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
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon

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

151 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! 

    1. Have you tried doubling the filling? How long did it take to bake?

  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??

    1. Sounds SO GOOD!!

      1. FABULOUS…I will be making it again for Thanksgiving!! Thank YOU Sally!!

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

    1. I can’t see why not!

  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!

    1. Hi Jennifer! You can definitely leave out the nuts. Just follow my graham cracker crust recipe instead: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2015/05/13/how-to-make-a-perfect-graham-cracker-crust/

  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!

    1. Hi Lee! The shortbread crust wouldn’t be quite enough for this size pan. I would double it.

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

    1. Should be just fine. Enjoy!

  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. Nicole Cleveland says:

    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!

  11. Can I leave out the cornstarch?

  12. I’m not a fan of pecans. Could I simply leave those out of the crust, or should I substitute something else in place of them?

    1. Hi Evelyn! You can leave out the nuts. Just follow my graham cracker crust recipe instead: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2015/05/13/how-to-make-a-perfect-graham-cracker-crust/

  13. Hi Sally! Can I replace heavy cream for 2% milk??

    1. Hi Brittni, I don’t recommend it. Your pumpkin filling would not be nearly as creamy and thick!

    2. Susan Furnish says:

      Has anyone tried the RIPPLE brand of HALF & HALF in any of their baking?? (for a non dairy substitute) guess I was just thinkin one could try that in this recipe……..

  14. Hi Sally!
    Do you think I’d be able to ship this by mail to someone? I’d do express shipping(next day delivery). Would it get all soggy being out of the fridge for a day or go bad?

    1. Hi Cat! These pumpkin pie bars aren’t ideal to ship– a little too wet. How about regular pumpkin bars instead? Or pumpkin cookies!

  15. Hey there
    All I have on hand is pumpkin pie filling can would there be any modification for the recipe?

    I was thinking probably the spices but not sure if anything else ??

    1. Hi Jenna! Use pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie filling not only is filled with spices and sugar, its consistency is completely different.

  16. Can I freeze these?

    1. Definitely. Bars pie freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

      1. thank you!

  17. Hi Sally,
    If I were to replace the graham crackers with gingersnaps, would i have to adjust the amount of butter/sugar OR the amount of gingersnaps?
    Looking forward to trying this! Thanks 🙂

    1. These would be so delicious with a gingersnap crust! You can follow the directions for the crust on these bars (but see recipe note to double for 9×13 size pan) https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/pumpkin-streusel-bars/

  18. Thanks Sally!

  19. Jessica Stephens says:

    These bars are delicious and the perfect party snack for fall. The crust is fun and pairs perfectly. Thank you, Sally!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed these, Jessica!

  20. Heather Schlaman says:

    I made these last night for the first time. I always trust your recipes to be good, but I especially loved this one. The flavor is fabulous, and the graham crackers and pecans were a perfect complement to the filling. I toyed with using gingersnaps for the crust, but I’m glad I didn’t because the flavor would have overwhelmed the pumpkin filling. I’ll definitely keep making these! Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome!

  21. Hi Sally,
    I have plenty of sweet potatoes but not enough pumpkin.
    Can I replace the pumpkin with sweet potato? Thanks

    1. Sweet potato puree works in place of pumpkin, yes!

  22. Hi!
    I am not a fan of rolling out dough. No matter how hard I try it stresses me too much, so I’m loving this crust. It sounds delicious!
    But- could I press this in a pie plate and make these bars into a pie instead? I assumed so, but am not an expert in changing things up. I looked at your recipe for the pumpkin pie (looks totally adorable!!) and noticed some of the quantities were slightly different.

    1. I don’t see any issue with that at all! Though I would be weary that the pie slices won’t be as stable as squares, so be careful slicing and serving.

  23. Christina Aliyetti says:

    I LOVE your pumpkin pie so I wanted to give these a shot to take to work next week 🙂 could I use pie crust instead of graham? I just loooove pie crust even tho it’s more work!

    1. Yes yes yes of course!

  24. These bars were superb – I will never make it buy another pumpkin pie again!I brought these to two family and everyone loved them. Amazing recipe!

  25. Made these last year Sally numerous times. Everyone loved them. These bars will be
    my pumpkin pie replacement. Great recipe!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed these bars, Nancy! Thank you for the positive feedback 🙂

  26. Yum, adding this to my Thanksgiving menu! Would this recipe still work in a pie dish?

    1. Yes, definitely! The pie slices won’t be as stable as squares, so be careful slicing and serving.

  27. Hi Sally! I’m a huge fan and super excited to make these bars. I noticed in lots of your recipes you mention bringing eggs to room temp. Is that not needed in this recipe? Also if I make the filling ahead of time and store it in the fridge do I need to bring the filling to room temp before I bake it in the warm crust? I’m trying to juggle so many dishes and my timing to do it all is dwindling! Thanks!

    1. Hi Natalie! Bringing eggs to room temperature is always ideal in a baking recipe unless otherwise noted. If other ingredients are warm or at room temperature (flour, sugar, etc)– it’s ideal for the cold ingredients to be the same temperature. Makes mixing easier and quicker. You can pour the filling COLD into the warm crust. Bake time may be an extra minute or so.

      1. Thank you!! And happy thanksgiving!

  28. could you sub evaporated milk for the cream?

    1. Hi Kim! I haven’t tried evaporated milk before, but I fear the bars may be a little flimsy. After chilling before cutting, however, they should be OK.

  29. This will be perfect for the November meeting for an organization I belong to, but I will need enough to feed at least 65 people (there will be other desserts as well). Can these be made successfully in a larger pan, or would the edges be over done before the center was baked through? If these can be scaled up, what size pan would you recommend as the maximum size? Thanks!

    1. Hi Janet! Happy to help. You can try tripling this recipe for a 12×17 inch jelly roll pan. I wouldn’t scale it up anymore than that. You can make a few pans of them. The bake time will be a little longer.

      1. Thanks, Sally! Appreciate your help.

  30. Hi again, Sally. I will be making a pan of these for a meeting tomorrow evening. Are these best on the day they are made, or do they get better with age?

    1. Like banana bread or pumpkin pie, these have incredible flavor the next day!

1 2 3

Leave a Reply

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

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

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

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

×