Pecan Pie Bars

These Pecan Pie Bars are a great way to get perfect, ooey gooey pecan pie in your face in no time! Even better, they can be made gluten free so everyone can enjoy!

labeled image of several pecan pie bars topped with whipped cream served on a board

Sometimes I want pie, but I don’t want the work of pie. You know what I mean? Either I don’t have the time to let the crust chill, or I’m feeling too lazy for all that rolling and crimping nonsense. When that’s the case, I turn to these easy Pecan Pie Bars.

Pecan Pie Bars: A Holiday Tradition

These little bites have been a staple at our family Thanksgiving and Christmas for years. Mom makes them in bulk, freezing them ahead of time so they can be pulled out just when we need them. They’ve even shown up under the tree a time or two, packaged up tight with a pretty bow on top.

three pecan pie bars topped with whipped cream served on a board

A Gluten Free Pecan Pie Package

When mom found out over six years ago that she would have to follow a strict gluten free diet, a lot of our favorite holiday treats were suddenly off the table. It took some time, but eventually we found some gluten free desserts that taste just as wonderful as their wheat laden counter parts.

Luckily, these Pecan Pie Bars are one of those recipes. A simple swap of gluten free flour in the crust is all it takes to make these beauties gluten free, so everyone at your Thanksgiving table can enjoy them.

Why You’ll Love These Pecan Pie Bars

If you’re a fan of Pecan Pie, you’ll find these bars irresistible. It’s all the gooey, caramel-y, brown sugar and crunchy nut flavor you love in a dangerously easy to eat square. I can usually hold myself to eating a single piece of pie, but I can’t resist making return trips for these throughout the afternoon and evening.

I slice myself a modest, skinny sliver then return for another innocent notch out of the pan. Then, of course, I have to even up the row, and take another slice. It’s like a dangerous game of gluttony Tetris, my friends. These bars are just the perfect pre-lunch, post dinner, before bedtime…okay let’s be honest, they’re the perfect anytime snack.

closeup on a pecan pie bar topped with whipped cream and served on a board

How To Make Pecan Pie Bars

  1. Mix together flour, sugar, salt, and butter to form your crust. This crust is not quite like a traditional pie crust, but more like a crumbly shortbread.
  2. Lightly brown the crust in the oven.
  3. Boil brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter as the start of your filling.
  4. Whisk in part of the filling with beaten eggs, (careful not to let the eggs cook!) and once mixed add everything back to the pan.
  5. Stir in your pecans and vanilla to complete the filling, and then pour it into your crust.
  6. Bake it all for about half an hour, let it cool, then cut into bars, serve, and enjoy!

Can you make pecan pie bars ahead of time?

Yes! These keep very well at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Can you freeze pecan pie bars?

Yes, these freeze beautifully! You can wrap individuals slices in saran wrap then place them in a freezer safe bag.

You can also freeze individual slices in a freezer safe container. Be sure to either flash freeze them first, so they don’t stick together, or leave a little room between slices and add parchment paper between layers.

Frozen pecan pie bars will keep for about 4 months. Thaw at room temperature overnight. For more tips, check out my comprehensive post on How to Freeze Cookies and Bars.

Tips for a Gluten Free Pecan Pie Bar

We prefer to use a cup for cup gluten free flour substitute for these bars. Some of our favorites are Cup4Cup and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Powder.

We’ve found that sometimes gluten free flour crusts can take longer to brown. We recommend browning the crust for an extra 5-10 minutes before adding the filling when you’re using gluten free flour.

More of our Favorite Pecan Recipes

We just love pecan pie in mini form! If you love the portability of these bars, but want something a little more “pie” like, try our Mini Pecan Pies!

If you’re on the hunt for a twist on the classic Pecan Pie Recipe, check out this Cheesecake Pecan Pie or this Coconut Pecan Turtle Cream Cheese Pie.

You can also get your pecan fix with these Brown Butter Pecan Blondies, Toasted Pecan Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies, and this Salted Maple Caramel Apple Pecan Tart.

Or find other Holiday Dessert inspiration from my roundup of 15 Drool Worthy Thanksgiving Desserts.

a serving board with pecan pie bars topped with whipped cream
These ooey gooey Pecan Pie Bars are the perfect Thanksgiving dessert.

Pecan Pie Bars

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

These easy Pecan Pie Bars are a absolute Holiday delight. They pack the classic pie flavors into a perfect portable package.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (or sub an all purpose 1-1 gluten free flour)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light Karo
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the chunks of butter with a pastry blender until fine crumbs begin to form. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is very lightly browned.
  3. Combine brown sugar, Karo, and 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently. Remove from heat. Put 1 cup of the hot mixture in a measuring cup. Slowly pour the hot mixture into the beaten eggs, whisking constantly. Add this to the remaining hot mixture. Stir in pecans and vanilla.
  4. Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 30-35 minutes or until set.
  5. Cool completely in the pan then cut into bars. Bars can be frozen or stored in an airtight container for 5 days.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 4g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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38 Comments

  1. I have been making these for 2 years now. Sometimes I make them gluten free for coworkers other times as written. I always get rave reviews! This is my most requested recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. These are amazing. I don’t normally do gluten free but had to for my sister in law for Chinese New Year. Everyone LOVED these bars.

  3. Just made a gluten free version. They are in the oven but smell amazing! We’ll see if my husband can tell that they’re gluten free. I’ll never tell.

  4. I made these for my husband , who happens to be a Pecan Pie Critic and not Gluten Free. He loved them. He felt they are better then any pean pie he has ever had. He shared them with guest and they were awed by the lightness of the crust and the flavor.
    Thank you , this was a major success and fairly easy.

  5. Well, I now can’t wait for Thanksgiving 2020 because of these delish beauties!! I added chocolate chips as a base layer and poured the pecan mixture on top. So good looking! Thanks!!

  6. Hi Courtney, I see you are using a 1-1 gluten free flour as a sub. I did a little research and found another substitute you might want to try. It is pecan meal (flour) to enhance the pecan flavor. It is available at MillicanPecan.com. Plus, I use fresh farm eggs from my sister-in-law’s chickens. I think they make everything taste better.

  7. Trying to reduce gluten content- Made the crust with 1 cup AP flour and 1 cup Almond flour and it didn’t hold up – in retrospect it was a silly decision. The flavor was still delicious, especially the filling (not too sweet) and I always add extra pecans but I’m still in search of a flavorful gf version.

  8. We made these yesterday and they were delicious. I have a question about the crust though. Mine doesn’t look like your photo. It looks like your filling soaked into the crust a bit. Mine stayed separate and the crust had a shortbread cookie texture. How firmly are we supposed to press it in the pan? Should it not be packed too hard?

  9. I made these for Thanksgiving last year and they were a big hit! So of course I’ll be making them again this year 🙂 I want to try adding chocolate chips this time, but do you think it will melt when I add it to the mixture?

    1. So glad you liked it! I think the chocolate chips would definitely melt if you put them right into the filling. I would maybe bake it most of the way, but then scatter some chocolate chips on top at the end so they just get a little melty.

    1. Sure! I recommend using a gluten free flour that is made to be subbed in recipes for all purpose flour at the same (1-1) ratio. Bob”s Red Mill and Cup 4 Cup both make 1-1 gluten free flour blends. I’d recommend using one of those!

  10. Made these for Thanksgiving and got great responses. One gal said they were “off the chain!” I hope that means something good! Anyways, my Mr. and I both agreed that we liked them better than regular pecan pie. The crust is better tasting and not as dry and the filling is not as overly sweet as pecan pie can sometimes be. The only problem with these bars is that they are addictive. Thanks Courtney, for the wonderful new addition to my favorites.

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