These gluten-free Canadian Butter Tart Squares have all the flavours of traditional butter tarts, without the fuss of pastry! Slightly gooey, butterscotch-flavoured butter tart bars with raisins and optional nuts are a classic Canadian dessert bar! A great choice for a holiday cookie exchange.
Plump raisins, crunchy pecans, and optional sweet coconut fill these slightly gooey, butterscotch-flavoured Gluten-free Canadian Butter Tart Squares, a classic Canadian dessert bar!
Butter tart squares are similar to butter tarts, but in bar form. All the flavour, but no pastry to fuss with!
If you're a Butter Tart fan from way back like I am, you need to make these! 😊 You might also love these gluten-free Maple Walnut Squares.
And if you're from the U.S. and you're not sure what I'm talking about, Butter Tarts and Butter Tart Squares are as popular in Canada as Pecan Tarts or Pecan Pie is in America. You should definitely make these, too. 😊
❤️ Why this recipe works
- Nana's Butter Tarts, and the Best of Bridge Butter Tart Slice have been two of my all-time favourite things to bake for the holidays. Following a gluten-free diet, however, means that I have to adapt my favourite recipes which are usually made with wheat flour.
- I was determined to create a gluten-free butter tart square recipe with raisins that would rival the original.
- While a traditional butter tart square recipe calls for a shortbread crust made with all-purpose flour, I use almond flour as a gluten-free substitute. A combination of finely ground almond flour and oat flour works best to replace wheat flour, as a shortbread crust does not need gluten for structure.
- These squares are full of slightly syrupy butterscotch flavour. They have chewy edges and a delightfully gooey caramel filling.
Let's get started! Here's what you'll need to make a 9 x 13-inch pan of delicious, gluten-free butter tart squares.
- almond flour: finely ground. I use Bob's Red Mill or the Kirkland Brand.
- oat flour: helps to give the almond flour shortbread crust a firmer structure.
- butter: butter tart squares need "real" butter!
- sugar: I used white granulated sugar in the crust, and brown sugar in the filling to give it that irresistible butterscotch flavour.
- sea salt: just a pinch
- eggs: at room temperature.
- coconut: unsweetened, shredded. Adding coconut to the filling is entirely optional, but it does make them a little more firm.
- vanilla extract: pure is best
- raisins: organic sultanas are delicious and the perfect choice for these squares.
- coconut flour: just a teaspoon to help thicken the filling. Substitute cornstarch if you don't have coconut flour.
- chopped nuts: pecan or walnuts. Nuts are optional but good!
Here are step-by-step directions to make these easy butter tart bars. You'll find complete directions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the shortbread crust ingredients.
- Press firmly into a 9 " x 13" pan.
- Mix the filling ingredients.
- Spread the filling over the crust, then bake.
- Here's the hard part. You have to wait until they have cooled to cut them.
- Cool in the pan completely, refrigerate until firm and you'll find cutting them into tidy squares is a breeze.
Butter tart bars with or without nuts?
Some people like butter tarts with nuts, some are vehemently opposed! I like them with sultana raisins and either finely chopped pecans or walnuts. I sometimes add coconut to this recipe, as well. You do you!
To store: These bars will last for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. Cut them into squares or bars first, then store them in layers with a piece of parchment paper in between.
This butter tart square recipe is a good choice for a holiday cookie exchange, as they're easy to cut and store.
To freeze: Stored as directed above, you can freeze these squares for up to 3 months. Thaw for 20 minutes at room temperature and enjoy!
Love Butter Tarts? Here's what I think is the best recipe ever, Nana's Butter Tarts from my mother-in-law.
In a baking mood? Find more gluten-free recipes for cookies and squares in Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies and Bars
When you make this butter tart square recipe, please leave a comment and a rating below. I love hearing how they turned out for you! Subscribe to my weekly newsletter and have new recipes delivered straight to your inbox.
More recipes for cookies and bars
Canadian Butter Tart Squares
- 1.5 cups almond flour, blanched, finely ground
- ½ cup oat flour
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 2 cups brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 pinch sea salt
- ¾ cup coconut (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon coconut flour, or 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Put the crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Alternatively, put ingredients in a large bowl and cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives.
- Press the crust mixture evenly into the prepared pan. It will be thin. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and add the remaining ingredients, stirring until blended.
- Spread the filling over the crust.
- Bake at 350°F. for 30 - 35 minutes or until the middle is set.
- Cool completely in pan. Chill or freeze before cutting to insure clean cuts. Cut into squares and then into bars to serve.
I adapted this recipe from Butter Tart Slice in the Best of Bridge cookbook, The Best of the Best and More.
This recipe was originally published in 2019. I've updated and republished it.