Made from easy-to-find ingredients that use simple techniques, they are made with love and care. When you have a space as big as Canada, dessert has a regional touch. Someone could be born and raised in Vancouver and never try, let alone flan or butter pie, two iconic Canadian desserts. So let us introduce you to the wonderful and wonderful life of Canadian desserts, all made with love and compassion.
1. Nanaimo Bar
Named after the city it was invented in (Nanaimo, British Columbia on the west coast of Canada), this no-bake dessert has been hailed as Canada’s most iconic treat. A layer of chocolate ganache sits atop of a layer of thick yellow custard that sits atop of a chocolate-graham-coconut layer creating a triple-threat dessert bar. The earliest published recipe is said to date back to 1953, but if you ask around town, locals will tell you stories of their grandmothers making them long before. The treat has transformed over the years to include a variety of flavors (mint, red velvet, peanut butter, mocha) and forms (ice cream, martinis, cupcakes, lattes, even spring rolls). You can even walk the Nanaimo Bar Trail for the ultimate sugar rush, which includes 39 stops to taste classics, modern takes and drinks, and even marvel at inedible tributes to the classic dessert.
2. Butter Tarts
Step foot into Canada, specifically on the East Coast, and you will find butter tarts everywhere. From the best bakeries in town to the corner store, butter tarts are a Canadian obsession. The handheld tarts are like a pecan pie (but without the pecans), are usually sweetened with maple syrup and have such a following that trails, tours, festivals and bake-offs are dedicated to the bite-sized treat. So, what makes a butter tart so special? According to Sarah Kerr, Communications Partner for the Kawartha Northumberland Butter Tart Tour, "it is part of [our] history and heritage. It brings alive an element of history, family and companionship. Butter tarts can offer a homespun feel of traditional Canadian. And everyone always remembers the butter tart their grandmother made for them."
The first published recipe was in 1900 but butter tarts were being made by the early settlers in the 1700s. Today, butter tarts can be gluten-free, in the form of cupcakes, ice cream, frosting, even beer.READ MORE