Lemon treacle tart recipe

(96 ratings)

Our lemon treacle tart is a twist on the classic English dessert that takes under an hour to make.

lemon treacle tart
(Image credit: Alamy)
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories396 Kcal20%
Fat7.2 g10%
Saturated Fat3.5 g18%
Sugars52.8 g59%
Protein3.3 g7%
Carbohydrates79.2 g30%

This lemon treacle tart is a simple update on the English classic and can be served warm or cold. 

Lemon tart is great but if you’re craving some old school comfort you can’t beat this lemon treacle tart. The lemon adds a subtle fresh flavour that perfectly compliments the sweet golden syrup. Enjoy this tart hot or cold but for extra comfort we recommend serving it alongside some custard or double cream. 


For the pastry:

  •  75g butter or Trex Vegetable fat (or a combination of the two), chilled
  • 150g plain flour

For the filling:

  • 700g golden syrup
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1⁄2tsp ground ginger
  • 200g fresh white breadcrumbs




  • Cut the fats into slivers and rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add 2 tbsp water and bring together as a dough. If the pastry has become quite warm, shape into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for 30 mins.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and use it to line a 23cm fluted, loose-based tin. Chill for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C (180C fan, Gas 6). Put a baking tray into the oven to heat up.
  • Put the syrup in a pan and just warm it through, stir in the lemon zest and juice, ginger and breadcrumbs, then pour into the pastry case. Put on the hot baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4) and bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm, or cold, with custard or cream. Reheat for serving the next day, if liked.

Top tips for making lemon treacle tart

If you’re in a hurry you can use shop bought pastry. It’s best to buy the blocks of pastry as then you can roll it to the desired size and thickness. You could even use a ready-based pastry case. For more tips that may come in handy when making this recipe, continue reading below. 

Do you need to grease a fluted tart tin?

If you have made the pastry well, there should be enough butter or fat in the recipe to prevent it from sticking. It’s always best to use a non-stick tin and one with a loose-bottom. If you’re worried there’s no harm in very lightly spraying the tin with some flavourless oil.

Why is it important to chill dough before rolling it?

Chilling the dough allows the fats to firm up. This will give you a better pastry texture which is flaky and short. Chilling also makes it easier to roll the pastry.

How do you achieve neat pastry edges?

Food writer Jessica Ransom says: ‘When lining a fluted tin, I like to use a rolling pin to roll over the top of the tin and cut off any scraps around the edge. Chill the tart well before baking and it should prevent it from shrinking too much.’ Other chefs prefer to leave the pastry case with a little excess around the edges and trim after baking. However, with this recipe we would not recommend that as the crumbs will contaminate the baked filling.

If you don’t have a lot of experience rolling pastry, it’s worth using a rolling pin with thickness guides as it helps you know when you’ve rolled it enough. We like this non-stick option which is odour-resistant and easy to clean too. 

Super Kitchen Adjustable Stainless Steel Rolling Pin with Silicone Thickness Guide Rings - View at Amazon

Super Kitchen Adjustable Stainless Steel Rolling Pin with Silicone Thickness Guide Rings - View at Amazon

The smooth, stainless steel material of this rolling pin doesn’t colour or absorb odours. It is hollow making it very light to hold and it is 40cm long which ensures you can roll your pastry into large shapes without the ends of the rolling pin causing indents. Although it is dishwasher safe we recommend giving it a quick wash with soapy water. 

If you’re craving more classic recipes, you can’t beat a slice of lemon drizzle cake or a batch of freshly baked treacle flapjacks. To continue with the treacle flavour, try our treacle toffee. 

Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.