15 ways to reinvent the butter tart

Butter tart

Canadians are passionate about their butter tarts. From coast to coast, cottagers, cooks, and pastry enthusiasts will tell you exactly what makes the perfect tart. Some like it with nuts, others with raisins, and for the purists out there, the tart begins and ends with just the right pastry and a sweet gooey filling. There is no better inspiration for your next dessert than the butter tart, so in honour of unofficial butter tart month, we’ve discovered 20 creative tarts to add a little pizzazz to your dessert tray this summer.

Let us know your favourite way to eat a butter tart in the comments below!

1. Butterscotch Pudding Tarts

Butterscotch pudding tarts

If you ever had an affinity for pudding cups, these tarts will bring you back to your childhood lunchroom in just one or two bites. A wholesome crust supports a filling of homemade pudding with a hint of whisky. Recipe: www.danatreat.com

2. Rustic Rhubarb Tarts

Rustic Rhubarb Tarts

With spring in full bloom, rhubarb is delicious and plentiful across Canada and, if you’re lucky enough to have a crop in your backyard, you can harvest it for these flavourful tarts. Recipe: www.smittenkitchen.com

3. Butter Tart Cupcakes

Butter tart cupcakes

Celebrating a birthday or baking for the wedding of two butter tart enthusiasts? These cupcakes based on the classic Canadian tart will have your mouth watering. The cake is raisin, with a creamy brown butter icing. The best part? There is a mini butter tart baked right in the middle of these beauties. Recipe: www.cccakery.com

4. Chocolate Caramel Tartlets


The butter tart lover who also has a sweet-tooth for chocolate will love these, made with a chocolate crust with salted caramel and thick chocolate ganache. Recipe: www.davidlebovitz.com

5. Butter tart muffins

Butter tart muffin

Who says you can’t have a butter tart for breakfast? Maple syrup, nuts, raisins, and of course butter will give you that much needed morning sugar boost. Recipe: www.nummykitchen.blogspot.ca

6. Mini Pecan Phyllo Tarts

Pecan tarts

Let’s face it; butter tarts are the ultimate indulgence and quite a commitment at upwards of 250 to 300 calories a pop. These mini pecan phyllo tarts offer a similar flavour, but are significantly lighter at only 68 calories, making them a perfect dessert for anyone who is actually counting calories. Recipe: www.skinnytaste.com

7. Cranberry White Chocolate Tarts


These beautiful tarts are created with a fine balance of sour cranberries and sweet, creamy white chocolate. They’d be perfect any time of the year, but especially in the fall when cranberries are plentiful. Recipe: www.pastryaffair.com

8. Maple Butter Tart Pie 

Butter tart pie

Looking for one giant butter tart you can share with everyone at the cottage? Or maybe just nibble away at on your own all weekend? This oversized version of the Canadian classic is complete with real maple syrup inside. Recipe: www.nlrockrecipes.com

9. Butterless Butter Tart

butter tarts

The author of this recipe calls it the “better butter tart” in reference to its all natural and unrefined ingredients. It’s sweetened with brown rice syrup and organic raisins and is entirely gluten free. This tart is perfect for those with allergies or anyone who is trying to reduce their sugar intake. Recipe: mynewroots.org

10. Brown Butter Tart with Blackberries

Brown butter tart with blackberries

These simple yet impressive tarts are adorned with fresh blackberries, but would be equally delicious topped with any summer berry. Recipe: www.saveur.com

11. Honeyed Apple Peanut Butter Tart

Apple Peanut Butter Tart

This open-faced tart is an easy one to whip up and perfect for kids. Smooth peanut butter, sliced apples, and a drizzle of honey sit atop a puff pastry tart. Recipe: www.picky-palate.com

12. Apple Butter Pie Tarts

Apple Butter Pie Tart

The classic American pie meets the quintessentially Canadian butter tart in this marriage of buttery, apple goodness. Recipe: www.tasteoflizzyt.com

13. Butter Tart Cheesecakes

Butter tart cheesecake

Corn syrup, brown sugar, raisins, and butterscotch sauce are baked into these individual desserts to emulate the delicious flavours of the classic butter tart with a creamy twist. Recipe: www.dairygoodness.ca 

14. Shreddies Butter Tart Squares

Shreddies Butter Tart Squares

A classic butter tart square recipe with an added crunch! Crushed cereal and butter make an easy crust to hold lots of delicious raisins and nuts. Recipe: www.postfoods.ca

15. S’more Tarts

Butter tart cheesecake

This recipe combines two cottage classics: the butter tart and the s’more, and not surprisingly, it delivers delicious results. Their bite-size and pretty roasted appearance makes them the perfect treat for entertaining. Recipe: www.loveandoliveoil.com

Bonus: Classic Raisin Pecan Butter Tart

butter tart

Last, but not least; for those of you who don’t like to mess with a good thing, this traditional tart features sugar, corn syrup, butter, raisins, and pecans (which can be omitted) in a traditional pastry crust. Recipe: www.cottagelife.com