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Homemade Butter Tarts | Grandma’s Recipe Has Only 3 Ingredients!

Homemade Butter Tarts.

This post was originally published in November 2015 and updated on June 24, 2018. 

An awesome family favorite, the Butter Tart is the number 1 tart in our family!   Did you know that Butter Tarts are uniquely Canadian and this gooey confection is often judged by its syrup factor.  If the the syrup runs up your arm as you try to eat it, you know you have a winner!

For those of you who love butter tarts and syrupy desserts, be sure to visit our Easy Chocolate Pecan Pie – just like a huge Pecan Butter Tart!

Why there are even Butter Tart Tours so that you can do a day trip and eat your way through dozens of butter tart bakeries!  Check out the Kawartha Butter Tart Tour , even a Butter Tart Festival! Wowser!

Our Cranberry Cherry Tarts With Almond Glaze is another favorite from Grandma’s recipe files.  It’s just so perfect, especially around the holidays!

Homemade Butter Tarts come with raisin or without, with pecans, walnuts.  I prefer the classics, no fruit or nuts for me!  And you can get them just about anywhere – at the grocer, convenience store, restaurants, diners and now even coffee stores.  I must admit I can rarely resist just having one.  They are quite calorie friendly too – about 300 calories per tart for the regular sized ones – and loaded with – you guessed it! Sugar.

There are lots of great recipes out there and its fun to try new ones, like this one I found on – it’s kind of cool and gives a really good history of the butter tart and its Canadian roots!

Homemade Butter tarts are a Canadian tradition. In my family the Butter Tart is known as a Honey Tart and such a rare treat that it was always coveted and one just wouldn’t do.  My Grandma would always have a dozen or so freshly baked tarts on hand and would laugh out loud at the expressions on our faces.

 The combination of the sweet sticky filling and the melt in your mouth flaky pie crust far surpassed any of the store bought treats consumers load up on today.  All by using a simple pastry recipe and being creative with eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.
Yes that’s all it takes.  And the secret ingredient?  Well that’s easy – love.  In the case of my siblings and I – from our Mom and Grandmother – because Mom would make these deliciously sweet mini pies for special occasions too!

So here it is – passed down by four generations….to you!

Homemade Butter Tarts

12 small tart shells using my pastry recipe –Tip:  I grease the tin with shortening, as this will help to ease the tarts out of the tart tin.  (You can use a small muffin tin as well)

  • 1 egg
  • one cup Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Pour the filling into the tart shells about 2/3 full.  Bake in the bottom third of an oven at 350F for 20 – 30 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy!


An awesome family favorite, Homemade Butter tarts are the number 1 tart in our family! This recipe is so easy and freezes well so you can double the batch! Only three ingredients to mix up and bake in that delicious buttery pie crust. Yum!
Yield: 12

Homemade Butter Tarts

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

The sweetest and the best homemade butter tart minis.  A family recipe!


  • 12 individual tart shells, ready made, or use my pie crust recipe!
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla


  1. Mix all 3 ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Using a tablespoon, pour into each tart shell, filling 2/3 full.
  3. Bake at 350F for 10 to 12 minutes.


prep time includes using frozen ready made tart shells.  If you use my pie crust recipe you will need to add another 60 minutes (which includes 30 minutes to chill the pastry)

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Judy Kahansky is an experienced writer and baker, creating delicious desserts (including pie!) for over 40 years. She loves to take classic and vintage recipes and update them to fit the busy lives of her readers. When not baking, Judy and her husband Mark are passionate golfers, travelers and dog lovers, spending as much time as they can with their sweet pup Millie.

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Saturday 7th of April 2018

Sounds fantastic except for the calories/fat content listed under the recipe..... :)


Saturday 7th of April 2018

Oh my goodness Anne! Thanks so much for point this out. All fixed now. Whew! These tarts are about 1/2 the size of a regular bakery style butter tart. So 80 calories is much more realistic. :)


Thursday 14th of December 2017

Homemade. Butter Tarts. Only three ingredients! These three words caught my attention! So glad to have found your blog post. Thank you so very much for the recipe, Judy! Loving your blog, all the love from Nepal, keep posting more! xoxo


Friday 15th of December 2017

Hey thanks Ushmana! These tarts are amazing and really easy to make... Enjoy!

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