Pecan Pie Bars Recipe (VIDEO)
Pecan Pie Bars are one of the best pecan recipes you’ll try and they are easier than pie. It’s a cross between a classic Pecan Pie and a cookie.
Loaded with pecans in a homemade caramel sauce filling and baked over a shortbread crust, these pecan squares are a crowd-pleasing, easy dessert. Add these to your holiday cookie platter!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
We love dessert casseroles from Strawberry Pretzel Salad to Classic Tiramisu and ofcourse Baklava. If you are looking for a crowd-pleasing party or potluck dessert that fits into a 9×13 casserole, this Pecan Pie Bars recipe is a must-try!
Pecan Pie Squares Video
Watch Natasha make these Pecan Pie Bars. You will be surprised at how easy it is. We will never stop loving this Pecan dessert. Now go forth and bake!
Easy Pecan Pie Bars Recipe
The first time I tried this was at a wedding in Washington. My husband’s cousin’s wife, Tanya, made them for the dessert buffet and after trying them, I just knew I had to recreate them.
I made a batch of these and sent some home with my sister. Her words exactly – “that’s the best pecan recipe I’ve ever tried!” She was smitten. These pecan bars have that effect on people. Here’s why you’ll love this recipe.
- Amazing Texture – Pecan Pie Bars are gooey, chewy, and crunchy with a soft caramel filling that doesn’t get stuck to your teeth.
- Quality Ingredients – This recipe uses all-natural ingredients (no corn syrup).
- Big Batch – This recipe fills a 9×13 casserole dish and you can cut anywhere from 16 to 28 pieces which is great for holiday parties and feeding a crowd.
Ingredients for Pecan Pie Bars
These have just the right balance of textures and flavors, and are so satisfying. The ingredients are simple and consist of the crust and the filling.
For the Crust:
- All-purpose flour – creates the perfect sturdy base for the crust. I recommend unbleached, organic flour if you can get your hands on it.
- Powdered sugar – lightly sweetens the crust (most of the sweetness comes from the caramel topping).
- Salt – fine sea salt balances the sweetness
- Butter – use unsalted, cold butter which creates a rich buttery crust
For the Pecan Filling:
- Light Brown Sugar – has molasses which adds rich color and flavor to the caramel
- Honey – creates a soft caramel base
- Unsalted butter – adds richness to the caramel and buttery flavor
- Heavy whipping cream – make sure to use HEAVY cream which has a higher fat content to help the filling thicken up properly
- Salt – we use a bit of fine sea salt to balance the sweetness
- Vanilla extract – we recommend homemade vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Pecans – coarsely chopped pecans add great crunch and texture to the filling
Pro Tip: If you don’t have pecans on hand or have an allergy, you can substitute pecans with walnuts or cashews which have a similar crunchy and chewy texture.
How to Make a Shortbread Crust
Press the crumbs into a parchment-lined 13×9 baking pan and press the crumbs evenly into the bottom then bake at 350˚F until set and lightly golden at the edges. Transfer to a parchment-lined
Pro Tip: Lining the pan will make it much easier to lift the bars out of the pan and serve. Once it has cooled, I transfer it to a cutting board and cut into squares or bars.
How to Make Pecan Pie Bars
- Prep – preheat the oven to 350˚F and coarsley chop the nuts if they aren’t pre-chopped.
- Prepare the crust – see instructions above. While crust is baking, I make the filling.
- Make the Caramel – In a large saucepan, combine brown sugar, honey, butter, cream and salt. Bring to a boil then simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and pecans.
- Spread pecan filling over your warm baked crust.
- Bake – return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes or until the top is bubbling and turns caramel color.
- Cool and Serve – once the bars are fully cooled to room temperature, remove from the pan, cut and serve.
You can use pecan halves or coarsely chopped pecans. I would buy whichever is less expensive and if you buy them pre-chopped then you can save yourself the step of chopping nuts.
Since there aren’t any highly perishable ingredients in the baked pecan pie bars, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
You will need to cut the recipe in half to fit a traditional pie pan or use the recipe to fill 2 pie pans. I also suggest lining the pie pans with parchment paper for easier serving and removal from the pan.
Yes! You can double the recipe, divide into two separate pans and bake them side-by-side in the oven.
- Storing: Once these pecan bars are cooled completely to room temperature, transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for 3-4 days.
- Freezing: You can freeze for longer storage. Transfer to a freezer safe zip bag, remove any excess air and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
Pecan Pie Bars are such a decadent treat for the holidays and are a dessert everyone loves. Make them once and they will probably make it to your holiday rotation.
More Pecan Recipes to try
If you love these Pecan Pie Bars, then you won’t want to miss these recipes with pecans. Pecans are so versatile for sweet or savory dishes.
- Candied Pecans
- Baked Apples
- Russian Tea Cakes with Pecans
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
- Sweet Potato Casserole
Pecan Pie Bars Recipe
For the Crust:
To Make the Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil or parchment paper (leave some paper hanging over the sides of the pan for an easier lift later. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt and pulse a couple of times to combine. Add diced cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with some pea-sized pieces forming. Transfer the mixture to your prepared pan, pressing the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350˚F for 18-20 minutes or until the crust has set and the edges are just lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside while you finish the filling.
Make the Pecan Pie Bars:
- In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, butter, cream and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and pecans, mixing until incorporated.
- Pour hot pecan filling over your warm crust. Return to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the top is bubbling and turns caramel color. Set the baking pan on a wire rack and cool completely to room temperature before cutting.
- Once the pecan squares are at room temperature, loosen the edges if needed and use the parchment paper or foil to lift the bars out of the pan. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 2-inch squares. Serve at room temperature.