First printed recipe of butter tarts

A Five Roses Flour cookbook has the earliest printed reference to “butter tarts” in Canadian food literature.

The Lake of the Woods Milling Company released the first edition of the Five Roses Cookbook in 1913 as a collection of around 600 recipes submitted by women across Canada via a contest the company held.

A later 1915 edition of this same book has an introduction that states it is an all-Canadian publication: “The recipes were supplied by Canadian housewives. The book was printed in a Canadian shop, and the paper, both inside and cover stock, was produced in a Canadian mill.… Already, nearly 950,000 copies are in daily use in Canadian kitchens — practically one copy for every second Canadian home.”

Here is the Five Roses Cookbook recipe.


Butter Tarts 



2½ cup Five Roses® all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 cup butter, cold

½ cup water, cold



2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

½ tsp salt

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

½ cup maple syrup

1/3 cup butter, melted

¾ cup walnuts, chopped

½ cup currants

½ cup raisins




Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in enough water until the dough begins to hold together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a disc (do not overwork the dough).

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out three-inch rounds and line 12 muffin cups with dough. Chill.


Whisk together eggs and brown sugar. Add the salt, vinegar, maple syrup and melted butter; combine well.

In small bowl mix together walnuts, currants and raisins.

Divide the walnut-fruit mixture between the tart shells.

Fill each tart with approximately ¼-cup filling.

Bake in a preheated 350 F (180 C) oven for 20-25 minutes or until set.


SOURCE:  CBC article on recipes in vintage cookbooks

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *