Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars
These creamy pumpkin pie bars are made with a delicious pumpkin spiced filling and a press in short crust. They are way easier to make, but just as delicious as traditional pumpkin pie!There is no pie crust to roll out, just a simple press-in shortbread crust. These dessert bars can be made with either fresh pumpkin purée or canned. If you like pumpkin pie you will love the convenience of these pumpkin pie bars. They have a luscious custard-like texture just like pie but can be cut into squares just like a brownie. They are perfect with a dollop of whip cream and here I served them decorated with some fall pie cutouts just for fun.
How to make pumpkin pie bars?
Pumpkin pie bars are so much easier to make than a traditional pie. No crust chilling. No crimping. Just a quick press into the pan and your crust will be ready to go. The crust is more similar to a shortbread crust, but the filling is just like the one you know and love. I simply mix the shortbread crust ingredients together until they form a dough, transfer it to a prepared pan, bake it until the edges are golden. While it cools I whisk together the filling ingredients, pour them over the crust and bake again until the filling is just set. Then it’s very important to allow the bars to come to room temperature first and then chill them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow them to fully set. Then slice and enjoy.
The crust is made with a combination of flour, butter, brown sugar and pecans. When it comes to the flour I use the flour I always have stocked and the perfect one for all your fall baking needs. It’s Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All Purpose Flour. It’s unbleached, unbromated, enriched baking flour milled from the highest quality North American wheat. Bob’s Red Mill products are made with clean high quality ingredients yielding into wonderful baked goods that your whole family will love. I added some chopped pecans to the crust which add a wonderful nutty flavour and texture to the crust but that is totally an optional add in. If there is an allergy concern or you don’t have any on hand just leave them out and the crust will be just as good even without them.
Pumpkin Pie is a delicious fall treat, one of the easiest pies you can make and this version is made even easier. With a creamy filling and crunchy crust, it’s the perfect balance for a seasonal dessert. The spicy pumpkin goodness of the traditional pie without the fuss of a pastry crust. Homemade always tastes better - and homemade doesn’t get any easier than these tasty pumpkin pie bars. Bake up a batch today to share with your family and friends.
I have partnered up with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
For the Crust
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All Purpose Flour
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup of chopped pecans *
For the Filling
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice *, increase to 2 teaspoons for stronger flavor
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F and Line a 8x8 square brownie tin or baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily release and remove the bars from the pan. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy in a large bowl using a mixer. Mix in the flour and salt and beat until combined, then stir in the pecans. The mixture will be very crumbly.
- Empty the mixture into prepared pan and press it into a flat layer on the bottom of the pan Bake the crust for approx 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack while making the filling
- In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, spices, corn starch, salt and pepper until fully combined. Add pumpkin, eggs, half-and-half, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the filling into the crust, then return to the oven and bake for another 45-55 minutes until the filling is mostly set, but the very center still jiggles just a bit. (Bake time varies based on your oven, so check it frequently once you’re nearing the end of bake time.)
- Once done remove and place pan on a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely (approx 2 hours). When ready to slice, use a knife to loosen the edges from pan. Lift bars out of pan carefully and slice. Bars are best served chilled. Top with whipped cream and chopped pecans, or leave as is. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- These are best served within 1 day of baking. The crust will soften in the days following baking (from the moisture in the filling).
- The pecans are an optional ingredient adding flavour and texture to the crust. Just omit of allergic.
- •Pumpkin Pie Spice: if you don’t have prepared pumpkin pie spice, you can use ¼-½ teaspoon each: ground allspice and ground ginger AND ¼ teaspoon each: ground nutmeg and ground cloves.