These Pecan Pie Bars are the BEST! They have everything you love about pecan pie in one easy to make bar, no corn syrup necessary. Buttery shortbread crust is topped with caramel pecan topping to make your new favorite Thanksgiving dessert.
How can we make pecan pie more portable? Make pecan pie bars!
Perhaps you’ve noticed a lack of pie recipes on my blog. That’s because I am notoriously terrible at baking pies.
For starters I don’t generally like eating them. They’re also just terribly tricky with their easily burnt crusts and soggy bottoms.
These bars are almost foolproof, freeze and thaw beautifully, and are seriously delicious. They also fit much more easily into my lifestyle (not that it mattered in this case) because, unlike classic pecan pie, they don’t contain corn syrup.
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. The filling can get pretty 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!
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.
Caramel pecan filling
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
Putting it all together
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.
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.
Let cool before using the foil to remove them from the pan and cutting into squares or bars.
Do pecan pie bars need to be refrigerated?
Pecan pie bars do not need to be refrigerated. Store them in an airtight container for up to three days.
Can I freeze pecan pie bars?
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.
Pecan pie bars can be customized! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- 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
More fall dessert recipes
- Sweet Potato Brownies
- Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream
- Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Giant Ginger Cookies with Icing
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.
Laura Dembowski says
I love pecan pie and pecan pie bars, but I’ve never made any bars that look this good! The topping looks so sticky and gooey and shiny. Yum!
Mary Buzzard says
Do you grease the foil? It doesn’t say, so I’m going to wait to make these. They look yummy!
I love that these don’t have corn syrup and am looking forward to trying them!
Lindsay Moe says
That’s one of my favorite things about them too! I hope you enjoy!
I just made these yesterday night–delicious! I didn’t have heavy cream so I added 1/2 a tbsp of extra butter and 2 tbsp of milk. I greased the foil which made them kinda greasy but super easy to peel off the foil, so I just wiped down the bottom afterwards. Also I took out the bars once i could shake it back and forth and only the center jiggled, which was after 25 minutes of baking. They came out great and everyone at work loved them 🙂 thank you!
Lindsay Moe says
Thank you for sharing your adaptations! I’m glad you liked them.
These are fabulous! I’ve made them several times in the last month. I’ve noticed a few things – if you have either a smaller or bigger pan than called for (like us), go with the smaller. The thicker topping and shortbread are amazing. Also, this recipe converts so easily to gluten free! Just swap gluten free flour in the crust. People at our Christmas party couldn’t even tell. Thanks for the great recipe – it’s a keeper!
I am going to try these so I can take them to our church function and see how everyone likes them so thanks for sharing this recipe <3
hi just wondering the pan that you use is it measured in centimetres or inches? And how much in grams is in your sticks of butter? I’d love to give this recipe a go over the weekend to take to work on Monday ?
Anna Yang says
LOVE THIS! My sister is obsessed with pecan pies, but I think these pecan bars will do just the trick! Thanks for sharing~
Norm Jeanj says
Made the pecan bars, they are yummy. I didn’t have honey so I used agave. They turned out great, very delicious.
Lindsay Moe says
That’s great, thank you for sharing your adaptation!
Vanessa Howard says
Does anyone know if these freeze well? I made a double batch (because they are so delicious) and would hate for any to go to waste. Thanks for any tips!
Lindsay Moe says
Yes! I originally made these for a wedding I was catering desserts for, and froze them for several months ahead of time. They came out perfectly! I hope you enjoy!
What weight is a stick of butter? We go by ounces/grams here so have no idea what a stick is
Look forward to trying your recipes
Lindsay Moe says
One stick is 4 ounces. Hopefully that helps!
Made them for Thanksgiving as an alternative to pie. My test bite turned into testing a whole row. They are delicious. I love pecan pie, but will not go back. New favorite!
Lindsay Moe says
I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Pie crusts are so fussy, I’m never looking back either!
I was a little skeptical about making pecan anything without corn syrup. By default of not having any corn syrup on hand, I thought I’d give these a try. I substituted evaporated milk for the heavy cream (missing that ingredient, too). No matter. These bars were a cinch to make and delish! Will be making them again.
Love the idea of using a little more butter and milk instead of heavy cream. Plus honey instead of corn syrup. I didn’t have any. Also I wanted to mention I use parchment paper buttered instead of aluminum foil. I’ve read it leaches aluminum into food. Not a good thing!
These bars are so delicious and I have been making them for the last few years. My sister in law is vegan, so for Thanksgiving I make a few simple changes to accommodate her. I swap out the cream and butter for non dairy versions. And I replace the honey with maple syrup. They are a big hit every time! Just wanted to share in case anyone needs a vegan option for the holidays.