Old Fashioned Butter Tart Recipe

You must simply try these old fashioned butter tart recipes. Because, let's face it who doesn't love Canadian butter tarts? We all do, and the gooier and chewier the better.

These butter tarts are the best you've ever tasted. They are the same ones that Grandma served on family occasions and took to church bake sales. You will love them!

 Grandma's Best Old Fashioned Butter Tart Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (1920s)

Homemade Butter Tart with Whole PecansEnjoy Chewy Homemade Pecan Butter Tarts
(Source: ©fudio/Depositphotos.com)

Old Time Butter Tarts

1 egg, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup currants, butter size of a walnut, flavor to taste. Combine all ingredients and beat until full of bubbles.

Drop mixture from teaspoon into lined tart shells and bake in a quick oven (425°F) (182°C).

One cup of dates or raisins may be substituted for currants, if desired.

Quick and Easy Butter Tarts

1 cup brown sugar
Butter, size of walnut
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Line tart tins with pastry. Combine above ingredients and fill shells. Bake until golden brown at 375°F.

Chewy Canadian Butter Tarts

Plateful of Homemade Butter Tarts Arranged on a Lace DoilyPlateful of Homemade Butter Tarts with Raisins
(PD Source: Don Bell)

2 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups raisins
2 tablespoons milk
Pastry for tarts

Beat eggs. Add brown sugar, butter, vanilla, fruit, and milk. Line tart tins with uncooked pastry dough, place a spoonful of mixture in each tart shell and bake in hot oven (475°F) for 15 minutes.


Instead of raisins, substitute currants or chopped dates or chopped figs or chopped walnuts or whole pecans. Delicious.

Cinnamon Butter Tarts

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup currants
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cinnamon to taste

Blend together all ingredients as listed above. Spoon mixture into prepared tart shells.

Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes, then lower oven to 350°F for additional 10 minutes.

Taffy Butter Tarts

2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup golden syrup
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup raisins
Tart pastry

Beat eggs, add sugar, syrup, butter, and raisins. Line tart tins with pastry and put 1 teaspoonful of mixture in each tart shell. Bake tarts in hot oven (450°F) for 15 minutes. Enjoy.

Butterscotch Pie

While it's true this isn't an old fashioned butter tart recipe, if you add the raisins, this vintage no bake pie tastes very similar to a HUGE butter tart. And it's so good, especially with the raisins added!


1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons butter
Dash of salt
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 pie shell, baked

Put brown sugar, starch, butter, and salt in saucepan. Combine 2 cups hot milk and vanilla and add slowly while stirring. Cook and stir until thickened. Cook slightly.

After removing from heat, slowly add the beaten egg yolk. Pour into pre-baked pie shell. Let chill. Serve with meringue made from egg white, if you wish.

Variation: Add 1-1/2 cups raisins if desired.

History of the Old Fashioned Butter Tart Recipe

Earliest Canadian Butter Tarts RecipeEarliest Published Recipe for Canadian Butter Tarts
(Source: Royal Victoria Cook Book, Barrie, Ontario, 1900)

The earliest known published recipe for Canadian Butter Tarts can be traced to the Royal Victoria Cook Book, compiled by The Women's Auxiliary to Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ontario, in 1900.

Filling for Tarts: One cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 eggs, 1 cup currants; mix. Fill the tarts and bake. —Mrs. Malcolm MacLeod

Mrs. Malcolm MacLeod, submitted her original recipe, and it called for currants. Eventually, raisins and walnuts became common ingredients for homemade butter tarts — Canada's gift to the World.

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