These Maple Walnut Squares are delicious, sweet bites with tons of maple flavour in the filling, lots of nuts and a crispy shortbread crust.
These Maple Walnut Squares are a classic sweet treat, with a shortbread base, a sweet, maple filling and lots of nuts. They set up beautifully, so they cut nicely and are perfect for anything from a bake sale to a BBQ, to a sweets table.
And they taste just like butter tarts! (And that’s a very good thing :)
- I like a combination of pecans and walnuts in these squares. Use what you have or like.
- If neatness of squares is important (for presentation), once cooled, remove to a cutting board and cut off all the edges by about 1/2-3/4 inch, then cut the remaining piece in to equal squares.
- While these are sweet, they are not over-the-top sweet. The nuts do a great job of tempering the sweetness, especially slightly bitter walnuts.
- If you like the sweet/salty combination, sprinkle some finishing salt (like Maldon’s/Fleur de Sel) on top as soon as the squares come out of the oven.
Get the Recipe: Maple Walnut Squares
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cold, unsalted, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 35%
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 2/3-3/4 cup walnuts, chopped (or pecans, or a mixture of both)
- Preheat oven to 350 Line an 8-inch square baking pan (with straight sidewith parchment paper, leaving an overhang on at least two sides (for removing it easily after baking).
- In a food processor (or in a bowl with a pastry cutter or two knives), whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and pulse/cut until mixture starts to come together. Stir in 1/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts. Pat evenly in to prepared 8-inch pan.
- Bake crust in centre of the preheated 350 oven until golden and set, about 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven, but leave oven on. While crust is baking, whisk together the filling ingredients and set aside. Then, scatter nuts evenly over a baking sheet and set aside.
- Once base is out of the oven, place baking sheet with the nuts in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until nuts are lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove nuts from oven and scatter over cooked crust. Re-whisk filling, the pour over-top. Use a fork to evenly distribute the nuts floating on top, if necessary.
- Place in 350 oven and bake until filling is set about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a cooling rack, then carefully lift out of pan using the parchment paper edges. (I like to refrigerate for a bit before cutting in to squares, just to make the whole process neater, but the squares are quite sturdy without refrigerating, once cooled.) Cut in to squares. Eat as is, or serve on a dessert plate with a dollop of whipped cream and a scattering of nuts.
More squares you might also like …
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by 40 years of trial and error and driven by a love of great food. I love to share my favourite old and new recipes, complete with lots of tips and tricks to help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and delicious.
I made these exactly to recipe with one substitution; almond flour for the all-purpose flour. A very different but delicious result. Instead of a shortbread crust bottom layer the almond flour soaked up all the liquid and became a very gooey toffee like layer. It needs to be kept cold. I put mine in the freezer. Be sure to line pan with parchment. It comes out like an upside down cake. Fabulous surprise.
I love fabulous surprises! So glad you enjoyed it :) Thanks!
I sent an email but don’t think it went through…oh no! Am doubling the recipe so do I bake the shortbread crust and the filling for longer? If so, for how long?
Hi Brenda, if you are doing a 9×13 pan, the baking time should be roughly the same. It may take just a touch longer to set the very centre.
These were very good. As a maple “addict“, I was very pleased with it showcasing maple syrup in all its glory!! The only addition I made was to add 1/4 teaspoon of maple extract; it didn’t need much! I served them with whipped cream but they would have been good alone with a cup of hot tea or a bit of vanilla ice cream. Thank you again.
So glad you enjoyed them, Jeannette :) Thanks so much!
It’s Brenda again…I sent an email earlier today but it looks like it didn’t get through. Can I double the recipe and make in a 9×13 pan?
Hi again Jennifer,
Just wondering if I can double the recipe in a 9×13 pan?
Sorry Brenda. Forgot to answer your question :) Yes! You can absolutely double it into a 9×13 pan.
I make these AWESOME squares for my husband all the time. He just loves them! Actually so does everyone I share them with, including myself. Yum!
Can I double the recipe and make in a 9×13 pan?
So glad to hear, Brenda :) Thanks so much!
Wondering if the tablespoon of vanilla is a typo? Most recipes said 1 tsp or 1/2 tsp. I think that a tblsp of pure vanilla would mask the maple flavor too much??
Hi Jocelyne, a typo is not beyond the realm of possibility, but I haven’t made these recently, so I can’t say with any certainty. If you’re concerned, go with 1 tsp, as you can’t go wrong that way :)
Do these freeze well?
Hi Crys, I haven’t frozen them, but I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t freeze well.
These were our Sunday dinner dessert (the only night I make dessert) and they were very good. Since my son does not eat lactose, I used a soy based butter substitute and coconut milk instead of the dairy ingredients and it worked out well. Thanks for a great recipe!
Glad to hear you enjoyed them, Vivian and good to know that the lactose-free substitutes worked so well :)
Planned on making the maple syrup skillet pudding cake receipe this weekend but didn’t have 35% whipping cream, so I just switched recipes! Followed your instructions to a tee. Used all pecans & 10% cream (what I had on hand). The squares turned out delicious – not overly sweet like butter tarts. And much easier to make! You said 12 sevings but we ended up with less. Guess we were being pigish!
So glad you enjoyed them, Irene and nothing wrong with big squares :)
Hi Jennifer, again, a fantastic Maple Syrup recipe. I just had to put the first batch in the freezer to make me stop eating ;-). Delicious! Makes this Dutch girl very happy and longing for a good Canadian Summer this year!
So glad you enjoyed them and I do the freezing thing too. It doesn’t totally stop me, but it does slow me down ;)
Oh, oh, oh! I’m so sorry for saying ‘in the US’.
No worries :) We’re one big happy family here in North America!
Yay! I adore maple everything but maple products are very expensive here (if you can find them at all…I still yearn for proper maple candy) so reliable recipes are a must. The last time I made a maple slice it was very crumbly and hard to cut so I’m looking forward to giving this one a go. I love the idea of finishing it with a few salt flakes, too. I think it’s a rare find in the US, but if you ever happen to come across Murray River Pink Salt flakes, grab them and run. There will always be a place for Fleur de Sel, but I swear you’ll ditch the Maldon forever.
Maple syrup is expensive here, too (and we make a lot of it here in Canada :). These are very easy to cut. As I mention in my post, I like to refrigerate them a bit before cutting, just to make it that much easier to get a nice neat cut. As for the salt, I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for that pink salt. I am a huge sweet/salt fan, so I love to try different salts. Thanks!
What decadent squares, the maple and walnut pairing sounds divine!
Thanks Laura :)
I made this one today. If I can show picture that I made , I’d like show you . Because exactly same as your picture !
Again, it is so delicious and flavor are delicate. Bottom of crust are so not so dry at all, and when you are eating still crunch on your mouth .
Well, you did again ! This is my favorite repeat recipe !!
Thank you !
So glad you enjoyed these, Yuri! They were a big hit here and didn’t last long :)
I brought a big jug of maple syrup with us when we moved from New England to Florida. This recipe sounds like a great way to use some of it.
Thanks Karen and yes, these are very worthy of your maple syrup :)
I much prefer bar cookies to drop cookies, it’s so much less work. This flavor combination sounds so amazing!
Thanks Sara :)
These look so darn tasty and I was drooling over them when I got home yesterday and tried to thaw out! Butter tarts take me back to memories of my grandmother who made the best tarts ever. I just have to have a bite of these so I will take the recipe over to my sister in law’s and we’ll make them for the whole family. Thanks!
Thanks Robyn and sounds like a great plan! And there are snow flakes falling out my window right now.
I bet these are a little like pecan pie but with maple syrup – and that sounds perfect. I am a big fan of nuts and shortbread and I can only imagine how terrific these would be with fresh tapped maple syrup!
Thanks Tricia and yes, very pecan pie-like. The maple syrup filling is so delicious!
Very yummy looking, actually drool-worthy! I’m always a sucker for a shortbread crust and when you add maple and nuts, I’m all in!!
Thanks so much, Chris :)
These squares are so totally up my alley Jennifer! I would not be able to resist a plate of these! Perfect to make for company, so I won’t eat them all myself! (No will power!)
I love your maple recipes, and these squares have my name all over them — that gooey filling looks incredible.
These sound so darn good and I’m trying hard to stay away from sweets. Have a good weekend!
These are darn good, Liz. Sorry! Maybe you could do what I do. Eat one and freeze the rest :)