These delicious Pecan Pie Bars are the ultimate fall treat for the holidays! With a thick, buttery shortbread crust and a rich pecan pie filling on top, they are every pecan pie lover’s dream!
Looking for more? Try these 15 Easy Thanksgiving Desserts!
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Pecan Pie Bars are a bar version of the traditional pecan pie, a beloved Southern favorite dessert, especially in the cooler months (I’m looking at you, thanksgiving dessert!).
This classic dessert is easier to make than you think, so if it’s your first time at this endeavor, don’t be shy!
Ready in just 45 minutes, they’re quick and easy to make.
These bars are also perfect for making ahead and freezing, so you can get a head start on making your Thanksgiving treats, giving you more time to enjoy your guests.
With the best flavors of classic pecan pie, these delicious bars are perfect for your Thanksgiving dessert table or your cookie exchange during the holidays!
- Butter: use salted butter for the shortbread crust and the pecan pie filling to enhance the flavors.
- Flour: all-purpose flour works best here, but you can try it with other types of flour if you need to. Whole wheat flour would also work well!
- Sugar: use white granulated sugar for the shortbread base and dark brown sugar to make the sweet filling.
- Corn Syrup: use dark corn syrup for the best results here, but light corn syrup will work if you have it instead.
- Eggs: to help thicken and set the pie filling.
- Vanilla: use vanilla extract to add a sweet, warm flavor.
- Salt: enhances the sweet and nutty flavors.
- Pecans: use whole or chopped pecans, depending on what you prefer.
How to Make Easy Pecan Pie Bars
This pecan pie bar recipe is easy to make, and they’re ready in under an hour! Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.
- Make shortbread: Combine butter, flour, and sugar for the crust with a mixer or pastry cutter until crumbly.
- Put it in pan and bake: Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until slightly puffed and dry.
- Mix pecan filling: In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt.
- Add pecans: Stir the pecans into the filling mix.
- Assemble pecan bars: Pour the filling over the shortbread crust and bake again.
- Cool and slice: Let the pecan pie slab cool before slicing it into bars.
Pecan Pie Bars Recipe FAQs
Cover your pecan pie bars in plastic wrap, or store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Pecan pie bars freeze so well! They’re perfect for making ahead of time and keeping frozen until the big day! Cover the tray of pecan pie bars twice in plastic wrap, or put slices in a freezer-safe container or freezer bags in the freezer for up to 3 months. I like to put parchment paper in between the layers so they are easily removed.
Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then bring them to room temperature before serving them.
Tips and Notes
- Lining your tray. Lining your tray with parchment paper will make removing the bars easier than if you just greased them with cooking spray or butter. You can use a silicone mat if you prefer.
- Storing the bars. Place a piece of parchment paper between each layer of the bars to prevent them from sticking, especially when freezing them.
Pecan Pie Bar Recipe Variations
- Add some spice: try adding a 1/2-1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg, all spice, cloves or cardamom for a fall twist.
- Add dried fruit: reduce the nuts to 1 ½ cups and add ½ cup of dried cranberries or raisins for a fun, fruity twist.
- Add other nuts: The crunchy, nutty pecans are one of my favorite things about these bars!
Serve your pecan pie bars on a dessert table with some of my other classic Thanksgiving desserts.
More Easy Dessert Bars To Try
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Pecan Pie Bars
- ½ cup salted butter
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
Pecan Pie Filling
- 1 cup brown sugar (packed) 190 grams
- ½ cup dark corn syrup – 165 grams
- ¼ cup salted butter (melted) 56 grams
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups pecans (whole or chopped according to your preference)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9×9″ baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine butter, flour, and sugar for the crust with a mixer or pastry cutter until crumbly (it won’t be a smooth dough but should hold together when you squeeze it – if not, add a tablespoon of water). Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until it looks slightly puffed and dry. Remove from oven and let cool slightly while you prepare the filling.
Pecan Pie Bars
- In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the pecans.
- Pour the filling over the baked crust and continue baking for 20–25 minutes, just until the filling is set (a slight jiggle in the center is all right, as they will set as they cool).
- Let it cool completely before slicing. I like to refrigerate for a few hours before slicing to get clean edges.
- Shortbread Crust: I have not tested this recipe with any other crust, but I imagine it would work great in mini tart shells or even a graham cracker crust.
- Corn Syrup: Don’t know it — the corn syrup here serves a purpose! Corn syrup (just like in my Butter Tarts recipe, keeps the filling from crystallizing as it bakes. If you prefer not to use it, I suspect you could halve the filling from my Butter Tart Squares recipe and use that instead — it uses vinegar to prevent crystallization instead of corn syrup.
- Salted Butter: If you only have unsalted butter, no biggie. Just swap it and continue with the recipe. Dairy-free hard margarine (not spreadable!) can also be swapped in both instances for a dairy-free dessert.
- Pecans: feel free to toast the pecans for extra flavor if you prefer! I like to use whole or coarsely chopped pecans because I love the look and texture. If you like, you can chop them into smaller pieces.
- Store: Cover your pecan pie bars in plastic wrap, or put them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freeze: Cover the tray of pecan pie bars twice in plastic wrap, or put slices in a freezer-safe container or freezer bags in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator then bring them to room temperature before serving them.
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