Pecan Pie Bars have a rich buttery shortbread crust and a gooey pecan pie filling. Bursting with pecan flavor, these dessert bars are absolutely delicious and a pecan pie lovers’ dream!
Pecan pie is one of our family’s favorite holiday pies! (Who am I kidding, we love pecan pie year-round.) My hubby even makes it a habit to grab those little individually wrapped pies found near the checkout lanes at the grocery store every time he sees them. He is definitely someone who can not shop on an empty stomach, lol.
Pecan Pie Bars
A typical southern US dessert, pecan pie is most often served during the holidays. This delicious Pecan Pie Bars recipe takes the traditional pecan pie ingredients but bakes them up as bars.
Made with a rich buttery shortbread crust instead of pie crust and topped with a chewy and sweet caramel-like pecan topping makes for a crunchy, chewy, decadent treat.
In my books, these bars are great any time of the year, so don’t feel you need to wait for the holidays to make them. They will keep for a few days in the fridge and a few months in the freezer.
Cut these bars into small squares if you are looking to feed a big crowd.
If you are a fan of pecan pie and love pecans too, be sure to check out my other pecan recipes: Easy Caramel Pecan Apple Slices, Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Easy Stovetop Candied Pecans, Pecan Praline Sauce, or Banana Cream Pie Bars with a Pecan Crust.
Why You Should Make these Easy Pecan Pie Bars
- Easy to prepare– The bar recipe starts with an easy shortbread crust and comes together very quickly, much easier than a traditional pecan pie since there is no pie crust to deal with.
- Reminiscent of pecan pie – Perfect way to get your pecan pie fix, but in bar form. No fork is needed; these bars can be eaten with your hands!
- Travel very well – These bars travel well, so feel free to bring them to your next potluck or as a hostess gift.
Ingredients And Tips For Making Pecan Pie Bars
(Ingredients at a glance, you will find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.)
For the crust:
- Butter | I like to use salted butter; unsalted is fine. Just add a small pinch of salt to your mixture. You want the butter to be close to room temperature.
- Brown sugar | Any kind of brown sugar works well.
- Flour All-purpose flour is what is needed for the crust.
For the filling:
- Eggs | Large.
- Corn syrup | Light or dark corn syrup works fine. I used light because that is what I always keep on hand.
- Sugar | White granulated sugar adds sweetness to the filling
- Vanilla extract | I prefer real vanilla extract, but imitation works as well.
- Salt| I added a touch of table salt to enhance the flavor.
- Pecans| You want natural, unsalted pecans. Buy them whole and chop yourself or buy them chopped. (I prefer whole or halves so I can control the size of my chop.)
How To Make This Pecan Pie Recipe
For the shortbread dough crust:
1 Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Grease or line a 9×9-inch square pan with parchment paper.
2 Combine butter, brown sugar, and flour in a large mixing bowl with a fork or pastry cutter until completely combined and looks like coarse crumbs. The dough should be a bit crumbly. Press dough into the prepared baking pan.
3 Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven.
For the pecan filling:
1 While the crust is baking, whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Add corn syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt, and whisk until well combined. Stir in the chopped pecans.
2 Once the crust is done, reduce the oven temperature to 300º Fahrenheit.
3 Pour the pecan mixture over the crust. Bake in the center of the oven for 30-40 minutes until the filling is set.
4 Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars.
Pecan Pie Bar Recipe Tips
- Make sure your butter is at room temperature so the crust comes together easily, without overmixing.
- If your brown sugar is hard or has chunks, place it in the food processor to break it up. Or invest in a special disc that you place in your brown sugar container to keep it moist.
- For even better flavor, toast your pecans in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
- Don’t chop the pecans too small you want to have big chunks.
- Make sure to line the baking pan with parchment paper or spray it will so the bars don’t stick.
- If the top of your bars are getting too brown before the baking time is up, you can loosely cover them with aluminum foil.
- Allow the bars to cool completely to room temperature before trying to cut them. (You can even store them in the fridge until ready to cut and serve.)
- Another tip for cutting is to run a serrated blade over the top of the bars to help cut through the pecans before using a sharp knife to cut them into bars.
For a firmer bar, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. These can be stored on the counter but will be softer and difficult to eat with your hands.
To freeze, wrap the bars in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Drizzle a chocolate glaze over the bars for a chocolate pecan bar.
- Add a pinch of cinnamon to the egg mixture.
- Throw some coconut chips or ground coconut into the egg mixture.
- Change up the crust and use graham crackers or your favorite cookies instead.
Does The Crust Need To Be Pre-Baked?
Yes, baking the crust first helps avoid a soggy crust.
How Do You Know When Pecan Bars Are Done?
To test for doneness, make sure the center of the bars is set. Insert a cake tester or toothpick into the middle of the baking pan. If it comes out mostly clean, the bars are done.
Why did my Bars turn out runny?
Most likely, you did not cook your bars long enough. The pecan pie bars will be done when the edges are set, and the center should just give the tiniest jiggle (like jello) when you move the pan.
Another suggestion to prevent runny bars is to add a tablespoon of flour to the mixture, just before adding the pecans. (you don’t want to stir the flour too much and activate the gluten.)
Should Pecan Pie Bars Be Served Warm Or Cold?
Either way is good. If you want to warm up your pecan bars before serving them, then go ahead. They will taste great! They are also good if you eat them at room temperature. I sometimes warm the bars and eat them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum!
Can You Make These Bars In Advance?
Yes, pecan pie bars are the perfect dessert to make in advance. You can make them the day before and store them uncut in the refrigerator.
Can this recipe be doubled?
Yes, it can be doubled; just use a 9 by 13 pan. If you have a family like mine, I highly recommend doubling the recipe. (Ours were gone within just a few hours!)
Do These Pecan Pie Bars Need To Be Refrigerated?
These bars will be fine on the counter for a few hours. They will soften up a bit, but still be delicious, after that though, they do best in the fridge.
Can These Bars Be Frozen?
Yes, they freeze just fine. You can freeze the pecan pie bars in the pan or the bars individually. Wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Looking for more bar-like treats:
Did You Try This Pecan Bars Recipe?
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Pecan Pie Bars have a buttery shortbread crust and a gooey pecan pie filling. Bursting with pecan pie flavor, these dessert bars are absolutely delicious!
For the crust:
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 1 ¼ cup flour
For the filling:
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup of chopped pecans
For the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350º
- Combine butter, sugar, and flour until completely combined. The dough should be a bit crumbly
- Press into a greased or parchment-lined 9×9 inch square baking pan
- Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven.
For the filling:
- While the crust is baking, whisk the eggs. Add corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt, and whisk until well combined. Stir in pecans.
- Once the crust is done, reduce the oven temperature to 300º. Pour the filling over the crust.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 30-40 minutes until the filling is set.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars.
- Serving Size: 1/12 of recipe
- Calories: 221
- Fat: 14
- Carbohydrates: 22
- Protein: 3
Keywords: pecan pie bars
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About the Author
Jamie Sanders is a wife and mom of 2, located in the heart of Texas. She founded Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom in 2011 as a place to share creative ideas and family friendly recipes. Her work has been featured on Martha Stewart, Woman’s World, HuffPost, TODAY, Pioneer Woman, HGTV, CNET, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo, Oprah Daily, and Redbook, plus many other publications. To date, she had given away just under a million free pdf sewing patterns.