Cornflake Tart Recipe – A Simple School Classic!


Who could resist a delicious Cornflake Tart? It’s such a classic dessert that always brings back many memories for those of us who had school dinners in the UK. And now, we’ve developed an easy Cornflake Tart recipe so you can make your own!

Cornflake Tart Recipe - Tart on a cake stand and Cornflake tart slice next to it with custard

Like many school dinner regulars in the 1970s/80s, the Cornflake Tart is simple, contains cost-friendly ingredients and is very tasty.

If you spent time queuing up with tray in hand trying to see what was on offer from the dinner ladies, then you’ll know that you could smell that it was a Cornflake Tart day as soon as you walked into the hall.

Will you find it on many restaurant menus? No, probably not. But the infamous Cornflake Tart is always a crowd pleaser in our house alongside other retro puds like Crumble, Old School Cake Sponge and Pink Custard. Yum!

You can find our full recipe card and instructions below, alongside top tips and FAQs.

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Cornflake Tart Recipe - British Old School Dinner Classic

What is a Cornflake Tart?

For those of you not from the UK and wondering exactly what we’re on about, let us introduce you to a British classic, the Cornflake Tart. It has a thin shortcrust pastry base topped with a layer of strawberry or raspberry jam. Then on top of your jam is a thick layer of crunchy cornflakes tossed (smothered!) in golden syrup.

The joy of this retro dish? It is one of the most simple puddings you can make and a fantastic tart to make with little ones who will enjoy seeing one of their favourite cereals made into a cake!

Cornflake Tart Recipe - Tart on a plate and cornflake slice with custard

Where does the Cornflake Tart come from?

The first thing to look at is the hero of this recipe, the humble cornflake; spelt either corn flake or cornflake! 

Cornflakes have been with us since 1894 when a certain Will Kellogg and his brother John created the cereal by a happy accident. 

John left out a batch of dough one night at the Sanitarium where they worked, and rather than throwing it out when he realised the next day, he rolled it thinly and realised it formed thin flakes which could then be baked. Will went about trying to recreate what had happened, and thus, cornflakes were born.

Cornflake Tart Recipe - Slice on a plate

The breakfast cereal proved so popular that the Kellogg company was created to help spread this crunchy breakfast treat to the rest of the world.

Jump forward to the present, and over 70 million boxes of cornflakes are produced in the UK each year. And a whopping six billion boxes over the last 100 years – that’s 30 trillion individual flakes! 

Like many other simple dessert recipes, the Cornflake Tart itself first appeared in a post-war recipe guide published in the late 1940s. 

Combining these two facts makes us wonder if the Cornflake Tart began life in the north of England, maybe Manchester, as this has been the home of the Kellogg factory since 1938. 

In any case, it was still being made and enjoyed well into the 1980s and now we’re reviving it once again.

Corn flake Tart slice on a plate with custard and full tart behind

Things you’ll need to make a Cornflake Tart

  • 23cm Fluted Tart Tin – we use one like this
  • Large Bowl
  • Wooden Spoon for mixing – means less breakage of the cornflakes
  • Baking Beans* – we have these
  • Food Processor*
  • Stand Mixer*

These are all useful if you want to make your own pastry but are not strictly necessary. It’s possible to use rice instead of baking beans, and you can use your hands (make sure they’re cold) to combine butter and flour and a fork to bring everything together. More detail in the recipe below! It will just take a bit longer and be more labour intensive – but it’s worth it, we promise!

Cornflake Tart Recipe

Ingredients for Cornflake Tart Recipe

Yield: 10 slices
Prep time: 25 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes

For the pastry:

  • 275g plain flour (2 cups)
  • 125g unsalted butter (cold, cubed) (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 tbsp cold water

For the filling:

  • 60g unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
  • 130g golden syrup (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 130g raspberry jam (1/3 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 100g cornflakes (3 ¾ cups)
Cornflake Tart Recipe Ingredients

Do you have to make your own pastry?

Definitely not! Feel free to buy ready rolled, or ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry from the supermarket. Just make sure if it’s frozen you defrost it fully before starting. If you have access to Jus-Rol pastry this is also vegan! Just skip ahead to the part of the recipe where you need to line the tart tin with the pastry.

What if you don’t have Golden Syrup?

Given that a Cornflake Tart recipe is likely to appeal mostly to those of you in the United Kingdom, thanks to the nostalgia associated with school dinners, Golden Syrup should be fairly readily available.

However, if you’re a Brit abroad, or if you’re just wanting to try this classic for yourself, then you may need to substitute the golden syrup if you can’t find any.

As discussed in our Golden Syrup Loaf recipe, it is possible to make your own, but most likely, you’ll be looking for a quick alternative, in which case you can try corn syrup, which is sweeter and has less of a caramel taste, as does honey, which has a different taste again but is also sticky enough.

You could also give maple syrup a go, but it is less sticky and thinner, so you may need to experiment with the amount and not use as much.

How to Make a Cornflake Tart – Step by Step Method

To make the pastry, first add the flour and butter to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. You can also rub together the flour and butter with your hands if preferred (just make sure they’re cold).

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the sugar and whisk briefly by hand to combine.

Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the egg and 1 tbsp of the water. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on a slow speed until it just starts to come together into a dough. If the dough is still looking too dry and crumbly, add the second tablespoon of water. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can also use a fork to bring everything together.

Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Don’t handle it more than you need to here or you may overwork the dough.

Wrap the dough ball in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 0.5cm in thickness. Lay it over a 23cm fluted tart tin then push it down into the base and sides with your hands so it closely lines the tin. Cut away any loose edges, but leaving an overhang of about an inch or so.

Prick the base of the pastry a few times with a fork, then place in the fridge to chill for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190C/370F.

Place a sheet of baking paper over the pastry, then cover with baking beans.

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and paper and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through and starting to go golden around the edges.

Whilst the pastry is still hot, carefully slice away the excess pastry with a sharp knife so you have a nice flat edge.

Leave the tart case to cool whilst you prep the filling. Add the butter, golden syrup, sugar and salt to a large saucepan. Heat on a low-medium setting until melted and well combined.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the cornflakes, making sure they’re well coated in the butter mixture.

Spread the raspberry jam all over the base of the tart case, then spoon over the cornflake mixture.

Bake for another 5-7 minutes, until the cornflakes are lightly toasted.

Allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving, on its own or with custard.

Cornflake Tart recipe

What do you serve with a Cornflake tart?

We would suggest cream or custard, but it’s just as good on its own. You can add extra jam if you wish too.

Cornflake Tart Recipe - Tart on a cake stand with bowl of jam and custard next to it.

How do you store a Cornflake Tart?

If there’s any of this tasty tart left after you’ve served it to the family, pop it into an airtight container and finish it off in 3-5 days. We suggest keeping it in the fridge to keep the tart as firm as possible.

The tart will stay good during this time, but you might find your cornflakes wilt a little and become softer the longer you leave it. Sometimes the golden syrup can also thin and start to leak a bit. It’ll be just as tasty, but maybe not look as nice!

Can you freeze a Cornflake tart?

You can freeze a Cornflake Tart for up to 3 months but ensure it is well sealed to avoid freezer burn or the pastry going soggy. We doubt you’ll have any left to be honest! You can leave it to thaw and then put it in the oven to warm it up before serving.

Cornflake Tart Variations To Try

You can easily vary the type of jam you use to change the taste; we suggest trying rhubarb or gooseberry. Other than that, this is a pretty simple and classic recipe, so there’s not a lot to change!

If you have any leftover pastry then simply use it to make small versions of the tart. These always go down well and can be more popular with little ones!

Cornflake Tart Recipe - Serving a slice

Top Tips for Making a Cornflake Tart

  • Make sure your hands are cold if you’re making the pastry by hand and that the pastry is cold before you bake it; otherwise, it may shrink unevenly as it cooks.
  • Ensure the cornflakes are thoroughly coated in the Golden Syrup mixture so that the tart sticks together as much as possible. Be prepared for a little breakage anyway, though!
  • You don’t need to grease or line the tin as the butter in the pastry means it won’t stick, and it will shrink away from the sides to be easily removed.
  • Allow it to cool fully before removing it from the tin, and use a loose base tin to make removing it even easier.
Yield: 10

Simple Cornflake Tart Recipe - A School Classic!

Cornflake Tart Recipe

This Cornflake Tart recipe is a nostalgic throwback to school dinners in the United Kingdom. It's a simple and easy recipe that'll bring back memories, or make new ones! We love this delicious Cornflake Tart served with warm custard. We're sure you'll be making this classic British dessert in no time!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Cooking Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients

For the Pastry

  • 275g plain flour (2 cups)
  • 125g unsalted butter (cold, cubed) (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 tbsp cold water

For the Filling

  • 60g unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
  • 130g golden syrup (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 130g raspberry jam (1/3 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 100g cornflakes (3 ¾ cups)
  • Pinch of Salt

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry, first add the flour and butter to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. You can also rub together the flour and butter with your hands if preferred (just make sure they’re cold).
  2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the sugar and whisk briefly by hand to combine.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the egg and 1 tbsp of the water. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on a slow speed until it just starts to come together into a dough. If the dough is still looking too dry and crumbly, add the second tablespoon of water. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can also use a fork to bring everything together.
  4. Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Don’t handle it more than you need to here or you may overwork the dough.
  5. Wrap the dough ball in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 0.5cm in thickness. Lay it over a 23cm fluted tart tin then push it down into the base and sides with your hands so it closely lines the tin. Cut away any loose edges, but leaving an overhang of about an inch or so.
  7. Prick the base of the pastry a few times with a fork, then place in the fridge to chill for another 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 190C/370F.
  9. Place a sheet of baking paper over the pastry, then cover with baking beans.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and paper and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through and starting to go golden around the edges.
  11. Whilst the pastry is still hot, carefully slice away the excess pastry with a sharp knife so you have a nice flat edge.
  12. Leave the tart case to cool whilst you prep the filling. Add the butter, golden syrup, sugar and salt to a large saucepan. Heat on a low-medium setting until melted and well combined.
  13. Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the cornflakes, making sure they’re well coated in the butter mixture.
  14. Spread the raspberry jam all over the base of the tart case, then spoon over the cornflake mixture.
  15. Bake for another 5-7 minutes, until the cornflakes are lightly toasted.
  16. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving on its own or with custard.

Notes

For the Pastry:

You can use shop-bought pastry if you prefer! Just make sure it's fully defrosted and ready to go and skip ahead to step 5.

Golden Syrup Substitute:

It's hard to. find the perfect substitute for. Golden Syrup, but you could try corn syrup (sweeter), honey (different taste altogether), or maple syrup (thinner).

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 95mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 4g

These values are estimates only.

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