These keto butter tarts are the real deal! Tender grain-free pastry with a rich, gooey caramel custard center. The famous Canadian dessert is now low carb and sugar free.
Along with my beloved Keto Nanaimo Bars, these are the ultimate treat for Canada Day! Or any day, really.
This one goes out to my fellow Canucks, because only they can truly understand how momentous this recipe for keto butter tarts really is.
But even if you’re not Canadian, even if you don’t have a single drop of Canadian blood, I suggest you stick around. Chances are that many of you have never heard of butter tarts. But they are worth getting to know!
I actually first posted this recipe for keto butter tarts back in 2014, so it was time for an update. There have been so many developments in keto products and sweeteners in the intervening 7 years, I knew I could make them even more gooey and luscious than ever.
And to my utter delight, I was right! These sweet, gooey tarts are slightly larger, with a tender almond flour crust and a rich, caramel scented filling. They take me straight back to my childhood.
What are butter tarts?
If ever there was a national food of Canada, butter tarts are it. There are other uniquely Canadian dishes but butter tarts are loved and appreciated nationwide. In my home province of Ontario, there are even butter tart festivals and bake-offs, with everyone and their mother claiming they have the best recipe.
At their best, butter tarts are made of tender, flaky pastry with an incredibly gooey, sweet custard filling that usually contains raisins or dried currants.
The filling is similar to pecan pie but even more gooey. So gooey that it should ooze out all over your face as you take a bite.
In truth, they are unassuming-looking little tarts and you might be tempted to pass them over in favour of a more flashy-looking dessert. But a really good butter tart can beat the pants off any other dessert any time.
They also hold a special place in my heart, because my father loved them loved them so much. I have fond memories of him sitting at a cottage in Muskoka, devouring butter tarts. Even being terminally ill didn’t keep him from enjoying them!
Updated keto butter tarts
Traditional butter tarts are the stuff of a low carb dieter’s nightmares. They are made with copious amounts of brown sugar and corn syrup, and a large one can come in at a whopping 84g of carbs. Yikes!
However, never one to resist a challenge, I simply had to create a keto recipe. My earlier version was delicious, but the tarts were smaller and not as quite as gooey as I had hoped.
This time, I used the pastry from the Keto Cranberry Brie Bites, which holds together well. This allowed me to make them a bit larger.
The filling is similar to my famous Keto Pecan Pie Bars, but with some allulose to make it extra gooey. I also deliberately under-baked them, taking them out of the oven when the very center still looked a little wet. It was perfect!
How to make keto butter tarts
Okay, let’s get to the nitty gritty and make some. Here are my best tips for getting it right:
Tips for keto pastry crust
- Use a non-stick metal muffin pan and grease it lightly, to avoid sticking. Also don’t press it too firmly down into the bottoms of the muffin cups. It should just rest lightly.
- Do dust your work surface with a little more almond flour. This helps the pastry rounds release more easily. Wiggling a small offset spatula under the rounds also helps.
- Cut the circles about 3 ½ inches in diameter. I simply used a drinking glass, since none of my cookie cutters are that large.
- Freeze the crust while preparing the filling, so that they don’t brown quite as quickly in the oven.
Tips for butter tart filling
- This uses a sweeter, thicker version of my Keto Caramel Sauce. But this time I used some allulose to really get a gooey center. BochaSweet and xylitol would be the best substitutes. If you use all erythritol based sweeteners like Swerve or Lakanto, your filling will recrystallize some as it cools.
- Do let the sauce cool to lukewarm before adding the egg. Otherwise it will cook the egg and we don’t want that!
- Raisins are not really low carb, which is why I used only 2 tablespoons and chopped them up. For me, butter tarts should always have raisins! But you can skip them or use chopped walnuts or pecans in their place.
- For truly gooey butter tarts, remove them from the oven when the very center of the tarts still look a little wet. They will continue to firm up a bit as they cool.
These tarts are best served within a few days, as they lose their gooeyness as they sit. I recommend storing them in an airtight container on your counter.
More delicious keto tart recipes
- Keto Lemon Curd Tart
- Cannoli Tart
- Rhubarb Crumble Tart
- No Bake Chocolate Mousse Tart
- Tomato Goat Cheese Tart
- Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Quiche
Keto Butter Tarts
- Preheat the oven to 325F and lightly grease a non-stick muffin pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, powdered sweetener, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the egg and melted butter until the dough comes together. Gather the dough into a ball.
- Dust a work surface lightly with more almond flour and transfer the dough to the work surface. Cover the dough with waxed paper or parchment paper and roll out to an even ⅛" thickness.
- Cut out tart crusts into 3 ½ inch circles (I used a drinking glass). Use an offset spatula to carefully lift each crust off the work surface. Press lightly into the prepared muffin cups.
- Gather the pastry scraps and roll out again. You can re-roll this dough as much as you like and you should get 12 pastry circles.
- Place the muffin pan in the freezer while preparing the filling.
- Combine the butter and sweeteners in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook 3 to 5 minutes, watching carefully to make sure it doesn't burn.
- Remove from heat and add the heavy cream and vanilla extract. (The mixture will bubble vigorously, this is normal).
- Sprinkle the surface with the xanthan gum and whisk vigorously to combine. Whisk in the salt. Set aside to cool while preparing the pastry. Let cool 10 minutes.
- Once cooled, whisk in the egg.
- Divide the chopped raisins among the tart shells and spoon the filling over top. Fill each crust almost all the way.
- Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until the tart edges are golden and the filling is mostly set with a little jiggle in the center (it should still look a little wet in the very center of each tart).
- Remove from oven and let cool completely, then use a knife to loosen each tart.