Like pumpkin pie, but so much easier! Made with a graham cracker and toasty pecan crust, these easy creamy pumpkin bars are irresistible.
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) graham cracker crumbs (about 12 full-sheet graham crackers)
- 1/2 cup (62g) chopped pecans
- 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
- 5 Tablespoons (71g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 can (15-ounce; 425g) pure pumpkin
- 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 store-bought or homemade 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
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars from the pan. Set aside.
- Make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers (or crumbs) 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 the prepared baking pan. Pre-bake crust for 12 minutes. Leave oven on.
- 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.
- 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.
- Top with whipped cream and chopped pecans, if desired. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: The filling can be made, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before pouring into crust and baking. Cooled pie bars freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): 9×13-inch Baking Pan | Food Processor | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) or Glass Mixing Bowl and Whisk | Cooling Rack
- Pumpkin: I prefer canned pumpkin, not fresh pumpkin puree in this recipe. I typically use Libby’s brand. Fresh will work in a pinch, but these pie bars are tastier and more firm with canned. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can find pumpkin pie spice in the baking aisle of most grocery stores or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have either and want to use individual spices, use 1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice and ground ginger AND 1/4 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg and ground cloves. This is in addition to the 1 teaspoon of cinnamon—you will still add that. If using my homemade spice blend, which includes black pepper, you can leave out the black pepper in the recipe above.
- Crust Without Pecans: You can leave out the pecans in the crust, but you will need more graham cracker crumbs and butter. Add 1/4 cup extra graham cracker crumbs (2 full sheets/30g) and 1 more Tablespoon (14g) of melted butter. Pre-bake as directed.
- Non-US Readers: Don’t have graham crackers where you live? Use 200g ground digestive biscuit crumbs (about 2 cups; 13–14 biscuits), 3 Tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar, and the same amount of pecans and butter. Pre-bake for 14-15 minutes.
Keywords: pumpkin pie bars