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Square slice of pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream.
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5 from 7 votes

Pumpkin Pie Bars

These Pumpkin Pie Bars are way easier, but just as delicious as traditional pumpkin pie! No pie crust to roll out, a simple press-in shortbread crust topped with a creamy pumpkin filling.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 9 - 12
Calories 215kcal

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt

Filling:

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice increase to 2t for stronger flavor
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pecan topping (optional):

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Instructions

Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with foil, leaving overhang on at least two sides so that the bars can be easily removed. Lightly grease the foil (I mist it with nonstick spray).
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy and well combined. Add flour and salt and beat until combined, it will be very crumbly.
  • Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and press it into a flat layer on the bottom of the pan (I use a measuring cup to press it in). Bake the crust for 10 minutes. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.

Filling:

  • Whisk sugar, spices and salt until combined. Add pumpkin, eggs, egg yolk, half-and-half, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the filling into the crust, then return to the oven.
  • The bars should bake until the filling is mostly set, but the very center still jiggles just a bit. If using an 8x8 pan, this will take between 45-55 minutes, if using a 9x9 pan, it will be 25-35 minutes. Bake time will vary based on your oven, so check it frequently once you’re nearing the end of bake time.
  • Place the pan on a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely.

Pecan topping (optional):

  • In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, whisking frequently. Keep it on the heat and add the half and half, whisking constantly. Continue whisking and simmer (don't boil) for one additional minute. Off the heat, fold in the chopped pecans. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. It will thicken up a bit and become the perfect consistency for pouring over the pie.

Notes

I highly recommend Libby’s pumpkin puree and name brand spices. I have made this recipe with generic brands of both and the name brand versions were noticeably better.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 5823IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg