These Pumpkin Pecan Bars are made with a gingersnap crust, creamy pumpkin filling, and toffee-pecan topping. This is an easy fall dessert that feeds a crowd!
Fall (and Thanksgiving!) just isn’t the same if there’s not at least one homemade pumpkin pie on the dessert table. However, as much as I love pumpkin pie, I have to admit that it’s not the most exciting fall dessert.
Enter: these pumpkin pecan bars. They’re a decadent twist on my go-to Pumpkin Pie Bars, which were a hit last year during the holidays.
The bars are made with a spiced gingersnap cookie crust and a classic pumpkin pie filling. After they’re done baking, the bars are topped with toffee bits and chopped pecans. I drizzled the pumpkin pecan bars with a little caramel sauce to amp up the fall flavors even more, but it’s optional.
If you love classic pumpkin pie but want to try something a little different this year, you have to make this recipe!
Ingredients for Pumpkin Pecan Bars
These pumpkin pecan pie bars have three components: the gingersnap crust, the creamy pumpkin filling, and the toppings. Here’s an overview of the ingredients you’ll need to make this easy fall dessert:
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Unsalted butter
- Pumpkin puree
- Light brown sugar
- Half and half
- Toffee bits
- Caramel sauce (optional)
How to Make Pumpkin Pecan Bars
These pecan pumpkin squares come together in about an hour, then they need to cool to room temperature before they can be sliced and served. I promise the wait is worth it, though!
Here’s an overview of how the bars are made:
To make the crust: Combine crushed gingersnaps, sugar, and flour. Stir in melted butter.
Press the mixture onto the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch pan. Set aside.
To make the filling: In another bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves.
Stir in half-and-half and eggs until just combined.
Spread the batter on top of crust in prepared pan.
Bake at 375ºF until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Sprinkle the top of the pumpkin bars with toffee bits and pecans.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Then, cut into bars, cover, and chill within 2 hours.
Can This Dessert Be Made in Advance?
Absolutely! The pumpkin pecan bars can be baked up to three days before you plan on serving them.
If you plan on drizzling the bars with caramel sauce, wait to do so until you’re ready to slice and serve them.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
Store the pumpkin pecan pie bars in the fridge, covered, for up to four days. The bars can also be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container. When you’re ready to eat the frozen bars, thaw them overnight in the fridge.
Tips for the Best Pumpkin Bars
- You can find pre-made gingersnaps at the grocery store next to the other pre-packaged cookies. I like to use a food processor to crush them up, but a Ziploc bag and a rolling pin works just as well!
- If you don’t have half and half, you can likely substitute heavy cream in the pumpkin pie filling. I don’t recommend using a lower fat alternative like whole milk, though!
- These bars can safely be left out for 2 hours before they need to be popped back into the fridge.
Looking for More Fall Dessert Ideas?
Since it’s my favorite season, I have lots of fall recipes on my site already! Here are just a few of my favorite easy fall desserts:
- Pumpkin Spice Cake
- Pumpkin Cobbler
- Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Dump Cake
- Caramel Apple Crisp
- Soft Maple Sugar Cookies
Pumpkin Pecan Bars
- 2 cups crushed gingersnaps
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1½ cups half-and-half
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- ½ cup toffee bits
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Caramel topping for drizzling if desired
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- To make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine crushed gingersnaps, sugar, and flour. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture onto the bottom of prepared pan. Set aside.
- To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves. Stir in half-and-half and eggs until just combined. Spread batter on top of crust in prepared pan.
- Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Sprinkle top of bars with toffee bits and pecans.
- Cool in pan on a wire rack. Then cut into bars, cover, and chill within 2 hours. If desired, drizzle with caramel topping before serving.
- See my tips and tricks for making these Toffee Pumpkin Pie Bars above the recipe box.
- Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Pumpkin Recipes Magazine - 2017