Treacle tart

Treacle tart is a traditional British dessert. The earliest known recipe for the dessert is from English author Mary Jewry in her cookbooks from the late 19th century.[1]

Treacle tart
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Serving temperatureHot or warm
Main ingredientsShortcrust pastry, golden syrup, breadcrumbs, lemon juice


Treacle tart served with clotted cream

It is prepared using shortcrust pastry, with a thick filling made of golden syrup (also known as light treacle), breadcrumbs, and lemon juice or zest. The tart is normally served hot or warm with a scoop of clotted cream, ordinary cream, ice cream, or custard. Some modern recipes add cream, eggs, or both in order to create a softer filling.

Treacle bread[2] is a homemade bread popular in Ireland and is similar to soda bread but with the addition of treacle.

  • "Treacle tart" is Cockney rhyming slang for "sweetheart".[3]
  • This dessert featured in the 1968 British fantasy film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The villainous Child Catcher, in an attempt to lure out the children from the basement, calls out that he is giving away free sweets.[4]
  • In the Harry Potter book series, Harry's favourite food is treacle tart, a dessert often found at the Hogwarts feasts.[5]
  • It narrowly defeated the Pecan Pie in the Pie-Off during episode 108 of the Dave Dameshek Football Program.[6]
  • In Season 3 Episode 1 of Downton Abbey, the dessert is featured at the servant's lunchtime, where Carson exclaims, "That treacle tart hit the spot, thank you Mrs. Patmore".[7]

See also


  1. Jewry, Mary (1899). Warne's Model Cookery: With Complete Instructions in Household Management and Receipts. London: F. Warne. p. 578.
  2. "Treacle Bread with Sultanas Recipe | Odlums". Odlums. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  3. "Treacle Tart is Cockney Rhyming Slang for Sweetheart!". Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  4. "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2018
  5. "Food in books: the treacle tart in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2018
  6. "DDFP 108: Niners QB battle and the pie-off! « NFL Dave Dameshek Blog". Archived from the original on 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  7. "Caitlin Moran on TV: Downton Abbey is all over the 1920s". The Times. Retrieved 28 June 2022.

Further reading

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