Best Pecan Pie Bars + Video

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These pecan pie bars have caramelized topping on a shortbread crust, for the perfect nut bar. Make this easy pie recipe in under an hour!

titled (shown on plate) Pecan Pie Bars

These taste just like your favorite Thanksgiving pecan pie, but in an easy-to-snack form. In fact, this is our most requested treat for holiday gift baskets!

In general, dessert bars are a great option for gifting. It’s easy to make a big batch and wrap them up in cute little packages.

Or, serve them on a dessert platter for a gathering of family or friends.

pecan pie dough in mixing bowl

Recipes like Pecan Pie Bars

Easy Lemon Bars are always a favorite for the dessert table and make a lighter option to cut through the heaviness of a full holiday meal.

For something that’s a little less gooey, try Salted Caramel Pecan Toffee Bars. They come together quickly and you only need 7 ingredients!

Other holiday favorites are my No-Bake Peppermint Cheesecake Bars or these Cranberry Bliss Bars, which are a copycat recipe of the popular Starbucks treat.

RECIPE VIDEO

Watch the video in the recipe card at the bottom of this post to see how easy it is to make pecan pie bars!

pecan pie dough pressed in bottom of rectangle pan

Tips For Making Pecan Pie Bars

  • Making The Crust: The dough will be very sticky, so it helps to sprinkle both the dough and your hands lightly with flour when pressing it into the pan. Also, if you line the pan with parchment first, you can lift the bars right out when you’re done baking and cut them on a cutting board.
  • Easy Prep: Either buy chopped pecans or pulse them a few times in a food processor to make quick work of them. Pulse just until roughly chopped, otherwise you’ll end up with nut powder instead.
  • Cutting Even Slices: Let the bars cool completely before cutting them and use a sharp knife to get clean edges. I like to refrigerate the pan overnight so they firm up really well.
  • Adjust The Recipe: It’s so easy to make half or quarter batches if you don’t need as many or just want a few for yourself. Just use a smaller pan and see the recipe card below for the correct ingredient measurements
pecan pie mixture boiling in pot

Recipe Notes + FAQ

Can pecan bars be frozen?

They sure can! Transfer them to a gallon size freezer bag with sheets of parchment between each layer. Keep in the freezer for up to 6 months and thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter.

pecans on top of brown sugar mixture

How will I know when they’re done?

The bars are ready when you get just a little movement in the middle when you jostle the pan. They will continue to set up as they cool as well. If there’s still a lot of jiggling all over, bake for a little longer.

pecan pie filling spread on top of pie dough

Can I substitute maple syrup for the corn syrup?

While I haven’t tried it myself, it should work just fine. This is a great option for those needing a low sugar option, and it will add some extra fall flavor!

pecan pie bar held up to camera

How can I make these dessert bars dairy free?

Sure! Use a plant based butter that comes in stick form, not a tub. Earth Balance and Country Crock are great options.

There are one or two dairy free whipping creams available, but they can be hard to find. In that case, full fat coconut milk that comes in a can should do the trick.

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best ever pecan pie bars

Other Easy Dessert Recipes


pecan bars, close up

Best Ever Pecan Pie Bars + Video

Donna Elick
Best Ever Pecan Pie Bars is a pecan bars recipe for caramelized pecan filling atop flaky shortbread crust. A mouthwatering pecan dessert!!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven, Stovetop
Servings 24 – 36

Ingredients
 

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, 5 sticks, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Pecan Pie Topping

  • 1 pound unsalted butter, 4 sticks
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 pounds pecans, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined.
  • Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18×12 by 2-inch baking sheet, making an edge around the edge like you would a pie crust . It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.
  • For the topping, combine the butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  • Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans.
  • Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars and serve.

Video

Donna’s Notes

FOR A 9×13 pan (serves 18)
Crust
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Topping:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 pound pecans, chopped
Follow directions above. Watch your cooking time. Time will be decreased for smaller pan sizes.
 
FOR AN 8×8 pan (serves 9)
Crust
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Topping:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 pounds pecans, chopped

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 841cal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 66mg | Sugar: 46g | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
best pecan pie bars

Originally published January 2013, updated and republished October 2020

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195 Comments

  1. I made these this past week. All I can say is wow. Everyone loved them. Most said they liked them better than pecan pie. Thanks for sharing.

  2. These are dangerously delicious. I made them today following the instructions exactly, and they are perfect! I did the 9×13 on a 10×15 inch baking sheet…no boil overs! And perfect ratio of filling to crust. I am having a dinner party on Sunday but have to work on Saturday so I needed a make ahead option….I only hope they last that long! I think a slice of pecan pie would be to heavy after serving appetizers, with champagne, 1 lb Tbone steaks, roasted brussels sprouts, baked potato and salad. This will be just the perfect ending with homemade stabilized whipped cream and Fresh coffee. Thank you so much for the recipe and breaking it down into smaller versions was awesome! Thank you again!

  3. Thanks for this great recipe. I made them and brought them to work and to my son's, absolutely rave reviews, delicious!!

    1. Mine was a bit too hard. I followed the 13×9 version of this recipe and after boiling the topping on the stove for 3 minutes it almost seemed like it was turning into caramel. The bars were edible and tasted great but they were hard to cut and not as soft as a traditional pecan pie.

  4. Hello, my husband has diverticulitus and can't have nuts because of texture. Has anyone tried this using pretzles. I found Pecan Oil and wondered about toasting the pretzels in pecan oil and sugar to give more flavor. Thoughts on this idea please??????

  5. I just made these and everything turned out like I expected. After refrigerating them will they turn out for cutting or do you cut in the pan? Can't wait to try them, thanks for the breakdown on sizes too.

  6. Hi. I am wondering if anyone has made ahead and frozen? I start Christmas baking early as I work. If they aren't frozen my boys eat things up!

    1. That's a good question. When I made these following the 13X9 version, 3 minutes seemed too long and the bars were a little more set than I would've liked.

  7. Turned out great! Substituted some of the corn syrup with real organic maple syrup and real organic honey adding to a little more then half cup wht the recipie calls for. I also didnt have heavy cream so I sub for a butter and whole milk mixture. I also used half unsalted and salted butter as I didnt have enough unsalted and didnt add the salt the recipie calls for. THIS RECIPIE IS DELICIOUS! Thank you for sharing! The only problem is not eating the whole thing before I take them to our family Christmas Dinner!

  8. How firm should these bars be when they are finished? I made these last night and was a little worried with the topping base after I boiled it for 3 minutes. It almost seemed to be turning into caramel and it ended up setting too much and being too hard. The bars were edible and tasted great but we had to warm them up a bit to even cut them. What did I do wrong?!

  9. I read through the comments and didn't see an answer so forgive me if this has been asked. Can I use salted butter and skip the kosher salt? Also, do these have to be refrigerated after they're chilled and cut or can they be stored at room temp?

  10. Oh my gosh, these are delicious! I cut the recipe in half for my family of 5. No need to refrigerate, they will be gone before they spoil.

  11. I made these bars on Thanksgiving (I did the 9 x 12…next time will be the 12 x 18 jelly roll pan)…..awesome!!!

  12. I made it with a 9X13 glass pan. Delicious! My husband thought it wasn't sweet enough 🙁 and I thought it had way too many pecans. Now I am thinking…why not add chocolate bits…because I really love chocolate pecan pie. Anyone ever add chocolate?

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