Classic butter tarts are easily one of my favourite Canadian treats!  It’s hard to go wrong with sweet, gooey filling wrapped in a flaky pie crust.  My one and only gripe that I’ll ever have with the butter tart is the time it takes to prepare and cut the dough.  Sure, it’s not that much of an issue, but its hard for me to justify making the real thing when I can make butter tart bars that taste just as good and take way less effort!

It Starts with the Crust

The crust for these bars needs only three ingredients and can be easily mixed by hand.  The texture is soft like a shortbread cookie as opposed to crunchy like a pie crust which I personally love!

The Classic Filling

The “filling” layer for these bars is gooey but firm enough that everything stays together when you cut them.  I haven’t tried adding mix-ins like raisins or pecans to this recipe (I like plain), but you definitely can!  Add up to half a cup of things like nuts, raisins or chocolate chips to the filling before baking it. Whatever you decide to add, make sure the chunks aren’t larger than pea size to help the bars hold together.

Equipment and Tools I Use for this Recipe

Easy butter tart bars

Easy Butter Tart Bars

These taste just like butter tarts but are way easier to put together!
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword baked, bars, brown sugar, butter, butter tart, Dessert, squares
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 3 hours
Servings 15 Small Bars


For the crust:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold salted butter cut into small cubes

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup salted butter melted
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper and grease lightly.
  • Prepare the crust. In a medium sized bowl mix flour, granulated sugar and cubed butter with your hands. Use your fingers to gently incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is moist throughout and forms a dough when you squeeze it.
  • Press the crust mixture into the baking pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust starts to become golden.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Sprinkle in the flour and add vinegar and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the filling over the crust and bake for another 30 minutes or until the filling is just about set. The middle of the filling should still be a little jiggly when you remove it from the oven – it will finish cooking on the counter!
  • Cool the bars to room temperature in the pan and place them in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Once set, remove the bars from the pan by pulling gently on the parchment paper and cut them into squares.

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