Skip to Content

Simple Pecan Pie Bars

If you love the ease of a cookie bar but the luscious richness of pecan pie you’re going to flip over this simple pecan pie bar recipe! It merges both of those worlds into one dreamy bite, loaded with flavor and crunch!

Pecan Pie. . .in a Bar? Is that a Thing?

Oh, friends. Yes, yes, and yes!

If you think about it, a bar is an easier-to-manage version of a slice of pie. The crust is a bit heavier (shortbread in nature) and the smaller pieces are more manageable.

I like to cute these into squares so that they’re super easy to handle!

Searching for the Perfect Pecan Pie Bar Recipe

I went on a search of the web, hoping to find something holiday-themed that I could bake for this blog. I’m on a quest to discover as many Thanksgiving recipes and Christmas recipes as possible. Holiday themed sweet treats are my favorite, after all!

When I stumbled across this recipe from Ahead of Thyme, I knew I had to try it. It looked simple enough. (I’m not a pie baker, trust me.) And as a Texan I have access to pecans. Yummy perfect pecans. I just happened to have several in my fridge!

Let’s Talk about Shortbread

If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that I’m crazy about my cut-out sugar cookies. They are, for all practical purposes, shortbread cookies.

When I first thought about making a shortbread crust for pecan pie bars, I assumed I would use my cookie dough crust. But I knew it would make too much. And I wasn’t sure about the egg. Did I need it for a shortbread crust?

Turns out, the answer to that question is a firm “No!” When baking a shortbread crust you really only need flour, sugar, and butter. (It’s very pie dough-like.)

So, I decided to try this Ahead of Thyme recipe verbatim. Now, you know I don’t do that. I’m always tweaking and twisting recipes. But this one seemed practically perfect in every way!

I started by checking my fridge and pantry for ingredients. Sure enough, I had everything I needed on hand. No doubt you will, too! These are simple ingredients, after all.

Ingredients for Simple Pecan Pie Squares

You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need.

FOR THE SHORTBREAD CRUST:

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com
  • all purpose flour
  • room temperature butter (salted or unsalted butter. . .your choice!)
  • powdered sugar
  • real vanilla extract

FOR THE FILLING:

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com
  • packed brown sugar
  • all purpose flour
  • salt
  • pure maple syrup
  • large eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • pecans

How to make these Easy Pecan Pie Bars

This easy recipe comes together so quickly! Even a non pie baker like me can to pull off this simple recipe for these easy dessert bars. Here’s how you can make them in a jiffy!

Make the Crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit

Soften butter. (I put mine in the microwave for about 15 seconds.)

Mix the butter using your stand mixer with paddle attachment (or whisk) or with an electric hand mixer. I chose the hand mixer and medium bowl because I didn’t want to mess with the bigger mixer.

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

Add the vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix well.

(I did this part by hand but you can continue using the mixer if you like.)

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

Add flour. If you’re using the electric mixer use a low speed or you’ll make a mess. You could use a pastry cutter if you like.

Either way, you’ll end up with a crumbly dough that doesn’t come together.

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

Prepare the baking dish. I used a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Spray the bottom of the pan with non-stick baking spray then add a piece of parchment paper, bringing it up the sides (for easier lifting when the bars are baked and cooled).

Dump the crumbs into the parchment paper and press down using the bottom of a cup. I used the bottom of my measuring cup.

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

Place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until it begins to turn light golden brown on the edges.

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

Make the Pie Filling

Make the filling while the crust is baking.

First, mix together your dry ingredients (brown sugar, flour, and salt). You can use a whisk if you like. I used a large serving fork. (I have a weird obsession with these forks. I use them all the time for mixing. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know.)

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

Next, add your wet ingredients. Pour in the maple syrup and add the three eggs.

Mix well. You can use a mixer on low speed or mix by hand.

Finally, it’s time to dump in those luscious pecans. As I said, I’m from Texas and we know our pecans. Mine were fresh and yummy, perfect for a dish like this!

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

Stir well, then pour the mixture over the hot crust.

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

Place back in the oven and continue to bake for 40-45 minutes.

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

Place the pan on a wire rack to cool. Do not attempt to pull the bars from the pan just yet. You’ll need to cover the pan and cool the pan in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or longer) before slicing into squares or bars.

Once fully cooled, remove from pan and place on a cutting board, then slice into 18 pieces.

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

What to Expect from this Simple Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

Friends, I simply have no words. These truly are perfect! They’re the right blend of gooey, crunchy, sweet, and tender. And that buttery shortbread crust! It’s perfection!

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

The bottom layer is light and flaky. The middle layer is rich and sticky. The top layer is loaded with crunch.

As is the case with any traditional pecan pie, the pecans rise to the top and the gooey center remains underneath. But, what sets this apart from a pie is the amount of filling. I find that pecan pies are often overloaded with the gooey-gooey stuff and a little short on pecans. This recipe has the perfect balance of both.

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

These would be amazing on a holiday cookie tray. They would also make a terrific dessert after a big Thanksgiving meal, when you’re too full for a huge slice of pie but just need something sweet and holiday-like.

I will–no doubt about it–make them this Thanksgiving season. And for Christmas Dinner. They will be a go-to for the holidays from now on. (Whew! What a relief! I don’t have to bake a pie. I can just make these!)

But I won’t just save them for the fall and winter! Because these are light and easy to manage I think they would be terrific for summer picnics, as well. Or church gatherings. Or Bible study groups.

If you’re a huge fan of pecan pie you’re going to love these! These are delicious pecan pie bars, the perfect fall dessert.

How to Store These Delicious Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars from out of the box baking.com

Want to know how to store these gooey pecan pie bars?

Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

You can also freeze them for up to 2 months.

See this recipe at

Full Plate Thursday 

Weekend Potluck

Sunday LinkUp

Variations on this Recipe

Many thanks to Ahead of Thyme for sharing this yummy recipe. It’s perfect just like it is. But there are always ways to mix things up.

  • Add chopped pecans to the list of crust ingredients. (I can almost picture this now. Yum!)
  • Add light brown sugar in place of confectioners sugar in the crust for a richer taste.
  • I had the best idea! Next time I make this I’m adding a cup of coconut to the filling. Then, after the pecan pie bars come out of the oven I’m going to sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top. Not enough to cover the top, but just enough to add flavor. I figure this will taste like a German Chocolate cake bar. (Yum! I might have to turn this into an actual recipe of its own!)
  • Tarts! Bake this recipe in tart shells for individual pecan pie tarts. Easy-breeze ready-to-serve treats!
  • Lighten things up with light corn syrup in place of maple syrup. You can always add a teaspoon of maple extract to add flavor.
  • Use a combination of dark corn syrup and light corn syrup in place of the maple syrup.
  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! You might also consider butter pecan!
  • Bacon Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie: I wish I could say I made this one up but I found a recipe at Around my Family Table that looks delightful.
  • Turn these into pumpkin pie bars by swapping out the filling with pumpkin pie filling.

Other Sweet Treats from Out of the Box Baking

Simple Pecan Pie Bars

Simple Pecan Pie Bars

Yield: 18
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 58 minutes
Additional Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

If you love the ease of a bar but the luscious richness of pecan pie you're going to flip over this simple pecan pie bar recipe! It merges both of those worlds into one dreamy bite, loaded with flavor and crunch!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SHORTBREAD:
  • 1 cup plus two tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

Instructions

    Make the Crust:
    Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit
    Soften butter. (I put mine in the microwave for about 15 seconds.)
    Mix the butter using your stand mixer with paddle attachment (or whisk) or with an electric hand mixer. I chose the hand mixer and medium bowl because I didn't want to mess with the bigger mixer.
    Add the vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix well. (I did this part by hand but you can continue using the mixer if you like.)
    Add flour. If you're using the electric mixer use a low speed or you'll make a mess. You'll end up with a crumbly dough that doesn't come together.
    Prepare the baking dish. I used a 9x13" dish. Spray with non-stick baking spray then add a piece of parchment paper, bringing it up the sides (for easier lifting when the bars are baked and cooled).
    Dump the crumbs into the parchment paper and press down using the bottom of a cup. I used the bottom of my measuring cup.
    Place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until it begins to turn light golden brown on the edges.
    Fill with the filling while still warm.


    Make the Pie Filling
    Mix together your dry ingredients (brown sugar, flour, and salt). You can use a whisk if you like. I used a large serving fork. (I have a weird obsession with these forks. I use them all the time for mixing. Don't ask me why. I don't know.)
    Now it's time to add your wet ingredients. Pour in the maple syrup and add the three eggs.
    Mix well. You can use a mixer on low speed or mix by hand.
    Now it's time to dump in those luscious pecans. As I said, I'm from Texas and we know our pecans. Mine were fresh and yummy, perfect for a dish like this!
    Stir well, then pour the mixture over the hot crust. Place back in the oven and continue to bake for 40-45 minutes.
    Place the pan in a wire rack to cool. Do not attempt to pull the bars from the pan just yet. You'll need to cover the pan and cool them in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or longer) before slicing into squares or bars.

Fudgy Pecan Pie - Out of the Box Baking

Friday 16th of September 2022

[…] Simple Pecan Pie Bars […]

Favorite Fall Desserts - Out of the Box Baking

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

[…] Simple Pecan Pie Bars: If you love the ease of a cookie bar but the luscious richness of pecan pie you’re going to flip over this simple pecan pie bar recipe! It merges both of those worlds into one dreamy bite, loaded with flavor and crunch! […]

Easy Candied Pecans - Out of the Box Baking

Monday 8th of August 2022

[…] Simple Pecan Pie Bars: Even better than pecan pie, I promise! This is one of those delicious recipes that you’re going to make again and again! […]

Easy Holiday Peppermint Bark - Out of the Box Baking

Sunday 31st of July 2022

[…] Simple Pecan Pie Bars […]

Anita

Sunday 31st of July 2022

For your crust the list of ingredients says powdered sugar. Your instructions say brown sugar. If brown should be used as your list of future tries suggests, what was the amount used?

booksbyjanice

Sunday 31st of July 2022

Thank you SO much for catching that. I corrected it to read POWDERED sugar (like in the picture of crust ingredients). Sorry about that!

Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com