Pecan Pie Bars

These Pecan Pie Bars are perfect for the holidays or when you need a little holiday spirit any time of the year! These bars have a shortbread-like crust, a gooey pecan pie filling and the easiest crumble topping.

pecans adorning a stack of pecan bars.
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2022 Update: I originally shared this recipe back in 2016 and it is still one of my favorites! I thought it was high time I updated it with new photos and tips for you.

Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! And that means one thing: ALL. THE. DESSERTS!

Dessert around the holidays has always been my favorite part. Inevitably, every year my family has a hard time choosing between all of our variations of pie.

Whether it's Grandma’s Pecan Pie, a homemade Apple Pie or our favorite Pumpkin Pie Trifle, there is always plenty of pie.

One year I made pecan pie bars instead of a whole pie, and it was a great solution to having too much pie. (Is there such a thing, though?!)

After trying these, you may never need a whole pecan pie again. If you're not usually a fan of pecan pie, give these pecan pie crumble bars a shot, they just may surprise you!

If choosing between pumpkin and pecan is your dilemma, Pecan Pumpkin Pie may be a hit!

Why you'll love this recipe

  • Pecan pie bars have a shortbread crust and the most decadent crumble on top, making them so very tasty — just like the pecan pies you love!
  • They are easier to make than a whole pie, and you can serve a lot more too if you cut them into smaller pieces.
  • They are perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas and fall gatherings of any kind.
a spatula picking up pecan pie bars from a baking dish.

Ingredients

When I made these pecan pie bars, I used the filling from my grandmother's pecan pie recipe and they looked so good that I just had to try them. And then I couldn't stop!

Here's what you will need to grab at the grocery store to make this amazing recipe:

  • all-purpose flour
  • sugar
  • salted butter (you'll need cold butter for the crust and topping, plus melted butter for the filling)
  • brown sugar
  • dark corn syrup
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • chopped pecans
  • rolled oats

For a gluten-free option, you can substitute a gluten-free 1:1 flour like Bob's Red Mill if you need to!

My family has already decided that these bars may just replace our usual pecan pie versus pumpkin pie battle. Because you can totally have both! If cake is more your thing, try this Pecan Upside Down Cake! Or if you want something fruity, try these Apple Squares.

a hand holding a pecan pie bar over a plate.

Crust for Pecan Pie Bars

The crust on these pecan pie bars is so good and so easy. It is essentially a shortbread crust, making it pretty different from my go-to vodka pie crust.

It gets par-baked, which means the crust will bake a little bit before you add the filling and topping.

The oven temperature depends on what kind of pan you use. Preheat the oven to 350°F if you are using a dark pan or 325°F for a glass pan.

  1. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together flour and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Using a pastry dough cutter or two forks, cut cold butter into the flour mixture, until beads of butter are throughout the mixture. You are looking for pea-sized pieces of butter.
  4. Lightly press the dough into the lined pan to form the crust.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until the edges are just beginning to brown.

Meanwhile, make the pecan pie filling so you can add it to the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Pecan Pie Filling

While the crust bakes, you'll need to make pecan filling.

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until combined.
  2. Whisk in the eggs, then add the flour.
  3. Next, add the dark corn syrup, vanilla extract and pecans and whisk together.
  4. Pour into HOT baking dish after crust has baked for 20 minutes.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.

Next, make the crumble topping while the crust and filling bake. This helps to keep the layers separate and distinct.

a spatula putting a pecan pie bar on a plate.

Crumble Topping

One of my favorite parts about these bars is the crumb topping. I love pies with crumb toppings and while pecan pies don't traditionally have a crumb topping, I'm thinking they should from now on.

Ever since I made these bars, this crumble topping has become my go-to for all the crumb desserts, like peach raspberry crisp, caramel apple crumble muffins and mixed berry crisp.

Here's how to make the crumb topping and finish these pecan pie crumble bars:

  1. Melt ½ cup butter.
  2. Add flour, brown sugar and oats to bowl. Pour butter over flour, brown sugar and oats and stir to combine using a fork.
  3. Break up larger chunks into small course "pebbles" of oat mixture.
  4. Once the crust and filling have baked together for 10 minutes, pour the crumbles over the pecan pie filling layer and carefully spread it evenly over the bars.
  5. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the pie filling layer is no longer liquid.
  6. Pull the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the dish and place on a cooling rack to cool.
  7. Use a sharp knife to cut bars into squares on top of a cutting board.

If the edges are too crisp, you can carefully cut them off, too.

two pecan pie bars on a plate.

How to store

Keep these bars in an airtight, food-safe container on the counter for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to 7 days. They can also be made ahead, frozen and thawed.

More holiday dessert bar recipes

More holiday pie recipes

two pecan pie bars on a plate.

Pecan Pie Crumble Bars

These pecan pie crumble bars are perfect for the holidays or when you need a little holiday spirit any time of the year! These bars have a shortbread pie like crust, gooey pecan pie filling, and the easiest crumble topping. After trying these, you may never need pecan pie again. If you're not usually a fan of pecan pie, give these pecan pie crumble bars a shot, they just may surprise you!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 16
Author: Madison | A Joyfully Mad Kitchen

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup cold butter

Pecan Pie Filling

  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 3 well beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans

Crumble Topping

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons rolled oats

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F for dark pans and 325°F for glass pans.
  • Crust
  • Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan and then line with parchment paper
  • Mix together flour and sugar in a bowl
  • Using a pastry dough cutter or two forks, "cut" cold butter into flour mixture, until beads of butter are throughout the mixture
  • Lightly press the dough into the parchment paper lined pan to form crust
  • Bake for 20 minutes until edges are just beginning to brown.
  • Pour pecan pie filling into crust immediately.
  • Pecan Pie Filling
  • Mix melted butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Stir in eggs, then the flour.
  • Whisk in syrup, vanilla and pecans.
  • Pour into HOT baking dish after crust has baked for 20 minutes.
  • Bake for 10 minutes before adding crumble topping to keep layers separate.
  • Crumble Topping
  • Add flour, brown sugar and oats to bowl.
  • Pour melted butter over flour, brown sugar and oats and stir to combine using a fork.
  • Break up larger chunks into small, course "pebbles" of oat mixture.
  • Pour over pecan pie filling layer and carefully spread over bars evenly.
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes until pie filling layer is solid.
  • Remove the parchment paper (with pie bars on top) and place on a cooling rack to cool.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut bars on top of a cutting board. Cut off any edges if they are too hard to eat.

Notes

You can make these gluten-free with your favorite 1:1 baking flour such as Bob's Red Mill.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 93mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g

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24 Comments

  1. I recently made these pecan pie bars, and I love how they turned out! The sweetness is balanced, plus the filling is so perfect! Give this recipe a try!

  2. My family loves pecan pie. I decided to test this recipe for our Thanksgiving menu this year and I got a big thumbs up! Thanks for the great idea. I like to mix things up and this allowed me to do just that!

  3. That crumble topping is soooo good. I will be making these again for sure! They were the perfect texture and just so delicious.

  4. These little delights were everything I wanted when I don't make a whole pie. I loved how chewy they were and still solid with overbite because of the shortbread. I can't wait to make these again for the holidays...I'm going to gift them to my siblings as stocking stuffers.

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  18. How many did one pan make if you cut them the size of those in the picture? I need to make 6 dozen for a cookie exchange and these sound delicious!

    1. Hi Tracy! That sounds SO fun! If I remember correctly, it makes about 15 or so, but you could cut them into smaller pieces! They're a little rich so a little would go a long way 🙂

  19. These look delicious! My fam is a fan of both pumpkin and pecan, my Dad especially. He usually gets a pumpkin pie from Mom for his birthday and then I make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving. However, this year, I think I'm going to make these! They look so delicious. I might double the recipe though...just in case they go fast. 😉 Thanks for sharing! Pinning it for later...aka, next week! 🙂

  20. Oh I love these! I also skip pecan pie for pumpkin but my other half is a die-hard pecan fan so I am coming around. I think I need to try these!

    1. I'm glad you get me! 😉 I would highly recommend trying these though, from one who prefers pumpkin pie to another, you know... 🙂