Canadian Butter Tarts

Canadian Butter Tarts: A Decadent Fusion of Sweetness and Richness

Transport yourself to the sweet realms of Canadian culinary delight with our Canadian Butter Tarts recipe. These delectable treats are a true testament to the nation’s love for rich, gooey, and irresistibly sweet desserts. With a flaky pastry crust embracing a luscious buttery filling, every bite of these tarts is a celebration of sweetness and indulgence. Join us on a journey to create these iconic Canadian treats in the comfort of your own kitchen.


For the Pastry:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water

For the Butter Tart Filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins or pecan halves (optional)


Making the Pastry:

  1. Prepare the Dough: In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, and salt. Add the chilled butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Add Ice Water: Gradually add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing until the dough just comes together. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Roll out the Dough: On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut rounds using a cookie cutter or a glass and press them into tart pans. Chill again while preparing the filling.

Making the Butter Tart Filling:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Prepare the Filling: In a bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Add Raisins or Pecans: If desired, add raisins or pecan halves to each tart shell.
  4. Fill the Tart Shells: Spoon the filling into the prepared tart shells, filling each about two-thirds full.
  5. Bake to Perfection: Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling is set with a slight jiggle.
  6. Cool and Enjoy: Allow the tarts to cool in the pans for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cook Notes:

  • For an extra flaky pastry, ensure the butter in the dough is cold, and avoid overmixing.
  • If using raisins, you can soak them in warm water or rum for added plumpness and flavor.


  • Nutty Bliss: Instead of raisins, use chopped pecans, walnuts, or a mix for a nutty variation.
  • Chocolate Drizzle: Drizzle melted chocolate over the cooled tarts for a delightful chocolatey twist.

Keto-Friendly Tweaks:

For the Pastry:

  • Almond Flour Base: Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour for a keto-friendly crust.

For the Butter Tart Filling:

  • Low-Carb Sweeteners: Use a blend of erythritol and stevia in place of brown sugar for a keto-friendly sweetness.

Low Carb Version:

For the Pastry:

  • Coconut Flour Addition: Combine almond flour with coconut flour for a low-carb, gluten-free crust.

For the Butter Tart Filling:

  • Sugar-Free Syrup: Replace maple syrup with a sugar-free alternative to reduce carb content.

Canadian Butter Tarts are more than a dessert; they are a cultural treasure, embodying the warmth and sweetness of Canada’s culinary heritage. Whether you’re savoring the classic version or exploring keto and low-carb adaptations, each bite is a journey into the world of buttery, sugary bliss. Share these tarts with family and friends, and let the rich flavors and flaky pastry become a shared memory at your table. As you embark on this culinary adventure, may the Canadian Butter Tarts bring a touch of sweetness to your home and create moments of joy with every delightful bite!

Tips for Butter Tart Mastery:

  • Chill, Chill, Chill: Ensure both the pastry dough and assembled tart shells spend enough time in the refrigerator. This helps maintain the flakiness of the crust during baking.
  • Maple Syrup Selection: Opt for pure maple syrup for an authentic Canadian touch. The depth of flavor it adds is unparalleled.
  • Perfectly Set Filling: To achieve the perfect consistency, the filling should be set with a slight jiggle in the center when you take the tarts out of the oven. It will continue to set as it cools.
  • Personalize the Pastry: Add a hint of citrus zest or a dash of cinnamon to the pastry dough for an extra layer of flavor.

Keto-Friendly Tweaks:

  • Keto-Friendly Sweetener Balancing: Experiment with different ratios of erythritol and stevia to find the right level of sweetness for your keto-friendly version.
  • Almond Flour Texture: Almond flour can be a bit denser, so consider adding a touch of psyllium husk or coconut flour to improve the texture.
  • Sugar-Free Maple Flavoring: Enhance the maple flavor without the carbs by using a sugar-free maple-flavored syrup.

Low Carb Adventures:

  • Nuts Galore: Boost the nutty goodness by combining chopped almonds, pecans, and walnuts for a low-carb, nutty twist.
  • Cinnamon Spice: Infuse the filling with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon for a warm, low-carb flavor addition.
  • Creamy Mascarpone Filling: Replace some of the butter in the filling with mascarpone for a lusciously creamy, low-carb variation.

Canadian Butter Tarts are a celebration of sweetness, warmth, and tradition. Whether you’re following the classic recipe, venturing into keto-friendly alternatives, or exploring low-carb adaptations, each version reflects a delicious journey into the heart of Canadian dessert culture. As the aroma of buttery goodness fills your kitchen and the golden tarts emerge from the oven, may the experience be a reminder of the joy found in sharing iconic treats with those you hold dear. So, embrace the buttery bliss, savor the sweetness, and let Canadian Butter Tarts become a cherished part of your culinary repertoire!

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