What’s the only thing better than classic pecan pie? Pecan pie bars! They have a thick, buttery shortbread crust; gooey, sweet centers; and tons of pecans.
If you love pie, but you hate the hassle of making pie crust – then these pecan pie bars are definitely for you. And even if you love making classic pecan pie, you definitely need to try these pecan pie bars. Because they’re sweet, nutty, and completely delicious.
How to Make Pecan Pie Bars
Let’s talk specifics.
To get started, we make the delicious buttery base. It’s shortbread-esque, and thicker than a traditional pie crust. Simple stir together the flour, sugar and salt – then mix in the melted butter. It gets pressed into the bottom of a lined 9×13 inch pan and baked for about 20 minutes to firm up.
Then it’s time to make the pecan pie filling. In a large saucepan melt together the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and cornstarch (dissolved in a little water). I like to use brown sugar because it adds such a delicious butterscotch flavor. Then the cornstarch helps to keep the mixture thick so it’s not soupy.
Once it’s all melted together, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and cinnamon for even more delicious flavor.
From there – it’s time to add in the eggs. Here’s where you need to be a little careful or you can end up with scrambled eggs. First, whisk the eggs. Then whisk a few tablespoons of the warm sugar mixture into the eggs. This helps to slowly increase the egg temperature without cooking the eggs. Then whisk the eggs into the rest of the sugar mixture.
From there, sprinkle the chopped pecans over top of the base, then pour the filling over top. The chopped pecans will float to the top and you’re ready to bake. It’ll bake for about 30 minutes, or until it no longer wobbles if you give the pan a little nudge.
Then cool the bars completely (about 2 hours) before cutting into them. Otherwise, you’ll have a big sticky mess.
So to recap – here’s why you’ll love these easy pecan pie bars:
- Thick, buttery shortbread base
- Delicious butterscotch, brown sugar flavor
- They’re a little gooey but not soupy whatsoever
- A hint of cinnamon and vanilla adds tons of flavor
- Fresh pecans for the win
- Way easier than making a traditional pie crust
- Perfect with ice cream or whipped cream
- And perfect for gifting to friends and family.
Don’t need quite so many pecan pie bars? Simply half everything in the recipe and make it in an 8×8 inch pan instead. The bake time will be the same!
These pecan pie bars have the perfect butterscotch flavor, buttery crust, and delicious pecans. They’re perfect for the holidays or any time of year, and seriously impossible to resist.
Pecan Pie Bars
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 1 cup brown sugar , packed
- 1 cup corn syrup
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch , dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ¾ cups chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang around the edges.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Then stir in the melted butter.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven. (Keep the oven turned on).
- As the base is baking, make the filling.
- In a medium saucepan melt together the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and cornstarch dissolved in water. Stir gently as everything melts together.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs. Then whisk a few tablespoons of the warm sugar mixture into the eggs.
- Whisk the eggs into the rest of the warm sugar mixture.
- Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the cooked base, the pour the filling overtop.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the middle no longer wobbles if you give the pan a gentle nudge.
- Place the pan on a wire cooling rack and cool completely (at least 2 hours) before slicing into bars.