School Dinners Cornflake Tart – remember?

For some strange reason I have had a longing to make one of these for ages. Maybe because the school has FINALLY started up school dinners, and the tales of what-they-ate-today has brought all sorts of memories back (but they have no pink or brown or white custard? What’s with that?). On chatting to various friends-of-a-certain-age about school dinners, one dish was universally clamoured after, no matter where we went to school.

The Cornflake Tart.

You remember it? Thin Pastry base, layer of jam, then crunchy golden cornflakes spread on top?

Exactly. Who doesn’t remember it?


I was chatting with the lovely mother in law a couple of weeks ago about this; she was a teacher, and ALSO remembers it fondly. In fact she exclaimed “Oh! I have the recipe for that! I asked the school cook for it at my last school (circa 1978). Would you like it?”

Would I!

And so – here, for you, is the real, actual, proper, straight-from-the-school-cooks-mouth recipe for School Dinners Cornflake Tart.

You’re welcome.

Shortcrust Pastry

  • 6oz/180g flour
  • 3 oz/80g butter (original recipes says half margarine, half lard… I stuck with butter!)
  • 1floz/30ml water


  • 4oz/110g Golden Syrup
  • 3oz/80g Cornflakes
  • 2oz/40g Butter (again recipe says Margarine)
  • 1oz/30g Sugar
  • 4oz/110g  Red Jam


1. Line the tart trays (I used a flan dish, and remember my school serving this up in enormous tray bake tins) with the pastry and crimp the edges

2. Prick the pastry all over and bake blind, for approx 20 minutes at Gas 6/400F/200C/180 Fan (if you don’t have baking beans, then rice or lentils work just as well)

3. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a large heavy bottomed saucepan, then stir in the cornflakes.

4. Spread a thin layer of jam over the pastry case and place the cornflake mix on top.

5. Return the tart to the oven for 5 minutes to allow the mixture to set.

Extra steps not actually in the original recipe:

6. Do NOT leave the tart in the oven longer than 5 minutes, or you end up with one that looks like mine…

7. Serve with a heap of gloopy thick yellow custard (or take the school dinners pink custard option) – and tell me you don’t feel better afterwards. And also about 9 years old.

And yes, I MIGHT have left the tart in the oven a bit long.
And I MIGHT have broken off the worst of the burnt bits before I took the photo.
And it MIGHT be in a rather dated pink flowery dish that was a wedding present nearly 20 years ago.
And I MIGHT have forgotten to photograph it looking beeyootiful with custard because everyone was too greedy to wait, so had to photograph the seconds instead.
But I don’t care – it was still a thing of deliciousness, and comfort-in-a-bowl.

Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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  1. Just a note – we’re all so fat-averse that lard seems unthinkable – but it does make pastry much better than just using butter!

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  2. I Haven’t Had This In A While Thankyou! :D

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  3. been lookin for this every were .. i am trying it tomarrow thank you very much =D

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  4. Hi i made the cornflake tart and used your measurements and there was way to much butter in it although the cornflakes were coated really nicely…:(

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  5. OMG!! I have been wanting to make this for almost a year and i just today thought ”screw it, imma look up the recipe and make it tomorrow :D” awh man, you have no idea how much seeing this webpage please me!! :)

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  6. Thank you ! I never knew it was so easy to make your own. It was delicious and was devoured by hubby and kids within seconds of it leaving the oven !

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  7. Im going to make this now, thank you!

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  8. it turned out so good this method is so great


    heena xxxx


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  9. Thanks so, so much for this recipie. I’ve been looking for it for years!!! Made it last night and it was gorgeous! I felt nine again. I’ve already had all my friends and family requesting theirs!!! Check out my instagram or twitter for pics :) @HannahMlatem or search Hannah Mlatem on instagram x thanks gain x

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  10. I remember one particular school meal that I used to love and that was a savoury mince crumble – I would love to make it now, but now sure what was in the crumble – anyone know of the recipe??!!!!

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  11. Wasn’t it lemon curd in the filling as well?

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  12. Hello

    I’m on making this recipe and was wondering the following

    It says a thin layer (and I know there’s an amount) but is a thin layer say 4mm thick. And is it applied whilst the pastry is still warm or when cold


    If I wanted to think ahead would it no ok to do everything but the final 5 mins cooking which would happen the next day, or would it go soggy??


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  13. We made this as our Valentines treat last night and it was gorgeous! We veganised it so instead of butter we used sunflower spread and added home-made jam instead of shop bought. Will definitely be making this again :)

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  14. hi, if you wanted to do this in a rectangle tin what size tin- width/depth/length, would you use?


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  15. mmmm i love corn flake cake, used to have it loads at school and i miss it! my family thinks im weird for liking it!

    oh well… still carnt wait to try this recipe though looks yummy…

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  16. hi what kind of sugar is used in the filling? caster? granulated?


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    • Any kind you have in the cupboard Lulu – I think the recipe suggest granulated, but I find it doesn’t make much difference to the end product if you use caster.

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  17. WOW! I gonna pop down the supermarket now, get what I need and make this!

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  18. Tried and tested this is an authentic school recipe though I used margarine. I only put a thin layer of jam on pastry as too much can be over poweringly sweet! Another top is if you feel there is too much butter or margarine you can leave some of it at the bottom of the pan whilst transferring mixture to the pastry as the flakes are adequately coated and so don’t need to pour in the excess butter/marge. Thank you so much for this recipe!

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  19. Does anyone know the very similar tart recipe but with a mild coffee style soft thick filling in place of the jam? I can’t find it anywhere!!!!

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  20. Just made it!I rolled out the pastry a bit too much and I think it’s a little too sweet. But I haven’t had the cornflake tart for a few years. (maybe it’s me?) My Mum and Dad ate it for the first time ever, they really enjoyed it!!!
    Thank you for sharing the recipe

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  21. Shouldn’t the pastry have sugar in it? Also I assume you mean plain flour for the pastry and granulated sugar for the filling?

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    • HI Louise

      You can make sweet pastry if you wish, but the filling is so tooth that a simple shortcrust is absolutely fine.
      And yes, plain flour, and granulated sugar are both correct!

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  22. OMG!!! Thank you soooo much for this!!! I love this and have not gotten it right yet till i found this. Making it for 2nd time today. :) i use Sainsburys own dessert pastry as it didnt taste right to me with just shortcrust. But do everything else from receipe including cooking temp.

    Thank you soooo much its great!!!! ????

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  23. I think our schools cornflake tart had apple sauce instead of jam,did anybody else’s have this x

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    • Oooh, no, but that sounds like a delicious alternative!

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