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My Favorite Butter Tarts Recipe

Site Index Butter tarts Canadian recipes Christmas Christmas baking

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How to make classic Canadian butter tarts! This recipe is a true Canadian one, straight from my Grandma’s kitchen! This is the only butter tart recipe that we use every Christmas!

 Butter Tarts
Butter Tarts

How to Make Butter Tarts

Butter tarts are so truly Canadian, but here on the prairies there is only ONE recipe that we use. the Five Roses Cookbook butter tart recipe! Now of course we changed a few things, but the base of the recipe is the same as all butter tart recipes, brown sugar, eggs and raisins.

 Butter Tart Ingredients

  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/3 cup salted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 15-18 unsweetened and unbaked tart shells

Instructions

  • Melt your butter ( or margarine), then add in the vanilla, egg, cream and brown sugar. Beat until smooth.
  • Add in your raisins.

  • 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.

Classic Canadian Butter Tarts

Now, perhaps next year I will try and make my own tart shells, and make my own pastry, but there’s an adage I like to use when it comes to my baking: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I have never had a complaint that I used pre-bought shells and actually everyone is too busy drooling and grabbing more tarts to really notice or care. The filling is the most important part, of course, but it works to perfection with the pre-made tart shells.

If you want a pastry you can make the one with my Mincemeat Tarts with Butter Pastry, the pastry is easy and perfect for butter tarts as well!

Happy Baking!

Love,

Karlynn

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Looking for a delicious butter tart recipe? This classic Canadian recipe is the most popular one on the prairies and is perfect for your holiday baking! #buttertarts #Christmas #baking

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Butter Tart Recipe

Looking for a delicious butter tart recipe? This classic Canadian recipe is the most popular one on the prairies and is perfect for your holiday baking!
5 from 20 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Total Time
25 minutes
Course
Dessert
Cuisine
Canadian
Servings
18
Calories
161
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 18 of tart shells

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. 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
  4. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes, until the rims of the tarts are beautifully browned.

Recipe Notes

IF you want to be really traditional, use currants instead of raisins in the tarts.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 18g, Calories: 161kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 78mg, Potassium: 55mg, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 2.4%, Vitamin C: 0.3%, Calcium: 1.6%, Iron: 8.6%

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 Canadian 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!

Learn more about me

Site Index Butter tarts Canadian recipes Christmas Christmas baking

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Elaine Cox says

    These look wonderful, can’t wait to try!

    First ingredients lists shows 1 tsp of vanilla, but further down there’s a list showing 1 TBSP of vanilla.

    I’m going with 1 tsp, but just wanted to check ~~ which is the one you meant? Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • Stacy says

      Tried these last night…what an absolutely great recipe. Very easy to make. I filled my frozen mini tart shells to the top and they didnt bubble over. I used margarine instead of butter and it has that wonderful old school butter tart flavor that Im used to being a Canadian Prairies gal….. Great Recipe

  2. Leanne says

    Your recipe is very similar to my grandmother’s. I tried yours, but did one thing that my grandmother did that I think, based on your information, you’d be a fan of. Soak your raisins in a few tablespoons of warm bourbon, rum, brandy, or triple sec while you prepare the other ingredients. The drain the raisins (drink the rum), pat dry, pick off any annoying stems from the raisins and proceed as normal.

  3. CArol? says

    If,I use mini frozen shells,hw,long shuod I cook them,and shuod,I use same temp.

  4. ScubaMomma says

    I didn’t realize I was out of raisins until it was time to add them. Dried cranberries were a delicious substitute!

  5. ScubaMomma says

    I wonder why you picked on the eggs. The tart shells, vanilla, sugar, raisins, and cream aren’t shown in the amounts indicated, either. I can’t tell if the butter/margarine was measured or not.
    I happen to like knowing which brands were used/preferred.
    Is it really important that she got an extra one?
    When you make your own tarts, may I suggest you count exactly the same number of raisins into each shell to ensure uniformity.
    Errors happen. They can be corrected. For example, the correct spelling is recipe not recipie.

  6. WendyHoldenBrowne says

    Please update your recipie.

    Pictures shows 3 eggs recipie  calls for  one egg.

     Milk is listed in the recipie,cream is in the method.

     Are you promoting Great Canadian Superstore?

     And your picture shows 19 tarts on the baking sheet but recipie says 15-18.

     Also your tarts look like the raisins are not evenly placed in the tart shells.

     And your photos are not pleasing to the eye.

     To many errors in the recipie to trust these would be famous margarine tarts.

  7. Cuisina says

    Awesome !  Best recipe.  Simple, turned out great.  Margarine, I used Becel (NOT LIGHT), added 5% cream, not milk.  I used walnuts instead of raisins and 20 minutes was perfect. 18 minutes was perfect for lightly browned.  

  8. And I says

    I make butter tarts every Christmas but use corn syrup. But I will try yours soon. I would like to ask about the ingredients and instructions. The ingredients say 2 tablespoons of milk but the directions say add cream. Which is it.

  9. angieerickson says

    I’d like to fill my tart shells and freeze them, and then bake when needed.  Have you tried this?  Does it work?

  10. Claire says

    This has become my go to butter tart recipe!

    Easy, tasty and I am smelling some baking in the oven right now!

    Thank you for this delicious recipe!

  11. tracywestrand says

    I got this a couple yrs back while at work and my co worker, who’s the true baker between the two of us, loooved them and I have been making them ever since. Simple things are normally what people like in my experience. You know you got something good when the elderly are asking you for the recipe lol. Feels damn good

  12. stephalbers4 says

    I’ve lived in Canada my whole life and butter tarts are my favourite treat. I go to school in Detroit now and I made your recipe for a diversity class where we all brought a cultural food, these Americans LOVED them. Even though Canada is a small river away, none of them even heard of butter tarts. Some said they’d come to Canada just to get them, thats how much they loved your recipe. Thanks so much! 

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      stephalbers4 Aww that’s fantastic!! I am so glad that you liked them!

    • klcras says

      stephalbers4  I grew up in Detroit and had butter tarts all the time – don’t know where some people have been hiding all their life!  Good thing you are spreading the word for those who have been missing out !

      Check out the Ackroyds bakery on 5 mile in Redford for some good Scottish fare including things like butter tarts, empire biscuits, etc. 

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