These pecan pie bars are loaded with honey-caramelized pecans and brown sugar. It’s the perfect balance of a flaky crust and a sticky sweet filling … and with no corn syrup!
What Are Pecan Pie Bars?
Pecan pie bars are a baked dessert composed of a shortbread crust and pecan pie filling. They have all the classic flavors of pecan pie, but in a bar form. The crust is flaky and slightly sweet, while the filling has a pudding-like texture and a nutty, caramel flavor.
Pecan pie is a staple in the Southern United States. Appearing in cookbooks as early as 1898, this dessert won countless hearts with its unique open-faced presentation and irresistible sweetness. Pecan pie has remained a beloved American classic ever since — enjoyed especially during Thanksgiving.
Pecan Pie Bars Video
How To Make Pecan Pie Bars
These pecan pie bars don’t require any fancy equipment — just a good old fashioned bowl and baking dish. Make the crust, mix up the filling, and get to baking!
- Prepare the oven and pan: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Make the shortbread crust: In a medium bowl, mix all the crust ingredients together using a fork until coarse crumbs form.
- Bake the crust: Transfer the crust mixture to the prepared baking pan. Press it into a smooth and compacted layer using your fingers. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until it is lightly golden.
- Mix the filling: In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. In a separate large bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and salt. Whisk the rest of the ingredients and the eggs into the dry ingredients, then fold in the chopped pecans.
- Bake the bars: Pour the pecan topping over the hot shortbread crust. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until the edges have set and the center is mostly set with a slight jiggle. The filling will continue to set as it cools.
- Serve the bars: Rest the bars at room temperature until completely cooled before serving. Enjoy!
Tips For the Best Pecan Pie Bars
We have a few secrets to producing a perfectly buttery shortbread crust and delicious (but not overly sweet) filling. Keep reading to get the scoop on what makes the best pecan pie bars.
- Measure the flour correctly. Fluff and scoop the flour into the measuring cup using a spoon for the most accurate measurement. Avoid packing the flour into the cup, which may produce a dry crust.
- Make the pecan filling while the crust is baking. The filling should be ready to be poured onto the hot crust and baked immediately.
- Use honey. Honey is a liquid sweetener that acts as a glue for the filling — it’s healthier and so much more flavorful than corn syrup, which is typically used in pecan pie bars.
- Line the pan with parchment paper. Crumple up a sheet of parchment paper, then uncrumple it and smooth it into the baking dish. Leave overhang on the sides to help you easily remove the bars from the pan after they have baked and cooled.
- Keep an eye on the oven. Take care not to overbake the bars, as they may turn out tough and hard to eat. Look out for a slightly jiggly center and set edges to gauge when the bars are done baking.
- Allow the bars to set completely. The bars may appear underbaked when you pull them out of the oven, but the filling continues to set as it cools. Transfer the bars to a wire rack to cool completely before digging in.
Did you run into a snag with your pecan pie bars? Let’s discuss the most common issues with this dessert and the corresponding solutions.
- Runny filling: A runny filling is usually evidence of underbaking. Pop the bars back into the oven until there is only a slight jiggle in the center. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into them, since they continue to set as they cool.
- Sticking to the pan: Pie crust notoriously sticks to the pan when it is not greased or lined. We recommend using parchment paper sheets like these for easy removal of the bars.
- Gummy crust: A gummy or soggy crust is caused by the wet filling soaking into it. Pre-bake the crust to ensure that it withstands the fillings moisture and stays crisp.
If you have leftovers, it’s time to rejoice — these pecan pie bars are even better the following day/s! Here’s how to properly store your bars for a sweet treat anytime.
- Room temperature: To store for up to three days, transfer the cooled pecan pie bars to an airtight container and leave at room temperature.
- Refrigerator: To store for up to four days, place the leftover bars in an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Freezer: To store for up to three months, seal the leftover bars in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze. Thaw the bars in the fridge overnight before serving.
More Sweet Treats
- M&M Cookies — Chewy brown sugar cookies studded with colorful M&Ms
- Blackberry Cobbler — A lemony blackberry filling topped with flaky buttermilk biscuits
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cake — Sponge cake layered with cranberry jam and white chocolate cream
- Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls — Sweet and fluffy cinnamon rolls made from sourdough starter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. Set it aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and use a fork to stir everything together.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and use your fingers to distribute it evenly. Press down firmly to form a smooth and compacted layer.
- Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and salt.
- Add the melted butter, honey, heavy cream, eggs and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Stir to combine until the mixture is smooth.
- Fold in the chopped pecans.
- Pour the pecan topping over the hot shortbread crust. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until the edges have set and the center is mostly set with a little jiggle. The filling will continue to set as it cools.
- Rest the bars at room temperature until completely cooled before serving. Enjoy!