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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.

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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.

So go ahead.

Cheat. A lot.

You’ll feel all the better for it.

Love,

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

4 from 4 votes
How To: Make Butter Tarts
Prep Time
4 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
19 mins
 
How to make tasty and simple butter tarts. A Canadian classic!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Tarts
Servings: 16
Calories: 173 kcal
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 Facts
How To: Make Butter Tarts
Amount Per Serving (16 g)
Calories 173 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 91mg 4%
Potassium 59mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Sugars 14g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 4.2%
Vitamin C 0.3%
Calcium 1.7%
Iron 8.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

5

Author

Hey guys, I'm Karlynn! Welcome to The Kitchen Magpie, my website full of family friendly recipes, cocktails & homesteading tales of chickens & cows from the family farm! Make sure to check out my bestselling cookbook, Flapper Pie & a Blue Prairie Sky ,stay tuned for info on my second cookbook!

72 Comments

  1. Pingback: Happy Canada Day ~ Spicy Basil Caesar ~ Chews and Brews

  2. I was looking for a recipe without corn syrup and I hit the jackpot with this! My new go to! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. I use frozen tart shells but the bottoms are soggy and not really cooked more often than not. Does this ever happen to yours? What could be the problem?

    • I have the exact same problem. I did exactly this recipe but I cooked it at 400 degrees and I cooked it for 15 minutes and come to find out that the bottom of the Tarts weren’t cooked at all. The shell was still raw. Also the inside was all runny it didn’t cook. I used frozen tart shells also.

  4. Hi Karlynn. I have only made butter tarts for a few years using my moms recipe (which I have misplaced and she is traveling and can’t get it to me). I am pretty sure her recipe uses corn syrup, so I started doing some googling and noticed some recipes use a syrup while some don’t. I was wondering if you have ever made any with syrup and what the difference is between using it and not using it taste wise. Thanks so much!

  5. NickiDee007 Reply

    Ok…so I made 19 of these. And also used less than 3/4 of the filling…what did I do wrong here? I’m very upset with the outcome hahah and I bake quite a bit. This is a first for me.

  6. Oh man! Wish I’d thought of the rum like Sue Lassesen-Fowler suggested. Anyhow! Haven’t tried them yet but they’re in the oven finishing off and browning beautifully. May have added a wee bit too much shriveled grape but, so’k. Oh ya almost forgot! I added some chopped walnuts too! 

  7. Oh man! Wish I’d thought of the rum like Sue Lassesen-Fowler suggested. Anyhow! Haven’t tried them yet but they’re in the oven finishing off and browning beautifully. May have added a wee bit too much shriveled grape but, so’k.

  8. Sue Lassesen-Fowler Reply

    This recipe is the same a what my Baba used only she put Rum extract or liqour in them. It adds a great flavor.

  9. Ang Fleming Reply

    Cannot ever find tart shells here in Indiana to make these for my Canadian hubby. I end up having to make the dough myself and make them using a muffin tin

  10. Jodie Moncrieff-Hennigar Reply

    I am skipping buttertarts this year…mom and I both make them using the same recipe, there is no point in us both making them… As long as she doesnt think the same thing lol.

    • Jodie Moncrieff-Hennigar Reply

      No she said last night she made them and they cooked over in the oven lol. I only make them to make sure my rum hasn’t spoiled\U0001f61c

  11. Racheal Hamel Reply

    This is the recipe that my mother always used and now I do \U0001f60a

  12. Audrey Murray Reply

    Making them right now – double batch with first tray in the oven as I type πŸ™‚

    • Dianne Galway McCracken Reply

      When the recipe calls for cream, what do you use 10% , 18 % ?

    • Audrey Murray Reply

      Dianne Galway McCracken I had whipping cream so used that. They turned out nice!

    • Maureen Hudson Reply

      Okay I need a verdict from Brian – the connoisseur of Butter Tarts

    • Audrey Murray Reply

      Brian says they are good (he mentioned your grandma’s so I think they are on par). Trent has inhaled three in quick succession so I take that as a positive. I did add more raisins than the recipe calls for to my double batch.

  13. Eileen Bulger Reply

    Try putting a few raisins in each shell before adding the filling. Always have enough.

  14. Renee Ritchey Reply

    I can confirm that this is indeed the 5 roses recipe as it is the same one I make every year from that very cook book.

  15. Hi, the fam doesnt like raisins in their butter tarts. If I omit them, will they still turn out ok, or would the consistency be off? P.S. there are also a couple of nut allergies so I cant just sub in pecans (not for all of them at least!)

    Thanks!!

  16. Tracey Malinowski Demuynck Reply

    I’m just going from memory at the moment but I’m pretty sure that is the same recipe (and same old cookbook) that my Mom’s recipe came from. When my Mom was alive we would tag team the process … she would make and roll pastry all day and I would make the filling, fill the pans and wash the pans between batches. We would do about 30 dozen that way. Now that Mom’s gone I am like you, I can’t keep up with the demand and have the home made pastry. So for the ones I give away, I use pre-made shells. Immediate family gets the “real” pastry. PS Butter all the way …! πŸ˜‰

  17. Gloria Taylor Reply

    What kind of cream, I use 5% cream in my coffee, do I need something better?

  18. Heather Pollock Reply

    I think you need a proof reader… Lol
    Butter tarts are my favorite … My mom used a recipe with maple syrup and pecans πŸ™‚ Yumm

  19. Ashley Meek Reply

    Perfect timing on your post, my husband just asked if I could make some.

  20. Rosaline Linhart Reply

    that old five roses cook book has been in our family since 1948 when we got the first copy…its amazing

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  22. I am very disappointed that in order to share these with my family, I have to make my own tart shells. In Canada, they seem to be everywhere, in the US, they’re nowhere. Ah well, just a small sacrifice to be able to share this Canadian classic with my American in laws.

  23. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    Well I DO want the whole recipe here for everyone, that part just got left out in the cut and paste somehow!

  24. Debbie Robinson Woloshyn Reply

    Awesome! Going to try these as a last minute Christmas dessert! Thank you for posting so many awesome recipes!!

  25. Kathleen Klohn Reply

    Thanks! Although if I’d just looked at the link you had it did say brown sugar.\U0001f633

  26. Ruth Cadman Reply

    Seeing as it’s Christmas, I need to come over and make Mince Pies with you xxx

  27. Happy Gourmand Reply

    I love this recipe, it’s a favourite! But how can you call them Butter Tarts if you use margarine? πŸ™‚

  28. Kathleen Klohn Reply

    The directions say brown sugar but I don’t see it in the ingredients?

  29. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    Mine was this morning but only around 5 dozen. They are SO fast with this recipe!

  30. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    Yup! They will be pecan tarts and that’s dang delicious too!

  31. Mary Markoulis Reply

    Will the recipe work without raisins, or replacing the raisins with pecans?

  32. Bonnie Hale Reply

    Hi There,

    Had great success with these.  Used GF pie crust and your recipe for the insides – DELICIOUS.  I am curious…..when you are giving them for gifts do you have some suggestions for packaging/wrapping them.

    Thanks.
    Bonnie

  33. Keyko Davidson Reply

    I love your blog! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  34. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    hahha! You know what, I love them in a beautiful homemade pastry. BUT this time of year is so busy for everyone, what working person has the time to make the fiddly ones? Even I don’t and my job is cooking up recipes LOL!

  35. Keyko Davidson Reply

    I like the cheating idea… as I will never forget when my nephew looked at my butter tarts and said “They don’t really look right”…

  36. Keyko Davidson Reply

    Butter tarts… such a part of Christmas for this first generation American from Canadian roots… I might just have to make some today!!!

  37. Just made 4 dozen of these today. Two dozen I made with raisins and the other two dozen I made with pecans. LOVE them. They are now safely tucked away in the freezer for Christmas. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. 

  38. I use no name Superstore ones, they have no hydrogenated oil in them. Tenderflake would work as well, any unsweetened premade tart shells will work.

  39. could you please tell me the store/brand of tart shells you use? [email protected]. I am searching for some and have only been able to find what I am looking for in Canada. I live in Salt Lake City, UT though so that’s not very convenient. Thank you!

     

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