Pecan Butter Tarts are a classic Canadian dessert that are actually quite easy to make. They are sweet, gooey and the perfect treat to end a nice meal.
You may think that you’ve found the ultimate dessert with Pecan Pie, but you’ll just love these Pecan Butter Tarts that take those delicious nuts to new heights.
Pecan Butter Tarts are a classic Canadian dessert, and they always make a splash at garden parties and cozy winter gatherings. What’s more, they pair perfectly with a warm cup of herbal tea after a stressful day at the office.
In my opinion, butter tarts are Canada’s best dessert. Not only are they the country’s quintessential pastry, but the earliest published recipe dates to a humble Ontarian recipe book from 1900. However, it’s said that butter tarts were seen in Quebec as early as the 17th century. So, these tarts have had plenty of time to make a solid impression.
Personally, I can never turn one down!
John and I used to buy them from a vendor at our local farmer’s market, as the homemade ones are typically so much better than store-bought versions. When you arrived, you’d always see people lining up before the stall even opened. They were just that good! We always got there early enough to snag a few, but she always sold out and would have to turn away disappointed customers.
If you can’t get to an Ontario farmers market, this recipe is a great alternative as it’s easy to follow and uses simple ingredients. The pastry remains crisp and firm while the filling is rich, nutty, and bursting with flavor.
What makes this recipe particularly good is the fact that you can easily cut down on prep time by using pre-made tart shells!
Why You’ll Love Pecan Butter Tarts
- They’re quick and easy to make
- They’re always a hit at gatherings
- They’re perfectly sweet but still have a rich and buttery flavor that keeps the dessert balanced
- You can easily get kiddos involved with mixing and filling
- The combination of the super flaky shell and the intense filling is delightful
- Mini tart shells (or make your own with your favorite recipe)
- Brown sugar
How to Make Pecan Butter Tarts
- Step One: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Step Two: Mix melted butter, brown sugar, egg, and pecans in a mixing bowl.
- Step Three: Fill each tart shell with nut filling but be careful not to overfill.
- Step Four: Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until light golden brown.
- Step Five: Cool in pan for 3 minutes. Then, remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
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What to Serve with Pecan Butter Tarts
What you serve with these Pecan Butter Tarts will depend on the occasion. If you’d like to enjoy these at home on a summer’s day, pair them with a decadent milkshake. Throwing a major event? Add a couple of extra desserts to the snack table!
- Nutella Coffee Milkshake
- Dulce de Leche Coffee Milkshake
- Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
- Peanut Butter Pie
- Maple Pecan Squares
- Pecan Butter Tart Buns
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Don’t be afraid of using pre-made tarts. I get that you might want to make your own for bragging rights, but there’s nothing wrong with cutting down prep time and making your life easier!
- If you’re baking your own butter tarts, be careful that the tarts don’t boil over. The trick here is to turn them every 10 minutes until they start to brown. This should keep them perfectly formed and prevent them from under or overcooking.
- When you’re making these tarts, you should always grease the tin you’re using lightly. This is more if you’re making your own tarts, but you don’t want things sticking to the pan and breaking apart even if you’re using pre-made shells!
- Use softened butter if you’re making the tarts by hand. This will make the butter easier to cut and keep the crust uber-flaky.
- Bake your tarts in the lower third of the oven. This will help the bottoms brown at the same time as the edges.
- Don’t forget to leave the tarts in the pan for a few minutes. This part is crucial, as it’ll make them way easier to flip out.
Variations and Substitutions
- These tarts can be easily adapted to suit your taste. I always love using pecans, but you can use walnuts, chocolate chips, or leave them plain if you wish! I tend to switch things up depending on my mood, so don’t worry too much about skipping the pecans.
- If you want to make these vegan, feel free to substitute the butter with vegan butter and the egg with flax meal and warm water. They won’t be quite the same, but they’ll work just as well!
These tarts are easy to store. You simply need to pop them in an airtight container and leave them in the fridge for a few days. You can keep them on the counter, but you’ll need to eat them within a couple of days (if they last that long!).
Can I Freeze?
Yes! These Pecan Butter Tarts freeze well. I usually make a ton of extra tarts to freeze and just put them in freezer bags.
I recommend labeling the bags with the date you make them clearly visible, as they’ll only keep in the freezer for 3 months or so.
When you’re ready to eat them, thaw the tarts overnight in the fridge and then put them in the oven for 10 minutes to warm up.
Butter Tart Related Recipes
If you’re looking for similar recipes to this one (but with a twist!), be sure to check out these related recipes.
- Pecan Butter Tart Buns: These are a cross between Pecan Butter Tarts, Chelsea Buns, and Monkey Bread and are super indulgent!
- Butter Tart Muffins: A breakfast twist on a classic Canadian dessert.
- Maple Pecan Squares: They are a cross between a butter tart and pecan pie and are so addictive.
- Pecan Cake Bars: Chewy, moist, and incredibly delicious. The addition of pecans adds a lovely crunch to each bite. I love these treats for the holidays!
If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!
Pecan Butter Tarts
- 18 mini tart shells or make your own with your favourite recipe
- 2 tbsp salted butter melted
- ¾ cup brown sugar dark or light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix melted butter, brown sugar, egg and pecans in a mixing bowl.
- Fill each tart shell with nut filling.
- Bake for 20 minutes until light golden brown.
- Cool in pan for 3 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.