Award-Winning Butter Tarts

"Butter tarts are a Canadian tradition. Waaaay back in the 1970s, a national contest here in Canada concluded that these butter tarts, originating from Wilkie's Bakery in Orillia, Ontario, were the best. I certainly think so and it's the only recipe I use. Add a sprinkle of toasted walnuts when you add the raisins, if you wish, or use only walnuts if you don't like raisins."
photo by frostingnfettuccine photo by frostingnfettuccine
photo by frostingnfettuccine
photo by tunasushi photo by tunasushi
photo by Xanthia photo by Xanthia
photo by Noreen S. photo by Noreen S.
photo by Noreen S. photo by Noreen S.
Ready In:
1hr 5mins




  • Prepare muffin pans by rolling out pie dough and cutting 4-inch (approx) circles; fit dough circles into muffin cups; set aside in fridge until ready to fill.
  • In a small bowl, place raisins and cover with hot tap water; let stand on the counter for 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together the soft butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup; stir well until sugar is dissolved and butter is creamed.
  • Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
  • Drain raisins.
  • Retrieve tart shells and divide raisins equally into all shells; then divide butter mixture into all tarts.
  • Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes; filling will be lightly browned but still bubbling.
  • Canadians fall into two camps about butter tarts and are quite loyal to their favourite type: runny or firm.
  • I like runny-- the type that dribbles when you bite into one; if you like firm, bake them for the full 20 minutes, even adding another minute or two if you wish.
  • Let cooked butter tarts cool in pans for 10 minutes after removing from oven; then remove and place on racks until completely cool.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
  1. Barbara T.
    Can I freeze these tarts?
  2. Pat R.
    Can I use honey in place of the corn syrup? I've seen several people say they used maple syrup instead. My bees have been extra generous this year.
  3. Brynn L.
    Are these regular-size muffin pans or the small muffin pans that you use?
  4. Peggy F.
    Re: Lennie's Award Winning Butter Tarts. Pastry also looks delicious. Do you have recipe for it.
  5. andolina_j
    What is the recommended baking time and temp if I wanted to use a mini cupcake pan rather than a muffin pan in order to make them bite sized?


  1. Terri F.
    Yummmmmmm! This is the second time I've made butter tarts, but the first with this recipe. I baked them for 15 minutes, and the result was a sweet, buttery, gooey tart that was so rich, I had stuff dribblin' off my chin as I ate one. (That's half the fun!) Lennie, thanks for sharing these Canadian treats with us poor deprived Americans! We missed soooo much when we were youngsters! :o)
  2. LaceyLady
    Im from Orillia Ont. and Yes these are the best Butter Tarts evr made!!! I go to the Bakery on Mississauga street about once a month to buy them for my father in law and Chiropractor.Dad rates everyones butter tarts onascale of 1- 10 and Wilkies gets a 10! EVERY TIME!!!! I, his favorite daughter-in- law USED to get only a 7-1/2, for mine but now that I see the "secret" recipe here I will soon be getting a '#10' for mine...........I dare him to tell me different!! Bonnie Lacey
  3. Graybert
    These are so very tasty! I cooked mine for 15 minutes - I too like them runny! I also used Golden Raisins for mine and added some toasted pecans to half of the tarts. As a side note - I used pre-made butter tart shells (Tenderflake) and they turned out great!! A little tip to help some of you save time. Thanks for posting this Lennie!
  4. spatchcock
    I made these just for fun today--I bought these really cute little tart pans and I was looking for a way to use them! Lennie, these were great! I just ate a hot one right from the oven. I'd never even heard of butter tarts before, but this was certainly an auspicious introduction!! Thanks!! (I made these with PetitFour's Tart Dough (Sweet) #27695--also heavenly!) Just an update-- I made these again (actually two more times) but last time I didn't have any raisins, so I just left them out. They were wonderful that way, too...although I don't know if they would still be very "Canadian" then? Anyway, just wanted to post that variation!
  5. BrendaM
    Thank you Lennie for this great recipe. My hubby loves butter tarts, but all the recipes I've used have been more firm tarts, and he likes them runny! I made these today, and I added a few broken walnuts to the raisins! They were awesome! Just the way he likes them. This will be my butter tart recipe from now on


  1. Noreen S.
    I omitted the raisins and added pecans instead. I also doubled my recipe and used half Coconut oil instead of the butter. They are DELICIOUS!! YUMMY Good and so easy to make. Thanks again for round two of my Christmas baking...???????????????
    • Review photo by Noreen S.
  2. frostingnfettuccine
    These are SO buttery and delicious! I used a couple store bought pie shells that I rolled out and then cut into 4" circles. It was super easy to do! Next time I think I'll add some pecans to the mix like others mentioned. Definitely a great recipe when you need a treat!!
  3. Ashleigh L.
    Added Pecans
  4. Miriam K.
    My husband who is very picky loved these. I used currants instead of raisins (they don't plump) and Lyle's Golden Syrup for its caramel flavour.
  5. Chardonais
    I used premade pie crust from Trader Joe's for the shells. Really tasty crust - buttery and flaky.


I have been sharing recipes here at Recipezaar since October 2001. You won't see me around anymore, although if you're an old-school Zaarite you'll remember that in the past, you couldn't shut me up!
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