Pies & Tarts

Canadian Butter Tarts

4.93 from 14 votes
My Canadian Butter Tarts recipe has a delicious buttery, flaky pie crust, and filled with a mapley-caramel flavored custard filling.
Tiny Canadian Butter Tarts on a cooling rack.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Many people have never heard of Candian butter tarts, and it’s long overdue that these tiny, delicious treats made their appearance outside the Great White North!

These pastries are made with a delicious buttery, flaky piecrust and filled with a mapley-caramel flavored custard filling. They’re tiny but mighty! Butter tarts are very sweet, but since they are so small, it isn’t overwhelming at all. You have to include the bit of salt in the filling; it balances it all out, leaving you with an incredibly cute and yummy tart! 

Canadian Butter Tarts aren’t the only thing from Canada I love. Did you know that some of my favorite people are Candian?! This recipe is for Kaley, Melissa, and Chad! 

Top-down view of Canadian Butter Tarts on a cooling rack.

What Are Canadian Butter Tarts?

Canadians love their butter tarts. It’s a seemingly humble dessert, but they have a long history in Canada. Some say that their origins can be traced back to Québec in the 1600s! It may have been invented during filles du roi, or The King’s Daughters, a period from 1663 to 1673 when King Louis XIV sent around 800 young French women to Québec to help colonize “New France.” Butter tarts may have been their way of baking traditional French recipes with what was available in Canada. 

But, the earliest published recipe dates 1900, and the Women’s Auxiliary of the Royal Victoria Hospital Cookbook says the tart is from Ontario. 

It’s a recipe that is passed down through families, and some secrets are heavily guarded! Don’t worry—no secrets here! 

What You Need To Make Canadian Butter Tarts

Canadian Butter Tarts arranged on a cooling rack.

How To Make Canadian Butter Tarts

Use my pie crust recipe or store-bought to make these easy, delicious little desserts! Here is how you make Canadian Butter Tarts (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below.):

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Roll out the pie crusts and cut out 12 circles using a 3-inch (7cm) round cookie cutter. 
  3. Line your muffin tin with the pie crust circles and place it in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
  4. To make the filling: Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, and butter into a small saucepan and heat until the butter has melted.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the eggs, vanilla extract, and salt.
  6. Divide the filling evenly among the crust-lined muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes or until the filling has set. Let the tarts cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and placing them on a rack to cool completely. 

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Canadian Butter Tarts

  • This recipe will give you some leftover pie crust. Sprinkle the scraps with cinnamon sugar and bake along with the tarts for a little baker’s treat!
  • You can stir in a ½ cup (2½oz/71g) raisins or chopped walnuts or pecans into the filling before filling the muffin cups for a bit of texture if you’d like.
  • These tarts are delicious with a bit of homemade whipped cream piped on top!
  • Make chocolate butter tarts by stirring in a ½ cup (3oz/85g) of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate into the filling.
  • Double my pie crust for this recipe! 

The interior of my Canadian Butter Tart recipe.

How Do I Store Canadian Butter Tarts?

You can store any leftover Canadian butter tarts in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They’re as delicious warm as they are cool! 

Make More Pies & Tarts!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Canadian Maple Butter Tarts Recipe

4.93 from 14 votes
My Canadian Butter Tarts recipe has a delicious buttery, flaky pie crust, and filled with a mapley-caramel flavored custard filling.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 tarts
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
My Canadian Butter Tarts recipe has a delicious buttery, flaky pie crust, and filled with a mapley-caramel flavored custard filling.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 tarts

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 1 cup (8floz/225ml) maple syrup
  • cup (4oz/115g) dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (2oz/57g) butter
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Roll out the pie crusts and use a 3 inch (7cm) round cookie cutter to cut out 12 circles.
  • Line a 12-cup muffin tin with the pie crust circles and place it in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
  • For the filling: Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, and butter into a small saucepan and heat until the butter melts.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs, vanilla extract, and salt.
  • Divide the filling evenly among the crust-lined muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy the tarts at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream. Store completely cooled pies in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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jo simon
jo simon
4 months ago

Are these made in a regular muffin tin, or a mini muffin tin? The pics look mini, but the recipe says ‘muffin’ tin.. thank you

Bonnie Lubbers
Bonnie Lubbers
2 months ago

Thanks for highlighting our sweet treat 🇨🇦. Like you’ve mentioned, there are variations of this dessert recipe. My Mum’s recipe used corn syrup and a bit of vinegar to counterbalance the sweetness. Best way to eat is frozen (lol) with a strong cup of coffee!!

Kim
Kim
4 months ago

My mom makes these butter tarts only for the month of december every year and these canadian butter tarts are really good and tasty.I have never made butter tarts but I have helped mom make them.

bold baker
bold baker
4 months ago

Hello Gemma,
I love eaten canadian tarts, and this recipe was PERFECTION. The centre had a slightly diff texture than the original but i preferred this to be honest. You should release a cookbook. Itll be very successful!!!!

Helen Webster
Helen Webster
2 months ago

Ours always had raisins in them

Beth
Beth
3 months ago

Thank you for this recipe Gemma!! I am going to make it today!

Veronica Moyer
4 months ago

We have been making these for years and called them Nut Tossies. The recipe was a little different but so delicious.

Muthuselvi Venkatkumar
Muthuselvi Venkatkumar
4 months ago

Can you give me a substitute for maple syrup?

Beehoo
4 months ago

I grew up eating butter tarts with raisins or currants but the old family recipe did not call for maple syrup, using corn syrup instead. Hmmm. Maybe it depends on which province you’re from.

Barb
Barb
4 months ago

Hello from the west coast of Canada. I have been making Butter Tarts for years with currents… raisins are too big.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!