Plant Based Recipes

The BEST Classic Canadian VEGAN Butter Tart Recipe

Image shows vegan butter tarts plated on a white plate. A Childs hand is reaching for a tart

This VEGAN Butter Tart Recipe is a nod to the Canadian classic. A vegan Christmas must-have, this version of the butter tart has an old fashioned feel, reinvented to be egg free! Traditionally served over the Christmas holidays, I’m ready for a sweet, buttery, caramel filled butter tart any time of the year!

Image shows butter tarts plated on a white plate with a white cloth background

What Makes This Vegan Butter Tart So Good?

My fresh, vegan version of the butter tart recipe has all of the expected taste and texture of a traditional butter tart-even without the eggs!

This vegan Christmas dessert has:

  1. Crisp, flaky crust
  2. Warm, gooey center
  3. Toasted pecan topping

What Makes the Best Butter Tart-Firm or Runny Center?

Believe it or not, having a firm or runny butter tart center is a hotly debated subject!

If you have a peek over the web, you’ll see so many different opinions on how firm the perfect butter tart should be.

Quite a few people enjoy a runny centre, while even more perfer a very firm texture.

For this vegan butter tart I’ve met everyone in the middle. The texture is firm, but very smooth. It won’t drip all over the place once you take a bite, but if you were to take a bite and leave it on a plate like I did you’ll come back to a mess!

This butter tart is soft enough to melt in your mouth and fill your palate with buttery, gooey, caramelized goodness.

How to Make Firm Butter Tarts Without Eggs

The trick to getting a firmer butter tart texture without eggs is to make sure you get the bake time right, and then to throw them in the fridge to set.

For this recipe I’ve set the oven at a high of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The butter tarts are going to bake for about 20 minutes, depending on your oven.

The general rule of thumb is, the longer they bake, the more caramelized the inner tart will be, and the thicker the end result!

How to Get Butter Tarts to Set Properly

Once your butter tarts come out of the oven, allow them to cool slightly for about 5 minutes and then pop them into the fridge for 4 hours. This will prevent your butter tarts from not setting.

Use this information as a guide to make vegan butter tarts the way you like them best!

Image shows a hand holding a butter tart with a bite taken

What Are the Best Raisins to Use for Butter Tarts?

I personally do not enjoy raisins in my butter tart, preferring toasted pecans instead. If you love a few good, sweet, soft raisins in your tart, here’s the best way to do that.

If you want to include raisins in your vegan butter tart filling, I would suggest using Golden Sultana Raisins. This Sun-Maid brand is my favorite.

To make them extra delicious, soak them in hot water for 1-4 hours to soften them up a little bit. To add even more flavor, try soaking them in dark rum!

How to Make Classic Vegan Butter Tarts

The method is really quite easy, and the part of the recipe that takes the longest-the setting, is totally hands off.

Ingredients for Vegan Butter Tarts

To make these butter tarts extra easy I’m using frozen pie shells. Some of the better known brands like Tenderflake do contain animal products (milk ingredients) but I have really good luck with no name brands. You could also use a homemade pie crust recipe instead!

These butter tarts are egg free and dairy free. Here’s what we’re using instead:

  1. Vegan Butter. I like Becel’s Vegan Margarine, but any plant based butter will work here.
  2. Brown Sugar.
  3. Golden Corn Syrup. Beehive is the BEST corn syrup, and it’s a well known ingredient for most butter tart recipes.
  4. Egg Replacer. I like Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer. It works perfectly to bind and firm up these vegan butter tarts. Do NOT use flax egg (ground flax mixed with water). This will ruin the texture of the tart, and look weird (super technical here guys..)
  5. Cornstarch.
  6. Vanilla Extract.
  7. Pecan Halves (optional)
  8. Raisins (optional)

What Equipment You Need to Make Butter Tarts

The only necessary equipment you will need to make this recipe is a muffin pan to hold the tart shells and an oven.

I will say though that having a stand mixer does make the job go by faster.

My favorite stand mixer is the Kitchen Aid. This is the one that I have. I’ve used it for over 4 years now and I’ll never go back!

If you’re looking to pick a new one up, check out the reviews on this one-and watch for the sales! Christmas is coming….

More Vegan Christmas Recipes

Celebrate the season by going all out and adding these recipes to your menu!

  1. Classic Vegan Melt in Your Mouth Shortbread
  2. Not Too Sweet Vegan Eggnog Cocktail
  3. French Canadian Vegan Tourtiere (Meat Pie)
  4. Vegan Eggs Benedict-A Hollandaise Sauce to Blow Your Mind

Alright, lets make some delicious Vegan Pecan Butter Tarts!

Image shows butter tarts stacked and plated on a white plate with a white background
4.5 from 2 votes

The Best Classic Canadian Vegan Butter Tart Recipe

This classic Canadian vegan butter tart recipe is the perfect smooth texture. Crispy, Flaky crust surrounds a gooey, buttery, caramelized filling. Incredibly easy to make-you will have your vegan Christmas baking done before you know it!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
cooling time 4 hours
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 15 tarts
Calories 300 kcal
Author Megan Kerry


  • 15 Tart Shells I used the No Name brand by Superstore (Loblaws) as they are vegan, and taste great! Feel free to make your own homemade!!
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Butter I used Vegan Becel
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden corn syrup I used “Beehive” brand
  • 2 portions Egg Replacer 2 tbsp. powder mixed with 6 tbsp. water. I used Bob’s Red Mill. Do NOT use a flax egg. This will ruin the texture of the tart and look weird.
  • 1 tbsp. Cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp. cold water
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • 30 Toasted Pecan/Walnut Halves
  • salt I sprinkled the smallest pinch over each tart before baking
  • raisins If you like raisins, soak them for about 10 minutes FIRST in boiled (super hot) water to re-hydrate first;)


How to Make The Best Classic Canadian Vegan Butter Tarts

  1. Remove 15 frozen pie tarts from the package and lay them out on your baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment or a silicone baking mat in case they spill over while baking. They will defrost while you are putting together your filling.

  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  3. In a medium sized bowl or stand mixer, cream together your vegan butter and brown sugar. 

  4. Stir in your Beehive corn syrup until everything is incorporated.

  5. In a separate small bowl, mix up your egg replacer. Add your egg replacer to your butter mixture. Stir to combine.

  6. In a separate small bowl mix your cornstarch and water. Add this to your butter mixture and stir to combine.

  7. Add your vanilla to the mixture and stir to combine.

  8. Fill your prepared tarts 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full.

  9. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of soaked raisins in each tart if using

  10. Place two pecan halves on top of each filled tart and sprinkle each tart with the smallest pinch of salt. This really adds to the flavour and makes the caramel pop!

  11. Place your tarts into the oven for 20-24 minutes. 

  12. They will be bubbly when you take them out. Let them rest on the stove for 5 minutes until they stop bubbling, then place them in the fridge to set. I left mine for about 4 hours and they set up beautifully! If you prefer a runnier centre you can skip this set and let them cool on the counter.

Recipe Notes

**This mixture almost looks as though it is separating before it bakes. This is totally normal don’t worry! Once it gets bubbling in the oven it comes together beautifully!!

**Fill your prepared tarts only about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. I used an ice cream scoop to fill my tarts and it was the perfect amount! This will prevent them from spilling over when they are cooking.


You can change the add-ins to include anything you prefer your tart to have-such as raisins or walnuts.



Butter tarts plated with two people reaching for a tart

Do Vegan Butter Tarts Freeze Well?

You can make a large batch of these pecan butter tarts and freeze them for later. They will keep well in the freezer for up to 6 months.

How to Defrost Butter Tarts

To serve, simply place them on the counter and allow them to come back to room temperature. Do not place them in the oven again to speed up this process. It will take about 2-4 hours for the vegan butter tarts to defrost.

How to Store Butter Tarts

If you will not be freezing your butter tarts, they will keep best in a sealed container. They keep fresh for 3 days on the counter at room temperature, or you can place them in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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Read this next

Check out my post on how to make a quick and EASY Vegan Eggnog Cocktail right in your blender!

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Until next time guys,

Megan Kerry

Megan Kerry is a Vegan Lifestyle Educator and Licensed Practical Nurse. Her content focuses on vegan recipes and ethical living. She is a mom of four children, a long time vegan, and an even longer time foodie. She loves veganizing any and all dishes and sharing her recipes and lifestyle tips with all of you!

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  1. Hello. Looking forward to making these. I only have white corn syrup. Will that work? What about a combo of white corn syrup with maple syrup?

  2. 4 stars
    These are very good but also very sweet. I didn’t have egg replacer, just used corn starch. But I didn’t use enough because they were quite runny when I cooled them to room temp. Any suggestion how much more I should add? Is there anything I can do about lowering the sweetness? I tried another recipe on the net that had coconut milk in it but the combination of that and margarine/vegan butter curdled the mixture, but they didn’t taste as sweet. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Lori. I’ve only tried this recipe using the egg replacer so I can’t give you an exact amount to use for the corn starch only. You can set them up by popping them into the fridge as they cool to help them set up quickly. I would try doubling the cornstach you originally used and go from there. As for the sweetness this will come down to experimentation as well. Try reducing the sugar by 1/3 first and see how they set up. Good luck and let us all know how it goes.

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