Salted Caramel Maple Pecan Pie Bars

I’m not a big pie person. Mostly because I don’t love crust enough to justify the work involved.

But pie bars? That’s a whole other story.

Salted Caramel Maple Pecan Pie Bars - All the flavor of pecan pie minus the work - so easy!! Salted caramel makes everything better...mmm!!

The bars are a spinoff of Salted Caramel and Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars. Chocolate is replaced with maple syrup and the bars are full of rich, smooth maple flavor.

They just scream fall comfort food.

Salted Caramel Maple Pecan Pie Bars - All the flavor of pecan pie minus the work - so easy!! Salted caramel makes everything better...mmm!!

It’s a fast, very easy, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe, but the bars taste like you slaved over them. Love that.

The crust is made with brown sugar, flour, and butter and it’s tender, just sweet enough, and the perfect foundation for the filling.

Salted Caramel Maple Pecan Pie Bars - All the flavor of pecan pie minus the work - so easy!! Salted caramel makes everything better...mmm!!

The filling is made with brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and an egg, before stirring in pecans and baking. You can use either light or dark brown sugar. Dark brown has more molasses in it, and I find it’s richer and more caramely tasting after baking. Use your favorite.

Before serving, I couldn’t resist drizzling salted caramel sauce over the top. Make your own, use Trader Joe’s, or a similar thick sauce.

Salted Caramel Maple Pecan Pie Bars - All the flavor of pecan pie minus the work - so easy!! Salted caramel makes everything better...mmm!!

There’s so many textures and layers of flavor in every bite. The soft shortbread crust, contrasted with the sweet, maple-ey, pecan filling, and everything tastes better after it’s been drizzled with salted caramel.

So much faster and easier than making pecan pie.

Salted Caramel Maple Pecan Pie Bars - All the flavor of pecan pie minus the work - so easy!! Salted caramel makes everything better...mmm!!

Print Recipe

Salted Caramel Maple Pecan Pie Bars

The bars are full of rich, smooth maple flavor and scream fall comfort food. There’s so many textures and layers of flavor in every bite. The soft shortbread crust, contrasted with the sweet, maple-ey, pecan filling, and everything tastes better after it’s been drizzled with salted caramel. It’s a fast, very easy, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe, but the bars taste like you slaved over them. So much faster and easier than making pecan pie.

Yield: one 8x8 pan, 9 to 12 squares

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: about 30 to 35 minutes, divided

Total Time: about 2 hours, for cooling

Ingredients:

Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed (light or dark)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft

Filling
1 large egg
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed (light or dark)
1/3 cup maple or or pancake syrup (I used sugar-free lite pancake syrup)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
pinch salt, optional and to taste (consider omitting if nuts are well-salted)
1 cup pecans (I used raw, unsalted, whole pecans; use halves and pieces, salted and roasted, or your favorite type)
about 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce (homemade or storebought), for drizzling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 35oF. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside. Don't skip lining the pan with foil because bars are sticky and lining the pan will save lots of cleanup time and elbow grease.
  2. Crust - To a large bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, and cut in the butter using two forks or a pastry cutter. Keep working until butter is evenly distributed and pea-sized lumps and sandy bits form. The softer the butter is, the quicker and easier it is.
  3. Turn mixture out into prepared pan and hardpack it with a spatula or hands to form a smooth, even crust. Bake for 17 to 18 minutes, or until crust is just set. Don't overbake because pan is going back into the oven after filling is added. While crust bakes, prepare the filling.
  4. Filling - To a large bowl (same one used for crust is fine; just wipe it with a paper towel), add the egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, optional salt, and whisk until combined.
  5. Stir in the pecans; set aside until crust is done baking.
  6. After crust has baked, gently and carefully pour filling over crust (give filling one last quick stir before pouring it), smoothing the pecans with a spatula or use your fingers to evenly distribute them. Make sure they're not clustered in one area and they're as flat as possible because edges or corners that are jutting up will be prone to burning.
  7. Bake for about 16 to 19 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly. Use an oven mitt to shake the pan gently starting at about 16 minutes, and use your judgment from there; bars will set up more as they cool. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour before drizzling with salted caramel, slicing, and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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68 comments

  1. I am with you on the crust – too much work. But these bars look perfect. It’s all about the filling anyway! Pinned!

  2. I love love this filling Averie!! Gorgeous looking bars!

  3. I look forward to pecan pie all year – I can’t believe I never thought to do a salted version! I am seriously drooling.

  4. These bars look so good! My waistline also likes that you can freeze the excess and then lift some out of the freezer for a treat!

  5. Delicious pie in handheld form. Perfect. And I agree – the pie-making process is annoying, haha.

  6. A press & bake shortbread/cookie crust wins out over regular pie crust for me too. There was a time when I kind of liked rolling out a homemade crust but I got over that pretty quickly. I love the maple syrup in these instead of the corn syrup many recipes call for. These are some great looking bars!!

  7. These look awesome! Although I bet you’d have a new appreciation for pie crust if you gave it a try. The recipe I use could convert anyone :)

  8. I love how simple these are to make Averie – I am not going to lie, making pie crusts is not my favourite thing to do either! And I love that you can eat bars on the go! Pinned :)

  9. As a kid I loved pecan pie but as an adult I can no longer tolerate that thick goopy sweet filling…these bars give you all the best of pecan pie but without that huge layer of sweet goop…love that..I’m making these for thanksgiving so we can have pecan pie back on the table.

    • These are definitely much more nutty than goopy filling-based. I actually love pecan pie goo :) but can see where some people wouldn’t. With these, there’s no where near the gooey levels you’d find in pecan pie. LMK if you try these and I remember you telling me a week or two ago you were going to make a recipe for a block party or a game day? If you did, LMK what it was and how it went!

    • The pumpkin spice chex mix i’ll be making for Halloween…we’re having your sweet potato black bean enchiladas tonight…I’ve made them about 8 times…luv them

    • That’s awesome that you put the enchiladas on a regular rotation! So glad you like them and the chex mix, yes, that was the one! Okay now I remember :)

  10. Averie,
    These bars look delicious. Can’t wait to try them.
    Annamaria

  11. I have to admit – I love a good pie crust. But the work involved? No thank you! These bars look just perfect, so ooey-gooey-caramelly… Nom!

  12. I distinctly remember bookmarking your pecan pie recipe because it was the only one that ever stood out to me, ever–and now, I’m totally saving this one because it looks like handheld awesomeness! Love the salty goodness!

  13. These bars look amazing! I am loving anything salted caramel these days, and these bars are calling my name!

  14. I think we need to #pecanpieallthethings. Love these!

  15. Pecan pie is so good! Pie bars are a really good idea, especially when you’re on a time-crunch!

  16. Love your addition of maple to your original bars! That makes them even better in my eyes!! These look fabulous and it’s a good thing I’m in a hotel or I would be tempted to run into the kitchen and bake these up RIGHT NOW! Pinned

  17. Pecan pie is a fall must have. These bars are totally going on my to make list! Pinned!

  18. I want these now!! It’s 5am sunday…maybe not (until later)! As for pie, I love pie I just don’t eat the crust!! I do make a mean one when necessary!

  19. YES. I totally agree- pie crust just isn’t my thing. But pie filling? Oh man, oh man. This looks perfect :)

  20. These look absolutely delicious!! Bookmarking this right next to that lemon cake you posted last week ;)

  21. Yes, yes, yes~~~! Caramel and pecan, my favorite flavors :D Sounds and looks delicious. Wouldn’t mind a bar (or two).

  22. I’m with you on the pie crust. I can’t wait to check out the original version, too! These look awesome.

  23. Wowza. Those bars look amazing, Averie! I’m going to be dreaming about those bars tonight!

  24. Be still my heart!! Maple + caramel + pecans is like my whole world right now. I could eat these and die happy, I just know it!

    • I seem to recall you have a pecan pie called like Grandma’s Pecan Pie or a family recipe? Maybe you don’t…just going off memory :) But anyway, you always make incredible looking pies! I wish I was a pie-maker but I’m a bar-maker :)

  25. Pecan pie is my favorite type of pie and putting it in a bar is right up my alley.

  26. These bars look heavenly, and love the maple syrup addition! I would take these or your chocolate ones any time!

  27. I’m also not a big pie person because I don’t really like the crust that much. Everyone always things I’m kind of crazy when I say that. Glad there is somebody else in this world who feels the same way! These bars look amazing. So ooey and gooey. Love them!

  28. Oh these have my name written all over it, love maple and pecan pie so I know these would totally be delish!

  29. These look awesome Averie! I especially love the addition of salted caramel.

  30. Did you make a batch with maple syrup to test the taste? Just curious because you describe a delicious maple taste frequently throughout your recipe description, but in the actual recipe say you used sugar-free pancake syrup.

  31. These look so delicious!! I can’t wait to try them at home! Thanks for sharing!

  32. Do you think it’d work to double the recipe and use a 9×13 pan in order to feed a crowd?

  33. I followed the recipe as written and these turned out a soggy mess. The dough was so saturated with the runny Carmel sauce that it fell apart. Good thing I only made half. On the second half I place the dough pecans and chocolate on a cookie sheet and baked until the the pastry started to brown. Meanwhile I cooked the Carmel sauce on the stove at low heat for a few minutes. When the baking was done I drizzled the Carmel on top. This produced a sturdier and prettier product.

  34. Those look great… in fact, I drool over all the recipes you post!! I’m going to make them and throw in some fresh cranberries!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. Salted Caramel Maple Pecan Pie Bars-

    These are delicious. I am not a big fan of pie as well.

    I made them without gluten and dairy but substituting vegan margarine and a gluten free flour mix for the crust. These are especially great because they don’t have that eggy taste that some other pecan pie bars do.

  36. These are absolutely delicious!!! I also made them dairy and gluten free by using Pillsbury’s gluten-free flour mix and earth balance for the butter. I decided to skip the caramel sauce on top altogether, and even without that they were perfect! My sister isn’t even gluten-free, and she can’t stop eating these. :) Thanks so much!

  37. I normally find pecan pie too be too sweet and actually kind of gross.  The “picture” is usually too sweet with a weird consistency.  I just find it appalling.  The maple pecan bars however are amazing.  I made some for a party and none were left.  Luckily I doubled the recipe and used a larger pan.  I stashed about 6 bars away for myself and neighbor to try.  I must say they are simply fabulous and remind me of !exican candy.  Anyway, fantastic recipe I will use this again.

  38. I have a feeling these will be a go to recipe in our house! They’re in the oven and my kitchen smells amazing! We live in maple country, so the deeper, darker, extra maple-y flavor of local grade B syrup takes this super easy recipe a winner. Now I’m just wishing this double batch wasn’t getting delivered to church later… Thank you!

  39. I doubled the recipe which turned out perfect. After reading your recipe for homemade salted carmel sauce I decided to try making it. You made it sound so easy & actually it was!  These bars are really good on their own but if you top them with the sauce, it takes them to a whole new level. I shared them with friends & everyone was blown away!  I also substituted gluten free flour for the crust & made a batch for my daughter. She loves took them in her lunch, had them for breakfast & dessert!  I also used pure maple syrup.  I am new to baking & have used several of your recipes. You make it all sound simple.  I am so happy I found your site. ThankYou!!!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And bravo to you for making homemade caramel, for making them GF, and for making a double batch! Wow I am so impressed! And you say you’re new to baking? Well if you can make homemade caramel and whip up GF crusts, you’re a total natural! Thanks for finding my site!

  40. Averie, this recipe is fabulous. I’ve made these bars on several occasions… Thanksgiving, house parties, office parties … and every time they are a hit.

    Thanks for sharing. It has become my official go-to treat! 

  41. Wow, these are soo good! I absolutely loved them.  I didn’t even put the caramel sauce on. I chopped the pecans and toasted half of them to get that toasty flavor. Used real maple syrup from Wisconsin and all other ingredients were organic. Excellent recipe. Fast, easy and pure perfection! Thank you

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