Butter Tarts Recipe

| October 14, 2018 | 9 Comments

Butter Tarts

Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make delicious Butter Tarts. Printable recipe included.


Butter Tarts recipe, as seen on Taste of
Canadian Butter Tarts recipe. Taste a little like Pecan Pie.


Butter Tarts, slider.

I first heard about Butter Tarts while watching a program called Taste of the Country over on Netflix.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, the program featured a Canadian family farm owned and run by Danielle French. The farm was used for various events, like parties, birthdays and weddings, and food was a main focus.

They often talked about Butter Tarts, and that got my curiosity up. What did they taste like I wondered? They were interesting looking little pies and I began searching for a recipe.

You’ll find lots of versions of Butter Tarts online, and I became a bit confused about what might be the classic Canadian style of making them. So, I put it to the subscribers of my Newsletter knowing that I have a good number of readers that actually live in Canada. Perhaps one would be willing to share a recipe.

Sure enough, in just a day or so, I received a very nice email from Donna Gordon P..

Donna’s version called for using a pre-made tart shell, which she says she’s been using for sometime to make her Butter Tarts with. She use to make the dough from scratch, but found the ready made shells tasted about as good and made things even easier. I like easy too. Smile.

So, with the power here at home blinking on and off throughout the day, I ended up baking a batch.

Hurricane Michael was passing through the heart of North Carolina today. We had a lot of rain, but thankfully the power stayed on here at home other than blinking out for just a few seconds several times.

The tarts were really easy to make, and they baked up in 12 minutes flat in my oven. Donna warned not to over bake them, saying the middle should be ooey-gooey with a golden brown crust.

I think I nailed this pretty good, because even though the middles were still looking a bit wet when I removed them from the oven, they firmed up just right. Firm, but still soft and gooey in the middle.

Donna’s version called for placing some raisins in the bottom of the shell before adding the filling mixture.

I could easily see myself adding some pecans the next time I make them. Yes, I’m sure I’ll be making these again. They were that good. Very much like a pecan pie, but not as sweet.

So, if you’d like to try some yourself, then let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking.



Butter Tarts, you'll need these ingredients.
Butter Tarts Recipe – You’ll need these ingredients.

The tart shells are a Dutch Ann brand, but any brand will do. I want to make my own dough the next time I try these since that’s how I saw them made on the TV program I mentioned.


Butter Tarts, add the brown sugar to a medium sized mixing bowl.
You’ll need a medium sized mixing bowl to make the filling for your Butter Tarts. Place the brown sugar in the bowl.


Butter Tarts, add the corn syrup.
Add the corn syrup.


Butter Tarts, add the melted butter.
Add the 1/4 cup of melted butter.


Butter Tarts, add the slightly beaten egg.
Add the slightly beaten egg.

I always recommend that you crack your egg into a separate bowl first, then add it to the other ingredients. That way, if a piece of shell goes into the egg, it’s easier to see and remove. Otherwise, it might get hidden in some of the ingredients and you might not see it.


Butter Tarts, add the vanilla flavoring.
Add the vanilla flavoring.


Butter Tarts, add the salt.
Add the salt. You only need 1/4 teaspoon.


Butter Tarts, whisk the ingredients together.
Grab a whisk and mix all the ingredients together until fully combined.


Butter Tarts, add the raisins.
You’ll need to use a sheet pan with sides on it so the tart shells don’t slip off. I also lined my pan with some aluminum foil just in case they run over while baking. If that happens, I can just fold up the foil and throw it away as opposed to having to wash my sheet pan.

Of course, the tart shells need to be thawed. Then, add just a few raisins into the bottom of each tart shell.

You could also add either pecans or walnuts if you like. Totally up to you. Smile.


Butter Tarts, add the syrup mixture to the tart shells.
Pour enough of the syrup mixture into each tart shell to fill it about 2/3rds full.

It’s going to puff up as it bakes, so don’t overfill the shells or you’ll make a mess. You can thank me later for this little bit of information.

I had just the right amount of filling to fill the 8 tart shells that came in the package.

Donna’s recipe called for 12 tart shells. Mine might have been a bit bigger, but then again, only 8 came in the package that I bought. I left the 12 tart shells in the printable recipe just in case. Smile


Butter Tarts, bake at 425 Fahrenheit degrees for 12-15 minutes. Do not over bake.
You need to pre-heat the oven to 425F degrees, and you need to have your rack just one notch below the center position in your oven.

Place the sheet pan with the tarts in the oven and let them bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are set. Do Not Over Bake the Butter Tarts. The center should be just beginning to set and the crust lightly browned. It took mine exactly 12 minutes to bake before I removed them from the oven.

Ovens vary, so watch them closely.


Butter Tarts, remove from oven when done and place on wire rack to cool.
When they’re done, remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool.

Let them cool completely or serve them slightly warm.


Butter Tarts, enjoy.

The completed Butter Tarts may be stored in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. You can also wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them for up to a month or longer. But, I doubt they will last that long. Smile.

Thank you Donna, for sharing your recipe. Awesome.


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Butter Tarts printable recipe, as seen on Taste of Southern.

Butter Tarts Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Butter Tarts 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Canadian


Butter Tarts are an old Canadian favorite dessert. They taste a bit like a Pecan Pie, just not as sweet. You can follow our complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to make them. They’re very easy to make if you use a pre-made tart shell and they bake up quickly.



1/2 cup lightly packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup golden Corn Syrup
1/4 cup melted salted BUTTER (no margarine!)
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 cup Raisins, golden or dark
12 premade Tart Shells, thawed


!Preheat oven to 425F degrees.
Place the brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Add the corn syrup.
Add the melted butter.
Add egg.
Add vanilla extract
Add salt.
Mix well to combine.
Place tart shells, in foil, on a baking sheet with sides.
Divide raisins equally into the thawed tart shells.
Fill tart shells about 2/3 full with the syrup mixture.
Bake on rack, just below center of oven, for 12-15 minutes, or just until set.
Do Not Over Bake. Tarts should be gooey and a bit runny when done.
Place on wire rack and let cool.


We’re adding raisins, but you could add pecans or walnuts as well. Experiment with it and make the recipe your own. Enjoy!

Keywords: Butter Tarts, classic butter tarts, Canadian Butter Tarts, old fashioned butter tarts


Your Comments:

Ever tried these Canadian Butter Tarts?

This may not be one of my traditional Southern recipes, but they kind of taste like a Pecan Pie. I’d love it if you would share your comments or memories about them in the Comment Section below. It will only take a minute or two and I’d greatly appreciate hearing from you.

Just remember, all comments are moderated.  That just means that I personally read each and everyone before they are approved for viewing on our family friendly website. Thank you in advance for sharing.

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Be Blessed!!!


You might also like: Southern Pecan Pie

Or, maybe this:  Butter Pecan Cake Recipe

Or how about this one:  Sweet Potato Pie Recipe



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Category: Desserts

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (9)

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  1. Roxanne says:

    Butter tarts are one of my favourite traditional baked goods at Christmas, along with mocha balls, whipped shortbread, lemon thins and molasses cookies (ginger sparkles). I mix my raisins right in with the filling – a few in the bottom isn’t going to do it. Ammonia cookies (strange as they sound) were also good.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Roxanne, You’ve mentioned lots of great sweets there. Smile. But, I did have to look up what an Ammonia Cookie was/is. I’ve never heard of this. This was my first time to make Butter Tarts. I was very pleased with them and loved the taste. I’m sure I’ll be making them again soon. I’ll remember to add extra raisins too. Smile. I do appreciate your visit today, and I hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Joyceb says:

    I will try these for Thanksgiving. They look great. Thank you Steve and Donna.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Joyceb, I do hope you try them, they really were good. And, when you do, be sure to come back and let me know how they turned out for you. Thank you for your visit today and I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. Donna Gordon Pike says:

    Hi Steve! So glad you liked the Butter Tarts! Right you are when you said you can use pecans or walnuts, I have actually used pecans before just to change it up a little. My adult daughters were so happy to see your acknowledgement of one of their favourite desserts and of course, they asked for Mama to make them each a batch! I may just do that as I enjoy baking very much.

    Hope everyone loves these little gems……and if you want to get even MORE decadent, toss a few chocolate chips on each one as soon as you remove them from the oven….double trouble.

    Best regards from your Northern Neighbours! Maybe I will send you a recipe for Nanaimo Bars…..

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Donna, Thank YOU for sharing this recipe with me. I was glad to finally get to make and try a Butter Tart. Really, Really, Good. Smile. I do plan on making some more pretty soon. And, I do want to make some with a homemade dough… just to say I did it. I really appreciate you taking the time to share the recipe with us, and I appreciate all of your support. I hope I did it justice. Please know that the door is always open for you, and I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Donna Gordon Pike says:

        My pleasure, I think it is a bit of a payback for all the great recipes you have shared that are now some of our comfort food favourites. I guess even though we are “Northern” there must be a little “Southern” in the mix.
        Best regards, be well, be blessed.

  4. Debbie says:

    Hi Steve,

    These look so good. I will have to try them with pecans since I do not like raisins. They will be perfect for Thanksgiving so everyone will have a little pecan pie to enjoy or two or three. I have a large family so I will have to make a double or triple batch, we do love pecan pie. Have a great week.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Debbie, I do hope you’ll try the Butter Tarts, but please don’t wait until Thanksgiving. Smile. You know you want to taste them before you serve them to your family and friends. Right? I think they would be great with pecans and I hope to try some that way myself before long. Please let me know what you think of them once you try them. Okay? I do appreciate your visit and I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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