Anna Olson’s Raisin Butter Tarts

FooDiva was recently invited to a private function to meet Anna Olson. Who is she you may ask, as I did? Well she’s pretty famous in Canada as a celebrity chef, presenting two syndicated TV programmes on the Food Network and the author of seven cookbooks. Anna was in Dubai for Gulf Food, and to showcase the melange of fresh ingredients and seasonal produce in Canadian cuisine – the latter is something she is particularly insistant on. Now foodwise, Canada for FooDiva conjures up images of maple syrup and icewine…the latter much preferred!

Anna Olson

Anna Olson

So when I tasted her raisin butter tart canapes at this event – now Anna is a trained pastry chef, and by her own admission this is her signature dessert – I just had to keep on asking for more. The tartness of the raisin offsets that traditional buttery taste, whilst the crisp pastry encases that lovely gooey texture…well until there are no more. FooDiva had to share the recipe:


Makes 12 butter tarts

Anna's raisin butter tart

Anna's raisin butter tart


2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

4 tsp granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

1 cup cool unsalted butter

1 large egg

2 tbsp cold water


¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed

¾ cup corn syrup

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup golden raisins

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar and salt.  Cut butter into small pieces (you can pull the butter from the fridge 30 minutes before adding) and add to flour, mixing until dough is a rough, crumbly texture.  Whisk egg and water and add at once, mixing until dough comes together.  Shape dough into 2 logs, wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 °F and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.  Lightly dust a worksurface with flour and unwrap pastry logs.  Slice each log into six pieces.  Roll each piece to about ¼-inch thickness and line each muffin cup  (you can trim the crust, or leave the “ruffle” of pastry for a pretty effect once it bakes.  Chill lined muffin tin while preparing filling.

Whisk sugar, corn syrup and butter in a bowl by hand until combined.  Whisk in eggs, then vinegar and vanilla.  Sprinkle a few raisins in the bottom of each muffin cup and pour filling over the raisins.  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.

Bon appétit!

FooDiva. x

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21 Responses to “Anna Olson’s Raisin Butter Tarts”

  1. Dork July 19, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Speaking of Anna Olson and something sweet and tasty!

  2. Victoria Setter December 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    My husband loves butter tarts! If I used that one I have been using for the last 36 years he would be a happy man. Me on the other half is always looking for the one recipe that will be better! Well I made this recipe for him and shared it with family and friends. Everyone loves this recipe! I knew I couldn’t go wrong as I have been using your chocolate chip cookie and loved it. Your recipe has been shared with everyone that tasted them! Thanks again
    Victoria Setter

  3. Monique February 18, 2013 at 1:16 am

    They are the best butter tart I ever made everyone loves them

  4. Phillip May 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Well they look and sound delicious and the recipe for raisin butter tarts looks easy enough to do so i shall have to give a go and hopefully mine will look and taste just as good as Anna’s

  5. Leslie Lalonde May 16, 2013 at 11:38 am

    The BEST tarts…OMG..I have never tasted anything so yummy. All my friends have said the same. I would eat them every day if they would not make me

  6. tam October 8, 2013 at 1:44 am

    Having a pot luck tomorrow @ work, can’t wait! I’ve made a few dozen butter tarts but weren’t happy with the results (even tried a award winning recipe.) it’s ok but not as good as my mom’s. So i called her up and she said to get Anna’s recipe so I did – the smell in my kitchen right now is amazing!! cant wait to try them, thanks Anna for sharing!

  7. Michelle June 16, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I just made this recipe – first time ever making butter tarts and this recipe is so easy and SO good! I loved it! I used nuts instead of raisins excellent!! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Nicole Seguin October 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    How do I keep butter tarts from spilling over when baking? I tried lower heat, which would prevent crust from being tender; I tried filling the tarts to 1/2, not enough filling when cooked. I tried not to mix too much, apparently this would make the butter tarts spilling over. What’s the secret for butter tarts not to spill during cooking.

    • Krys December 14, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Try using a tart tamper to press your crust, this will let the crust rise above the actual muffin tin and give you more room before your tarts spill over. Does that make sense?

  9. Cindy January 25, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    This is my go-to recipe for butter tarts, the best there is. I’ve made these a number of times and always get rave reviews. I use a peanut can plastic cover to measure the tart shells, it’s the perfect size.

    • Robyn December 1, 2015 at 9:27 am

      Would it ruin them to use already made tart shells?? I’m not much of a pastry baker but have received this request to make

  10. Debbie Mills August 4, 2015 at 1:15 am

    I am trying this recipe as I type. My kitchen smells wonderful. I had enough pastry left over to make a 9″ pie shell as well. Is this normal?

    • Debbie Mills August 4, 2015 at 3:07 am

      Yep, they sure are good. All that buttery pastry. Yum

  11. Sara December 16, 2015 at 8:27 am

    I made these tonight with my sister and they turned out AMAZING!! I will for sure make these again! Definitely a 5 star recipe!

  12. Arlene December 24, 2015 at 9:19 am

    I made only the filling, as I didn’t have a lot of time to make butter tarts and so I used store bought shells, but WOW was it ever delicious! So, so easy and quick and everyone loved them. Can’t wait to make these again and hopefully try my hand at the pastry as well!

  13. Jane March 10, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I’m going to do this recipe for sure. My brother is a connoisseur of butter tarts. He loves them. Looking for excellent vegetarian recipes.

  14. Lori August 25, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Can I substitute maple syrup for the corn syrup?

  15. Carol Souchotte February 18, 2017 at 2:23 am

    Hi I bake my butter tarts on lowest rack about 15 mins to brown bottom crust then move to middle rack and up temperature to set them but they are pale colored and bottoms just cooked the way I like at 25 minutes baking time. Can you give me some tips on oven temperatures and baking times to ensure a perfectly cooked finished product. I use 375 to begin and up heat to 400 to finish off.

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