What is the Butter Tart Tour?
While we didn’t invent the iconic Canadian treat that is the butter tart, we’ve most certainly perfected the delivery of these sweet treats! The Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour combines dozens of stops offering some of the best butter tarts in Ontario into one fun-filled, family-friendly tour.
In 2011, this sweet idea became a reality with just a few stops and big aspirations. Now the immersion in flaky deliciousness that is the Butter Tart Tour has grown to over 50 locations throughout Kawarthas Northumberland. You can taste your way across Northumberland County, Peterborough County, the City of Peterborough, and Kawartha Lakes. Tour partners include our stellar local bakeries, charming cafes, and elegant restaurants as well as welcoming resorts and inns across the region each serving up their take on this Canadian classic treat. Each location has its own hours of operation. Click on “Plan Your Trip” to get complete location and contact information. You can find Butter Tart Tour locations in most of the Kawarthas Northumberland’s towns with many great stops located within minutes of each other.
What is a butter tart?
At its most basic, a butter tart is simply butter, sugar, syrup, and eggs. The magic happens when these simple ingredients are combined and baked in a pastry shell until golden brown and the filling is semi-solid – or really runny depending on your tastes and baking style. This simple combination is what was featured in the first known printed recipe from the early 1900s. Found in the Royal Victoria Cookbook by The Women’s Auxiliary to the Royal Victoria Hospital located in Barrie, ON, this simple tart has become a staple of the Canadian cuisine landscape.
But it gets better… tarts can also include tasty add-ins too! Think raisins, pecans, walnuts, currants or even more adventurous additions such as fruits and crème fillings. The pastry crust can be flaky, or firm, or even made from shortbread, which packs a scrumptious crunch! Several stops on the Tour offer gluten-free versions too!
How to experience
Enjoy The Butter Tart Tour all year long at your own pace!
With over 50 stops on the Tour, there’s dozens of different places to visit and as many versions to sample. Got a butter tart craving but are short on time? Plan a day-trip and visit a stop or two! Really wish to sink your sweet tooth into it? Plan to try several stops over two or three days.
To really enjoy the flavour of Kawarthas Northumberland, consider a stay at one of the many welcoming hotels, resorts, inns, or bed & breakfasts spread across the region.
Meet our Bakers
Go behind the scenes. See the traditions. Witness the “State of the Tart” mastery that goes into your favourite tarts.
Meet Karen from Kawartha Shortbread in Fenelon Falls! Karen’s butter tarts have won several awards, including many of our own Taste-Off competitions. And they are all made by hand with love right here.
View our tour map to find Kawartha Shortbread and our 50 other local bakeries. Plan your sweetest road trip ever!
How many ways can you tour?
- By car with friends or family, resurrecting the time-honoured tradition of a Canadian road trip.
- By motorcycle like the famous Butter Tart Bandits. (Fenelon Falls is a favourite destination for them!)
- By bike along one of the great cycling routes through Kawarthas Northumberland.
Butter Tart Tour by Boat
The Trent-Severn Waterway winds its way through the heart of the Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour. Here’s an itinerary with more than a baker’s dozen destinations within 1km of a mooring location on the Trent-Severn Waterway.
Here are some notes to guide your sweet seaworthy voyages. Please share your experiences with us on social media (@ButterTartTour) so we can improve this list of nautical pastry pursuits!
How Your Business can Join
Operate a business that wants to get in on the sweet action? If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible to become a member of the Butter Tart Tour!
- Located in the Kawarthas Northumberland region
- Butter tarts must be produced in the Kawarthas Northumberland region
- Open on a posted schedule in a recurring location
- Operate a commercially – certified kitchen
- Offer butter tarts for purchase – in singles and multiples – each day of business operation
For full details and contact information, please contact us (RTO8).