Cornflake Tart

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Classic UK school dinner dessert. Cornflake tart is made with a sweet shortcrust pastry, a layer of jam and an irresistible syrupy cornflake topping. Talk about nostalgic!

Close up of a golden cornflake tart, on a round wooden board, with a spoonful of jam in the background.

We all love a bit of nostalgic baking – that was the whole idea behind Baking with Granny after all. But one kind of baking that always seems to be a hit is those that we remember getting served at school. School Cake continues to be my number one ranking recipe, and possibly even the first recipe that brought you here. Thanks for sticking around!

When I told Granny I was now working on this school dinner recipe she was pleased – this is the bake she always remembered from her school days.

My kids however, had never seen a cornflake tart on offer with their school dinners. Has the cornflake tart had it’s day? Do they even still serve it in schools? Perhaps it’s too sweet to offer up to children these days. But let’s be honest, it’s that sweetness and nostalgia which continues to  make it such an irresistible bake.

Overhead view of a slice of cornflake tart on a grey plate, with the rest of the tart on a circular wooden board to the side. A spoonful of jam and broken cornflakes are scattered around on the white work surface.

What is cornflake tart?

Cornflake Tart is classic UK school dinner dessert, served across Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. A rich, sweet shortcrust pastry base, with a layer of jam (usually strawberry or raspberry), and topped with a delicious golden syrup laced cornflake concoction. Usually served in triangular slices, often with a pouring of custard over the top. Simple, sweet and oh-so satisfying.

Cornflake tart upon a round wooden board, with a spoonful of strawberry jam behind.

Ingredients:

Butter or Margarine
All pastry recipes require a fat and since this is a rich shortcrust pastry, butter or margarine is best. If you do opt for margarine please opt for a block margarine as opposed to a spreadable one – this will make your pastry easier to work with and not too soft.
You’ll also need a little more for your cornflake filling too; but don’t worry, this is listed as such in the recipe.

Caster Sugar
A traditional shortcrust pastry won’t usually contain sugar but we love a rich shortcrust pastry and think it compliments a cornflake tart perfectly. Caster sugar is best for this purpose, as it mixes well within your pastry dough.

Free-range Egg
Another ingredient that isn’t always used in a shortcrust pastry, but an egg adds an extra bit of richness to your tart. Just be sure to use a free-range egg where possible.

Plain Flour
Flour is a must-have for the pastry. Again, this is a shortcrust pastry, so no raising agents are required; good old fashioned plain flour is perfect.

Jam
What flavour of jam you use is personal preference but strawberry or raspberry would be the most traditional. You an of course experiment with different jams but I would always suggest using a seedless jam for the best texture.

Golden Syrup
Our favourite baking ingredient and a must-have in cornflake tart. Golden syrup is the foundation of the flavour in your topping and in this instance, any other substitute will not give you a comparable result. If you area overseas and invest in some golden syrup, why not take a look at my other Golden Syrup Recipes to make sure you get your moneys worth!

Dark Brown Sugar
A secondary sugar is need for the cornflake topping. I like a dark brown sugar; either a simple Soft Dark Brown Sugar, or a Muscovado Sugar if I’m feeling fancy. You can of course substitute with a light brown sugar or even extra caster sugar, if you have these to hand. The reason I prefer a darker sugar in this instance is because you already have a whole lot of sweetness from the rich pastry, the jam layer, and the golden syrup which is also going into the cornflake filling. Dark brown sugars are generally a little less sweet, whilst retaining a good flavour and a lovely colour.

Cornflakes
You couldn’t have a cornflake tart without the cornflakes! I use the good old fashioned cornflake and it does the job perfectly. You can however go for some Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, if you are so inclined. Another option is to use some Free-from Cornflakes, if you wanted to make a gluten free cornflake tart – just be sure to use a gluten-free pastry too.

What is Golden Syrup?

Golden Syrup is a popular baking ingredient in the UK… But what is it? Where can you get it? And what can you use as a substitute?

My in-depth Golden Syrup Guide has all the answers to your questions!

Questions?

Can I use shop-bought pastry?
Yes! You can definitely use a shop-bought pastry to make cornflake tart. Our recipe for the pastry is a little sweeter and richer than shop-bought ones but these are still a great alternative.
A ready-roll shortcrust pastry is particularly handy if you want to make a gluten-free cornflake tart (Genius do a gluten-free shortcrust pastry) or a vegan cornflake tart (Jus-rol shortcrust pastry is vegan).

Do I need to use baking beans in the pastry blind bake?
Not necessarily.
The blind bake is an essential step, as the pastry needs to be nearly completely baked before adding any fillings, and without being weighed down it won’t keep it’s shape whilst blind baking.
But you can use DIY baking beans if you don’t own any and don’t want to invest in them for only one recipe (I do have lots of other tart recipes you could use them for too though). Options for DIY baking beans include using some uncooked rice or dried peas – just be sure to line your pastry with some greaseproof/parchment paper regardless.

Slice of cornflake tart, on a grey plate, with the rest of the tart on a board behind.

Granny's Top Tips

• When it comes to transferring your pastry from your worksurface to the tart tin, simply wrap the pastry around your rolling pin, then gradually unroll over your tin, and into place. If you are concerned about the pastry sticking to itself or the rolling pin, simply dust the top of the pastry with a little excess flour before rolling around your rolling pin.

• Having trouble getting your greaseproof/parchment paper to cooperate when lining your pastry for the baking beans? Simply scrumple it up in your hands, before smoothing back out. Now it will have a bit more give and be easier to manipulate to the shape of your tart tin.

Cornflake tart from an aerial view. The crunch topped tart sits on a round wooden board, with a spoonful of jam to the side, and a scattering of extra cornflakes around.
Close up of a golden cornflake tart, on a round wooden board, with a spoonful of jam in the background.

Cornflake Tart

Classic UK school dinner dessert. Cornflake tart is made with a sweet shortcrust pastry, a layer of jam and an irresistible syrupy cornflake topping.
5 from 1 vote
PRINT RECIPE
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

For the Pastry

For the Filling

Instructions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°c (160°c for fan assisted ovens or Gas Mark 4). Lightly grease an 8 inch (20cm) loose-bottom tart tin. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, start by creaming together the caster sugar and butter/margarine, until light & fluffy. Add the egg and mix through until mostly combined (don't worry if it looks slightly curdled, simply add a spoonful of your flour to overcome this). Add the flour and mix to create a dough - you may need to use your hands.
  • Transfer your pastry dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently knead until you dough is smooth.
    If your dough feels a little too soft, you can wrap it in clingfilm and allow it to firm up in the fridge for 20 minutes - the need to do this will generally be dependant on the temperature/humidity of your kitchen.
  • Roll your pastry dough into a large circle, until it is a few centimetres bigger than the diameter of your tart tin (so around 26-28cm). Carefully transfer the pastry dough to your prepared tart tin, being careful not to catch too much air underneath, and gently pressing into the sides. Leave a little overhang on the pastry but trim off any large bits of excess overhang. Prick the bottom of your pastry with a fork, before lining the pastry with some greaseproof/parchment paper and filling with baking beans.
  • Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes, before carefully removing the paper and baking beans (watch out, they will be hot!) and return the tart pastry to the oven to continue baking for a further 5-10 minutes, until it is a light golden colour. At this stage, trim the remaining excess pastry overhang to leave a neat edge on your tart.
  • Once the pastry is baked, spread your jam within the pastry when it is still warm, then set aside while your prepare your cornflake filling.
  • In a large pan, melt the golden syrup, butter/margarine and brown sugar. Once completely melted, remove from the heat and stir in the cornflakes. Stir really well (but gently, although some breakage is to be expected) until all the cornflakes are coated.
  • Spoon the cornflake mixture on top of your jam-filled pastry, ensuring an even covering. Return to the oven and bake for a final 5-10 minutes, until the cornflakes are golden and toasted.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool until just warm, and then remove from the tin. Serve in slices with custard (optional).
Tried this recipe?Tag @bakingwithgranny or use the hashtag #bakingwithgranny!

Free-from & Vegan

Nut-free: This should be a nut free cornflake tart, as no nuts are used. However be sure to double check your individual ingredients for any hidden nuts.

Gluten-free: It is quite simple to use this recipe and make a gluten-free cornflake tart. The two main concerns are the pastry and the cornflakes. For ease, I would recommend using a shop-bought gluten-free shortcrust pastry (and a gluten-free flour for rolling your pastry out). And just use your favourite free-from cornflakes in place of the regular ones. When serving to those with coeliac disease, just be sure to double check all your other ingredients for any hidden gluten.

Egg-free: We do use an egg in the pastry for cornflake tart but if you need to make this an egg free cornflake tart, simply use a shop-bought shortcrust pastry – most of these are vegan and egg-free.

Dairy-free: To make this a dairy-free cornflake tart, simply use a dairy-free margarine and double check none of your other ingredients contain any hidden dairy.

Vegan: This recipe can be easily adapted to be a vegan cornflake tart. Simply use a shop-bought shortcrust pastry (most are accidentally vegan) and a dairy-free margarine.

Cornflake Tart recipe from Baking with Granny. Classic UK school dinner dessert. Sweet shortcrust pastry, with a jam layer and syrupy cornflake topping.

One Response

  1. 5 stars
    Love all your recipes as they really do take me back to school, the days before Jamie Oliver came along and this all stopped of course! I never had this recipe as a tart at school but more as a traybake with just the filling, minus the jam, as a traybake! Served with hot custard, amazing. Thanks for sharing.

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Hi! I'm Amy

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Hello, I’m Amy, the voice-behind and creator-of Baking with Granny.

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