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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 and pie crust recipe!) and jazzy pecan pie (and even pecan pie cheesecake!). 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! Both great (easy!) additions to your favorite Thanksgiving pie recipes 🙂

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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: 1824 squares 1x
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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



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


  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.


  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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Would like to take this to a Halloween party this month, but our house is under renovation and my only over is a countertop. Can someone tell me how to convert to bake in an 8×8 dish?

    1. Hi Roberta, You could halve the recipe and bake in an 8×8 pan. The bake time will be similar, maybe a couple minutes shorter. Same oven temp.

  2. Hi! I made this and it tasted good, but it wasn’t really gooey or soft. I’m not sure what I’m looking for with this bar, it came out to be a more solid texture? Also the crust was very crumbly and fell apart even picking up a piece. Followed the instructions to the “T”! Thanks!

    1. Hello! These bars should have a soft but solid cookie-like base with a crunchy and slightly gooey pecan pie-like topping. How did you measure the flour for the crust? Make sure to spoon and level (instead of scooping) to avoid packing in too much flour into your measuring cups – or use a kitchen scale. You can read more about properly measuring baking ingredients in this post.

  3. I’m in the middle of baking these bars and I’m wondering how the base should look after the15 min in the oven (before the topping goes on)?

    1. Hi Bonnie, the crust should be very lightly browned (not all the way baked through). If you watch the video in the post, around the 0:47 mark you can see the par-baked crust right before the topping is added.

  4. I don’t know what I did wrong, I followed your recipe but when I took the crust out of the oven, it was all bubbly, like I had too much butter, 2 sticks, or not enough flour, 2 cups. I made sure I spooned and leveled the flour. When finished, like Cakey, my crust was crumbly. Not sure where I went wrong.
    After saying all that, I am determined to try one more time. It does taste good with milk.

    1. Hi Diane, We are sorry this crust is giving you trouble! Did the texture of the crust look like the video before baking? If it seems like there was too much butter, feel free to add an extra tablespoon of flour next time.

  5. Could I reduce the sugar in the crust? I would love to reduce the sugar overall but not sure if good idea to take out of the filling. Please let me know what you think. Thanks! I love your recipes!

    1. Hi Judy, the sugar plays an important role in helping the crust keep its form. You can certainly try reducing it, but it may be a bit crumblier as a result. Hope you enjoy the pie bars!

  6. do you think these would work as a Christmas cookie? like would they be able to be plated with an assortment of cookies without sticking to everything? also, how different would it be if you used artificial maple syrup instead of real? my grandma swears log cabin is what must be used for pecan pie, instead of corn syrup, so I wasn’t sure if that could be used here

    1. Hi Mary, these would be a beautiful addition to a cookie platter! If fully set, they can be stacked so there shouldn’t be a problem with them sticking to other cookies. For best taste and texture, we recommend sticking to pure maple syrup — pancake syrup is much thinner and doesn’t have as robust taste.

  7. Made these for Thanksgiving – I think I like them even more than pecan pie!!

  8. Two years ago I made Sally’s delicious Maple Pecan Pie. This year I made these pecan bars for my Thanksgiving hosts. Because of previous experiences of baking with browned butter, I decanted it into a small bowl and cooled it longer than 5 minutes. The dough was so soft I could spread it; it looked nothing like the video. I remade the crust and completely cooled the butter. The dough was still too soft to press but better. I smoothed it in the pan. (I took photos.) I am an intermediate-level baker and have baked tons of cookies and cakes and do know how to measure flour. Or at least I think I do! Should I have added a touch more flour to the dough in this case? Maybe I should have weighed it?
    In spite of my worrying, the pecan bars were a big hit. I’ve had requests for the recipe which I gladly will share! I’d like to know where I went wrong.

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