Dr. Rachel’s Favorite Low-FODMAP Butter Tarts; Gluten-free

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As a Canadian growing up, there would be butter tarts at every festive occasion.

One winter during my medical training, I boarded for 2 months in a small Northern community.  The lady I lived with had a freezer full of Christmas baking leftovers (butter tarts). She told me to enjoy ‘as many as I wanted’.

That was a mistake.  I probably went through dozens of tarts.  They tasted great, even from the freezer!

It has been at least a decade since I enjoyed this dessert, and I was excited to create a gluten-free and low-FODMAP version for all my loyal readers.

Butter tarts are incredible little treats.  A light, flaky crust is the perfect housing for a buttery, sweet, and gooey center.  Adding a touch of vinegar cuts the sweetness just right.

Since butter tarts are a tradition in Canada, local variations and preferences exist.  There are some strong opinions regarding their consistency and add-ins.  For example:

  • Should they be runny or firm in the middle?
    • Some people like the middle of the tarts to be very liquid-like, so that once you bite the outside crust, it will ooze over your fingers
    • Others like their tarts fully set, without any ooze
    • I am like Goldilocks in this matter.  I want them somewhere between.  Firm enough to hold and bite, but with a soft core.  You see what you prefer (adjust bake times accordingly)
  • What about raisins?
    • Adding raisins is standard among the majority of bakeries that serve butter tarts
    • I NEVER liked raisins in my butter tarts.  I think the texture is just wrong.  But I won’t stop you from adding them, or pecans.  It’s your recipe too!

For another of my childhood favorites, check out my low-FODMAP Nanaimo Bars recipe!

You may also love my:

Or check out over 500 more low-FODMAP recipes on the blog!  IBS-friendly.

Be healthy and happy,

Rachel Pauls, MD

Although this recipe has not been lab tested, a single serving should be low-FODMAP based on the ingredients *using available FODMAP data at time of testing

Serves: 12 tarts

Prep time: 40 min

Bake time: 25 min

Total time: 65 min

Bake: 350F

Equipment: food processor or mixer, 12-well muffin pan, rolling pin


For Pastry:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups low-FODMAP, gluten-free flour (I recommend this type for baking)
  • 3 tablespoons sweet rice flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cold water to consistency
  • Vegetable shortening for greasing

For Butter Tart filling:

  • 1 cup (190g) light or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
    • You can also use maple syrup, or a combination!
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1/2 cup raisins or chopped pecans


Prepare Pastry:

  • Grease your muffin tin well with shortening
  • Mix flours, sugar, xanthan gum and salt in bowl of electric mixer or food processor
  • Add butter in small pieces and mix until crumbly
  • Add egg and vinegar
  • Mix on low until dough is together, but not sticky, adding cold water as needed
  • Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 10 minutes or until use
  • If desired, can freeze dough for 1-2 months or refrigerate for about 1 week at this point
  • When ready to roll out:
    • Place ball of dough on a sheet of floured wax paper or parchment paper
    • Sandwich in a second sheet of paper
    • Flatten by hand or with rolling pin until you can cut out 12 rounds (it will be about 1/4 inch thick)
    • Refrigerate dough intermittently if needed to help with rolling out (it may not roll properly if too warm)
    • Cut dough into 3-3.5″ rounds using a circle cookie cutter, large cup, or small bowl
    • Place rounds into a well-greased muffin pan, gently pressing the dough into the bottom of the well and up the sides. I used a wooden tampener.  The crust will thin out in the well
    • Place muffin pan into the freezer for 10-15 minutes while you prep your filling

Prepare Butter Tart filling:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  • In a large bowl, whisk together by hand your brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, eggs, vinegar, salt, and vanilla until combined
    • If you want to use raisins or pecans, then add them here, or place in tart shells before filling
  • Gently ladle the filling into the unbaked tart shells, about 2/3 way into the shells, do not overfill
    • You want to have a generous rim of crust since the filling puffs up; you may have extra filling (I enjoyed my extra sauce over ice cream)
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown, and the filling has set to your preference
  • Let cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack
  • Gently transfer the baked tarts to the rack to finish cooling
  • Store baked butter tarts in the fridge for several days or in the freezer for 3 months

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As an IBS-sufferer myself, I know how badly you want to feel healthy and happy. I’ve spent over a decade researching IBS and FODMAPs, and my recipes and guidance will help you succeed.

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