Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tea Room Recipe #35 - Secret Garden Tea Company (Vancouver, B.C.)

This week's recipe is a new (to me at least) type of muffin that is absolutely delicious as a breakfast treat, Rebecca's Butter Tart Muffins!

This recipe comes from a 1996 book, "Tea Time in the Northwest" by Sharon and Ken Foster-Lewis. I know it is often said that such guidebooks are dated the minute they are released, but I like to collect them anyway because they help preserve the history of tea rooms, and also because the recipes inside are timeless. The Secret Garden Tea Company, by the way, is still in business!

I'd never heard of a Butter Tart Muffin before, so I was prepared for this to be something other than your usual fluffy breakfast muffin. Indeed, the low-rising, spongy muffins are very, very buttery, and with the maple syrup on top they almost remind me of pancakes in muffin form.

Rebecca's Butter Tart Muffins

1-1/2 cups raisins*
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used walnuts)
1/4 cup corn or maple syrup
* I like raisins only in moderation, so I used a mixture of raisins, dried apricots and dried cranberries.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a saucepan, combine raisins, sugar, butter, eggs, milk and vanilla over medium heat and cook for about 4 or 5 minutes, just until mixture begins to thicken. Cool in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

In a separate large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add warm raisin mixture and stir just until combined. Add nuts and combine. Spoon batter into muffin tins prepared with cooking spray or baking cups. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until golden on top and edges are beginning to brown. Immediately pour about a teaspoon of syrup over each muffin. Delicious served warm, and said to freeze well too. Yields 12 muffins.


  1. That looks buttery rich and quite tasty alongside that beautiful cup of tea! Such a sweet little cup and plate set!

  2. These sound yummy and quite sweet as well. Like you, raisins need only be consumed in moderation and when
    my friend serves raisin pie....I always decline and say that's too many raisins in one place at one time. LOL

  3. I have this book somewhere. Now where is it? The muffin looks very yummy!

  4. I must say, I don't have this book because many are out of business (sadly) - but perhaps I should have it to preserve the recipes and history!

  5. That muffin looks delicious, Angela. And if you check out Publix, they have a fresh peach spread that would be just perfect for it. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Joanie


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