Desserts/Treats | Keto Desserts | Mr.CBB's Frugal Kitchen

The Great Canadian Keto Butter Tarts

keto butter tarts


Just in time for Canada Day, these Keto Butter Tarts will be part of our celebrations this year and every month in between.

Hours after I landed in Canada from the UK I was introduced to the iconic Canadian Old-Fashioned Butter Tarts from my wife.

She insisted I try one or even two if my sweet tooth needed a boost.

They are delicious and reminded me of eating sweet flaky pastry pies but single portion size which was great.

Since then I’ve tried many variations of butter tarts in my years living in Canada and I decided I wanted to make my own variation.

With my mother-in-law being diabetic and both of us following a keto lifestyle it was only natural to make these before Canada Day. 

The trick is to make them last longer than a few days as they are SO tempting even when frozen.

What is a Butter Tart?

Keto Butter Tarts

Canadian Butter Tarts are a symbol of great cuisine in our country and start with a flaky buttery pastry and ends with a deliciously sweet centre.

Traditional Canadian Butter Tarts are super sweet and when you bite into them you’ll find the centre is thick dark syrup consistency. 

A butter tart is a small pastry tart, which generally consists of butter, sugar, syrup, and egg, filled into a flaky pastry and baked until the filling is semi-solid with a crunchy top. – The Canadian Encylopedia

You will also find Canadian Butter Tarts with a thicker centre and a deep coloured crust depending on the pie crust recipe used. 

I find if you add more butter your crust will be golden brown and flakier where either way tastes great.

You will see the difference in the photos below as I show you variations of my Keto Butter Tarts. 

The original recipe for Canadian Butter Tarts follows what seems to be sugar pie beginnings so there were no nuts or dried fruit variations like you can get today.

We’ve tried many variations with our Keto Butter Tarts recipe as you can essentially add to the filling whatever nuts and fruits you like (or Bacon).

Ketogenic Butter Tarts

You will notice the photos of Keto Butter Tarts throughout this post have variations of many of these below.

  • Pecan Butter Tarts
  • Walnut Butter Tarts
  • Almond Butter Tarts
  • Raisin Butter Tarts
  • Bacon Butter Tarts
  • Chocolate Chip Butter Tarts (We use Krisda Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips found at Zehrs or Loblaws stores)

Canadian Keto Butter Tarts

Ketogenic Butter Tarts Filling and Caramel Sauce

Sugar-free walnut butter tarts

The butter tart filling recipe I chose to use went through many tests in our house as we tried to get that sweet, liquid texture. 

First off, you will see photos of two different filling styles where one uses Surkin Gold brown sugar and the other Swerve confectioners sugar.

They are both delicious but I prefer to use the Sukrin gold to get the classic butter tart golden filling colour.

When it comes to sweet and Keto that’s never a problem but finding the old-fashioned butter tart consistency was challenging.

Each time I tried to make the keto butter tarts the filling always baked up gooey but after they cooled you will end with firm butter tarts.

I still think the addition of vegetable glycerin is important (optional) to help keep somewhat of a gooey texture along with the xanthan gum.

As you will see the filling looks like creamy caramel when it’s created but after baking will thicken up as it doesn’t have corn syrup.

Bacon Keto Butter Tarts

I’ve learned three things when it comes to making Keto Butter Tarts;

  1. They are better two days later and frozen or chilled first.
  2. Keto Butter Tarts may not look identical to old-fashioned butter tarts but they sure do taste similar.
  3. You’ll only accomplish a traditional runny butter tart filling texture after you microwave it or add heat to them.

gluten-free walnut butter tarts

These are what I consider fairly easy butter tarts to make as I tried not to complicate the recipe with unnecessary steps or ingredients.

I wanted to keep it as close to Canadian tradition as I could for those of you following the Keto diet like we are.

Although, if you want to add chopped walnuts or pecans we tried both and they taste amazing.

A friend of ours who tried our Keto Butter Tarts messaged us that they were the best butter tarts she’s ever tried.

In fact, she typically buys them at a local Keto bakery and says ours has beaten them hands-down and now wants to place orders with us.

Ha! I couldn’t imagine mass-producing these in our kitchen for sale but there are lots of people who do sell keto baked goods from their home.

It was nice to get that type of a compliment from someone who follows Keto as we do.

Gluten-Free Butter Tart Shells

How to make Keto Butter Tarts

I tried variations of butter tart shells and kept going back to the same recipe I use for my Keto Cheesecake.

There’s no cream cheese in this butter tart pastry as you will find in many other keto butter tarts.

Personally, I didn’t like the tangy flavour or hints of it.

It’s not bad but just didn’t fit the traditional part of the Canadian butter tart to me.

To keep the tart shells simple all you will need is almond flour, cold butter, salt, Sweetener, and Vanilla.

One thing I want to point out is that there is no rolling of pastry in this recipe.

Just take a scoop and press it into the muffin tin.

I tried to roll it out and it just got too complicated and time-consuming and this press-it-in method works.

The other thing is to make sure you spray your muffin tins with cooking spray.

You may think there is enough butter in the pastry and they will come out easy but they won’t.

Keto Butter Tarts

In fact, I have a little trick to get keto butter tarts out easily, I freeze them first.

Once the keto butter tarts are cold I stick a knife in the corner and they pop out.

I’ve made so many variations of these keto butter tarts over the past 6 months.

Some of my recipes were great and others were not a complete flop but needed some tweaking.

The other 3 times I did not freeze them first and went with the cooldown method and then remove.

Nope, and they don’t just fall out if you turn the pan over either.

With the sugary butter tart filling it tends to bubble up and over causing the butter tart to stick.

How to make Canadian Keto Butter Tarts

Canadian Keto Butter Tart Shells

I tried the butter tarts in a large muffin tin and also jumbo muffin tins and found the jumbo muffin tins to be the best.

The bigger muffin tins allow for a thicker crust and more room for the filling to bubble up and far easier to remove.

That’s just my choice but you can use any size muffin tin you like. This particular recipe makes 6 large Keto Canadian Butter Tarts.

Classic Keto Butter Tarts

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Makes 12 Large Keto Butter Tarts or 6 jumbo Keto Butter Tarts
The Great Canadian Keto Butter Tarts
Recipe Type: Keto Treats
Cuisine: Canadian
Author: Canadian Budget Binder
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
The Great Canadian Butter tarts are sugar-free, gluten-free and can be made into many variations with the basic keto butter tarts recipe.
  • Butter Tart Pastry
  • 2 cups Almond Flour
  • 1/4 cup of Sweetener of choice (Erythritol)
  • 1 stick of cold butter 1/2 cup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Butter Tart Caramel Sauce
  • 1 stick of cold butter 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup Sukrin Gold Sugar
  • 3/8 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 teaspoons cold water
  • Butter Tart Filling
  • 1/2 cup powdered sweetener (Erythritol)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • Cooking Spray for Muffin Tin.
  1. Butter Tart Pastry
  2. In a food processor add all of the pastry ingredients and mix until combined then set aside.
  3. Butter Tart Caramel Sauce
  4. In a medium saucepan on medium heat add your cold butter, salt, sugar, extracts and combine until melted.
  5. Next add your whipping cream, glycerine and sprinkle the xanthan gum on top then stir until the mixture is bubbling. You can turn the dial up a bit.
  6. Once the sauce is caramel in consistency remove from the stove and add your cold water right away and mix it all fast.
  7. Set aside in a bowl for 10 minutes to cool or until cooled.
  8. Butter Tart Filling
  9. To your cooled caramel sauce add one egg and mix until combined.
  10. Then add your melted butter and powdered sweetener and mix
  11. Putting it all together
  12. You can make 12 small keto butter tarts or 6 large butter tarts.
  13. Divide your pastry into however many tarts you will make then press the pastry into a muffin tin sprayed with cooking spray.
  14. Fill each pastry to the top with the butter tart mixture.
  15. When it bakes it will bubble up and settle later once it cools so don’t worry about that. (see photos)
  16. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the top layer of the tart is sheen.
  17. Let cool overnight.
  18. I put mine in the freezer to chill then take a knife around the edge of the butter tart to pop them out.
  19. Best the next day but even better two days later.
  20. They can stay in the freezer up to 3 months in an air-tight container.
  21. Add sugar-free keto ice-cream on top with caramel for a decadent dessert.

It’s best that you enjoy these keto butter tarts the next day but even better two days later.

If you plan to make them for a dinner party or bake sale then I would suggest making them days in advance for best results.

They can stay in the freezer up to 3 months in an air-tight container. You can add sugar-free keto ice-cream on top with caramel for a decadent dessert.

Keto Butter Tarts Macros 12 butter tarts: Each 288 calories, Carbs 6.9 (3.5 net carbs)

Macros will vary if you use a jumbo muffin tin and make 6 instead of 12.

Your macros will also change if you add extras like bacon, nuts, dried fruits or sugar-free chocolate chips.

Note: Do your calculations based on specific ingredients that you use as they will all differ.

keto walnut butter tarts

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