These Gluten Free Vegan Butter Tarts are totally dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, plant-based Canada Day Dessert that is a better-for-you version of the iconic Canadian dessert.
When I was growing up in small town Peterborough Ontario, we looked forward to going to the Farmers Market every Saturday. Not because I was particularly into fresh organic produce (I was still a teen), but rather, because I looked forward to visiting my favourite booth- “the butter tart lady”. These damn butter tarts were the best I’ve ever had, so much so that we would buy a few packs of them just to get us through the week (damn you teenage metabolism!!).
These days, I probably can’t justify eating a pack of butter tarts every week but I absolutely need them to properly celebrate Canada Day. The gluten free vegan butter tarts are lighter than the ones I grew up with, are completely dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and plant-based, AND they taste absolutely divine. My hubby plowed through the entire batch in a matter of two days and was FLOORED they were vegan and gluten free making it the perfect Canada Day dessert for the masses.
key ingredients to make these plant-based butter tarts
For the crust you’ll need:
- Gluten Free Flour
- Vegan Butter – very cold (frozen if possible)
For the filling you’ll need:
- Chia seed
- Almond milk – vanilla unsweetened
- Maple syrup
- Brown sugar
- Corn starch
- Vanilla Extract
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Vegan Butter – melted
How to Make Gluten Free Vegan Butter Tarts
It starts with a classic gluten free vegan pie crust and this one is surprisingly simple and amazing. And while you could literally just eat the empty shells, the ooey gooey butter tart filling is really the key to making these great. Now, for my American readers, you might not be familiar with this iconic Canadian dessert, but picture a pecan pie filling but without the pesky nuts getting in the way. In other words, it’s just the sweet sticky buttery filling oozing out with every bite.
Now, here’s where things get controversial with these gluten free vegan butter tarts. Nuts, raisins or naked. I’m VERY anti-nuts and raisins in my butter tarts. To me, that’s just muddying the waters and distracting us from what we’re all REALLY there for- the gooey gluten free vegan butter tart filling. But hey, if you are one of those pro-nut or pro-raisin crazies, you can absolutely load them up. Heck, you can drizzle these gluten free vegan butter tarts in chocolate if you really want to get crazy. I’ll try not to judge too hard.
Whatever you do, make these butter tarts for your Canada Day celebration (or really just any day of any week) and try not to eat the whole batch. Good luck with that.
faq about this recipe
what can i use instead of chia seed?
I like using chia seed in this recipe for the egg replacement and to add in some extra fibre and omega 3 fats, but you can of course get the same effects and benefits from other mighty seeds like flax seed.
are these tarts kid friendly?
Abso-fricken-lutely they are! Not only are they perfectly bite sized but they are sweet and delish with some extra nutrition that you can feel good about feeding to your kiddo.
what kind of gluten free flour would you recommend for this recipe?
I like to blend up some gluten free oats to make my very own gluten free oat flour from scratch! But you can also use almond flour in this recipe as well.
do you have any other vegan dessert recipes on the blog?
Do I ever! Here are some of my favourites.
So lovelies, what are you making for Canada Day? What are your thoughts on the VERY SERIOUS question of raisins, nuts or naked butter tarts? THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF.
Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!
Gluten Free Vegan Butter Tarts
- In a food processor, add the flour, salt, sugar, and butter and pulse until it reaches pea-like pieces. Add in the ice water, a tablespoon at a time until it comes together (you likely won’t use it all!). Form into a thick round risk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to set up.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325F.
- Mix together the chia and almond milk and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- In a food processor, puree the chia egg (the chia and almond milk mixture), maple, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, vinegar, butter, salt and cinnamon.
- Roll the dough out to less than 1/4 inch. Using a glass, cut out circles and nestle into a greased muffin tin. Poke holes in the bottom and sides using a fork and bake for 10 minutes.
- Add the filling 2/3 of the way up and bake for another 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool slightly to set.
Updated on October 23rd, 2020
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.