Butter Tart Bars

Butter Tart bars or butter tart squares are almost as easy as my homemade butter tarts! You can make these in no time at all and they are just as delicious as a real butter tart is!

Jump to RecipePinSave to Favorites

Site Index Bars and squares Christmas baking Raisins

This post may contain affiliate links. See my privacy policy for details.

Butter Tart bars or butter tart squares are almost as easy as my homemade butter tarts! You can make these in no time at all and they are just as delicious as a real butter tart is!

stack of Butter Tart Bars in a dessert plate with a mug on the side in white background

Butter Tart bars are almost as easy as my homemade butter tarts.

Almost. You do have to make a crust for these, but it is incredibly simple to whip up and they are a crowd-pleaser, let me tell you! There is nothing like a batch of butter tart bars hidden in your freezer for when company comes over.

And I do mean hidden! If anyone knows that there are butter tart bars in the freezer, they won’t last long!

close up stack of Butter Tart Bars in a dessert plate on white background
Butter Tart Bars

Can I put walnuts or pecans in butter tart bars?

Now, I don’t actually put any nuts in my butter tarts but I have been known to add nuts to these. It depends on what mood I am in at the time. Oh fine, it actually depends on whether or not I am organised and have nuts in my pantry to use in them. You caught me. I am pretty sure that I have lost small children in my pantry, it’s so disorganized. Which is scary because I organize it at least 6 times a year. It just won’t stay clean!

So the long answer to the short question is YES you can put nuts in these butter tart bars!

close up stack of Butter Tart Bars in a dessert plate on white background
Butter Tart Bars

Butter Tart Bars Tips and Tricks

  • Butter tart bars are THE way to get that butter tart flavour that we all love with the least amount of work possible, with maximum payout. True, they aren’t as easy as using pre-made tart shells for a few dozen butter tarts that you whip up, which is my time-saving trick, but you can bake up a couple batches of these and freeze them in no time at all.
  • Make sure to let them cool completely in the pan before you slice them!

Can I freeze butter tart bars?

Yes you can freeze butter tart bars, here’s a few tips how:

  1. Make sure to cut them before you freeze them – I find that it’s just easier to slice bars before they head to the freezer.
  2. Get a good quality plastic container and you can freeze two layers of bars at a time, following step three below.
  3. To prevent freezer burn try to wrap the bars one layer at a time with plastic wrap. I find that putting them in a plastic sealed container doesn’t always prevent freezer burn. Make sure that there is wrap between the layers.

How long can I freeze them for?

If you follow the steps above there is no reason that they won’t last in your freezer for 1-2 months. It’s wrapping them so that you don’t get freezer burn OR take on any of the other “scents” in the freezer as well.

stack of Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares / Confetti Bars on blue background

If you are looking for another retro recipe that is seriously the bomb, try my Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares / Confetti Bars as pictured above. Now THESE don’t last in the freezer, mainly because they taste amazing frozen!So who here makes butter tart bars? Has made them? WILL make them?

Happy baking babes!



Butter Tart Bars

Butter Tart bars or butter tart squares are almost as easy as my homemade butter tarts! You can make these in no time at all and they are just as delicious as a real butter tart is!
4.98 from 176 votes
close up stack of Butter Tart Bars in a dessert plate on white background
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Total Time
45 minutes
16 squares
Karlynn Johnston



  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups of flour

Top Layer

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup  butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups  of raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  • Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl until crumbly.
  • Press the mixture into an ungreased 9×9  pan and pop into the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, until browned.
  • Combine your brown sugar and your eggs together well.
  • Add in the rest of your ingredients.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until beautifully browned, about 18-20 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Pecans and walnuts are exceptionally good in this!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 280kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 131mg, Potassium: 257mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 295IU, Vitamin C: 1.2mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 1.4mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

Made this recipe?

Share a photo of what you made on Instagram or Facebook and tag me @thekitchenmagpie or hashtag it #thekitchenmagpie.

Please rate this recipe in the comments below to help out your fellow cooks!

Learn to cook like the Kitchen Magpie

A Very Prairie Christmas Bakebook

Vintage Baking to Celebrate the Festive Season!

Learn More

a copy of Flapper Pie cook book

Flapper Pie and a Blue Prairie Sky

A Modern Baker’s Guide to Old-Fashioned Desserts

Learn More

The Prairie Table

Suppers, Potlucks & Socials: Crowd-Pleasing Recipes to Bring People Together

Learn More

Pin this recipe to your Christmas Baking or Dessert Boards and Remember to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST! 

Butter Tarts Bars! Tastes exactly like buttertars but are half the work! #recipes #dessert #butter #buttertarts #christmas #baking #holidays

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Bars and squares Christmas baking Raisins

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Jennifer Mears says

    I used chilled butter and blended well with br. sugar 1st. Then added flour and mixed together for base. Cooked as per directions. Made topping (as per instructions) after crust baked for 13 mins, poured topping over. Baked again in oven for 18 mins.

    PERFECTION!!!! Nothing to complain about here…other than, I’ll be stuck making these – forever 🩷5 stars

  2. Marion says

    I made this and it was delicious! Super easy to make. All the buttertart taste without all the work. Thanks very much. My husband loves this.5 stars

  3. Catherine says

    I don’t see any comments from the author on any of these. Am I missing something? It would be helpful to see some responses

  4. Yolanda says

    This is a delicious recipe but my topping is runny, am I doing something wrong?.

  5. Eloise says

    this recipe turned out to not cook according to the directions. It was very runny after the allotted cooking time. I had to return it to the oven 3 times!! I have made butter squares often but this has never happened . I would suggest using a 9 by 12 pan.

  6. James says

    This recipe is awesome in my in my books So simple to put together, less ingredients and a HUGE time saver.was a super hit with friends and family.

      • Sylvia says

        I doubled the recipe for a 9×13 pan & added about 1/2tsp extra flour. They turned out great! Easy recipe to follow & quick to make. Definitely added to my favorites list. If you can get farm butter instead of store bought it is worth it. Especially for the crust!

  7. Gina Reineke says

    so easy to mix up and now my house smells like Christmas Baking has started.5 stars

  8. Jaime says

    I used a 9×12 pan thin crust and there gone! family are the whole pan already!! making a second batch now same way there just great. I didn’t measure raisin or peacans just loaded them up. this recipe seems forgiving. great great can’t wait for them to cool.5 stars

  9. Candis says

    lovely bars – but one correction is needed. this is not American cuisine. it’s Canadian 😉

    suppose I shouldn’t be so smug as I’m enjoying your American recipe lol5 stars

    • Ava says

      I came here to point out the same thing! 🇨🇦

  10. Lynne says

    I skipped the raisins…YES! I’m one of those anti-raisin types! I added chocolate chips. Would you consider making a couple of small alterations to the recipe pertaining to the butter? Cold? Cubed? Softened? Melted and cooled? Thanks – looking forward to eating this tonight for dessert.

  11. Kelly from Ontario says

    I make butter tarts but have never made the squares. These were perfect. I have to say that your food photos are what brought me here yesterday and l have already made two winners from your collection!5 stars

  12. Anne Berend says

    These are nothing short of incredible. So easy and SO delicious. Taste exactly like a butter tart but with a better crust! I didn’t change anything in the recipe and they were perfect. They will be a go to in my kitchen for sure.5 stars

  13. ellen says

    Would it be o.k to pour the filling on an unbaked base?

    • Tracy says

      I would bake these bars as described. It would change the texture otherwise.5 stars

  14. Ellen Weisner says

    would it be ok to pour the filling on an unbaked base?

    • mike b says

      Yes its an incomplete recipe. i guess that’s the next direction but not very professinal.

  15. Melissa says

    These are great! I’m making my second batch now for my Christmas cookie trays, these are way easier than preparing tart shells.. my boyfriend got into and ate half of my first test batch. 🙂 I made something similar years ago and lost the recipe so I’m really glad I found this one! Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  16. Laurie Willimott says

    I will be making these soon. Because I’m Canadian, I can’t make this without adding vinegar to the filling. That’s my fave BT tart recipe. Is there anything I can do to add the vinegar, that won’t make it too runny?

    • Cat says

      I’ve lived in Canada for nearly 50 years and never heard of vinegar in butter tarts. Why do you add it?

  17. Cindy says

    Delicious!! Only had 8×8 so crust was a little thick but will make again for sure!! The best of a butter tart without a tart shell! A big hit with our family!4 stars

  18. JBagwell says

    Is there a way to compensate for leaving out the raisins? I just really don’t care for them, but this recipe looks amazing otherwise

    • Chantal Fournier says

      I don’t put raisins and it’s fine 🙂

    • Charlaine says

      A lot of people who dislike raisins are fine with dried currants. They have a milder taste and no squishy texture.

    • Pat Newland says

      Doubled this delicious recipe, used 40% less brown sugar and dried cranberries along with raisins. I’m Canadian from Ontario and these are every bit as good or better than those from award-winning butter tart maker, The Maids Cottage in Newmarket! First batch gone, at our Garden Club meeting!

  19. Carley says

    I made a double batch, for the crust I used a pastry cutter and cold butter and worked it until it was chunky crumbles, didn’t make a dough… and lowered the raisins to 1 cup per.. 1.5 seemed to be a lot haha. Used an extra 1/2 tbsp of flour to coat the raisins and I didn’t add them until after I poured the top layer into the pan, I laid them on top then used a spoon to work them in. Added 1/3 cup chocolate chips to one pan before putting in the oven. They turned out AMAZING. I will forever use this recipe haha. Thank you!5 stars

  20. Hailey says

    Very easy recipe… my squares turned out delicious!

    For the base, I didn’t melt the butter. I cut the butter into small room temperature cubes and mixed in my standing mixture. I mixed it for 8-ish minutes on low and it combined into a doughy texture that was easily moldable to the bottom of the pan. It starts out looking very dry/crumbly when you first mix it, so don’t take it out until it starts to look doughy!

    As for the topping, I prepared the butter the same way – into mini room temperature cubes. I mixed it on a fairly high setting for about 6 minutes. The butter didn’t combine perfectly into the mixture, there were still little visible flecks of butter in the mixture. Once I baked it, it turned out perfect!!

    Lastly, I used a 7 by 11 pan, so to compensate I cooked the bottom for 25 mins and the topping for 23 minutes.

    Hope this helps someone else, I didn’t find the answer to this in the comments 🙂5 stars

    • Sonya Beeler says

      I made it exactly as you said… and they are perfect. Absolutely perfect. Thank you!

  21. TvH says

    Yum! I added an extra 8 minutes cooking time, because my oven is a bit low. They’re great! Easy recipe, too. Thank you very much.5 stars

  22. Carolyn says

    Just made these Butter tart squares in a 9×9 pan as it said. Top layer is not very well defined like it Karrlyn,s picture. But they taste great! Perhaps an 8×8 pan and a bit longer bake time next time.4 stars

  23. Troy says

    Does it matter whether one uses light or dark brown sugar?

4.98 from 176 votes (141 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment or Recipe Tip

Recipe Rating

Enter your email to get this recipe emailed to you, so you don’t lose it and get new recipes daily!