Treacle Tart: the easy recipe for a classic British dessert

Total time: 1H 30
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist
for the pastry
All-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups
1/2 tsp
unsalted butter, chilled
5 tbsp
lard, chilled
5 tbsp
ice-cold water
1/3 cup
for the filling
golden syrup
1 1/4 cups
white breadcrumbs
1 1/4 cups
Heavy Cream
3 tbsp
grated lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon

With its flaky, buttery crust and rich, gooey filling, it's no wonder the treacle tart is one of the most beloved of all British desserts. It's also a favorite of Harry Potter and he even smell it when he was near the Amortentia love potion! Made with golden syrup, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, which are mixed and heated to create treacle, and a beautifully buttery, flaky shortcrust, it's an easy dessert you can make and serve with an afternoon tea. Serve your treacle tart with some whipped cream, clotted cream, or a helping of homemade custard.

Treacle tart is easy to make and full of a rich flavor that's hard to resist. If you're looking to host a traditional afternoon tea with friends, this easy treacle tart is one dessert you have to make!


What is Treacle Tart?

Treacle tart is an irresistible dessert made from flaky shortcrust and filled with treacle, white breadcrumbs, and a dash of lemon zest. It's a traditional British dessert that first appeared in Mary Jewry's cookbook from the 19th century. Treacle tart is often served at afternoon tea with a dollop of cream or custard.

Also a favorite in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the name "treacle tart" is Cockney slang that rhymes with the word " sweetheart".


What is Golden Syrup?

Golden syrup is a thick inverted sugar syrup that's common in many British dessert recipes. It has a caramelly, buttery flavor, and is absolutely essential for making authentic treacle tart.

To make it at home, pour 1 ¼ cups water and 4 cups of sugar into a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Once it begins to boil, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. After adding the lemon juice, do not stir the mixture again. Lower the heat and simmer on low for 40 to 60 minutes.

Once the syrup turns a dark amber color, turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes, then transfer the golden syrup to a jar with a tightly sealing lid.


Tips for Easy Treacle Tart

Don't substitute Karo or corn syrup for golden syrup. If you can't find golden syrup, make a batch at home – it's easy to do and a must if you want to make an authentic treacle tart.

Don't overmix the pastry or it'll be tough instead of flaky.

Use fresh breadcrumbs instead of store-bought breadcrumbs. If you want to leave out the breadcrumbs, you can also substitute them for corn flakes or rolled oats.

Fresh lemon juice tastes best in a treacle tart.

To make a vegan treacle tart, use dairy-free butter and leave out the lard when making the shortcrust pastry. To make a vegan treacle filling, leave out the egg and heavy cream.


How to Store Treacle Tart

Wrap the tart in cling film and place it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Frozen treacle tart will last for 3 months.

How to Make Treacle Tart

For the crust


Put the flour, salt, butter, and lard in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture becomes coarse and crumbly. Add the water a tablespoon or so at a time, pulsing between each addition.


Turn the mixture out and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball of dough out into a 1 inch thick round and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Heat your oven to 375F.


Roll out the dough.


Place it in a pie pan, making sure to leave a little overhang. Poke the crust with a fork.


Place a weight on the crust to give it a defined shape.


Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden.

For the filling


Pour the golden syrup, lemon zest, and lemon juice into a saucepan. Heat over medium until the syrup becomes runny, then stir in the breadcrumbs. Remove from heat and leave it to sit for several minutes. Beat in the egg and heavy cream in a small bowl. Pour the egg mixture into the golden syrup mixture.


Transfer the treacle to the crust.


Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, then remove from oven to cool.


Serve and enjoy!


You can make treacle tart up to 2 days in advance.

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks