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Old Fashioned English Treacle Tart and Norfolk Treacle Tart

A retired pharmaceutical and industrial chemist, author and historian specialising in military events.

Old Fashioned English Treacle Tart

Old Fashioned English Treacle Tart

Dickens Favourite Norfolk Treacle Tart

Dickens Favourite Norfolk Treacle Tart

I have given two recipes for English Treacle Tart, one the traditional old fashioned tart using breadcrumbs and the other (Norfolk) without breadcrumbs which was a great favourite of Charles Dickens.

Although they are both called treacle tarts, they are normally made in England using golden syrup, not dark or black treacle which are more strongly flavoured and slightly bitter.

Old Fashioned English Treacle Tart


Short crust pastry:

4oz plain flour

2oz unsalted organic butter

1 teaspoon sugar

pinch of salt

Tate & Lyle Golden Syrup

mix with a small amount of water

Prepare the pastry by mixing flour, sugar and salt together and rubbing the butter into the dry mix. When the mix has a breadcrumb like consistency add a little cold water until the dough appears smooth but without being sticky. Form it into a ball, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling out.


Remove the crusts from 3 thick slices of stale bread and turn into breadcrumbs using a food processor or similar.

Finely grate the zest of 1 unwaxed lemon.

1 teaspoon of lemon juice, either fresh or bottled.

6 tablespoons of golden syrup.

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Using a medium saucepan add the syrup, the bread crumbs, lemon zest and juice

and heat gently until just melted together. Allow to cool.

Roll out the dough quite thinly and use to line a shallow round pastry tart tin. Blind bake using greaseproof paper and baking beads.

Then pour in the syrup breadcrumb mixture.

Taking the pastry trimmings, roll them out thinly and cut into narrow strips. Arrange on top of the filling into a lattice pattern.

Bake in a moderately hot oven 400deg F (200deg C) Gas 6 for 25 to30 min or until the pastry is slightly browned.

This can be served hot or cold with cream or traditional English custard.

Dickens Favourite Norfolk Treacle Tart

This is similar to above except it contains no breadcrumbs and doesn’t normally have a pastry lattice.


Produce a sweet shortcrust pastry to the recipe above or buy ready-made.


4oz unsalted organic butter

8 tablespoons golden syrup

2 beaten free range eggs

4 tablespoons double cream

Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons

½ level teaspoon ground ginger

Line a shallow round pastry tart tin with the pastry and bake blind.

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F (200°C) Gas 6. Put a baking sheet in the oven to pre-heat.

Gently heat and mix the butter and syrup together in a saucepan - sufficient for the butter to melt and combine with the syrup, but don’t let the mixture to get too hot. Allow the mixture to cool.

Using a bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and lemon zest together. Then add the warm butter and syrup mixture, whisking all the time. This mixture should then be poured into the pre-baked pastry case.

Place the tart on the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the centre is set.

This can be served hot or cold with cream or traditional English custard.

Traditional Christmas pudding

Nelson squares - Wartime cake made from scraps

Homemade sweets

Manchester Tart and Pudding

  • Manchester Tart or Pudding - War-time to date
    This was a tart which was a great favorite in the Manchester area. It started life back in the 1800s when it was called a pudding but because pastry was used became known as a tart.

Liverpool Tart or Liverpool Judy

  • Liverpool Tart or Liverpool Judy
    This tart is one in a series of local foods from wartime or 1950s. Liverpool Tart and Liverpool Judy are very similar and both are still eaten widely in the area.

© 2012 Peter Geekie


Peter Geekie (author) from Sittingbourne on January 30, 2013:

Dear kohuether,

Thank you for your comment. I did have an eBay link for Lyle's Golden Syrup (the one we use in the UK) but it fell off. I have renewed it above and hope this will help

Kind regards Peter

Katherine Olga Tsoukalas from New Hampshire on January 28, 2013:

What is golden syrup? This looks so delicious! I would love to experiment and make this but have no idea where to find the syrup that is needed.

Peter Geekie (author) from Sittingbourne on January 03, 2013:

Ah ! A man after my own heart - thank you for the comment scarytaff

Kind regards Peter

Derek James from South Wales on January 03, 2013:

These look great Peter, voted up and useful.

Peter Geekie (author) from Sittingbourne on November 03, 2012:

Dear teaches12345,

Oh ! Yes it is. It does raise the age old question - why is everything so delicious so bad for you ?

Kind regards Peter

Dianna Mendez on November 03, 2012:

Lemons, ginger, double cream -- what more could I possibly want? Love this recipe idea and the photos are so yummy looking.

Peter Geekie (author) from Sittingbourne on November 03, 2012:

Dear Angie,

Yes I can imagine cornflakes crushed up in treacle tart. Ice cream is nice but I'm a custard man or clotted cream from farmer Prettyjohn next door.

Kind regards Peter

Angie Jardine from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ... on November 03, 2012:

Hi Peter … my gran used to make yet another treacle tart … with a handful of two of cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs.

One thing I can agree on is that there is nothing more wonderful than any sort of treacle tart especially with a scoop of ice cream instead of the usual custard.

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