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Butter Tart Square

This Butter Tart Square recipe is a simple and delicious dessert recipe! Delicious gooey, sweet and buttery layer over a shortbread cookie crust. A no nut recipe.

A classic recipe for Butter Tart Squares. All the deliciousness of a Butter Tart, but without all the fuss.

a top down image of butter tart squares

A classic Canadian dessert recipe.

Over the course of my life I have attended many many pot luck dinners. And church dinners, and town hall dinners, and town baby and wedding showers…and these types of potlucks have down home, delicious cooking. The kinds of classic recipes that are passed down from farm family to the next generations. So many of these dinners shaped the way I cook, and I’m proud of that.

One of the dishes that I remember appearing at almost every family gathering we had, was the classic butter tart square. Either my Grandma, my Mom or my Aunties would bring this for the dessert table, and it’s what I looked for every time because they really are one of my favourite desserts. I love love butter tart squares. And I hope you love them too.

a close up of a tray of butter tart squares

About Butter Tart Squares

This recipe is really just a more simple version of the butter tart. Classic Canadian butter tarts have a pie crust as the base, but the squares have a shortbread crust. Butter Tart Squares are much more simple to make than tarts because you’re not fussing with pie crusts or individual servings. Don’t get me wrong, I do love me a butter tart…my mouth is watering at the very thought. I just really like the ease with which you can make this square, and at the same time have the flavour of a butter tart.

a close up of a butter tart square

Raisins or no raisins?

I like my butter tarts and squares with raisins. No nuts, just raisins. Some people prefer them with no raisins or nuts, but that’s just bonkers, butter tarts should only ever have raisins.  😉  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

So what camp are you in?  Raisins?  No nuts?  Raisins and nuts?  Or no raisins or nuts? #raisinsalltheway #justsaynotonutsinbuttertarts


Butter Tart Square

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This Butter Tart Square recipe is a simple and delicious dessert recipe! A delicious gooey, sweet and buttery layer over a shortbread cookie crust.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 24 squares 1x
  • Category: Dessert


Units Scale

Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • pinch salt

Butter Tart Layer

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 1 cup raisins


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

The Shortbread Crust:

  1. Using a pastry cutter, cut together the flour, sugar, salt and butter, until it is the consistency of coarse sand.
  2. Press the butter/flour mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. Then bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside and make the filling.

The Butter Tart Filling:

  1. Melt the butter, let it cool slightly. Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
  2. Then add the coconut and raisins. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the brown sugar, baking powder and flour.
  4. Add the sugar/flour mixture to the butter mixture, and combine.
  5. Pour this filling over the baked crust.
  6. Bake for 35 more minutes.
  7. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. If you can, wait at least 2-3 hours.

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Mention @prettysuburbs so I can see what you made!

Recipe adapted from Best of Bridge

If you love this recipe then you might also love these Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts!

A tray of Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

Have a delicious day!

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  1. This is the same kind of recipe I grew up with – a shortbread base and the yummy top. Looks delicious!

  2. Jo-Anna,
    Not sure what I did wrong but my base turned out pretty raw–left it in stated time and top was looking pretty crispy brown so I didn’t want it to burn. Perhaps I should have left it in longer. I baked mine in a glass pyrex dish. What kind of dish do you use please. The filling was yummy though. I’m going to give it another go. Thanks for the recipe.