Salted Caramel Maple Pecan Pie Bars — This pecan pie bars recipe is a fast, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe, but the bars taste like you slaved over them. So much easier than making pecan pie!
Easy 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.
These maple pecan pie bars are a spinoff of my 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.
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. The filling is made with brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and an egg, before stirring in pecans and baking.
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.
There are so many textures and layers of flavor in every bite of these pecan pie bars with shortbread crust.
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!
What’s in the Pecan Pie Bars?
The ingredients list for this easy Thanksgiving dessert is short and sweet. Here’s what you’ll need to make pecan pie bars:
- All-purpose flour
- Brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Maple syrup
- Vanilla extract
- Salted caramel sauce
How to Make Pecan Pie Bars
You’ll first need to make the buttery crust for these pecan bars. Cut the butter into a mixture of brown sugar and flour, then press into the bottom of a greased and lined 8×8-inch pan. Bake the crust until it’s just set.
Meanwhile, prep the pecan pie filling. Simply mix together the remaining ingredients and pour them onto the cooked crust. Bake the pecan pie bars until the center is set and not jiggly. I recommend using an oven mitt to shake the pan gently starting at about 16 minutes, and use your judgment from there.
These pecan bars need to sit on your countertop for at least an hour before they’re safe to slice and serve.
Can I Double This Recipe?
I’ve only made these pecan pie bars as written, but I think it’d be find to double the ingredients and bake these bars in a 9×13-inch pan.
Can I Freeze Pecan Pie Bars?
Yes, these freeze incredibly well. Let them cool completely, then slice and store them in a freezer bag. They’ll last up to 5 months in the freezer.
Can I Omit the Caramel Sauce?
Of course! The maple pecan pie bars are delicious with or without the salted caramel sauce on top.
Can I Use Gluten-Free Flour?
Quite a few readers have reported success using a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour alternative, so I’d say go for it!
Since the pecan pie bars are made with a shortbread crust rather than a lighter, flakier base, you can get away with going gluten-free here.
Tips for the Best Ever Pecan Pie Bars
You can use either light or dark brown sugar in this easy Thanksgiving dessert. Dark brown has more molasses in it, and I find it’s richer and more caramely tasting after baking. Use your favorite.
Also note that you may use either pure maple syrup or pancake syrup. I used sugar-free lite pancake syrup for this particular batch in an effort to save calories, but I’ve tested this recipe both ways and can’t decide which version I like better!
Lastly, note that you can use either raw, unsalted pecans or roasted, salted pecans in this recipe. I used raw pecans, but use your favorite.
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Salted Caramel Maple Pecan Pie Bars
This pecan pie bars recipe is a fast, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe, but the bars taste like you slaved over them. So much easier than making pecan pie!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed (light or dark)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
- 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, for drizzling*
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir in the pecans; set aside until crust is done baking.
- 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.
- 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.
Make the Crust
Make the Filling
- *If desired, you can easily make your own Salted Caramel Sauce.
- Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 389Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 66mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 3g
More Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas:
ALL OF MY THANKSGIVING RECIPES!
Best Homemade Apple Pie – This fabulous apple pie is a specialty of my grandma’s. The sauce for the apples is slowly poured over the lattice crust until it fills the shell. When it bakes, the top has a nice crispy coating over the flaky crust.
The Best Turtle Brownies — Super fudgy and loaded with chocolate, pecans and caramel! So.crazy.good!!!
Apple Turnovers — These apple turnovers take just 15 minutes to prep and are filled with the most incredible cinnamon apple filling. These are the ultimate fall dessert!
Homemade Turtles — Fast, easy, no-bake and just 4 ingredients! Chewy, gooey, salty-and-sweet! Homemade always tastes better!
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Crumble Bars — Move over, apple pie! These are an apple pie, apple crumble and cheesecake all in one!
Caramel Apple Crumble Pie — Apple pie meets apple crumble with loads of caramel! The easiest apple pie you’ll ever make. Goofproof 5-minute recipe for those of us who aren’t pie makers!
Buttery Pecan Pumpkin Spice Cookies — Buttery soft dough with big chunky pecans in every bite! Salty-and-sweet and so hard to resist!!
Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting — An EASY, one-bowl, no-mixer apple cake that’s to-die-for!! Loaded with juicy apples in every bite, perfectly spiced, and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting! So DELISH!!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies — Rich, fudgy brownies topped with pumpkin and chocolate chips!! An EASY, no mixer pumpkin brownie recipe that’s FASTER than using a boxed mix!
I make these every holiday now because they’re such a big hit. I skip the caramel sauce because they’re so good without. I serve with homemade whipped cream. I do double and put in a 9×13… I think it turns out pretty good
I am glad you make these every year and that you don’t even need the caramel sauce!
It looks delicious. Thank you.
Made these today without the caramel sauce (I’m just lazy) and they’re perfect. So good!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!
Oh My! Made these gluten free and without the extra caramel sauce but wow! Just what I was craving! I hate the goop in pecan pie. Perfect even though I cut the sugars to 1/4 cup. Yummmm!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you even with making it GF and less sugar and caramel!
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
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you, even w/out the caramel sauce!
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!
Thanks for trying the recipe and glad you keep coming back to it as your go-to treat!
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!
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!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And so nice of you to make a double batch and share it with your church!
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.
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And that a double batch disappeared very quickly, great to hear!
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!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for, and both GF and DF, even better! Glad that they’re a hit even with your non-GF sister!
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.
Glad these came out great for you and were able to make them both gluten AND dairy-free! That’s wonderful!
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!
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.
Glad that you found something that worked well for you.
Do you think it’d work to double the recipe and use a 9×13 pan in order to feed a crowd?
Even though I haven’t personally tried it, I think that would be fine.
Did that work for you? I’d like to do that too and am wondering how the results were?
These look so delicious!! I can’t wait to try them at home! Thanks for sharing!
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.
Yes I’ve made them both ways and in an effort to save tons of calories, I am fine with the sugar-free route but do which way you prefer.
These look awesome Averie! I especially love the addition of salted caramel.
Oh these have my name written all over it, love maple and pecan pie so I know these would totally be delish!
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!
Glad you can relate :)
These bars look heavenly, and love the maple syrup addition! I would take these or your chocolate ones any time!
Pecan pie is my favorite type of pie and putting it in a bar is right up my alley.
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 :)
Wowza. Those bars look amazing, Averie! I’m going to be dreaming about those bars tonight!
I’m with you on the pie crust. I can’t wait to check out the original version, too! These look awesome.
Yes, yes, yes~~~! Caramel and pecan, my favorite flavors :D Sounds and looks delicious. Wouldn’t mind a bar (or two).
These look absolutely delicious!! Bookmarking this right next to that lemon cake you posted last week ;)
YES. I totally agree- pie crust just isn’t my thing. But pie filling? Oh man, oh man. This looks perfect :)
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!
I love pie I just don’t eat the crust!! <--- love that!
Pecan pie is a fall must have. These bars are totally going on my to make list! Pinned!
Thanks for pinning!
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
Pecan pie is so good! Pie bars are a really good idea, especially when you’re on a time-crunch!
I think we need to #pecanpieallthethings. Love these!
Thanks for pinning too :)
These bars look amazing! I am loving anything salted caramel these days, and these bars are calling my name!
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!
handheld awesomeness <--- thank you!
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!
These bars look delicious. Can’t wait to try them.
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 :)
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 :)
Thanks for pinning!
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 :)
When it comes to empty, white, buttery and carby calories, I want them in the form of cookies, not crust :) But I have no doubt your recipe is awesome!
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!!
Glad you got over the dough rolling out thing pretty quickly. Me? I never really started :)
Delicious pie in handheld form. Perfect. And I agree – the pie-making process is annoying, haha.
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!
Amen for that, right :)
I look forward to pecan pie all year – I can’t believe I never thought to do a salted version! I am seriously drooling.
Thanks for pinning and yes, the salted caramel is the perfect counter-balance to the sweet pecan filling! If you’re a pecan pie person, I bet you’d dig these!
I love love this filling Averie!! Gorgeous looking bars!
I am with you on the crust – too much work. But these bars look perfect. It’s all about the filling anyway! Pinned!
Thanks, Anna! Have a great weekend!
Pie crusts are really not hard to make at all, I think the perceived challenges with pie crust making are overrated. Taste wise, home made crust doesn’t stand close to store bought.