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Butter Tart Bars

Updated on October 22, 2017
Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green enjoys whipping up tasty dishes in her home kitchen. She's received many requests for her recipes and is happy to share.

Buttery... Rich... Delicious!

Butter tart bars in pan. A blend of so many textures: chewy, crunchy, and soft.
Butter tart bars in pan. A blend of so many textures: chewy, crunchy, and soft. | Source

Delicious and They Taste Like Traditional Butter Tarts

Do you love butter tarts? Many people do but because of the work involved in making them: preparing pastry, having to roll it out and cut it into rounds, preparing the filling, and so on, they may not make them that often.

So how does one get that great taste but without all the work?

Butter tart bars fill the bill perfectly. I came across this recipe years ago and was so pleased with the flavor of these bars, I've been making them ever since. They are that delicious. They taste every bit as good as butter tarts but making them is so much easier.

Oftentimes, store-bought butter tarts tend to be on the sweet side (some are sicky-sweet), so another plus is that if you make your own butter tart bars, you can taste your topping mixture and adjust your ingredients to make your bars more buttery and not as sweet, if that is your preference. I don't know about you but I don't like the sweet to kill the buttery flavor.

When you make your own butter tart bars, you can also add more nuts and raisins--so much better than store-bought tarts that at times, seem to be shy on these ingredients and that mostly contain the thickened sugar mixture.

Three Thumbs Up

One of my all-time favorite recipes.

A Little Taste of Heaven

Sliced butter tart bars.
Sliced butter tart bars. | Source

Have you ever tried butter tart bars?

See results

No Rolling

Okay, so how do you make these lovelies? You make a base mixture and press it into a pan and then you cover that with a topping mixture you make on top of the stove. You then bake these bars in the oven.

Base Mixture

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 1/4 cup flour (scant)
  1. Use a pastry cutter and cut ingredients until crumbly and well mixed.
  2. Press into a cake pan. Use your hands to press down on mixture so that it holds together after baking.
  3. Bake 5 min at 325 degrees. Remove from oven.

While crust is baking, prepare butter tart topping.

Walnuts or Pecans?

These bars are delicious with chopped walnuts but can also be made with chopped pecans.

Topping Mixture

3 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup of melted butter

1 1/2 tbsp. vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2- 1 cup light brown raisins

1/2- 1 cup chopped walnuts

Making the Topping Mixture

Quick Method

Combine ingredients in a bowl and then pour over baked base mixture.

Alternate Method

Lightly boil the butter and brown sugar mixture first for a couple of minutes. This helps the finished topping mixture develop a nice, jellied texture.

Remove from element and set aside.

Combine the other ingredients. Add to the butter/sugar mixture in the pot and stir until all ingredients are well-mixed.

Baking Tip

Avoid over-browned bottoms by double panning or place a cookie sheet on a lower oven rack.


  1. Pour topping mixture over base and spread out with a spoon until base mixture is covered.
  2. Bake in 325 degree oven 20-30 minutes, until top and base are cooked.
  3. Watch and if edges are getting over-browned, reduce oven heat.
  4. If desired broil for a few minutes until topping is bubbling. If doing this, watch carefully, so that raisins don't burn and turn bitter.
  5. Remove pan from oven and slice into bars while still warm.

Ready for Eating

When cooled, the topping mixture takes on a wonderful, flavorful jellied consistency. One bar is never enough.


Bars that taste like butter tarts, cut into wedges for serving.
Bars that taste like butter tarts, cut into wedges for serving. | Source

These bars freeze well and are every bit as tasty when thawed.

Butter Tart Bars Can be Stored in a Tin and Placed in Freezer

Bars freeze well and take minutes to thaw.
Bars freeze well and take minutes to thaw. | Source

A Tasty Treat

Indulge yourself with this incredibly rich-tasting treat, bars that can easily be made in the home kitchen, are half the work, and that taste just like butter tarts.

4.5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of Butter Tart Bars

© 2008 Athlyn Green


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