How To Make Butter Tarts

The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and if you’re an avid foodie like me, you might be wondering what mouthwatering baked goods you can make this year. This old fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth butter tart pastry is a combination of flaky, buttery crust and firm, saccharine filling.

The recipe is made without corn syrup, the filling sweetened instead with maple syrup, brown sugar, and the chewy addition of raisins. Let’s get baking.

Butter tarts on a white plate and baking rack.

Servings: 9 butter tarts

Prep Time: 25 mins.

Cook Time: 15 mins.

Step #1. Prepare Ingredients & Tools

Butter tart ingredients prepped on white background.

Filling:

  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup raisins

Pastry:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar

Tools:

  • Muffin pan
  • Baking rack
  • Rolling pin
  • 4" round cookie cutter

Step #2. Make the Butter Tart Filling

Butter and brown sugar in a bowl, whisk on the side, white background.

Mix brown sugar, melted butter, egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar thoroughly. Reserve.

Butter, eggs and brown sugar in a bowl, whisk on the side, white background.
Butter, maple syrup, eggs and brown sugar in a bowl, whisk on the side, white background.
Butter, vanilla, vinegar, maple syrup, eggs and brown sugar in a bowl, whisk on the side, white background.
Butter, vinegar, maple syrup, eggs and brown sugar in a bowl, whisk on the side, white background.
Butter tart mixture being mix in a bowl with a whisk, white background.

Step #3. Make the Butter Tart Pastry

Floured surface with a ball of dough and rolling pin.

Preheat oven to 425ºF. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Add the butter and mix with a wooden spoon until partially blended. Add water, egg yolk and vinegar and continue combining with the wooden spoon. Once it’s easy to manipulate, place over a floured surface, sprinkle with a bit of flour and knead until soft and smooth.

Step #4. Roll the Dough Out & Cut Out Circles

Floured surface with dough and rolling pin.

Use a rolling pin to spread the dough out. Cut out 9 circles with a 4” round cutter.

Floured surface with rolled out dough, a hand cutting circles out of the dough.

Step #5. Place Dough Discs in Muffin Tray

A hand placing dough discs into muffin tray.

Oil a muffin tray, and place the dough discs inside. They should be placed at the bottom and slightly up the edges.

Dough discs in a muffin tray.

Step #6. Sprinkle in Some Raisins

Dough discs in a muffin tray, a hand adding raisins.

Place a few raisins in each tart.

Step #7. Add the Brown Sugar Mixture

Butter tart mixture being poured into pastry in muffin tins.

Pour the brown sugar mixture over the raisins into each tart, leaving some room at the top of the pastry.

Step #8. Bake the Butter Tarts

Baked butter tarts in a muffin tin.

Bake for around 15 minutes - or until filling is set. Let them cool before removing from muffin tin.

Baked butter tarts on a baking rack.

Step #9. Serve & Enjoy

Butter tarts on a white plate and baking rack.
Butter tarts on a white plate and baking rack.
Butter tarts on a white plate and baking rack.
Butter tarts on a white plate and baking rack.
Butter tarts on a white plate and baking rack.

There’s such a huge selection of tarts, from pecan to cranberry, that butter tarts are often overlooked. But come holiday season, these are definitely on my baking list!

Rather than buying pre-made crust shells, this recipe gives you easy instructions on making the actual pastry. The ingredients are likely already in your kitchen: flour, butter, egg yolk, and… vinegar? Yep, you read that right! What does vinegar do in butter tarts? Some say because the filling is so wonderfully sweet, the apple cider vinegar helps balance it out for a rustic, full-bodied, tangy flavor. In the pastry itself, the vinegar helps to provide a tender, flaky crust by slightly inhibiting gluten development. If you want a firmer filling, just add another egg yolk.

Now that you know how to make butter tarts from scratch, you can bake a ton of these little bite-sized pastries in preparation for family gatherings and holiday parties. They freeze quite well, sometimes even tasting better when cold.

Did you know that butter tarts are traditionally Canadian? That explains the maple syrup!

Do you like your butter tarts runny or firm? With or without raisins?! Let us know in the comments.

How To Make Butter Tarts

This old fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth butter tart pastry is a combination of flaky, buttery crust and firm, saccharine filling.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 9 butter tarts
Calories 337kcal
Author Joss D

Ingredients

Filling:

  • cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 egg
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • cup raisins

Pastry:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar

Tools

Instructions

  • Mix brown sugar, melted butter, egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar thoroughly. Reserve.
    Butter tart mixture being mix in a bowl with a whisk, white background.
  • Preheat oven to 425ºF. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Add the butter and mix with a wooden spoon until partially blended. Add water, egg yolk and vinegar and continue combining with the wooden spoon. Once it’s easy to manipulate, place over a floured surface, sprinkle with a bit of flour and knead until soft and smooth.
    Floured surface with a ball of dough and rolling pin.
  • Use a rolling pin to spread the dough out. Cut out 9 circles with a 4” round cutter.
    Floured surface with rolled out dough, a hand cutting circles out of the dough.
  • Oil a muffin tray, and place the dough discs inside. They should be placed at the bottom and slightly up the edges.
    Dough discs in a muffin tray.
  • Place a few raisins in each tart.
    Dough discs in a muffin tray, a hand adding raisins.
  • Pour the brown sugar mixture over the raisins into each tart, leaving some room at the top of the pastry.
    Butter tart mixture being poured into pastry in muffin tins.
  • Bake for around 15 minutes - or until filling is set. Let them cool before removing from muffin tin.
    Baked butter tarts in a muffin tin.
  • Serve and enjoy!
    Butter tarts on a white plate and baking rack.
Nutrition Facts
How To Make Butter Tarts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 337 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 18mg1%
Potassium 122mg3%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 528IU11%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 41mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or dipping sauce.

Tried this recipe?Mention @inthekitchdotnet or tag #inthekitchgrams!

Another tasty holiday recipe:

Brandy Alexander Cocktail Recipe

Looking to further enhance your cooking skills? Check out...How to Make Cinnamon Buns

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