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Candian Butter Tarts on a plate with some whipped cream in a bowl
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5 from 5 votes

Canadian Butter Tarts

These Canadian Butter Tarts are a quintessential Canadian dessert. They're beyond simple, super sweet and gooey and fabulous served warm, topped with fresh whipped cream!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time17 mins
Chilling Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 17 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: butter tarts, pie crust, tarts
Servings: 12 tarts
Calories: 240kcal
Author: MaryAnn Dwyer


Pastry Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for dusting
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar


  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg


Pastry Dough

  • Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together. Add the cubed butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until the mixture is in pea-size pieces.
  • In a small bowl, mix the water, egg yolk and vinegar until well combined. Add to the flour mixture, using a fork to combine. Add an additional tablespoon water if the mixture appears dry.
  • Knead the dough to bring it together to form a flat disc. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 16x12-inch rectangle, about 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Use a 4-inch round cookie cutter to cut 12 pieces, rerolling the dough if you need to. Press circles into standard muffin tin. (as pictured) Refrigerate while you make the filling.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a standard sized muffin tin lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.


  • In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar and salt. Add the butter and beat by hand until smooth. Add the vanilla and egg and mix until combined. Do not use an electric mixer.
  • Divide the filling into the tart shells, filling each until about half full. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes for a runnier tart or 17-19 for a firmer tart. I baked mine for 17 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges of each tart to loosen. Cool completely in tin. To remove, run a knife around and under each tart and pop out. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream.


As I mentioned above, you can opt to add the raisins or leave them out. I left them out.
The New York Times recipe also mentioned that you can substitute a combination of 1/3 cup maple syrup, corn syrup or golden syrup plus 2/3 cup brown sugar in place of the one cup brown sugar for a runnier tart. I went with the one cup brown sugar and the tarts were delicious. I thought they had the perfect ooey-gooey consistency.
If you do use Pillbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts, you will need one full box.


Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 93mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 397IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg