The Famous Canadian Butter Tarts

August 7, 2016

These brown sugar, bourbon, pecan, and cream filled Canadian Butter Tarts are sweet and buttery. A perfect dessert for any occasion! Your friends and family will keep asking for more!

Butter Tarts are the traditional Canadian dessert. These little cute treats are sweet and buttery. One of the best desserts I have ever tried! |

Butter Tart to Canadians is like Tiramisu to Italians or apple pie to Americans. It’s a national dessert that you can find everywhere in this beautiful North American country. There is even an annual festival dedicated solely to these sweets taking place in the town of Midland, Ontario. Every family has their own butter tart recipe and each one of them claims it to be the best. That’s always the case with traditional dishes passed through generations. I love it though! It’s awesome when everyone adds their little tweaks, making their recipe stand out!

Butter Tarts are the traditional Canadian dessert. These little cute treats are sweet and buttery. One of the best desserts I have ever tried! |

The idea to make these butter tarts came to me after remembering how awesome the Portuguese Egg Tarts I made some time ago were. They disappeared so quickly back then. Of course this time I wanted to try something new, so these little cute buttery guys from Canada were a perfect choice. When I saw the pics of these treats on other websites, I knew right away that I will love them. These Canadian butter tarts just look too good to be true. Don’t they?

Butter Tarts are the traditional Canadian dessert. These little cute treats are sweet and buttery. One of the best desserts I have ever tried! |

The dough is pretty simple. Everything you need is flour, butter, egg, some seasoning, and that’s it. But the filling is the one that steals all the spotlight here. Brown sugar, cream, bourbon, pecans! How is that for a combination? If you want to keep these butter tarts alcohol-free, just skip the bourbon. Simple as that.

Butter Tarts are the traditional Canadian dessert. These little cute treats are sweet and buttery. One of the best desserts I have ever tried! |

I’m telling you, these butter tarts are to die for. I am not overstating when I say it. They are really that good! I made them yesterday and there is already not a crumb left in the tin. Luckily my body doesn’t gain weight easily, because I would be 200 pounds after having so many desserts! Try these butter tarts at your own risk: they are super addictive. I have warned you. Butter Tarts are the traditional Canadian dessert. These little cute treats are sweet and buttery. One of the best desserts I have ever tried! |

5 from 8 votes
The Famous Canadian Butter Tarts
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Canadian Butter Tarts are a national tradition in this country. Sweet and buttery, they make a perfect dessert for any occasion!

Cuisine: Canadian
Servings: 12 tarts
Calories Per Serving: 207 kcal
Author: CookingTheGlobe
For the dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , frozen and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening , frozen and cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
For the filling:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans
  1. Add the flour and salt in a food processor and process until blended. Add the butter and pulse until you get the crumbly mixture. Add the shortening and pulse few more times.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of really cold water. Pour this mixture into the food processor while it's running and process until the dough starts forming.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Gather it together and form it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum.
  4. In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine the butter, sugar, and heavy cream.Stir until the butter is melted, and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for few minutes. Whisk in the egg, bourbon (if using), salt, and add the pecans.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  6. Take the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough to 4-inch circles. You should get about 12 circles. Now press down each one of them into the wells of a 12-well muffin tin. Fill them with the filling until they are about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake the tarts for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Let them cool for 5 minutes, then use the knife to loosen sides and remove them from the tin. Enjoy!


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  • Reply Dawn @ Words Of Deliciousness August 7, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    These little tarts look fantastic. I always love individual desserts. Yum!!

    • Reply Igor August 16, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Dawn!

  • Reply Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry August 7, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Wow these look so scrumptious. A perfect mouthful too

    • Reply Igor August 16, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      And they are so delicious! 🙂

  • Reply Molly Kumar August 7, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    These look so cute and delicious! I’m sure they make a great tea time snack. I love desserts with pecans and will try them soon. PS: I’m also looking forward to making your Portuguese Egg Tarts as they are my ALL Time Fav.

    • Reply Igor August 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Both these desserts are amazing, Molly. I am sure I will repeat them many times in the future 🙂

  • Reply Christina | Christina's Cucina August 7, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    I heard of these a while ago and had one when I went to Toronto earlier this year. I must say that they didn’t look nearly as good as yours, and I bet anything yours taste better, too! Nice!

    • Reply Igor August 16, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      You make me blush, Christina 🙂 Thank you for the kinds words!

  • Reply Lisa | Garlic + Zest August 7, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I want these in my belly right now. Beautiful photos!

    • Reply Igor August 16, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Thank you, Lisa! I love how the photos turned out too 🙂

  • Reply Sarah August 8, 2016 at 12:47 am

    These look and sound mouth-watering delicious! …that filling, with brown sugar, bourbon, heavy cream and pecans? YUM!!!! Great work! 🙂

    • Reply Igor August 16, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      I am so glad you liked them, Sarah!

  • Reply Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine August 8, 2016 at 10:09 am

    O I’ve never had one but that sounds like a lovely treat!

    • Reply Igor August 16, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      You HAVE to try them, Rebecca. They are fantastic!

  • Reply Manju | Cooking Curries August 9, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    I have only heard about them, never seen them or eaten them. Now that Ive seen them and seen how delicious they are, Im gonna have to try to get my hands on some to eat now 🙂

    • Reply Igor August 16, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      These tarts are heavenly, Manju. Let me know if you try them! 🙂

  • Reply Jean-Patrick October 25, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Love this recipe, I always add maple syrup when I make it 🙂
    P.S. Ontario is a whole province about 15 times the size of Lithuania. The festival is in Midland, ON.

    • Reply Igor November 24, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks for the correction, Jean-Patrick! You Canadians can’t live without your maple syrup as I see :)) I love it too, though!

  • Reply Platter Talk November 13, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    We used to be fed these by my Canadian relatives when we’d visit Canada! Thank you so much for the recipe!!!

    • Reply Igor November 24, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      You are welcome! I would love to get fed these 🙂

  • Reply Conie Joshi June 27, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    These looks delish! I’m going to be baking this for our Canada day celebration at work this Friday. I’ve been scheming through Pinterest and this is what I’ve chosen…I’m sure it’s going to be a hit with my co-workers. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply Igor August 1, 2018 at 7:05 am

      These tarts are so good I am sure they ended up as a hit!

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