Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Easy Pumpkin Pie Bars

Like pumpkin pie, but so much easier! Made with a graham cracker and toasty pecan crust, these easy creamy pumpkin bars are irresistible! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

From August – November, pumpkin spice takes over store shelves. I kid you not, I spotted pumpkin spice shampoo the other week. I know I’m crazy and even crazier from postpartum hormones but pumpkin spice… SHAMPOO?! Am I the only one who thinks that’s weird? I guess I just don’t want my hair smelling like pumpkin pie.

That being said, I prefer my pumpkin spice in basic form. Treats like pumpkin cake and pumpkin bread. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin roll, and… pumpkin bars!!

Like pumpkin pie, but so much easier! Made with a graham cracker and toasty pecan crust, these easy creamy pumpkin bars are irresistible! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Specifically with a toasted pecan/graham cracker crust and a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top. And by dollop I mean… an actual mountain. I restrained from my usual (and obnoxious) amount of whipped cream in these photos. Didn’t want you to think I’m crazy or anything.

Oh wait.

Pumpkin Bars Vs Pumpkin Pie

Let’s hop right into these easy pumpkin pie bars. They taste like pumpkin pie, but let me try to convince you that they’re *even better* than pumpkin pie.

  • Pumpkin pie bars are handheld so they’re perfect for gatherings, parties, etc. When forks and plates aren’t always convenient!
  • None of the fuss of traditional pie crust.
  • Wait time is cut in half. They cool down a lot quicker than pie!
  • 1 pan makes 18-24 bars, so you’ll feed more hungry tummies.
  • 4 ingredient toasty pecan graham cracker crust. Enough said.

There’s two parts: the crust and the filling. Both come together in minutes. Let’s start with that crust…

Toasted pecan graham cracker crust for pumpkin pie bars on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Toasted pecan graham cracker crust for pumpkin pie bars on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This crust is made with pecans, graham crackers, a little sugar, and melted butter. You’ll process the nuts + grahams together to break down the nuts, then add the sugar + butter to combine. A food processor makes all this a breeze. Press tightly into a 9×13 pan, then pre-bake for about 8 minutes. Under direct heat, the pecans take on an incredible toasty flavor. I guarantee you’ll only want pumpkin pie with this crust from now on. That’s a bold statement!!

You can pour the filling right into the pre-baked crust. No need to wait for it to cool down. The filling comes together in minutes and is similar to the filling in my great pumpkin pie recipe. It’s sweetened with brown sugar for superior flavor and thickened with heavy cream and a touch of cornstarch. Eggs help the filling set and the rest of the filling ingredients are for flavor… spices, vanilla, pumpkin!

How to make pumpkin pie bars on sallysbakingaddiction.com

My Pumpkin Pie Secret Ingredient

If you’ve tried my pumpkin pie, you’re familiar with my 1 secret ingredient: black pepper. It’s bizarre, but totally works. I got this tip from the genius kitchen crew over at King Arthur Flour. And I’m forever grateful!! A pinch of black pepper turns your pumpkin pie (or, in this case, pumpkin pie bars) into the BEST pumpkin pie… bars. And no one will know it’s there! They’ll all go nuts for the deeply spiced flavor. And that spiced flavor, my friends, comes from black pepper.

Trust me.

Like pumpkin pie, but so much easier! Made with a graham cracker and toasty pecan crust, these easy creamy pumpkin bars are irresistible! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Like pumpkin pie, but so much easier! Made with a graham cracker and toasty pecan crust, these easy creamy pumpkin bars are irresistible! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

When it comes to pumpkin, keep it simple. And maybe keep it out of the shower?!

Easy Pumpkin Pie Bars

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 9 (135g) full-sheet graham crackers (or 1 and 1/4 cups crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup (62g) chopped pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin (about 2 cups total; 450g)*
  • 1 cup (200g) light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • optional for topping: whipped cream and chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars from the pan. Set aside.
  2. Make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers and pecans together into crumbs. A few larger pieces of nuts is OK! Add the sugar and melted butter and pulse until combined. Press tightly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9x13 baking pan. Pre-bake crust for 8 minutes. Leave oven on.
  3. Make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or simply using a whisk) beat/whisk all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth. Pour into warm crust.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the center is no longer jiggly. Remove from the oven, set on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely. Once cool, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. Remove chilled bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares. Bars are best served chilled.
  5. Top with whipped cream and chopped pecans, if desired. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Make ahead tip: Cooled pumpkin pie bars can be frozen up to 3 months. The filling can be made, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before pouring into crust and baking. Bars pie freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes:

*I prefer canned pumpkin, not fresh pumpkin puree in this recipe. I like to use Libby's brand. Fresh will work in a pinch, but they're tastier and more firm with canned. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.

*Instead of prepared pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice and ground ginger AND 1/4 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg and ground cloves.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Food Processor | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | 9×13 Baking Pan | Libby’s Pure Pumpkin

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Like pumpkin pie, but so much easier! Made with a graham cracker and toasty pecan crust, these easy creamy pumpkin bars are irresistible! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

70 comments

  1. loved the taste of these bars, but I prefer a thicker bar because i’m pumpkin obsessed.  Next time i’m going to double the filling. thanks for a great recipe! 

  2. Sally!
    These bars were EASY PEASY to make and came out AMAZING! I was wondering what your thoughts were about replacing the graham crackers with cinnamon graham crackers??

  3. Looks delish! Do you think I could successfully use homemade graham crackers? I was thinking of using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for those.

  4. Hi, Sally! First let me say: I LOVE YOUR RECIPES! I’ve been following you for some time now. Now onto my question… Is there any way to remove the pecans? They sound lovely, but some family that I plan on making this for have nut allergies. I’m hoping to make one batch with and one batch without. Thank you!

  5. Sally this is the perfect recipe to use the leftover pumpkin I have! I have all of the ingredients except for pecans. Do you think I can use the shortbread crust you use for your salted caramel apple pie bars (which are one of the greatest things of all time, by the way☺). Thanks Sally!

  6. Hey there, how do you think this would turn out if I replace the heavy cream with full fat coconut milk?
    Thanks

  7. I don’t own a blender or food processor. I know …crazy. Instead of the pecans do you think I could use Almond meal or  ( flour) instead? Thanks! These look so easy! 

  8. All I have on hand is fresh pumpkin puree.. Are there any modifications I should make to allot for the runnier consistency of the fresh pumpkin? AND.. Do you have a gluten free nut/date type crust recipe? 🙂

  9. Hi Sally!
    I have made these bars 2x A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, once with graham crackers and another with cinnamon graham crackers (yummy). I was wondering if i could double the crust recipe for a thicker crust using ginger snaps?! If so, how long would I have to bake the crust for…8 minutes still??

  10. Such a great idea, yum!

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