Our obsession with pumpkin spice goes beyond lattes and pies (though we love making both at home!). Here we took the classic bar cookie concept and added a homemade pumpkin pie filling, making these pumpkin pie bars the best of both worlds—a little bit of cookie and pie in each bite.
Different from a slab pie where you use pie dough as the base, these pumpkin pie bars begin by making an easy shortbread-like crust. No fussing with a rolling pin—the quick crust simply gets pressed into the pan. Lining the baking sheet with parchment prevents the bars from sticking to the pan, and sliced they are a pretty dessert that's ideal for a holiday meal, potluck, or other gathering.
- For the Crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks/12 tablespoons butter (softened)
- For the Filling:
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Optional: whipped cream
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make the crust first. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and butter. Using a fork, mash together until butter is worked in and the mixture is crumbly.
Using your fingertips, press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and halfway up the side. Bake until the crust is barely golden and starting to set (but not baked through), 20 to 25 minutes.
Prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until blended. Add the ginger, clove, cinnamon, and salt; whisk to combine. Whisk in the heavy cream and pumpkin.
Pour the filling into the pan with the prebaked crust. Bake until the filling is mostly set but still a little wobbly in the center, 35 to 40 minutes.
Set on a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting into squares, 12 for a larger portion or 16 for smaller portions. Serve with whipped cream (if using).
- If you have a food processor, feel free to make the shortbread crust in it for faster prep. Add the crust ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times just until the dough comes together, then proceed with the recipe as written.
- Using your own combination of spices allows you to control the overall flavor of the pumpkin pie filling. Adjust them a little at a time to your taste until they're just right. If you don’t have all the spices listed, but have apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice, either of those will work equally well in these pumpkin pie bars.