This recipe for pecan pie bars is a huge crowd pleaser. They’re deliciously sweet & salty with an easy shortbread crust. Plus NO Corn Syrup!
Pecan pie is one of the most popular pies in North America. It has a buttery crust and rich, gooey filling with pecans baked into every bite. These pecan pie bars are easier to make than pie because they’re made with an easy shortbread crust.
If you love pecan pie but don’t want to deal with the hassle of making a pie crust? These easy Pecan Pie Bars are perfect for those times when you just need a quick fix. They’re great for tailgating, potluck parties or even thanksgiving dinner.
This version is made without corn syrup, instead we use sugar and honey to sweeten the pecan filling and give it that amazing gooey texture you expect from pecan pie with plenty of crunchy pecans. Go ahead and try it, I bet it becomes your new favorite pecan pie recipe!
For a more decadent dessert, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Why You Will LOVE these Pecan Pie Bars!
- NO Corn Syrup! Sweetened with brown sugar and honey but tastes like classic pecan pie filling.
- Easy to make buttery shortbread crust. No fooling around with traditional pie crust!
- Super gooey texture with so much crunch from the pecans.
- The pecan mixture is absolutely loaded with pecans!
- A perfect way to serve pecan pie to a large crowd!
- Great for making ahead and freezing! Get your holiday baking out of the way early.
- Just an absolutely perfect delicious treat.
What is Pecan Pie?
Pecan Pie is a traditional American dessert. It is made from pecans and generally contains eggs and butter as well as sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla.
Pecan pie is very popular around Thanksgiving and Christmas when pecans are in season. Pecans are actually native to the Southern United States and Mexico, and is considered to be a traditional Southern dish, although it is certainly enjoyed over the holidays here in Canada.
The origin of pecan pie is ultimately unknown. The first known recipe for a type of pecan custard pie was published in “Harper’s Bazaar” in 1886, but the recipe is just barely similar to modern traditional pecan pie recipes.
This recipe for delicious Pecan Pie Bars is a fun twist on the much loved classic that any fan of pecan pie is sure to love.
Variations of Pecan Pie Bars
I think these bars are perfect the way they are but if you love experimenting with flavours, you can try to change things up slightly for a new flavour profile!
- Add a sprinkle of sea salt to the filling for a sweet and salty dessert.
- Make Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars! Melt a package of chocolate chips with 3 tbsp of butter in a double broiler. Spread evenly over the cooled off bars and allow to set.
- Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars. For a deeper buttery flavour to the filling, brown your butter ahead of time, it adds a little extra flavor.
- Make an Orange Shortbread Crust by mixing in the zest of one large orange. Citrus pairs wonderfully with the rest of the flavours.
How Can You Tell When Pecan Pie Bars are Done
If you aren’t sure if the pecan pie bars are done, just shake it back and forth a little. It should jiggle a little in the middle. If it jiggles a lot or even wobbles, it’s not done yet.
Another method is to stick a toothpick in the center of the pie, between the pecans. It should be clean when the pie is ready.
The filling will continue to cook and fully set as the pie cools.
How to Store Pecan Pie Bars
Pecan Pie Bars may be kept in an airtight container or wrapped tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap for up to five days in the refrigerator or on the counter. I usually keep mine at room temperature.
How to Freeze Pecan Pie Bars
Pecan Bars may be frozen for up to three months.
When they’ve been fully cooled, wrap them in aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap with any layers separated by wax paper or parchment paper.
Allow to thaw overnight on the countertop before serving. Do not refreeze Pecan Pie Bars after they’ve thawed.
Tips for the BEST Pecan Bars!
- Measure your ingredients carefully, because baking is more science than art.
- Please read the notes about the ingredients below.
- You absolutely need to allow the syrup to cool enough that it cooks the eggs without scrambling them. It helps if your eggs are already room temperature. Add them slowly and whisk briskly to avoid this situation.
- Let your bars cool and completely set on the counter, should take about 2 hours. I would avoid the refrigerator as the moisture could keep it from setting properly.
- You can place your pecan pie bars on a baking sheet to catch and collect any filling juices that might bubble over during baking.
- As always, read the whole recipe once or twice before getting started.
About the Ingredients for Pecan Pie Bars
Flour – Be sure to spoon and level your flour so that your crust is nice and light and buttery instead of dense and heavy.
Sugar – Plain old white sugar.
Salt – Balances out all the flavours. If you like sweet and salty, you can adjust the amount in the filling. I accidentally added too much salt to the filling once and it was actually really yummy.
Butter – We start with cold butter for the crust because we want a light flaky texture to the shortbread. The temperature of the butter for the filling doesn’t matter since it will get melted.
Sugar – We are using brown sugar because it is more moist and has a deeper flavour than white.
Honey – I chose to use honey instead of corn syrup and it was really the perfect choice. Can also use pure maple syrup, or if you really want to light corn syrup or dark corn syrup. I promise you though, honey is perfect.
Eggs – The Eggs NEED to be room temperature!
Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract is best but you can use artificial instead.
Pecans – Chopped pecans. You can chop them smaller than they come, or even buy extra pecan halves and set them on top if you want the bars more nutty than sweet.
Looking for More of the BEST Fall Desserts?
Check out some of my favourite fall dessert recipes:
Classic German apple cake, Apfelkuchen, is moist and buttery. It’s a simple and rustic cake made with fresh apples – a perfect fall dessert.
These Old Fashioned Apple Fritters are made with a cakey batter incorporated with juicy apples and glazed. They’re an easy-to-make fall treat.
A delicious apple dump cake recipe that is easy to prepare and makes a great fall dessert served warm with ice cream and caramel sauce!
How to Make Pecan Pie Bars
Yield: 16 squares | Prep time: 15 Mins | Cook time: 50 Mins
For the Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
For the Topping:
½ cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper. Set your prepared pan aside.
Mix together the crust ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Press the dough into the bottom of the pan in an even layer, then bake for 15 minutes.
While the crust is baking, heat butter, sugar, and honey together in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.
Allow mixture to cool about 5 minutes, then whisk in salt, eggs, and vanilla.
Mix in Pecans.
Remove crust from the oven when ready and pour filling evenly over the crust.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling is set.
Allow to fully cool in the pan.
Slice into bars and serve.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!