These pumpkin pie bars are so full of fall flavors and absolutely delicious! A spiced pumpkin filling sits on top of a pecan shortbread crust - top it with a swirl of maple spice whipped cream for a perfect Thanksgiving dessert!
This shortbread crust has received so many compliments that I've also used it for my cranberry curd bars - another great dessert to make for the winter holidays!
Looking for more Thanksgiving treats? Check out these mini pecan pie muffins! They're the perfect bite-sized indulgence!
- For the crust: to make the shortbread crust you'll need butter, sugar, flour, salt and some crushed pecans for an extra nutty crunch and flavor!
- For the pie filling: This is a classic pumpkin pie filling full of warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
How to make Pumpkin Pie Bars
To make the pumpkin pie bars, start by making the crust:
Cream the butter and sugar together
Add in the crushed pecans. Then, add in the flour and salt and mix together.
Press the shortbread dough into an even layer on the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking pan. Bake until the edges begin to turn golden.
Then mix together all the ingredients for the pumpkin pie filling. Pour the filling into the crust and bake until the center is set.
Hint: The filling is going to be very liquid before it's baked, but I promise it will set! You'll know it's done when the center of the pie is set. What that means is that while it may jiggle if you gently shake it (keyword gently) but there's no loose liquid. The pie will continue to bake in the warm pan as it cools down, and solidifying the pumpkin pie filling.
- Mixing Bowls: You'll need two large mixing bowls (one for the crust and one for the filling)
- Electric mixer: I'd recommend using either a handheld or standing mixer, unless you're looking for a good workout creaming the butter and sugar together! I love this KitchenAid hand mixer.
- 9 x 9 Baking Pan - A metal baking pan with straight edges will work the best for this recipe., USA Baking Pans are my favorite!
If you use a ceramic or glass pan, you may need a slightly longer baking time for the filling. Use visual cues, like whether the filling is set or not, instead of the instructed bake time to determine when it's done.
These bars should keep in the refrigerator for five days in a sealed container. Either cover the pan with plastic wrap or use one that comes with a lid!
Pumpkin Pie Bars
For the Crust:
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup crushed pecans
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- 15 ounce pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs
- 12 oz evaporated milk
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
To make the Shortbread Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x9 baking dish with parchment leaving overhang on at least two sides. Lightly coat the parchment paper with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a beater attachment, and beat together until light and fluffy.
- Add in the flour, pecans, and salt to the bowl beating on a slow speed until combined.
- Press the dough evenly into the pan. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, until a light golden brown, and then remove from the oven.
To make the Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- Add all the ingredients for the filling to a large mixing bowl and mix on a medium-low speed until smooth.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling over the crust.
- Bake for another 35-37 minutes, until the center is set and then let it cool on a wire rack, still in the pan at room temperature. Then, keep chilled in the refrigerator.
- Once cool, lift the bars out using the parchment overhang. Slice into squares and top with a swirl of whipped cream to serve.
StorageThese bars should keep in the refrigerator for five days in a sealed container. Either the pan with plastic wrap or use one that comes with a lid! To make in a 9 x 13 pan: Double the ingredients for both the shortbread crust and pumpkin pie filling. The crust should bake for 20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, as in the original instructions, but you'll need to add an additional 20-30 minutes of baking time to set the filling.
Please note, Holiday Sweets N Treats isn't a professional nutritionist. Any and all nutritional information shared is an estimate. If you're following a specific diet or counting calories, we suggest you use the nutrition calculator of your choice. Calories can vary depending on the brands and products used.
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