Easy and delicious, these butter tart squares can be made with raisins or nuts, and deliver all the great flavours of Butter Tarts in a less fussy form.
I love butter tarts and I've eaten a lot of really great butter tarts over the years. I seek out the best :)
That's part of the reason I have never shared a butter tart recipe here, as I have yet to make one at home as good as the best ones I've enjoyed. Maybe one day I will get there! Instead, I satisfy my butter tart cravings with these delicious homemade Butter Tart Squares.
This butter tart squares recipe is my favourite. It requires just basic ingredients (no corn syrup or maple syrup needed) and is as as close to a butter tart as you will find in square form. With a wonderfully flaky base and a filling with just a touch of that ooey-gooey-ness that my butter tart craving demands, but not so much that the squares can't be cut. They have the perfect crust to filling ratio too, in my opinion. My butter tarts always include raisins, but you can easily make these with nuts instead, if you like.
Raisins - my preference for butter tarts is with raisins, but you are absolutely free to feel differently :) You can easily substitute an equal amount of chopped nuts in place of the raisins. Either pecans or walnuts (or a mixture of both) work nicely.
This is a summary of the steps to make this recipe. Always refer to the complete instructions in the Recipe Card below when making, as all steps may not be illustrated here.
Start by mixing the easy, 3-ingredient crust until moistened. Scatter into a parchment-lined 9x9-inch pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust.
Plump the raisins by soaking them in hot water, then draining and drying. Mix together the filling ingredients, then stir in the raisins. Pour over baked crust, then return to the oven for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
I generally make these in a 9x9-inch pan, but an 8x8-inch square pan should work nicely as well. Obviously, the squares will be a little thicker with this change.
Pressing the crust into the pan isn't the easiest, as it's a touch moist, which makes it stick to your hands. You can moisten your hands with water or spray with cooking spray. You can also try dipping a fork into a glass of cold water, then immediately using it to press down lightly on the mixture. Be patient and do your best to get it generally spread out. It doesn't need to be completely perfect (tiny holes are fine as the crust will rise together as it bakes), but don't leave any gaping holes.
Storage and Freezing
You can store these butter tart squares for a couple of days at room temperature or about 5 days in the refrigerator.
These will also freeze well for up to 3 months. Be sure to cut them first, then transfer to a freezer bag or container. Simply defrost at room temperature for for about 30 minutes to enjoy.
Butter Tart Squares
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup all purpose flour, whisked, spooned and levelled
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup raisins, plumped, drained and patted dry *see Note 1
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
- Prepare an 9-inch square baking pan by lining with parchment paper, allowing the edges to extend over the edges to use as handles to lift out after baking. (I like to use two strips 9-inches wide, laid in opposite directions, to cover the bottom and all sides neatly). *I generally make these in a 9x9-inch pan, but an 8x8-inch square pan should work nicely as well. Obviously, the squares will be a little thicker with this change.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Plump raisins by placing in a small bowl and covering completely with hot water. Let stand while you prepare and bake the crust.
- In a medium bowl with an electric beater or the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, cream butter well. Mix in the flour and sugar and mix until you have a moist dough.
- Place the dough into the prepared baking pan and generally scatter the dough bits evenly over the bottom of the pan. Using floured or moistened fingers, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan evenly. *This is not the easiest, as the layer is thin and sticky. Be patient and press in as thoroughly as possible. Small holes are ok, as they will fill together as the crust bakes, but avoid any gaping gaps.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling by stirring together the filling ingredients until well mixed. Drain soaking raisins well, then pat dry. Add to the filling mixture and stir in.
- Remove crust from oven and pour filling over-top. Spread to cover the top evenly. Return to the oven and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares. *I like to refrigerate in the pan briefly before removing from the pan and cutting into 16 squares. Squares can be stores in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge. Either is fine, though I enjoy eating them at room temperature myself.
Nutritional information provided for general guidance only and should not be relied upon to make personal health decisions.