Easy Pumpkin Pie Bars

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

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

I’m a pumpkin purist. I prefer my pumpkin spice in basic form. Treats like pumpkin cake, pumpkin bars, pumpkin bread, pumpkin roll, and… pumpkin pie bars!! Specifically with a toasted pecan/graham cracker crust and a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top. These bars are smooth, pumpkin-spiced, and simply divine. They’re easy to make and easier to eat.

Before we get started, let’s clarify. These are not pumpkin bars– pumpkin bars are the bar version of pumpkin cake. Today’s pumpkin pie bars are the bar version of pumpkin pie. The more you know!

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

Pumpkin Pie Bars vs Pumpkin Pie

These easy pumpkin pie bars taste like pumpkin pie, but let me try to convince you that they’re *even better* than pumpkin pie. (If that’s even possible!)

  • Pumpkin pie bars are handheld so they’re perfect for gatherings, parties, etc– anytime forks and plates aren’t really convenient!
  • None of the fuss of traditional pie crust.
  • Wait time is cut in half because 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.

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

There are two components to pumpkin pie bars– the crust and the filling. Both come together in a matter of minutes with basic baking ingredients.

Upgraded Graham Cracker Crust

This isn’t your typical graham cracker crust. Today’s pumpkin pie bars feature a delicious from-scratch crust made with pecans, graham crackers, a little sugar, and melted butter. Process the nuts + graham crackers 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 inch pan, then pre-bake for a few 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!

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

Pumpkin Pie Bars Filling

The filling comes together quickly 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!

Pour the filling right into the pre-baked crust. No need to wait for it to cool.

How to make pumpkin pie bars on sallysbakingaddiction.com

My Pumpkin Pie Bars 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

More Fall Grab-and-Go Treats

If you’re looking for few other convenient fall desserts, I’ve got you covered. These are some of my very favorite treats to bring to football parties, girls’ nights, friendsgiving, and to any other fall events where simplicity is crucial:

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!

Print

Easy Pumpkin Pie Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 18-24 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9×13 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 9×13 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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Food Processor | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | 9×13 Baking Pan | Libby’s Pure Pumpkin
  3. Pumpkin: 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.
  4. Pumpkin Pie Spice: 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.
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

134 Comments

    1. Well, Sally, I made these pumpkin bars this morning, and we had them at the meeting tonight. What a hit! 11 people wiped it out completely. I cut the sugar back to 3/4 cup, as that is what my favorite pie recipe calls for, and 2 people remarked that they liked it because it was not overly sweet, the spices and pumpkin were really the stars of the dessert. Although it was thin, people also said it was a perfect balance between filling and crust. A definite keeper recipe! Thank you!

  1. Hi Sally, this pumpkin pie recipe sounds delicious! I would like to know if I could make more of the graham cracker crust? Often, I find that the crusts are too thin. Thank you
    for all the detailed information and tutorials that you provide. I made my first homemade apple pie, with the information you provided for the pie crust. I am hooked, thank you!

    1. Hi Marilyn, You can make the graham cracker crust thicker if you prefer! Just be sure to pack it in the pan tightly so it doesn’t crumble when you cut the bars. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Sally! Made these last night and let me just say that I will never be making a pumpkin pie again! Soooooo good! The crust is perfect!! Thank you so much for this recipe!!

  3. Is it possible to omit the nuts in the crust? If so, do you have any nut-free recommendations on replacements? Thank you – looks delicious!

    1. Hi Jen, You can definitely leave the nuts out of the crust! You will want to use one extra graham cracker (so about 10 full sheets). Enjoy!

  4. These pumpkin pie bars are delicious! I doubled the crust because I was worried it might be too thin. I packed it tightly and it did not crumble when cut/served. I was worried that my son would notice the pecans in the crust but he didn’t! The first night he had two bars with whip cream on top! Will definitely make these bars again.

  5. Wow–these are delicious. i don’t usually have pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but these are another story. Of course how could you go wrong with so much cream!

  6. I have a ton of little pumpkins left over from Halloween. I see you don’t recommend it for this recipe. Are there any pumpkin recipes you would recommend using fresh pumpkin purée?

  7. Hi Sally,
    Is there a substitute you can use for pecans? I is would love to make this recipe but several people in my family are allergic to nuts.

    1. Hi Lily! You can definitely leave the nuts out of the crust. You will want to use one extra graham cracker (so about 10 full sheets). Enjoy!

  8. Hi Sally, just have to comment and say the crust of these bars is phenomenal. All these years I’ve been wondering what my pumpkin was missing and now I know – your graham cracker pecan crust!!! (Sorry I didn’t try your filling but I prefer a vegan one as I’ve never liked eggy custard.) Anyway, looking forward to trying more of your recipes 🙂

  9. Hi! I was looking to make these in advance for this Thursday so 4 days away. What do you recommend the best way to go about it so they still taste delicious?! I’m just trying to avoid doing all of the steps on Thursday.

    1. Hi Samantha! You can make them and refrigerate them for a few days before serving. Bake, cool completely, then cover and refrigerate before cutting into squares and serving. You can also cut into squares right after they cool and before you store them.

    1. If you try a blender I suggest doing this in small batches rather than all at once and pulse to mix so that it stays in chunks rather than liquifies!

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