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 own hours of operation. Download our map to get complete contact information for each location. 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.
Meet our Bakers
Go behind the scenes. See the traditions. Witness the “State of the Tart” mastery that goes into your favourite tarts.
Resurrect the road trip and satisfy your butter tart cravings.
Today we’re visiting Diane at Sweet Bottoms Coffee in beautiful Fenelon Falls, Ontario. Diane shares some neat stories about the enduring influence of the Five Roses Cookbook, which was published in 1913. The legacy of this cookbook is also featured in this recent New York Times article.
Download the tour map to find Sweet Bottoms Coffee and over 50 other local bakeries. Plan your sweetest road trip ever!
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! With a nod to the times, several stops on the Tour now 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? We’ve designed the Butter Tart Tour into four tasty bite-size servings that can be easily done 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.
Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Taste-Off
With many thanks to all our bakers, the dedicated members of our team, and all our judges, we are excited to announce the winners of the 2017 Butter Tart Taste-Off!
Best Plain Butter Tart (Just the Plain Facts)
Best Canadiana Collection Butter Tart (Canadiana Collection flavour details available for download here.)
Best Gluten-Free Butter Tart
1st: "Ste. Anne's Butter Tart" by Ste. Anne's Bakery in Grafton.
2nd: "Featherly Pear Butter Tart" by Ste. Anne's Bakery in Grafton
3rd: "Maple Gluten-Free Butter Tart" by Black Honey Dessert and Coffeehouse in Peterborough
Best Emerging Baker (Joined the tour in the last 2 years)
Best of the Best (A delicious duel between past winners at the Taste-Off)
1st: "Maple Pecan" by Kawartha Shortbread in Fenelon Falls (See the live video of Karen receiving her trophy on our Facebook page!)
2nd: "Maple Butter Tart" by Black Honey Dessert and Coffeehouse in Peterborough
3rd: "Pumpkin Butter Tart" by Doo Doo's Bakery in Bailieboro
We hope you had a great time at the event. We hope we’ll see you again soon at one of the over 50 local bakeries that make this tour so special & unique! Remember the tour is self-guided & open year-round, so you can pick up some locally-made tarts & host your own taste-off whenever you want! Be sure to tag us on social media to let us know which tarts are your favourites!
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).