Let the tasting begin!

For weeks we’ve been receiving comments and suggestions — some of them quite pointed — regarding our quest to find the best butter tarts in Muskoka.

Now it’s time to see how they stack up.

On Friday, July 6, half a dozen of the best bakers in Muskoka will be gathering at James Bartleman Island Park in Port Carling for the Muskoka Life Butter Tart Festival. And best of all, you’ll get a chance to taste their wares.

Here’s how it works:

From 1 to 3 p.m., each baker will have a tray of tarts available. For a donation of $5, you’ll receive two tickets, each one good for one tart. Give your ticket to your preferred bakers, taste their wares, and vote for your favourite.

We’ll also have a team of judges led by food writer Pamela Steel, who will be tasting all the tarts.

All proceeds from the tart tickets will go to charity: the Muskoka Lakes Museum, and the Children’s Foundation of Muskoka will share the proceeds.

15 thoughts on “Let the tasting begin!”

  1. The butter tarts are great at The Red Door Bakery

  2. Pat Foster said:

    Don’s bakery in Bala, in business since 1947, has GREAT butter tarts, (both with raisins and without). They also have an excellent selection of fruit tarts.

  3. Karen Kelly said:

    No Don’s Bakery in Bala? As the child of long time cottagers in the area I was raised on them (and my sister and I still disagree on raisins vs no raisins). But in my adult life I have met neighbours and friends who have in the past tasted Don’s tarts and beg me to bring them home after a weekend at the cottage. It frightens me to say it – but I’ve become a bit of a “dealer” as it were. No evaluation of the butter tart scene in Muskoka will be complete without a trip to Don’s. And while you’re there, try the brownies, and the scones, and the chelsea bus, and the cinnamon buns, and the…. well I think you get the drift. Enjoy! Oh and do you need any more tasters for your team?

    • Brooke Knight said:

      I will second Don’s Bakery in Bala for their Butter Tarts….a close competitor to the ones The Gravenhurst Bakery sells. I won’t mention their Chelsea Buns!!!

  4. My sister, Greta makes the flakiest, best, most delicious buttertarts in Muskoka by far! The most uniquely flavoured filling in the flakiest pastry that melts in your mouth. Our family sure appriciates her lovingly making dozens of these wonderful treats for weddings and family occasions.

  5. Coffee Cabin in Huntsville has wonderful butter tarts! (Raisin and nuts,runny and firm!!)

  6. Jacalyn Upshaw said:

    Anyone who has tried Baker Michelle’s Butter Tarts in Baysville, Humble Pie Butter Tart Factory, is addicted. They are gooey and delicious. Her pasty is the absolute best. In Summer she can’t keep things on her shelf. Congrats Michelle. Jackie at The landscapes

  7. I agree, the Red Door Bakery in Waubamik has all kinds of awesome TARTS and goodies. I live so close you can smell them baking….yum

  8. Brooke Knight said:

    My childhood memories of Butter Tarts sold at the old IGA in Port Carling were “out of this world”….they were gooey, flavourful with perfect flaked pastry! The Gravenhurst Bakery best replicates these tarts for me. Never overdone but just the perfect balance. My least favourite is The Farmer’s Daughter’s Butter Tarts – the pastry is too “dry & thick” with no real natural flavour to them. I also have an old Mennonite Butter Tart Recipe if your interested in my sharing it with you Pamela?

  9. Marilyn said:

    Try Brian’s Amazing Butter Tarts at Marmalade Skies Cafe and Gallery located in the Lorval Plaza Muskoka Road 169 Bala. The pastry is flaky and the butter tart melts in your mouth. There is no just thing as having just one! Muskoka’s best kept secret!

  10. An Richardson said:

    Wilkie Bakery in Orillia make the best butter tarts, which you can get at the fruit market past Oriilia (just past Webers) on the way to Muskoka, are our family’s favourite.

    • Janice Wright said:

      The Wilkie butter tarts are so good that often people eat them before they get to the cash out and end up paying for an empty box or else getting another box for home — they are not to be missed!

  11. There is a mother/daughter team who sell baked goods out of the back of there vehicle at the Gravenhurst Farmers Market. Is is held on Wednesday’s all summer long. They make other baked goods also but they sell their butter tarts individually and in trays and they are the best around by far! I don’t know their name but there is always a line up of people waiting to be served and they always sell out!! They have “Don’s” beat by a mile!!!

  12. Wilkies Bakery in Orillia has the best butter tarts around light flaky delicous pastry rich raisin filling melt in your mouth can ot stop at just one. The recipe is from the grandmother of the baker passed down from her grandmother i believe. Absolutely sinful but so worth the indulgence. They have a bakery in town as well as they sell at the farmers market and in the Food Land in Orillia. Also a must try their Chelsea buns!!!!

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