A customized print-friendly version of this recipe is available by clicking the "Print Recipe" button on this page.

Butter Tarts


A rich, cream cheese and butter-based crust cradles these tarts' intensely sweet caramel and raisin filling, which is gooey when hot, then chewy when cooled. You'll keep going back for another nibble...

At a glance

24 mini tarts, 10 small tarts


Choose your measure:

Pastry Dough


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar, light or dark, packed
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons water, rum or bourbon
  • 1 cup raisins or 1 cup nuts (See "tips", below.)


  1. To make the pastry dough: Put the flour in a bowl, or in the work bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add the cold butter, cream cheese, and salt.
  3. Mix them together until everything is evenly crumbly. If you're using the food processor, you'll need just a few quick pulses.
  4. Sprinkle the dough with the cold water and toss.
  5. Squeeze the dough to determine if it will hold together. If it's too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time, using just enough so the dough will hold together.
  6. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.
  7. To make the filling: Beat the egg with a whisk until fluffy.
  8. Add the sugar, and beat well.
  9. Add in remaining ingredients except the raisins or nuts.
  10. To assemble and bake the tarts: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  11. Roll the pastry dough out on a lightly floured surface until it's about 1/4" thick.
  12. Cut round circles to size. Measure the bottom diameter and height of your intended pan, then add bottom diameter + two times the height to reach the diameter of your dough circle. If you're using our bite-sized tart pan, use a 3"- round cutter.
  13. Alternatively, you may divide the dough into equal pieces, roll into balls, then press into the bottom and up the side of the pans.
  14. Divide the raisins or nuts among the tarts, then top with the sugar and egg mixture. Don't fill more than two-thirds full, or the tarts will boil over.
  15. Bake the tarts for 15 minutes.
  16. Let the tarts cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, or until you can handle them easily.
  17. Use the tip of a knife to loosen any spots that may have boiled over, then pop them out onto a rack to finish cooling.
  18. Store the tarts, well-wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month.