 

Tips from the Pro …

  • Runny tart filling, add an extra egg
  • Overmixing the filling will cause it to bubble over
  • Keep tart shells cold, this will help the pastry from cracking during baking

DID you know ..

  • There is a butter tart tour in the Kawarthas
  • There is a butter tart festival in Midland
  • The first written reference was a recipe called A Filling for Tarts in a 1911 cookbook compiled by The Women’s Auxiliary of Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ont.

An adventure outside our borders would find southern pecan pie, a yummy close second to the butter tart.  

Many Canadian’s will debate their favourite butter tart – Raisins or not? Runny or firm filling?  Thick pastry or thin?

See Also
hot cross buns

Add maple syrup and enjoy the ultimate Canadian delight.

Butter Tarts


Pie Crust

  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 3-4 Tbsp cold water

Butter Tart Filling

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup 10% cream
  • 1/2 cup raisins, optional


Pie Crust:

  • In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. 
  • Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). 
  • Add 3 tablespoons water and process just until the dough holds together when pinched.
    If necessary, add more water.
  • Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour or until firm.
  • After the dough has chilled sufficiently, place on a lightly floured surface, and roll the dough until it is 1/8 inch thick. 
  • Using a 4 inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds. Gently place the rounds into a 12-cup muffin pan, crimping edges as desired.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator while you preheat your oven and make the filling

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and place your oven rack in the center of the oven.

    Butter Tart Filling:

    • In a large bowl, or stand mixer; Beat the butter, light brown sugar and salt, until smooth
    • Beat in the eggs and then the vanilla extract.
    • Stir in the cream.
    • Place about 1 1/2 teaspoons of raisins on the bottom of each tart shell. Then evenly fill the tart shells with the filling. 
    • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry has nicely browned and the filling is puffed and set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. 

    705.349.1050 © 2020 CHRISTINE KROPP All rights reserved.

    Scroll To Top