Butter tarts are a British staple. These English ones have been in my family long enough that we don't know the origin. They're fantastic with a sweet, homemade crust, but are my favourite treat to whip up quickly when I have shells pre-made. A fantastic winter or Christmas treat, they're delicious with warm cider.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
25 mins
additional:
10 mins
total:
45 mins
Servings:
24
Yield:
24 2-inch tarts
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Ingredients

24
Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Place tart shells on a baking sheet.

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  • Bake in the preheated oven until edge of crust is golden, about 10 minutes.

  • Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Position a rack in the upper 1/3 of the oven.

  • Whisk brown sugar, golden syrup, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt together in a bowl until smooth. Fill pastry shells with sugar mixture about 2/3-full.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until filling foams and is bubbly and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove pan and cool for a few minutes on a wire rack; serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook's Notes:

Good tarts should have a light brown, bubbly, soft-crust, and should be gooey, with a bit of liquid (syrup) inside. They should not be jelly-like, or 'jammy'. The tarts will fall as they cool.

Do not substitute anything for the butter; this will affect the taste and consistency. Margarine will make them oily and wet.

Golden syrup is an English molasses-type product; it is clear and thick. Popular brand Tate & Lyle's(R) is preferable, but light golden corn syrup should make a good substitute if necessary.

Raisins or nuts can be added for a variation: place raisins or nuts into the shells, before adding the filling.

Nutrition Facts

186 calories; protein 1.5g 3% DV; carbohydrates 29g 9% DV; fat 7.7g 12% DV; cholesterol 33.6mg 11% DV; sodium 116.4mg 5% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (9)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/01/2015
First off - love the simplicity of this recipe. It is perfect. I did however make an alteration - I added 2tbs of cream to the butter mix and I used 50/50 butter margarine mix. I have done the recipe both the original and with the alterations, but my family and I much preferred it with the cream added - made a world of difference! I will also add that I cut the recipe in HALF and I still had enough to fill 24 tarts (with homemade crust in a muffin pan) - so the butter recipe does yield a lot of extra - a perfect option to do the butter pie instead! Read More
(3)
10 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/02/2015
For the first time making this recipe I was pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to make and remove from the oven without much fuss. Unfortunately some stuck to the bottom of the pan and made a mess for me to clean up but others were very easy and made the experience that much more fun. I rated this recipe a 5 star rating since they were just the right amount of sweetness without anything extra added to them. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
11/30/2015
First off - love the simplicity of this recipe. It is perfect. I did however make an alteration - I added 2tbs of cream to the butter mix and I used 50/50 butter margarine mix. I have done the recipe both the original and with the alterations, but my family and I much preferred it with the cream added - made a world of difference! I will also add that I cut the recipe in HALF and I still had enough to fill 24 tarts (with homemade crust in a muffin pan) - so the butter recipe does yield a lot of extra - a perfect option to do the butter pie instead! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
12/31/2016
First time ever making butter tarts. They were very yummy & easy to make but I had to cook them a fair bit longer than stated in the directions as the filling was pretty runny once I bit into them. I think I probably added on another 10 minutes only because I prefer my filling not to be as runny. Added pecans...I could have added more pecans in my opinion but they were pretty small tarts. My college age son loved them & he's pretty picky...score 1 for me! Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/27/2016
Ive reviewed these before - just wanted to add that if you use premade shells most are NOT deep at all. 1TBSP of fill per cup will pretty much fill it to the top. I used Great Value shells (Walmart) and one butter batch will actually make you closer to 50 tarts - give or take (more give lol) This is a very large batch if you are not making your own shells that are cupcake pan deep. keep that in mind - if you truly only want to make a dozen and are using store bought shallow desert shells - cut the recipe in half:) Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2015
For how easy these were I give them 5 stars! They are sweet and delicious! I used store bought tart shells that were 3 inches but aren't very deep and had lots of filling left. Next time I will definitely add some raisins. This is my first time making butter tarts and with a recipe this easy I can see myself making these again and again! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
08/18/2016
very good! i only made a third of the recipe and it was enough to fill 15 store-bought tart shells. i love the consistency (no runniness) and none of the tarts overflowed in the oven. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
04/03/2019
Amazing made them for a few functions everyone loves them! I substituted half of the golden syrup with maple syrup and added pecans and raisins. We Canadians love our maple syrup eh? Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/01/2019
Yummy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/19/2018
I used the brandy snap baskets recipe on this site for the shells... It was awesome!! And looks way more fancy than the amount of time prep actually took. Read More