Classic Butter Tarts


  • Prep Time20 mins
  • Total Time1 hr 40 mins
  • Makes12
*PLUS 1 hour 20 minutes chill
Classic Butter Tarts

(Photo: Erik Putz)

Chatelaine Triple Tested

We set out to develop the ultimate butter tart — and we nailed it. These indulgent treats wrap a gooey, sweet filling in a perfectly flaky pastry.


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1/4 cup cold lard, cubed

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tsp white vinegar

  • 1/4 cup ice water


  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup white corn syrup

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 tsp white vinegar

  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • WHIRL flour and salt in a food processor. Add butter and lard. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Whisk yolk, vinegar and ice water in a small bowl. With motor running, pour through feed tube while pulsing until just combined. Wrap with plastic wrap and press into a disc. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  • POSITION rack in bottom of oven. Preheat oven to 450F.

  • WHISK sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, eggs, butter, vanilla, vinegar and salt in a bowl until smooth.

  • ROLL out dough on a lightly floured surface to ⅛-in. thickness. Cut into 12 rounds using a 4 ½-in. round cookie cutter, re-rolling scraps. Gently press rounds into a 12-cup muffin pan. Press sides to adhere. Refrigerate for 20 min. Spoon 2 tbsp filling into each pastry.

  • BAKE for 8 min. Reduce heat to 400F and open oven slightly for 10 sec. Bake until filling is puffed and pastry is golden, about 7 more min. Let stand on rack for 3 min. Run a small knife around the edges of tarts and transfer to rack to cool completely.

Butter tart step-by-step

Pulse first 4 ingredients in a food processor.

Classic butter tarts, step 1

Whisk next 3 in a bowl. Pulse into flour mixture.

Butter tarts, step 2

Wrap with plastic wrap and press into a disc. Chill for 1 hour.

Butter tarts, step 3

Whisk filling ingredients in a bowl.

Butter tarts step 4

Roll out dough and cut into rounds. Press into muffin pan. Chill.

Butter tarts, step 5

Spoon in filling.

Butter tarts, step 6

Butter tart variations

Chocolatey Butter Tarts

Top each tart with 2 tsp coarsely chopped dark chocolate just before baking.

Boozy Butter Tarts

Stir 1 tbsp whisky into filling just before pouring into pastry. Top each tart with 1 tsp chopped dried cranberries.

Pecan Butter Tarts

Top each tart with 1 tsp chopped pecans before baking.

Nutrition (per tart)

Calories 276, Protein 3g, Carbohydrates 35g, Fat 15g, Sodium 142mg.