These Canadian Butter Tart Squares have all the flavours of a traditional butter tart, now made gluten-free!
Plump raisins, crunchy pecans, and sweet coconut fill these Canadian Butter Tart Squares. Nana’s Butter Tarts, and Butter Tart Slice from the old Best of Bridge cookbook have been two of my all-time favourite things to bake for the holidays. This year, I decided to try to create a gluten-free version that actually tasted good.Success! I was really pleased with how these turned out.
I discovered superfine almond flour when I made this Pumpkin Pecan Caramel Coffee Cake, and later this Gluten-Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake. With that discovery, a whole new realm of gluten-free baking possibilities opened for me. While the traditional butter tart square recipe calls for a shortbread crust, I simply substituted superfine almond flour for the regular flour, as the crust does not need gluten for structure.
My next challenge was to replace the flour in the topping. I knew it was needed to act as a thickening agent, and I also knew that coconut flour was approximately three times more absorbent than wheat flour. Since the recipe called for one tablespoon of flour, I substituted one teaspoon of coconut flour instead.
Stay with me now. I need to tell you just how delicious these bars are, and to give you the recipe! They’re chock full of slightly syrupy butterscotch goodness, and if you’re a Butter Tart fan from way back like I am, you need to make these.
And if you’re from the U.S. and you’re not sure what I’m talking about, Butter Tarts are as popular in Canada as Pecan Tarts or Pecan Pie is in America, and you should definitely make these, too.
Let’s get started.
Ingredients for Gluten-Free Butter Tart Squares
- almond flour: finely ground
- sugar: I used white in the crust, brown in the filling
- coconut: unsweetened, shredded
- vanilla extract: pure is best
- raisins: organic sultanas are delicious
- coconut flour
- chopped nuts: pecan or walnuts (these are optional)
How to Make Butter Tart Squares
- Combine the shortbread crust ingredients and press firmly into a 9 ” x 13″ pan.
- Mix the filling ingredients, spread over the crust and bake.
- Here’s the hard part. You have to wait to cut them. Those nice neat squares you see in the photo resulted because, for once, I didn’t rush to slice them.
- Cool in the pan completely, refrigerate and you’ll find cutting them into tidy squares is a breeze.
Canadian Butter Tart Squares
- 2 cups superfine almond flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs,, lightly beaten
- 2 cups brown sugar,, packed
- 1/4 cup butter,, melted
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 tsp coconut flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, (optional)
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- 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 a 9 x 13 baking dish. 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 middle is set.
- Cool completely in pan. Chill or freeze before cutting to insure clean cuts. Cut into squares and then into wedges to serve.
I adapted this recipe from Butter Tart Slice in the Best of Bridge cookbook, The Best of the Best and More.
Love Butter Tarts? Here’s what I think is the best recipe ever, Nana’s Butter Tarts from my mother-in-law.
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