Butter Tart Squares – Gluten Free or Not


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Butter Tart Squares - Gluten Free or Not recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Butter Tart Squares were described by Beth as The Ultimate Canadian Food and The First Bite of The Rest of Your Life. I could not resist baking something that was described in such a unique way. This dessert lived up to its reputation.

The crust is a buttery shortbread, the center is a gooey, sweet mixture of nuts and fruit topped by a crisp caramelized layer of brown sugar crust.

Butter Tart Squares - Gluten Free or Not recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Butter Tart Squares – Gluten Free or Not

Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Of Muses and Meringues
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Servings: 12 -18 servings


  • Crust Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour *
  • 1/3 cup potato starch *
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice flour *
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • * If you do not need a GF version of this dessert substitute 1 cup AP flour in the crust and 2 tablespoons AP flour in the filling for the items marked with an *.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9" square pan with parchment paper or grease it very well with butter. To make the crust, beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth. Add the flour and stir just until combined. Press into the prepared pan and then bake for 15 minutes.
  • Here's a tip for pressing shortbread crusts into baking pans. I tear an extra section of parchment paper and lay it on top of the dough. Use that paper to press the pan into the crust. Your hands will stay clean and the dough will spread smoothly across the pan.
  • While the crust is baking, mix together the filling ingredients. Stir the brown sugar into the melted butter and then add the remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees until top springs back when lightly touched, approximately 22-25 minutes. Let cool completely before before cutting into squares. Enjoy!
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Lee Robins says

    Hi there. I made these for christmas and the taste is wonderful! I did, however, have a problem with the crust. I made as written the first time, and the crust was no where near cooked when I was supposed to add the filling. It was a mess. The second time, I baked the crust much longer and they worked out great. Did I do something wrong.? Thank you for the recipe. My daugter-in-law is gluten intolerant and these helped here indulge in the “butter tarts” along with everyone else.

    • Mary Younkin says

      It’s hard to guess without being in your kitchen with you, Lee. The crust should be very close to baked through though before you top it with the filling though. I’d adjust as needed to make sure it is. I’m glad your daughter in law enjoyed the tarts!

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