Pumpkin Pie Bars

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These pumpkin pie bars taste just like pumpkin pie but are even easier to make. A from-scratch pumpkin filling sits on top of a buttery shortbread crust for a delicious fall dessert.

a stack of 3 Pumpkin Pie Bars with whipped cream on top


Let’s face it, serving pie can be messy and difficult – especially to a crowd. So I took our favorite pumpkin pie recipe and adapted it to make the most delicious pumpkin pie bars!

If you love homemade pumpkin pie, you will adore these pumpkin pie bars! In this recipe, the most delicious pumpkin filling is baked on top of a buttery shortbread crust for fall desert perfection.

No rolling or chilling pie crust is required to make this pumpkin pie bars recipe – which means they’re incredibly easy to make. They cut neatly into squares for easy serving.

5 Pumpkin Pie Bars cut into squares, 3 with whipped cream on top

Pumpkin Pie Bars: Ingredients & Substitutions

overhead view of the ingredients in this Pumpkin Pie Bars recipe

Pumpkin Filling

  • Heavy Cream. Half & half is a great substitute. For dairy-free options choose full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream.
  • Light Brown Sugar: dark brown sugar is a good substitute, but note that it will impart a bolder molasses taste. Coconut sugar also works well.
  • Pumpkin puree. Use a 15 oz can of pure pumpkin puree, or make your own from a fresh pie pumpkin (instructions in the recipe card). Also try cherry bars, apple pie bars, & raspberry bars.
  • Pumpkin pie spice. Use store-bought or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice.

Shortbread crust

  • Salted butter. Unsalted butter works well in this recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar. Use white granulated sugar or organic cane sugar for the best results.
  • All-purpose flour. to make these gluten-free, use all-purpose gluten-free baking flour.
overhead photo of 9 square Pumpkin Pie Bars, 3 with whipped cream on top

How to Make Pumpkin Pie Bars

Let’s walk through how to make pumpkin pie bars step by step, and don’t forget to watch the video.

Make the Shortbread Crust

Begin by making the shortbread crust. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla together in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand-held mixer.

Next, add the flour and salt and beat until coarse, large crumbs form (about 60-90 seconds).

two photos showing How to Make the shortbread crust for Pumpkin Pie Bars

Then, transfer the dough to the bottom of the prepared baking dish, using lightly floured hands, press it into an even layer. Set it aside to use later.

Note. The crust is NOT pre-baked, do not bake it before adding the filling.

two photos showing How to Make the shortbread crust for Pumpkin Pie Bars

Make the Pumpkin filling

Once the crust is ready, make the pumpkin filling.

Begin by whisking together the pumpkin puree and eggs in a large bowl.

two photos showing How to Make Pumpkin Pie Bars - combining eggs and pumpkin in a glass bowl

Then, whisk in the heavy cream (or half and half), vanilla, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice until smooth.

two photos showing How to Make Pumpkin Pie Bars in a glass bowl

Assemble & Bake

Then, pour the pumpkin filling over the shortbread crust.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake 35-40 min more or until the filling is set and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with 1-2 moist crumbs.

Let the pumpkin pie bars cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours (or overnight).

pumpkin pie bars in a square baking pan before and after baking

Serve

Once the bars are completely chilled, cut them into 9 or 16 squares and serve with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

Store

Store leftover pumpkin pie bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

9 Pumpkin Pie Bars cut into squares

Freeze

 If you have a few leftover pumpkin pie bars you want to freeze, place them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer to flash-freeze them.

Then, once they’re frozen, wrap them in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for about 6 hours. 

a Pumpkin Pie Bar on a plate with a bite taken out of it topped with whipped cream

Pumpkin Pie Bars Recipe FAQS

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, double the ingredients and bake in a 9×13″ pan.

How do you know when pumpkin pie bars are done?

The top will be set.
They will be set on the edge and have a very slight jiggle in the middle!.
A cake tester inserted in the middle of the bars will come out clean or with a few crumbs.

a Pumpkin Pie Bar with a bite taken out of it topped with whipped cream

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Pumpkin Pie Bars Recipe

Laura
These pumpkin pie bars taste just like pumpkin pie but are even easier to make. A from-scratch pumpkin filling sits on top of a buttery shortbread crust for a delicious fall dessert.
5 from 7 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 Servings
Calories 191
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Chilling4 hours
Total Time5 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients  

Shortbread Crust:

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 9×9” baking dish with parchment paper and lightly grease, set aside.

Make the Crust

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla.
  • Add flour and salt and beat until coarse, large crumbs form (about 60-90 seconds).
  • Pour the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, using lightly floured hands, press it into an even layer. Set aside to use later.

Make the Pumpkin Filling

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and eggs.
  • Then, whisk in the heavy cream (or half and half), vanilla, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice and mix until completely combined.

Assemble & Bake

  • Pour the pumpkin filling over the crust.
  • Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake 35-40 min more or until the filling is set and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with 1-2 moist crumbs.
  • Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours (or overnight).

Serve

  • Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions
  • Heavy Cream. Half & half is a great substitute. For dairy-free options choose full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream.
  • Light Brown Sugar: dark brown sugar is a good substitute, but note that it will impart a bolder molasses taste. Coconut sugar also works well.
  • Pumpkin puree. Use a 15 oz can of pure pumpkin puree, or make your own from a fresh pie pumpkin (instructions in the recipe card).
  • Pumpkin pie spice. Use store-bought or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice.
  • Salted butter. Unsalted butter works well in this recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar. Use white granulated sugar or organic cane sugar for the best results.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract. If you’d like, you can use a combination of vanilla and another extract such as almond, lemon, etc.
  • All-purpose flour. to make these gluten-free, use all-purpose gluten-free baking flour.
Or, to make only 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice combine: 
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp allspice
Store
Store the bars in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze
 If you have a few leftover pumpkin pie bars you want to freeze, place them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer to flash-freeze them. Then, once they’re frozen, wrap them in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for about 6 hours. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 174mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 4523IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    OMG! Laura! My absolute favorite pie is pumpkin. This, my darling, is better than even the best pumpkin pie I ever had! Thank you for such a rich and delicious pumpkin pie bar … and so easy! So much easier (and tastier!) than actual pie! Brava!