Pecan Butter Tarts

Crispy buttery shortbread topped with gooey pecan filling. Pecan butter tarts are my absolute favorite holiday cookie to make. You may have had or even made the fancier version that comes in a shortbread crust, but who has time for that? Not this girl! This recipe is super easy to make and will have you swooning in buttery caramelly heaven. 

Pecan Butter Tarts

This recipe became a standard about 6 years ago when my sister and I started having an annual Christmas cookie one day bake off. Our goal has always been to get the biggest bang for our buck with only one oven, two Kitchenaide mixers, and about 8 hours. If you choose the right recipes and take some time to make an attack plan, you can really make a lot of cookies!


Pecan butter tarts became a standard for this occasion because they are that easy to make! The recipe comes originally from the Joy of Baking website but over the years, I’ve found the cookies to not be as thick and gooey as I wanted them to be. So I ramped up the recipe by basically doubling the shortbread and the important filling ingredients. After a few trials and errors I have perfected the art of ooey gooey pecan goodness. 

Pecan Butter Tarts

These easy and delicious bars are a fabulous addition to your holiday baking regime. Enjoy!

Pecan Butter Tarts
Yields 16
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
  1. Shortbread base
  2. 1 ½ cup flour
  3. ½ cup sugar
  4. ¼ tsp salt
  5. 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter
  6. Filling
  7. ¾ cup unsalted butter
  8. 1 ½ cup light brown sugar
  9. 3 eggs
  10. ½ cup light corn syrup
  11. 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  12. 2 tbsp flour
  13. ¼ tsp salt
  14. 1 tsp baking powder
  15. 1 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350
Shortbread base
  1. In your mixer, place flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Beat for 2-3 minutes until clumps form.
  3. Press dough down into a greased 9x13 pan
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pale brown.
  1. Meanwhile beat utter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla extract.
  4. Stir in flour, salt, and baking powder.
  5. Stir in nuts
  6. Pour filling mixture over shortbread mixture and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until filling is set.
  7. Cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
Adapted from Joy of Baking
Adapted from Joy of Baking
The Ramblings of an Aspiring Small Town Girl
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About Malia

Hi There! My name is Malia. I love to cook, garden, fish, and live in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. Come join in my silly adventures as I tromp through the garden, cook up a storm, and try to live every day to its fullest!

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