Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars

Made with brown butter and maple syrup, you’ll love the sweet and salty flavor in each bite of brown butter pecan pie bars. They’re so much easier than baking an entire pie!

stack of brown butter pecan pie bars

Though these bars aren’t shaped like your typical pie, they’re every bit as mouthwatering in square form. Especially when that square combines not only pecan pie + crust, but brown butter, quality nuts, pure maple syrup for extra flavor, and a sprinkle of sea salt on top.

overhead image of brown butter pecan pie bars cut into squares

Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars Video

brown butter in a pan with a silver spoon

Why We Love Pecan Pie Bars

While I don’t usually like to stray from the classic, unadulterated pecan pie– I do believe there is room for both traditional pecan pie (here’s my favorite pecan pie recipe!) and jazzy pecan pie. Who doesn’t want a little jazzy every now and then?? These pecan pie bars are certainly jazzy and there’s so much to love about them.

  • Deliciously flavored with brown butter, brown sugar, and sea salt
  • Made with maple syrup which adds flavor and takes the place of corn syrup that’s typically used in pecan pie recipes
  • The shortbread crust is soft and simple
  • Lots of wonderful crunchy and gooey texture in every bite
  • The pecan pie topping is sweet and salty
  • They’re easier to make than an entire pie– no pie crust to chill and roll
  • A fun alternative to the classic pie and perfect for serving a crowd
  • No mess to clean up because they’re easy to eat and transport!

brown butter shortbread crust in a glass baking pan

Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

Brown butter brings a whole new level of flavor to these pecan pie bars. It’s the same crust as my salted caramel apple pie bars, only doubled to make a larger batch and– of course– made with brown butter. All you’ll do is brown some butter on the stovetop, then mix it with sugar, vanilla, salt, and flour. Press it into the pan and pre-bake for a few minutes while you make the pecan pie topping. So simple yet so delicious!

Here’s a full tutorial on how to brown butter. It’s quick and easy.

ingredients for brown butter pecan pie bars including pecans, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, butter, and heavy cream

Pecan Pie Bars Without Corn Syrup

I chose to make these pecan pie bars without corn syrup and formulate a way to have maple syrup get the job done. It works like a charm here. You’ll boil butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and cream together into a syrup– then temper the eggs. Now before you go running at the term “tempering” let’s chat about it for a second.

Tempering means you’ll add a hot liquid to the beaten eggs. If you add the eggs directly to the pot of boiling ingredients– guess what? You’ll have some funky scrambled egg sauce. By slowly whisking *some* of the hot syrup into the beaten eggs, you are slowly bringing up their temperature– not shocking them. And then you’ll slowly drizzle and whisk that warm egg mixture into the pot. This way you’re avoiding that funky scrambled egg situation that sounds, and probably is, horrifying.

For an entire pecan pie made without corn syrup, try my maple pecan pie!

brown butter pecan pie filling in a saucepan with a wood spoon

How to Make Pecan Pie Bars

They’re truly easier than pie!

  1. Brown the butter. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine all of the crust ingredients. Press the mixture evenly into a prepared 9×13 pan.
  3. Bake the crust. 15 minutes is all it takes.
  4. Make the pecan pie topping. Combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk this mixture and bring to a boil.
  5. Temper the eggs. As the mixture boils, carefully spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture into a glass measuring cup. Slowly drizzle it into the beaten eggs. Stir frequently to keep it moving so the eggs do not scramble. Once the 1/2 cup mixture is added to the beaten eggs, slowly drizzle and whisk this back into the pot.
  6. Add the pecans.
  7. Spread topping evenly onto the crust. Don’t be alarmed if the pecan topping is too syrup-y. It will cook just fine!
  8. Bake. These bars take about 30-35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out *mostly* clean. If the top is getting too brown as it bakes, loosely cover with aluminum foil.
  9. Cool, cut into squares, and enjoy!

brown butter pecan pie bars

The flavors marry together wonderfully between the brown butter, maple, toasty pecans, and brown sugar. I’m not a fan of cloyingly sweet pecan pie, so I added a sprinkle of sea salt on top of the baked bars. They’re crunchy in some places, soft in others. Moist with big chunks of delicious pecans on a bed of brown butter. It most certainly doesn’t get better than this.

brown butter pecan pie bars on a white plate

Like my cranberry crumble pie bars, this process is much easier than an entire pie!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
stack of brown butter pecan pie bars

Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 18-24 squares
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These ultra flavorful brown butter pecan pie bars made with maple syrup are so much easier than baking an entire pie.


Ingredients

Brown Butter Crust

  • 1 cup (230g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

Pecan Pie Topping

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I prefer dark here)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups (300g) coarsely chopped shelled pecans
  • optional: sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 inch pan or line with parchment paper leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out. Set aside.
  2. For the crust: Slice the butter up into pieces and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring occasionally. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning– you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and it will have a nutty aroma. Once browned, remove from heat immediately and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, stir the brown butter, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir in the flour until evenly combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. For the topping: Combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine the ingredients and dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes. As it is boiling, carefully spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture into a glass measuring cup. Slowly drizzle it into the beaten eggs. Stir frequently to keep it moving so the eggs do not scramble. Once the 1/2 cup mixture is added to the beaten eggs, slowly drizzle and whisk this back into the pot. The trick is to always be stirring/whisking to avoid scrambling the eggs. Remove from heat, stir in the pecans, and pour evenly over the crust.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out *mostly* clean. If the top is getting too brown as it bakes, loosely cover with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven, set on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Cover and store leftover bars at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Bars freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Glass Baking Dish, Stainless Steel Saucepan, and Wooden Spoon

Keywords: brown butter pecan pie bars, pecan pie bars

155 Comments

  1. Millican Pecan says:

    Oh my!!!! These are sooooo good. This is what you get when you mix butter, vanilla, maple syrup, heavy cream, brown sugar, and of course… pecans! Excellent!!!

  2. I have made them with gluten free flour. They were every bit as delicious.
    I’ve made these at least a dozen times in the last 2 years.
    They are always a hit!

  3. Oh my! The bars were AMAZING, I could eat the whole batch myself (but I had to share with family). It was gone in a blink of an eye:) Thank you for the recipe.

    Regards from Poland;)

  4. When you were born and raised in Georgia, you know and love pecans. Now that I have tiwd this recipe, I know and love Sally’s Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars.

    The salty butter crust coupled with the rich and creamy topping is sublime! Thanks for another great recipe, Sally!

  5. Is it possible to sub out the maple syrup for Lyle’s Golden syrup? I don’t really care for the taste of maple and I don’t want to use corn syrup. Thank you for your recipes. I have yet to make something that was not fantastic!!

    1. I can’t see why not!

  6. Hi Sally! Could this recipe be made in a standard tart shell?

    I want to make a pecan pie tart, but with this crust rather than a traditional pie crust. Any tips?

    1. Hi James! I can’t see why not. This recipe is for a 9×13 pan which is larger than a standard tart pan. You’ll have extras or you can try halving the recipe. Make sure it’s completely cool before slicing, too.

  7. Any thoughts about using maple flavor and corn syrup if you don’t have pure maple syrup?

    1. Hi Dione, you can replace the maple syrup with corn syrup. Add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon maple extract (depending how much maple flavor you like).

  8. Ana Arusievicz says:

    Hello Sally, I’m looking forward to trying this recipe, looks delicious! But I’m not sure I completely understand the filling “how to”, I have lots of questions! Just want to make sure I get it right.

    1. You say to pour the 1/2 cup of hot mixture into the eggs, but the eggs wheren’t mentioned before, so i guess I should beat my eggs in a separate container before I start cooking the filling, right?
    2. Then, you say “Once all of the mixture is added to the beaten eggs, slowly drizzle and whisk this back into the pot. ” I’m guessing “all of the mixture” means the eggs mixed with the 1/2 cup, right? And I pour this (eggs+1/2 a cup) back into the original pot where I started cooking it.
    3. But while I was mixing eggs and 1/2 cup hot mixture, what happens to the pot? You say to remove from heat only at the end, but while I’m doing the egg bit is it still on the stove?

    If you could further explain this bit I would hugely appreciate it. Thank you!

    1. Hi Ana! I’m glad to help. (1) The recipe calls for 2 eggs beaten, so make sure you beat them first. (2) This step is called tempering the eggs. You temper them with a little of the hot mixture (1/2 cup), then you pour the 1/2 cup + beaten egg mixture back into the pot. (3) The tempering step only takes a few seconds, so the rest can stay on heat.

      Enjoy!

  9. WOW! These are amazing! The crust is super flaky, the filling is just the right amount of sweet! My family enjoyed these! I will probably be making these over pecan pie now!

  10. I tried this recipe for the first time and it is absolutely amazing!
    The instructions are really comprehensive, thank you @Sally.

    1. Hi! Making these for one of the Thanksgiving desserts. Any other tricks next time to lessen the scrambled egg effect? I followed the constant whisk/slow pour instructions and I still landed with some scrambled eggs. I took it off heat for a bit so that it didn’t make it worse, but would love to have some other tricks to avoid this issue. Thanks!

  11. I’m hoping to make this next week. I was just wondering, is there a specific reason to not toast the pecans?

    1. Hi Anna! Toasted pecans would be delicious 🙂

  12. The first crust I made, after I baked it, was super runny and liquid, and I had to throw away. Not sure why, I even used a scale for the flour measurement. The second one I made, I added an additional scant cup of flour and it came out much better. But if you do this, be sure to decrease bake time! I didn’t and the crust was super dry!

  13. Tried the recipe today they are fantastic! New family favorite ….. my mother in law finished her whole bar … this never happens Thank you for a great recipe!

  14. Outstanding recipe. Just wondering, if I wanted to make the bars a tad less sweet, would the recipe still work if i cut the brown sugar by 1-2 Tbs?

    1. Hi Deborah, I’m so glad you enjoyed them! You can certainly try cutting the sugar by just a small amount next time.

  15. I made two batches for Thanksgiving – for one, I added a cup of Ghiradelli 60% cacao choc chips. The chips melted when added to the filling, so I made sure I covered the pan for about 75% of the baking to make sure the chocolate didn’t burn. Both were smash hits! For the pecan pie purists, the brown butter crust made all the difference in the world. For the chocolate lovers, the chocolate and crust played nicely together. The sea salt is a must for both bars. Added just the right amount of salty goodness. I was a bit skeptical about using maple syrup over dark brown corn syrup, but it was perfect. My mother-in-law has requested the non-chocolate versions for our Hanukkah get together next month (along with other bars!).

    If you plan to lift the bars out whole before cutting, I suggest you put them in the fridge overnight or else the rectangle of beauty may crack (I don’t like to cut in the pan because I don’t want to scratch the pans). A night in the fridge and they lifted out nicely to cut perfectly on my cutting board.

  16. Delicious! It was loved by all. Thanks for a great recipe! Thanks, Sally!

  17. Laura Lee Klosterman says:

    Delish! These are perfect!!!

  18. These were great! The recipe turned out perfectly. I’m known for things turning out differently than the picture on the recipe and my husband told me they look just like they’re supposed to! That’s a big win. Thank you!

  19. Just made these bars for a gathering tomorrow and they turned out GREAT. It’s going to be hard to resist them until tomorrow, haha. I did find that the crust needed more flour for me, it was darn near liquidy at first! Not sure why, as I used the spoon and level method as suggested. Either way, GREAT recipe! I added some bourbon to the filling for extra flavor too.

  20. These are very tasty but I had an issue with the crust. After mixing the ingredients, the crust mix was super runny. There was no way I could “press” it in to the pan like the recipe says. I had to add a lot more flour to get it to a consistency where this was possible. So, as expected, the crust came out rather crumbly. The taste is great, but was disappointed in how the crust turned out.

  21. I love the idea of pecan pie in the shape of bar cookies. So much easier to handle at a buffet. I was pleased with the outcome and would make it again. Using maple syrup instead of Karo syrup was brilliant. It wouldn’t be pecan pie if it wasn’t sweet and rich so when I bake this again I’m going to try a crust that isn’t as rich as this one. Also I think there needs to be a little more topping. The recipe is very complicated in places. I had to draw a diagram to make sure I understood it. But it was delicious.

  22. Would I be able to use White Whole Wheat flour? And if so would measurements stay the same? Thanks

    1. Yes and yes. Enjoy!

  23. The best. Thanks for a great recipe! <3

  24. Hi Sally, can I put part walnuts? I only have 170g pecans.

    1. I can’t see why not.

  25. Wow, these were fantastic! I don’t care much for maple other than for breakfast, so I made with corn syrup, but yummmmmmy! I also mixed regular salt in with the topping since I didn’t have sea salt.

    It was easy to put together if you’ve ever browned butter before. Waiting for them to cool was hard!

  26. Im very excited to make these! Could I cut the ingredients in half here and use in an 8×8 pan instead?
    ps. love all of your recipes!!

    1. Sure can, Kristen. The bake time will be similar, maybe a couple minutes shorter.

  27. Thank you, Sally, for sharing this great recipe! After trying it, I may never make a traditional pecan pie again! This bar beats all the pecan pies that I have eaten to date, including several well-rated recipes that I have tried. This recipe is easy to put together and the flavors blend beautifully. It is worth the little effort to toast the pecans (I did so over the stovetop) and to sprinkle sea salt on top, as suggested. I added a bit of Bourbon for an extra oomph. My husband is getting this for Father’s Day. He doesn’t know it yet, but these pecan bars will become his all-time favorite dessert!

  28. Hi Sally,

    Thank you so much for this recipe. The brown butter crust is to die for. And the whole bar is very tasty. I had a bit of difficulty with boiling the filling and tempering the eggs, I think I over boiled it so my filling was on the harder side (but still very yummy). I was wondering, why do we need to boil the filling and temper the eggs if we’re going to bake it anyway, or would it have a different flavour/consistency?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Mona! The bars could have been over-baked or over-cooked on the stove, which are both easy fixes for next time. Pre-cooking the filling adds a deeper flavor and also ensures that the filling will cook through. Without pre-cooking, the bars + crust may not bake evenly. (Crust may be done before the filling and vice versa.) So I recommend taking the few extra minutes to pre-cook, including tempering the eggs.

  29. Hi Sally, I am sure the recipe will be delicious as all recipes by you. I have a question though, I am currently in the process of making this recipe and I wondered if you had ever used browned butter in the filling?
    Would it make the flavour nuttier or would it not set up as well, just curious. Thank you Sally as always for your wonderful blog!

  30. I made these last night and it was my first time making pecan pie bars. They turned out perfect after 30 minutes , and I put the foil over the top for the last 10.
    My question I have is when do you put the salt on top? (if using) I didn’t end up putting any on because the directions didn’t say when was the best time, and I didn’t want to mess it up because they looked so good already! I put the bars in the fridge overnight , so do I need to put them out to room temp before serving? Or do you serve them cold? Thanks Sally!!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Raquel, You can add a sprinkle of sea salt on top of the baked bars. If you don’t wish to eat them cold you can either let them sit out at room temperature to warm back up or even place them in a warm oven for just a short amount of time. Enjoy!

1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

Every December we publish 10 new cookie recipes in a row! The 2021 Sally’s Cookie Palooza begins 11/29. Sign up via email and we’ll send you my most popular recipes and all the new cookie recipes once the palooza begins!

View More

Pie Week is all about baking the BEST pies! Sign up via email and we'll send you my most popular recipes and all the new pie recipes once Pie Week begins!

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×