Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

We’re less than 24 hours away from the biggest food day of the year, when our stomachs face off against tryptophan and our skinny jeans get the heave-ho in favor of sweatpants. Are you ready?

I’m just about to board a plane to head home to San Diego, where my parents have been feverishly at work ironing table runners, writing place cards, and preparing to welcome a dozen family members and friends at our Turkey Day table. The infrared turkey fryer has been fetched from its spot in the garage. The 24-Hour Salad is on hour 14. And the Pumpkin Bars are ready for slicing.

There is a whole lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, as it’s been a crazy amazing couple of weeks. I was able to share with you the news about the release of my book, and just last Friday my sister learned she’d passed the California State Bar Exam (high-five for free legal advice for life!). I made these Pecan Pie Bars in her honor. Get it? Bar exam … Pecan Pie Bars … in her honor. Oh boy.

Ever since writing the book, I’ve discovered my affinity for food puns has reached that delicate line between hilariously witty and seriously annoying. But at least I’m sparing you the physical pain of dealing with pastry dough, because these bars pack the classic pecan pie flavor sans all the chilling, rolling and blind-baking that accompanies a golden brown crust. And in the event you’re wondering just how you’ll have enough room for dessert after feasting on turkey, stuffing and sides, you can learn to gorge like a legit professional in my latest Gourmet Live article, A Competitive Eater’s Guide to Thanksgiving Overeating.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving filled with family, friends and all of your favorite foods!

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars

Craving more? Sign up for the Just a Taste newsletter for a second fresh serving of content delivered straight to your inbox each week! And stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter for all of the latest updates.


Pecan Pie Bars

Yield: 12 - 16 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 40 min


For crust:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt

For topping:
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups chopped pecans


Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, leaving enough for a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

First make the crust by creaming together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in the flour and salt and mix until crumbly.

Press the crust into the foil-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, honey and heavy cream in a saucepan and stirring it over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 1 minute, then stir in the chopped pecans.

Remove the crust from the oven and immediately pour the pecan filling over the hot crust spreading it to cover the entire surface.

Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Remove the pan and allow the bars to fully cool in the pan.

Use the foil overhang to lift out the bars and transfer them to a cutting board. Peel off the foil, slice into bars and serve.

Filling recipe adapted from Gourmet.


  1. says

    That crust looks so good. I love your twist on an old favorite, my family (all pecan pie lovers) would devour this!

    • Kelly replied: — November 25th, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

      Thanks, Cassie! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  2. says

    why didn’t i get to try these at your house yesterday?? granted those mushroom cookie snacks, veuve and the charming company of your family was more than i could have ever asked for xo

    • Kelly replied: — November 25th, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

      It was so nice to finally meet you! We had the absolute best time and we are DEFINITELY planning your NYC visit! XOXO

  3. gaylanss says

    Being a pecan pie lover, I will definitely try these. And I love the fact that there is no corn syrup in the recipe!

  4. says

    Those look delicious-I think I will try them this Christmas with almonds or hazelnuts since my brother is allergic to pecans.

    • Kelly replied: — November 30th, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

      Great idea for substitutions!

  5. says

    I made those yesterday – the best pecan pie I’ve ever made! I’ve been thinking about this recipe since I saw it, and was waiting for a Christmas cookie exchange party to make it, but the party is not happening, so now I will have all of these bars for myself :-). So simple and soooooo tasty! The only change I’ll make next time will be reducing the sugar. I am definitely going to be making lots of these. Thanks so much for the brilliant recipe!

    • Kelly replied: — December 8th, 2011 @ 12:45 am

      Thanks so much for your comment!

  6. Tanya says

    I made these tonight…Awesome!!! The only thing different I would change is the time in the oven. Mine turned out alittle hard…my husband still ate them and loved them. He likes them to be alittle chewier next time. He gave the thumbs up to make again.

  7. Sarah says

    I ran across this recipe on FoodGawker, and I absolutely had to try it. I’ve already made three batches this week! They are AMAZING….everybody loves them. I’ve given lots of them away and already have several tucked away for Christmas! Awesome, awesome new holiday dessert recipe!

  8. says

    Hi Kelly,

    Pinterest lead me to you and I made these bars! They are so good! Not to sweet, just perfect. I put them on my own blog but made sure to link here!

    Gr. mariska

  9. Katie says

    They don’t need to be refrigerated after you make them do they? I am serving them tomorrow make them tonight how should I store them?

    • Kelly replied: — January 13th, 2012 @ 4:30 am

      Nope! Just make sure to keep them in an airtight container so they stay fresh. Enjoy!

  10. Jill says

    I found this recipe on Pinterest and had to try it.
    I like to tweak things a touch, so I added about .5 tsp of cayenne pepper to the caramel mix.
    The heat is subtle on the finish and oh-so-nice!
    My coworkers raved about it.

    • Kelly replied: — February 8th, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

      LOVE this idea to add cayenne for a spicy kick!

  11. Kerro says

    Can you sub that honey for the corn syrup as in the traditional pie recipe? One of my family members is allergic to honey….thanks!

  12. Tera says

    This is just sinful. thanks for posting. :)

    • Kelly replied: — February 14th, 2012 @ 3:39 am

      Thanks for your comment, Tera! “Sinful” is good in my book :)

  13. Keri says

    For the crust do you recommend dark or light brown sugar? Thank you!

    • Kelly replied: — February 20th, 2012 @ 10:27 am

      Hi Keri! You could use either, but just know that dark brown sugar will have a richer flavor (since it contains more molasses) while light brown sugar will be more subtle. I prefer light brown sugar for this recipe so that the flavor of the pecans really shines. Enjoy!

  14. Ruth Baker says

    Made these tonight. They are wonderful. The crust is very greasy with the butter. Should I use less butter in the crust or more flour? Any suggestions? I am in Mexico at 5000 feet altitude – may have something to do with it. Thanks for your thoughts.

  15. Cat says

    I have these in the oven right now, but gluten free and I used coconut cream instead of heavy cream. And I halved the recipe. Crossing my fingers that they turn out!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — May 9th, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

      I’ll be curious to hear how these turn out! Keep me posted!

  16. says

    I featured this recipe on my blog tonight and linked the recipe back to your page at Great job!

  17. Julia says

    it looks delicious!! I’m looking forward to try it!
    Although, I am not American so would you mind giving me the equivalent of the ingredients in the european metric system? (gramms) Thank you so much!

  18. Suzanne loves sweets says

    I made these tonight and they were easy and delicious. The only thing is the crust was too greasy, just like another person posted. I live in Florida, so I don’t know if the humidity had anything to do with it. So next time I am going to try and use 1 stick of butter in the crust instead of 2 and sub the second stick with applesauce. Otherwise they were great, and my husband loved them.

  19. Renee says

    Omg so wonderful. Made these last night exactly as stated in recipe with exception that I do not have a mixer of any kind. Did it all by hand. Turned out delicious.

  20. Amy says

    These are awesome! I did not find the crust to be greasy, but just perfect. I sprinkled the top of the crust with chocolate chips and shredded coconut, before pouring over the caramel pecan mixture. Yummy! Thank you for sharing.

  21. Julie J says

    These look amazing and my hubby adores Pecan pie, we are in the UK so would you mind letting me know how much 2 sticks of butter weighs as we don’t buy it in sticks here.
    i can’t wait to give this a go
    Thanks Julie

  22. Deb B says

    Made these tonight….had a bit of a salt “accident” in the crust but with the sweet topping they turned out great. Julie J in the UK 2 sticks is 1 cup.

  23. DianeMargaret says

    For the lovely English followers…each stick is a quarter pound here!

    These look GREAT! I’m thinking I’ll try them for my hubby’s birthday but with Cashews, since they are his favorites!
    Then I’ll have to make them for Thanksgiving with pecans!
    Oh, and THEN for Christmas with the almond/hazelnut blend someone suggested!
    OOOOOHHHHHHH…the possibilities!!!
    Maybe with almonds and little coconut, ooh, and chocolate…maybe peanuts and mini M&M’s…….my mind is REELING!!!!!!!

  24. Misty says

    What is meant when u say heavy cream? What type of cream?? I’ve never made anything like this before, but i sure want to try. These look delicious!!

  25. Julia says

    Just made this for my co-workers and everyone loved them! Much easier to share than Pecan Pie – will def. make again.

  26. Hannah Anderson says

    Couldn’t resist when I saw the picture — I’ve copied the recipe and will be making it next week for Thanksgiving. Will be a perfect dessert after our dinner.

  27. Jan A says

    Wanted to make these to add to holiday cookies for friends. Can they be made and then frozen to keep fresh? Wanted 1/2 for us and 1/2 for holiday baskets.

  28. Tiffany says

    I just made these for Thanksgiving. I haven’t cut into them or had a whole one, but I nibbled off the corner. It tasted JUST like pecan pie, which is great because I altered the recipe a smidge. I made them with brown sugar Splenda blend and slightly less flour in the crust (Splenda blend uses half the amount of brown sugar, so the volume of flour needs to be slightly reduced or else your crust is TOO crumbly). I also used fat free half-and-half instead of cream and added an extra tablespoon (again — the Splenda makes a lower volume so I added a little more liquid to make the filling enough to cover the crust). I’m really excited to eat these and I’m so glad I found your recipe!

  29. Kelly says

    I have NEVER given a review of any recipe I have ever tried, but I feel inclined to do so considering this may be the best thing I have ever baked. Delicious!!! The only change I made was lowering the second baking time to 15 min. PERFECT.

  30. Susan says

    I made these today… Delicious! I followed the recipe to the letter… No complaints. I shared with a couple of friends who stopped by… Loved them. Will make these again!

  31. Ali says

    Tried making these for the first time today and they are great! The crust for me was a but too thick so I think when I make them again for Christmas I will cut the crust recipe in half and maybe even double the “filling”. I love the taste the honey gives to the filling, like pecan pie only better!

  32. Marianne says

    The only honey I usually have is clover honey but I just realized I’m out and all I have is wildflower honey…it seems too sweet. Has anyone tried a different type of honey? Thank you. PS my crust is in the oven eekkk!

  33. Ricky says

    Made a test batch yesterday and making them again today to take for dinner. FANTASTIC! I added a sprinkling of chocolate chips on the crust and more on top. Life is just better with chocolate!

  34. Stacy says

    These are wonderful. They did not last at thanksgiving. Instead of honey I used vanilla agave. Yum!! I was already “told” I will be making them for Xmas :)

  35. Lise says

    Sounds delicious :) I must try it.
    I am from Denmark and do not know how much 2 sticks butter is, could someone help me out with that ;) thanks…

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 4th, 2012 @ 10:12 am

      Hi Lise! No prob at all! Two sticks of butter (in the U.S.) is equivalent to 1 cup of butter. Enjoy!

  36. Cassandra says

    I want to make this right now but I don’t have any heavy cream in the house. Can I use something else?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 5th, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

      Hi Cassandra! I read on that you can sub 2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk plus 1/3 cup (75 grams) melted, unsalted butter to be the equivalent of heavy cream, however I have not tried this substitution in this recipe, so I cannot say for certain.

  37. Diana J. says

    Just made these…..OMGeeez!!! Was skeptical about using honey, but my oh my was I wrong! Doubled all of the ingredients for the filling except the honey and these are absolute PERFECTION! Thank you for the recipe.

  38. Staci says

    I made these this weekend and packaged for Christmas gifts to give to friends. They were PERFECT! It is a portable piece of pecan pie, absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing :-)

  39. says

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can I just tell you how incredible this came out?????? I have to tell you that the crust was to die for, the consistency was delicious and I made this for holiday gifts (along with other things) and after I tasted it I cut back the portions I gave out just to keep more for me and literally did not stop eating this until it was all gone, and it only took me one day :(

    THE BEST THING EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Shaylenne says

    Can you tell me how much (in cups) 2 sticks of unsalted butter is? I buy the pound of butter and I’m just wondering how much to use. Thanks!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 16th, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

      Two sticks of butter is equal to 1 cup. Enjoy!

  41. Debbie says

    I just made these and they are very hard. I followed the recipe exact, so I don’t know what happened. Less time in the oven, maybe? My crust is very dry and most of it is on the cutting board….not at all what I expected :/

  42. says

    I’ve made FOUR batches of these since stumbling across this recipe on Pinterest on Thanksgiving. They are the absolute best and everyone who has tried them has raved about them and how good they are. I love the flavor of the honey (instead of overly-sweet Karo syrup) thanks so mich for sharing. It’s definitely in my regular rotation now…

  43. Andrea says

    I was wondering, could I use the Splenda brand brown sugar substitute? My father-in-law loves pecan pie all year long, found this recipe on pinterest and thought it would be a really great Fathers Day dessert for him!

  44. Ana says

    Found this off Pintrest! Such an easy recipe :) I suggest throwing in a handful of whole pecans after the 2 cups chopped. It gives a more rustic look. I also cut off a thin slice of all the edges before slicing up the bars. Taking these babies to a July 4th potluck they’ll go great with a yummy pecan porter. Thanks for another go to recipe!

  45. HeatherMichelle says

    How solid do these turn out when they are finished? I expect they are a little gooey, not as solid as peanut brittle, but do you think they would ship well? I want to make them for an out of town friend and wonder how they would mail…

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — September 8th, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

      Hi Heather! They definitely aren’t hard like brittle and are more soft and chewy.

  46. Angela Y says

    Amazing!! I found these on Pinterest a couple weeks ago, and have made them at least 3 times! My family keeps requesting for me to make every time they are gone. So easy and quick to make, and so delicious! Thank you! :)

  47. Audrey says

    Would this work if I doubled the filling? It’s our favorite part!! If so, how much extra baking time?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — November 12th, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

      Hi Audrey – I wouldn’t recommend doubling the filling, as you’d have to increase the baking time, which would cause the shortbread to become over-baked. I promise there’s plenty of ooey-gooey filling in this recipe :)

  48. Jenn says

    These looked so amazing, I had to make them! I ended up adding 2 Tbsp of Bulleit Bourbon to the pecan mixture and sprinkled mini chocolate chips on the top of the baked crust just before pouring on the pecan mixture! They were perfect!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — November 27th, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

      Yes, yes and yesssss! Awesome additions, Jenn. So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  49. Heidi says

    {All of the flavors of pecan pie without the waterry ‘gooiness’!}
    Have made these a few times now and LOVE them! My family has requested them since I made them last year;)
    Thank you for this Thanksgiving Day staple:)

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — November 28th, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

      So glad you are enjoying my recipe, Heidi!

  50. Soli says

    I followed this recipe for Thanksgiving and they were a hit! I cut them into very small rectangles as they are pretty rich. Thank you for this great recipe.

  51. Jessy says

    Hello I want to make these for Christmas Eve tomorrow but what exactly is the measurement of the flour?
    Does the honey give it a weird taste or is Karo syrup better?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 23rd, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

      Hi Jessy! The recipe calls for 2 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour. And definitely use the honey!

  52. Jessy says

    Thank u so much how about the brown sugar on crust and topping is it reg brown sugar or light

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 23rd, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

      Hi Jessy! It’s light brown sugar, per the recipe above. Enjoy!

  53. Gina Moore says

    I am making these tonight for a birthday party tomorrow- the birthday boy’s favorite dessert is pecan pie so I immediately thought of your bars and that these would be a better option than the real thanksgiving pie! :) yay!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 10th, 2014 @ 10:29 am

      Awesome, Gina! I hope you enjoy the recipe :)

  54. Tina G says

    I made these Monday night, and my crust came out thicker than yours looks, and it’s kind of hard. Any suggestions on what I did wrong? There really yummy, but I know the crust isn’t quite right. Thanks!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 15th, 2014 @ 10:50 am

      Hi Tina! What size pan did you use? And do you have a separate oven thermometer to double-check your oven isn’t running too hot?

  55. says

    Made these for a bbq, they were DEVOURED. I had to hide the platter so people would save space for the actual grilled food! These are delicious, I love that they use honey instead of corn syrup and that brown sugar crust is ridiculously good. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 20th, 2014 @ 9:46 am

      Awesome! So glad to hear it, Farah!

  56. Ca mom says

    What is the shelf life of these bars? 1week? Thanks in advance!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 20th, 2014 @ 9:46 am

      They are definitely best within the first three days of baking them!

  57. Betsy says

    If you don’t have heavy cream for the filling, can you substitute whole milk?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — April 27th, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

      Hi Betsy – No, you’ll want to definitely use heavy cream, as the consistency won’t be the same if you use milk.

  58. Lauren says

    Hi. I was wondering are the bars supposed to be chewy like toffee or soft like the pie? I made them last night and they are extremely chewy and sticky like toffee. Did I maybe cook the sugar too long ?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — April 27th, 2014 @ 4:40 pm

      Hi Lauren! The shortbread base should be like a semi-soft cookie and the topping should be slightly chewy. It sounds like you might have cooked the sugar just a tad long.

  59. Steph says

    Do you suggest a 9 x 13 glass baking dish or a metal baking pan for the baking times that you listed? Thanks!

  60. Hana says

    I am hosting a big party in a few weeks and was wondering if these would still be good made in advance and frozen. Any recommendations on thawing process? Perhaps take out morning of and let thaw on counter? Trying to avoid making a mess of my kitchen the day of the party…

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — September 16th, 2014 @ 11:41 am

      Hi Hana! I have never tried freezing these bars, so I can’t say with certainty if that would work. I think the texture of the filling/topping could get too firm (even after thawing), but let me know if you give it a shot!

  61. Holly says


    My husband passed the California State bar the same time as your sister. He took the bar in San Diego and went to school at USD. Anyway. I know what an accomplishment it is and these bars are such a treat! That was very cool of you to do that for your sister! ❤️ Thanks for posting this recipe! I love all the recipes you post (and my husband too!)

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — September 16th, 2014 @ 11:40 am

      Hi Holly! That’s amazing! Thanks so much for your kind comment, and a huge congrats to your husband :)

  62. Becky says

    Thanks Kelly for a wonderful recipe. I’ve been baking for over 30 years and I like to try new recipes, of course I usually change it up a little to make it my own. However I did not change this recipe and I have to say I was quite surprised at how good it is. This recipe has become my one of my family’s favorite’s. I don’t even cook pecan pie anymore because these bars taste so much better. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — October 19th, 2014 @ 3:32 am

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Becky!

  63. Audrey says

    Want to make these AWESOME looking bars for thanksgiving ,but was wondering if they can be frozen?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — November 15th, 2014 @ 9:38 am

      Hi Audrey – I’ve never tried freezing these bars so I can’t say with certainty how they’d turn out. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  64. Pat Gaston says

    Altitude is only a factor at OVER 5,000 feet. I live at an elevation level of a little over 7,000 feet, so I will probably have to tweet this a bit. I am definitely going to try them. Yum!!

  65. says

    These are out of control good! I made these last Thanksgiving and I have people asking me to make them again this year! Easier and much tastier than a traditional pecan pie! Thank you for this awesome recipe!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — November 25th, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

      So glad you’re enjoying the recipe, Michelle!

  66. says

    I found your recipe on Pinterest while looking for something other than the norm to make for Thanksgiving. I am not the greatest baker but the recipe looked pretty easy – which it was! And the best part, these were a HUGE dessert hit and have now become a family (by request) staple for our holiday gatherings.
    Thanks & Happy Holidays!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 1st, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Chris! :)

  67. says

    I would also like to know if I can use corn syrup instead of honey

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 21st, 2014 @ 1:23 am

      Hello – I’ve never tried making this recipe for corn syrup so I can’t say with certainty if the bars would still turn out.

  68. Kristie says

    In the topping, 1 stick of butter(1/4 cup) or 1/2 cup (2 sticks)?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 24th, 2014 @ 10:41 am

      Hi Kristie – One stick of butter is equal to 1/2 cup.

  69. Cynthia says

    I bought self rising flour by mistake. Do you think I could use it?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 25th, 2014 @ 9:06 pm

      Hi Cynthia – I’ve never made these bars with self-rising flour so I can’t say with certainty how they’d turn out. Let me know if you give it a shot!


  1. […] We’re less than 24 hours away from the biggest food day of the year, when our stomachs face off against tryptophan and our skinny jeans get the heave-ho in favor of sweatpants. Are you ready? I’m just about to board a plane to head home to San Diego, where my parents have been feverishly at work ironing table runners, writing place cards, and preparing to welcome a dozen family members and friends at our Turkey Day table. Just a Taste » Pecan Pie Bars […]

  2. […] pecan pie bars | snickerdoodle pumpkin ice cream sandwiches | caramelized apple tart | stacked applesauce cake with cinnamon whipped cream | mini apple pies | apple beignets with caramel sauce | brown butter pumpkin cupcakes with salted caramel frosting Tweet This entry was posted in Food and tagged apartment, apple, cake, caramel, cinnamon, cupcakes, desserts, Fall, pecan, Pie, pumpkin by Nikki. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  3. […] Daily Recipe: Just a warning, I have tried this recipe and is is out of this world. Do not make this delectable treat unless you are prepared to throw all you fitness goals, and nutritional boundaries out the window to finish every last crumb. It’s that good. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *