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Pies & Tarts

Traditional Treacle Tart

5 from 2 votes
My traditional treacle tart recipe is made with a buttery crust and filled with a delicious lemony-sweet filling that is sweetened with golden syrup (or light treacle.)
Treacle Tart With Whipped Cream

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHAT YOU GET: A traditional English treacle tart with a simple lemon filling, buttery crust, and a distinctive, pleasing texture. It’s very simple to make — and it uses my foolproof pie crust that anyone can handle.

In my early 20s, I used to cook for retired priests in a priory in Dublin. It was my job to make them lunch, dinner, and, of course, dessert. I would spend the entire day baking for them — and this homemade treacle tart was always high on their wish list. 

This simple, but not to be underestimated, traditional treacle tart is made with a buttery crust and filled with a delicious lemony-sweet filling that is sweetened with golden syrup (or light treacle.) To get this tart’s signature texture, fresh breadcrumbs are added to the filling. I like to use my homemade breadcrumbs for this recipe. If you don’t have treacle, you can make a golden syrup substitute at home.

Serve this fan-favorite warm with a nice scoop of clotted creamhomemade crème anglaise, or homemade vanilla ice cream

A slice of treacle tart with the rest of the tart in the background

What Is Treacle Tart?

Treacle tart is a dessert that’s rich in history, from its earliest documented recipe in the late 19th century to appearing in the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to being known as Harry Potter’s favorite food. The first recipe for a treacle tart is believed to be by Mary Jewry, which was actually printed before the invention of golden syrup! Back then, Mary used black treacle, which is darker than golden syrup and has a stronger, slightly bitter, flavoring. 

Since the main ingredient of treacle tart is golden syrup, you can expect a very sweet dessert. By adding lemon juice, you cut the sweetness and give the tart a nice citrus flavor. In order to give it texture, breadcrumbs are added to the syrup mixture. 

What Is Golden Syrup?

Golden syrup, or light treacle, is a popular baking ingredient in Ireland. It is a thick, amber-colored syrup that you would use in recipes that include corn syrup. Golden syrup is a form of inverted sugar syrup, which is made in the process of refining sugar cane or sugar beet juice into sugar. It has the same consistency as honey and looks similar as well. 

If you can’t find golden syrup, you can make a homemade substitute version or use dark corn syrup.

What Is Blind Baking?

For this recipe, you have to blind bake your pie crust. Baking blind is a method of baking in which a pie crust, or other pastry without the filling, is partially or fully baked before adding in the filling. Learn more about blind baking here

Tools You Need To Make Treacle Tart

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 9-inch (23cm) shallow pie tin
  • Pie weights
  • Parchment paper
  • Medium saucepan
  • Mixing bowls

Top-down view of my treacle tart recipe with whipped cream

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Traditional Treacle Tart

  • Use my Flakey Pie Crust recipe. If you don’t have pie weights, dried beans, lentils, or rice work just as well.
  • This recipe requires the crust to be ‘blind baked. Here is a step-by-step post on How to Blind Bake a Crust.
  • It’s important to use fresh breadcrumbs for this recipe – dried, pre-packaged breadcrumbs are too fine and won’t give you the right texture. Easily make your own Homemade Breadcrumbs here.
  • If you don’t have golden syrup, it’s easy to make your own!
  • You can play around with variations on this tart by adding a teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger or a ½ a teaspoon of a dry spice, like cinnamon. You can even try replacing the lemon zest and juice with the zest and juice of an orange.

Make More Pie!

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

Full (and printable) recipe below!

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Traditional Treacle Tart Recipe

5 from 2 votes
My traditional treacle tart recipe is made with a buttery crust and filled with a delicious lemony-sweet filling with golden syrup.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8 people
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
My traditional treacle tart recipe is made with a buttery crust and filled with a delicious lemony-sweet filling with golden syrup.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8 people


  • 1 recipe pie crust
  • 1 ¼ cups (12½oz/354g) golden syrup
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 ¼ cups (3¼oz/90g) fresh breadcrumbs (preferably homemade)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • Whipped cream (for serving)


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Roll out the pie crust and line a 9-inch (23cm) shallow pie tin with it.
  • Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, line with parchment and pie weights, and bake for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the parchment and pie weights and bake the crust for another 10 minutes, until pale golden and baked through. (Learn more about ‘Blind Baking’ here)
  • While the pastry is cooking, make the filling: In a medium saucepan, over low heat, combine the golden syrup and lemon zest, and juice until the syrup is warm and runny.
  • Remove from the heat, stir in the breadcrumbs and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the cream and egg together and then stir this into the cooled breadcrumb mixture.
  • Spread the filling evenly into the par-cooked crust, return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is golden brown.
  • Let cool for at least 20 minutes and serve warm with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. Store leftovers loosely covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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Thelma G. Woods
Thelma G. Woods
10 months ago

My grandma made this, we called it syrup pie 😆

Josephine Bunn
Josephine Bunn
10 months ago

What is golden syrup?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


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