Anna Olson’s Butter Tarts Are the Ultimate Canadian Treat

Butter tarts with red maple leaf decorations
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
12 tarts

Known around the world as a uniquely Canadian dessert, butter tarts are one of the tastiest things to come out of the True North. And it’s no stretch to say that Anna Olson is a butter tart expert. Even when travelling around the world, the Bake with Anna Olson star is often asked to demonstrate how to make these quintessential Canadian treats.

Related: Great Canadian Butter Tart Recipes

Like Anna’s butter tarts? Try her banoffee pie!

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For the pastry

2 ½
cups all-purpose flour
Tbsp granulated sugar
tsp salt
Tbsp vegetable oil
cup cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces (does not have to be ice cold)
cup cool water
tsp white vinegar or lemon juice

For the filling

cup dark brown sugar, packed
cup maple syrup
cup unsalted butter, melted
large eggs, at room temperature
tsp white vinegar
tsp vanilla extract
cup raisins, pecans or walnut pieces



Feel free to use other additions in place of the pecans such as raisins, walnut pieces or chocolate chips.

Step 1

Combine the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the oil and blend in using a pastry cutter, electric beaters or a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until the flour looks evenly crumbly in texture.

Step 2

Add the butter and cut in until rough and crumbly but small pieces of butter are still visible. Stir the water and vinegar (or lemon juice, if using) together and add all at once to the flour mixture, mixing just until the dough comes together. Shape the dough into 2 logs, wrap and chill until firm, at least an hour.

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 390°F and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Pull the chilled dough from the fridge 20 minutes before rolling.

Step 4

Cut each of the logs of chilled pie dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured work surface to about 5 mm thick and use a 12 cm round cookie cutter to cut each into a circle. Line each muffin cup with the pastry so that it comes about 1 cm higher than the muffin tin, and chill the lined tin while preparing the filling.

Step 5

Whisk sugar, maple syrup and butter in a bowl by hand until combined. Whisk in eggs, then vinegar and vanilla. Sprinkle a few raisins, pecans or walnut pieces into each cup and then pour the filling into the shells and bake the tarts for 5 minutes, then reduce oven to 375°F and continue baking until butter tart filling starts to dome, about 20 more minutes. Cool tarts in the tin, and chill the tarts in the tin before removing.

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