Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

by Joshua Speaks

There are a few things some of us take seriously in this country.

Hockey. The weather. Politics. Poutine. Back Bacon. Maple Syrup. Nanaimo Bars (we made these first!). Good beer.

And Butter Tarts.

Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars
Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

It's a classic Canadian treat, that is beloved for its flaky pastry filled with brown sugar, melted butter and syrup. Most people have a preference about how they should be filled. Raisins or no raisins. Nuts or no nuts. Made with maple syrup or corn syrup. Runny or firm. Some use currants or cranberries. Perhaps a splash of Whiskey or Maple Whiskey.

There's also the popular Butter Tart Bars, that have that gorgeous buttery, tender shortbread crust with all of that gooey Butter Tart goodness on top. They are very easy to make, great for serving at parties and potlucks, and on the Christmas holiday baking list of moms all across this country.

Everyone, we have got this Butter Tart thing down to a science.

Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars
Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

I for one, am a complete sucker for a warm Butter Tart Bar, slightly runny, filled with raisins and walnuts, with a splash of Maple Whiskey, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. So baking a full on Butter Tart Bar in a skillet is only natural. I haven't met anyone yet, who doesn't swoon over the warm, buttery piece that comes out. The scoop of ice cream, just pretty much takes it over the top. Insanely, buttery, gooey, good.

Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars
Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

I think most families have a recipe that's been passed down. Aside from all of the additions, the base recipe of Butter Tart Squares is essentially the same. Instead of powdered sugar in my shortbread base, I use brown sugar. I saw it used in another recipe for bars and have made shortbread crust that way ever since.

Do you love Butter Tarts as much as me? What are your filling preferences?

Happy finger licking, slightly runny, full of raisins and walnuts, Butter Tart baking friends,



Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

For the Crust:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. Maple Whiskey (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust, using a fork or pastry blender. Press into the bottom of a well seasoned skillet (I did a quick swipe of shortening around the sides first, very little) or baking pan lined with parchment. Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the first six ingredients for the filling and mix until well combined. Stir in the raisins, walnuts and whisky. Pour the filling on top of the crust and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Serve slightly warm with ice cream!


  1. This recipe can also be made in an 8 x 8 pan.
  2. Butter Tart Squares freeze very well. If making ahead, bake in an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment. Freeze when cool.

About Joshua Speaks

Can’t think of a day that that Josh didn’t have a beer or two. Be it a long day of work or of nothing. Sometimes, it is a few packs even. Especially when there are familiars over.

His fridge is packed with beers: Heineken, Corona, Guinness, Budweiser, and all other wierd brands in between. He had to get a secondary 30 cu. fridge off Craigslist for more beer storage.

Sometimes he wonders if a day truly starts only after the first sip of beer for the day. Enough talk about Josh and his passion; that’s the reason for this beer blog and related items. Feel free to hit on him. Start with something like: “hey beer head!” You got the idea!

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