These Pecan Pie Bars are the BEST! Buttery shortbread crust is topped with caramel pecan topping to make your new favorite Thanksgiving dessert. No corn syrup needed!
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I’m notoriously terrible at baking pies. They are so tricky with their easily burnt crusts and soggy bottoms. My solution? Make pie bars instead!
These pecan pie bars are almost foolproof, freeze and thaw beautifully, and are seriously yummy. Unlike classic pecan pie, they don’t contain corn syrup, but the filling is still deliciously sticky while the crust is effortlessly flaky.
Make these to serve a crowd at Thanksgiving, for your family football party, or for a fall wedding!
For the crust
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
For the topping
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Heavy cream
How to make pecan pie bars
- Prepare your shortbread crust by combining butter and brown sugar, then adding flour and salt. Press this dough into your baking pan and bake 20 minutes at 350ºF.
- While the crust is baking, prepare your filling by combining butter, brown sugar, honey, and heavy cream in a 2 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for one minute before removing from the heat and stirring in the pecans.
- As soon as the crust comes out of the oven, pour the pecan filling over the top and spread out evenly. Return to the oven for another 18-20 minutes.
- Let cool before using the foil to remove them from the pan and cutting into squares or bars.
How to measure flour
Careful measurements will help you achieve the best results and help prevent dry dough. To measure flour, use a spoon to stir your flour, then scoop it into the measuring cup.
Use the flat side of a butter knife to level out the top. Do not compact the flour into the cup or you’ll end up with too much flour.
Don’t over bake
It’s better to under bake than over bake or the bars will become very difficult to bite. You’ll know they’re done when they’ve darkened and the edges are bubbly.
I recommend baking your bars in a foil lined baking pan (affiliate link to one I love) so you can lift them out and cut them easily.
Tips for customizing pecan pie bars
- Use dairy-free butter to make them dairy free
- Use a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend to make them gluten-free
- Experiment with flavors by adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the filling, cardamom to the shortbread, or sprinkling flaky sea salt on top after baking
Pecan pie bars do not need to be refrigerated. Store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to three days.
Yes! Pecan pie bars freeze beautifully. I recommend cutting them into squares and transferring to a freezer safe zip top bag, removing as much air as possible.
They will keep in the freezer for up to three months. You can check this post on vegetarian freezer meals for more freezer meal options.
More fall dessert recipes
- Sweet Potato Brownies
- Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream
- Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Giant Ginger Cookies
- Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Whole Wheat Chocolate Fudge Cookies
- Pumpkin Seed Butter Cups
- Pumpkin Gingerbread
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
If you make this recipe, be sure to rate it, leave a comment, or tag #theliveinkitchen on Instagram!
Pecan Pie Bars
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, (½ cup)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- ⅓ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang on all sides.
- To make the crust, cream together butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix until crumbly.
- Press the crust evenly into the foil lined pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, and heavy cream over medium heat. Stir until the mixture comes to a bubble, then simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans.
- Remove the crust from the oven and immediately pour the filling over the top, spreading it out to cover the entire surface.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully in the pan. The bars will firm up a bit as they cool, do not over bake.
- Use the foil to lift the bars from the pan and place on a cutting board. Remove the foil, cut into bars, and serve.