Christmas Recipes For the Last Minute Panic People: Butter Tarts

close up 3 pieces Butter Tarts with raisins on a white floral tablecloth background

Site Index Christmas baking

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3 pieces Butter Tarts with raisins on a white floral tablecloth background

Come along and cheat with me. Cheating is good for the soul. Let go of those crazy Christmas baking expectations and make something so delicious, so easy and so fast that you will weep with relief.

I make no secret of the fact that I totally cheat with my butter tarts. I don’t even pretend that I attempt to make my own shells. I buy pre-made, unsweetened no-name brand from Superstore. Which, by the way, are the only ones I have found without hydrogenated oil in them, so thank you Loblaws, for that little blessing. I honestly don’t know what I would do without those tart shells. I make- no word of a lie people– hundreds of butter tarts every Christmas season.

I bake around 4 dozen for my husbands work. This does not include the 5 dozen I have to send for their Potluck every year, that’s just his immediate co-workers who demand tarts every Christmas season.

I bake around 12 dozen for gifts. I bake for teachers, the wonderful lunch ladies at my kid’s school and my work.

I bake around 3 dozen for our own Christmas Day eating.

I think I’m around 300 tarts right there.

I have definitely considered trying to make my own shells, but never will it be for my huge tart making spree. It’s not even feasible. I will make my own for us personally, but for this massive baking need, you simply have to use pre-made shells.

The other thing is that I use margarine in most. People prefer the margarine taste. I cannot convince my family otherwise and my husbands work would freak right out if I changed anything on them.

Superstore No Name non-hydrogenated margarine is the ticket. It makes people flip out over the taste.

I have committed more baking cardinal sins with making my butter tarts (BUTTER tarts!) than in any other single recipe on my site.

But people love them. People have paid me to make them yearly for them – with margarine for that exact taste they want- and my husband knows when I use butter and turns up his nose at them.

I secretly make myself a batch every year with butter. I certainly have an affinity for the buttah.

So, feel free to sin along with me. These are fast and easy. Literally, it does not get faster than this and you end up with butter tarts to give away or to grace your Christmas dinner dessert table.

Ingredients Needed

1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of raisins
1/3 cup or margarine or butter, melted
1 egg
2 tablespoons of cream
1 tsp vanilla
15-18 unsweetened and unbaked tart shells

Kick the tires and light the fires to 375 degrees

Melt your margarine, then add in the vanilla,egg, cream and brown sugar. The lovely part about these is they are SO easy and fast to make. Throw it all in, mix the ever-livin’ devil out of it, and you are good.

Now add in your raisins, and half a cup is the bare minimum I use. I find that sometimes there is too much liquid and not enough raisins by the time I reach the end, be brave and just add in what you need at that point.

Put your tart shells, still frozen, on the tray and fill a good 3/4 of the way. I say still frozen because I have found when they are defrosted the filling leaks through the pasty, not ruining them, but making them softer. A good frozen tart shell will hold the contents in, and cook at the same time.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes, until the rims of the tarts are beautifully browned.

close up 3 pieces Butter Tarts with raisins on a white floral tablecloth background

So go ahead.

Cheat. A lot.

You’ll feel all the better for it.

Love,

The Cheatin’, Mistreatin’, Butter Tart Eatin’ Magpie

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How To: Make Butter Tarts

How to make tasty and simple butter tarts. A Canadian classic!
5 from 4 votes
close up 3 pieces Butter Tarts with raisins on a white floral tablecloth background
Prep Time
4 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Total Time
19 minutes
Course
Dessert
Cuisine
Canadian
Servings
16
Calories
173
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup margarine or butter melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 15-18 unsweetened and unbaked tart shells

Instructions

  1. Kick the tires and light the fires to 375 degrees. 

  2. Melt your margarine, then add in the vanilla, egg, cream and brown sugar. The lovely part about these is they are SO easy and fast to make. Throw it all in, mix the ever-livin' devil out of it, and you are good. 

  3. Now add in your raisins, and half a cup is the bare minimum I use. I find that sometimes there is too much liquid and not enough raisins by the time I reach the end; be brave and just add in what you need at that point. 

  4. Put your tart shells, still frozen, on the tray and fill a good 3/4 of the way. I say still frozen because I have found when they are defrosted the filling leaks through the pastry, not ruining them, but making them softer. A good frozen tart shell will hold the contents in, and cook at the same time.

  5. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes, until the rims of the tarts are beautifully browned.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 173kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 91mg, Potassium: 59mg, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 210IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1.5mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. jack says

    I am sorry to say that these sad, little butter tarts in the pictures does not inspire me to make any. I have only every done butter tarts from scratch but you definitely need more filling in those little shells

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