These Pecan Pie Bars are a relaxed way of enjoying all the flavors of pecan pie, without all the fuss! Maple syrup, light brown sugar and toasted pecans all on top of a buttery shortbread cookie crust. These bars are the epitome of Fall flavors.

All about these Pecan Pie Bars…

  • No Corn syrup: we’re replacing the ingredient of corn syrup with some natural Grade A maple syrup which gives the same consistency you love, and adds a lovely maple flavor to the pie topping.
  • Shortbread Cookie Crust: no need to make a pie crust, these bars use a shortbread cookie crust that comes together quick and easy.
  • Texture: the cookie crust is wonderfully soft with a bit of crunch and flake from baking, topped with crunchy toasted pecans surrounded by a gooey maple syrup mixture.

Ingredients Needed:

Ingredients needed for homemade pecan pie bars.

Notes on some ingredients:

  • Maple Syrup: use a grade A maple syrup, not a pancake style syrup.
  • Pecans: it’s easiest to start with halved pecans, then give a quick chop. If you have fresh pecans you can shell them, halve them and then chop.
  • Light brown sugar & sugar: both are used in this recipe, the regular sugar is in the crust and the light brown sugar in the pecan pie topping.

How to make (step-by-step):

How to make pecan pie bars showing ingredients mixed for crust and pressed into a baking sheet.
  • Step 1: Cookie Crust, combine the ingredients for the shortbread cookie crust. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, ensure the paper is folded nicely in the corners, otherwise the topping will leak out of the sides when poured on top.
  • Step 2: Prepare baking pan, press the cookie crust into the bottom of the pan, smooth out to help ensure even baking.
How to make pecan pie bars, showing ingredients for the pecan pie topping in a bowl then mixed together.
  • Step 3 and 4: Prepare pie topping, while the cookie crust is baking, prepare the pecan pie filling. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium size bowl.
  • Step 5: Bake, pour the pie topping over the top of the baked cookie crust. Smooth out the top and bake for 25-30 minutes until set.
Pouring pecan pie topping over shortbread cookie crust.

Expert Tips:

  • Cooling: Let the bars cool completely before cutting them, this allows the filling to set up nicely and gives you a nice clean cut. If needed you can cool to room temperature and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
  • Make ahead: these bars are a great dessert to make a day ahead of time, it allows them to cool nicely before serving.
  • Freezing: these bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, place them in the refrigerator overnight. Then remove and serve cold, or warm slightly in the microwave if desired.

FAQ’s:

How do you know when pecan pie filling is set?

To test the done-ness, give the pan a slight shake, if the pecan pie filling shakes wobbly like a liquid then it’s not done. The center should be fairly set with only the slightest movement when shaken.

Do the pecans rise to the top when baked?

Yes. The pecans rise to the top of the liquid filling and set at the top of the bars while baking.

Should I toast the pecans before baking?

With this recipe it’s not needed, due to the pecans rising to the top they toast during baking time, they get a nice dark color and give that toasty, nutty flavoring.

Pecan pie bars after baking cut into pieces.

More Dessert Recipes:

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Stack of homemade pecan pie bars.

Pecan Pie Bars

5 from 18 votes
So much easier than it's cousin the pie, these pecan pie bars are a laid-back version with a flaky shortbread cookie crust and your favorite pecan pie filling smothered on top!

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour

Pecan Pie Topping

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • cups pecan halves, chopped

Instructions

Prepare Shortbread Cookie Crust

  • Preheat oven to 325, line 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper. (Be sure that the corners are folded in nicely, otherwise the topping will seep through)
  • Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium size bowl. 
  • Add the flour and stir completely. 
  • Press firmly into the baking dish, make sure the layer of the crust is nice and even. 
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. 
  • Remove from oven, poke holes with a fork. 

Prepare the Topping: 

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Whisk the eggs, add maple syrup, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and salt. Add melted butter and whisk to combine. 
  • Add the pecans. Stir to combine until pecans are completely coated in the sugar mixture.
  • Pour over the cookie crust, spread into an even layer. 
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until set. 
  • Let cool to room temperature completely before cutting. Best if bars cool for 3 hours or more before slicing to allow time to set. 

Video

Notes

  • Maple Syrup: use a grade A maple syrup, not a pancake style syrup.
  • Pecans: it’s easiest to start with halved pecans, then give a quick chop. If you have fresh pecans you can shell them, halve them and then chop.
  • Cooling: Let the bars cool completely before cutting them, this allows the filling to set up nicely and gives you a nice clean cut. If needed you can cool to room temperature and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
  • Freezing: these bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, place them in the refrigerator overnight. Then remove and serve cold, or warm slightly in the microwave if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 310kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 87mg, Potassium: 73mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 562IU, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg
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Recipe first published October 30, 2015, recipe updated to remove corn syrup.

Photography done by the talented @KJandCompany.co