This Treacle Tart is buttery, creamy, and brightened by fresh lemon zest and juice. The brown sugar shortbread crust is so flaky and full of flavor. This tart is perfect for your holiday party or served with a cup of tea or coffee after dinner. Add a little whipped cream on top and enjoy this delicious English dessert!

For a while, I was intimidated by tarts. Looking back I have no idea why! Tarts are so delicious and easy to make. And like everything else, they taste so much better homemade! So this is your sign to make a tart. You will love this classic Lemon Tart with a Buttery Shortbread Crust, and this delicious Pear Tart! You can’t go wrong with this Apple Tart, it’s stunning and always a crowd-pleaser!

Treacle tart with powdered sugar sprinkled on top with a slice being lifted out.

What is a Treacle Tart?

A treacle tart is a gooey treacle (or golden syrup) filling with a buttery brown sugar shortbread crust. It’s a classic English pastry, which is why you may not have heard of it. If you are a Harry Potter fan, then you may remember that a treacle tart is his favorite dessert! So if you aren’t a tea drinker, you should pair this dessert with a Butter Beer. Of course you’ll also have to try it with some whipped cream and vanilla ice cream too.

By now you might be wondering what is golden syrup? Golden syrup is an inverted sugar syrup made up of sugar, water, and citric acid. It’s thicker than your everyday maple syrup, closer to honey. It’s full of deep buttery flavor and you will instantly fall in love with it! Even the homemade version will last on the shelf for months. The pop of fresh lemon brightens up the whole dessert. This treacle tart recipe is so good you’ll be wondering why it isn’t more popular in the States too!

Ingredients in Treacle Tart

We’ve already talked a little about the golden syrup. I think it’s a must for this recipe and it will be the only thing you probably don’t have on hand. I love how classic ingredients that we use all the time can be used in so many different ways. This dessert will absolutely blow you away with simple ingredients. It’s irresistible! See the recipe card below for exact measurements.

Brown Sugar Shortbread Crust

  • Flour: I used all-purpose flour in this recipe.
  • Brown Sugar: Make sure to pack it down in the measuring cup.
  • Salt: Salt helps to balance out the sweet flavors.
  • Butter: You will want to use unsalted butter. Or if you are using salted butter leave out the added salt. Make sure to leave your butter out for a few hours so it’s soft.

Treacle Tart Filling

  • Golden Syrup: Golden syrup is made from sugar. You might not be able to find it at the grocery store. I found a great one on Amazon, or you can make it at home! There are lots of great homemade recipes online that are easy.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: This is a must in my opinion. It makes it so rich and creamy!
  • Breadcrumbs: If you don’t want to get them from the store, I have a great recipe for homemade breadcrumbs, just leave out the savory seasonings. Making your own breadcrumbs is great because they have less preservatives and you can flavor them however you like.
  • Vanilla Extract: Whatever you usually use for baking will work great.
  • Lemon Zest: To get that real lemon flavor you want in this treacle tart, you’ll want to zest a whole fresh lemon. It really brightens up the tart and balances out the sweetness!
  • Lemon Juice: Since you already zested the lemon, I recommend using the juice from that lemon. If you are really in a pinch you can use bottled lemon juice.
  • Egg: I always use grade A large eggs in my recipes.
Process photos showing a bowl full of flour, brown sugar and salt. The next photo shows a pan filled with a crust. The next photo shows all the ingredients for the filling in bowls. The last photo shows the crust filled with filling.

How to Make a Treacle Tart

Get ready for an easy and delicious dessert! It’s sure to blow you away with it’s sweet and creamy filling. It is a great dessert to serve with tea (and not just because it’s an English dessert) or coffee. I seriously can’t get enough of yummy desserts with ingredients you already have in your pantry! You will make this tart in two steps, the crust and the filling.

Making Brown Sugar Shortbread Crust

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl if a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, whisk together your dry ingredients; flour, brown sugar, and salt.
  2. Add Wet Ingredients: Add in your vanilla and room temp butter, then mix well. The mixture should have a crumbly texture, add more flour if needed.
  3. Pack Crust: In a standard 9 ½” tart pan, dump your crust and using your hands or the back of a spoon, pack the crust into the pan firmly and evenly.
  4. Set Aside: Set aside to be filled.

Making Treacle Tart Filling

  1. Combine Ingredients: Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan; golden syrup, heavy whipping cream, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and egg.
  2. Heat: Bring to a gentle boil on medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
  3. Cook: Once a gentle boil has been reached, reduce heat and cook for an additional 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  4. Fill Crust: Pour mixture into your shortbread crust and place into your oven, preheated to 375℉
  5. Bake: Bake for 25-30 minutes until your filling has nicely browned, the crust should be a golden color
  6. Enjoy: Treacle tarts are typically served warm with whipped cream.
A slice of treacle tart with a dollop of whipped cream on top on a stone-like plate.

Tips and Tricks

This dessert is one you may have never tried before. I know how hard it can be to make things when you don’t know what they are supposed to look and feel like! Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about this treacle tart recipe.

  • Can I Use Corn Syrup Instead of Golden Syrup? A lot of you may be wondering if corn syrup would be a good replacement. I really don’t think so because the flavor will not be nearly the same. Golden syrup is full of deep and rich flavor that corn syrup doesn’t have. Because making golden syrup is so easy, I really recommend you use it!
  • Do I Need to Blind Bake the Crust? Because you are baking the tart filling, you won’t need to bake the crust beforehand. Every oven bakes differently, so pay attention to how dark the crust looks while baking. Make sure you evenly pack the crust so it will all bake at the same time.
  • Can I Make this Tart Ahead of Time? Yes, but I wouldn’t make it more than 24 hours ahead of eating it. It really is best eaten fresh! If you need to store it I’ve added tips below in the Leftovers box.
  • Can I Freeze Treacle Tart? Unfortunately, this tart does not freeze well. I don’t recommend freezing it. See my tips for storing leftovers below.

A piece of tart with a scoop sitting on a spoon, topped with whipped cream and the full tart to the side.

Storing Leftovers

I absolutely love this tart! It’s such a crowd-pleaser and a great talking point for Harry Potter fans. If you do happen to have any left over, here are my tips for storing them.

On the Counter: You can cover your tart lightly with plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to two days.

In the Refrigerator: Cover your tart in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for up to two days. Make sure to let it warm to room temperature before serving.

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