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Hi Bold Bakers!
geWHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: A traditional English treacle tart with a simple lemon filling, buttery crust, and a distinctive, pleasing texture. It’s very simple to make — and it uses my foolproof pie crust that anyone can handle.
In my early 20s, I used to cook for retired priests in a priory in Dublin. It was my job to make them lunch, dinner, and, of course, dessert. I would spend the entire day baking for them — and this easy treacle tart recipe was always high on their wish list.
With its comforting flavor, unique texture, simplicity, and charming British heritage, treacle tart is an invitation to explore a culinary tradition that spans centuries. And the best part? It’s surprisingly easy to make, making it the perfect dessert for both beginners and seasoned bakers. So, why wait? Treat yourself and your loved ones to a slice of homemade heaven, you won’t regret it!
Table of Contents
- What is Treacle Tart?
- Tools You Need
- Treacle Tart Recipe Key Ingredients and Why
- How to Make Treacle Tart
- How to Store Treacle Tart
- Can I make a Treacle Tart in advance?
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- Enjoy More Irish Pies and Tarts
What Is Treacle Tart?
- Treacle tart is a traditional British dessert known and loved for its buttery crust cradling a sticky, gooey, and zesty lemon filling sweetened with golden syrup (or light treacle).
- It’s rich in history, from its earliest documented recipe in the late 19th century to appearing in the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to being known as Harry Potter’s (and also maybe Harry Potter fans’) favorite food. The first treacle tart recipe is believed to be by Mary Jewry, which was actually printed before the invention of golden syrup! Back then, Mary used black treacle, which is darker than golden syrup and has a stronger, slightly bitter, flavoring.
- The secret to achieving the tart’s distinctive texture lies in the inclusion of fresh breadcrumbs within the luscious filling mixture, and I prefer to use my homemade breadcrumbs for an extra touch of artisanal quality. If you find yourself without treacle, fear not; you can easily craft a golden syrup substitute at home.
Tools You Need
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Measuring jug
- 9-inch shallow pie pan or tart tin
- Rolling pin
- Pie weights
- parchment paper
- Medium saucepan
- Mixing bowls
Treacle Tart Recipe Key Ingredients and Why
1 recipe of Best Pie Crust Recipe
- Golden syrup or light treacle, is a popular baking ingredient in Ireland. It is a thick, amber-colored syrup and deep buttery flavor that you would use in recipes that include corn syrup.
- Golden syrup is a form of inverted sugar syrup, which is made in the process of refining sugar cane or sugar beet juice into sugar. It has the same consistency as honey and looks similar as well. If you can’t find golden syrup, you can make a homemade substitute version or use dark corn syrup.
- Lemon juice balances the sweetness and gives the tart a refreshing citrus flavor.
- Breadcrumbs absorb and retain moisture, creating a moist, tender, and slightly chewy interior.
- Heavy cream enriches the flavor and contributes to a silky smooth filing texture.
- Eggs can bind other ingredients together and add richness from egg yolks to the tart.
How to Make Treacle Tart
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Roll out the pie crust and line a 9-inch (23cm) shallow tart pan with it.
Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, line with parchment and pie weights, and bake for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the parchment and pie weights and bake the crust for another 5 minutes, until pale golden brown. (Learn more about Blind Baking here)
Make the filling:
In a medium saucepan, over low heat, cook the golden syrup, lemon zest, and juice until the syrup is warm and runny.
Remove from the heat, stir in the breadcrumbs, and let cool for 5 minutes then whisk in the cream and egg.
Spread the filling evenly into the par-cooked crust, return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is golden brown.
- Let cool for at least 20 minutes and serve warm with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
How to Store Treacle Tart
Store treacle tart leftovers loosely covered with cling film at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Can I make a Treacle Tart in advance?
Yes, you can prepare a treacle tart ahead of time.
- Freeze an unbaked tart:
- Follow this recipe up to the point where you would normally bake it. Wrapan assembled tart tightly in cling film or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. A raw treacle tart can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven per this recipe and bake it directly from frozen. You may want to cover the edges with foil to prevent over-browning while the center thaws and bakes. Add a few extra minutes until the filling is golden brown.
- Freeze a baked tart:
- Once the treacle tart has cooled to room temperature, wrap it carefully to prevent freezer burn and maintain its freshness.
- Freeze on a flat tray until firm the transfer treacle tart into an airtight bag or container and freeze it for up to 2-3 months.
- When ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Bake at 300°F(150°C)until warm throughout.
What Is Blind Baking?
For this recipe, you have to blind bake your pie crust. Baking blind is a method of baking in which a pie crust, or other pastry without the filling, is partially or fully baked before adding in the filling. Learn more about blind baking here.
Can I use maple syrup?
You can use maple syrup but do expect a different result.
- The tart will have a pronounced maple flavor which differs from golden syrup’s caramel-like taste.
- Maple syrup will add an amber hue to the tart.
What kind of crust can be used to make a treacle tart recipe?
You can use a pie crust, Buttermilk Pie Crust, Flaky Sour Cream Pie Crust Recipe, Pâte Brisée (French Pie Crust), Easy Puff Pastry Crust, Cookie Pie Crust, or Pâte Sucrée Recipe (French Sweet Shortcrust Pastry).
Can I make mini treacle tarts instead of one large tart?
Yes, you can make mini treacle tarts by using smaller tart pans or molds. Monitor the baking time and oven temperature carefully, then use the telltale sign from this recipe.
Can I make this treacle tart recipe gluten-free?
Yes, you can make a gluten-free treacle tart by using The Flakiest Gluten-Free Pie Crust.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Traditional Treacle Tart
- If you don’t have pie weights, dried beans, lentils, or rice work just as well.
- Be sure to check out more detailed tips and step-by-step instructions in How to Blind Bake a Crust.
- It’s important to use fresh breadcrumbs for this recipe – dried, pre-packaged breadcrumbs are too fine and won’t give you the right texture. Easily make your own Homemade Breadcrumbs here.
- You can play around with variations on this tart by adding a teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger or a ½ a teaspoon of a dry spice, like cinnamon. You can even try replacing the lemon zest and juice with the zest and juice of an orange.
- Serve this fan-favorite warm with a nice scoop of clotted cream, homemade crème anglaise, or homemade vanilla ice cream!
Enjoy More Irish Pies and Tarts!
- Authentic Irish Apple Amber Pie
- Classic Irish Apple Tart
- Traditional Mince Pies
- Banoffee Pie
- Homemade Mincemeat
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day!
IMPORTANT NOTE: This recipe was updated and improved on 10/12/2023, to include a new step-by-step tutorial video, explanation of key ingredients, answers to the most frequently asked questions, and Pro Chef Tips.
Watch The Recipe Video!
Traditional Treacle Tart Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Roll out the pie crust and line a 9-inch (23cm) shallow pie tin with it.
- Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, line with parchment and pie weights, and bake for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove the parchment and pie weights and bake the crust for another 5 minutes, until pale golden brown. (Learn more about ‘Blind Baking’ here)
- While the pastry is cooking, make the filling: In a medium saucepan, over low heat, combine the golden syrup and lemon zest, and juice until the syrup is warm and runny.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the breadcrumbs and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Into the cooled breadcrumb mixture, whisk in the cream and egg.
- Spread the filling evenly into the par-cooked crust, return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is golden brown.
- Let cool for at least 20 minutes and serve warm with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. Store leftovers loosely covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.