Pumpkin pie bars are perfect for the holidays. Whether it's Thanksgiving or Christmas or you're just in the mood for some pumpkin goodness, this recipe is ideal. Making it is as simple as combining the filling ingredients, adding them to the readymade crust, and popping the pie in the oven. That's all you have to do!
The warm, earthy flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger complement the sweetness of the pumpkin and give this dessert a fresh and incredible flavor.
There's no need to go to the bakery when you can whip up such an amazing pumpkin pie bars dessert in so little time. While the bars bake the kitchen will smell better and better every minute and your mouth will be watering!
Other festive desserts that I love to make this time of year include my pumpkin pie cheesecake bars, these healthy pumpkin brownies, and of course my pumpkin mini cheesecake!
- Pumpkin: Let's begin with pumpkin since it's the main flavor. You will need pure pumpkin to make these. Check the label on the can for “100% pumpkin.” Since you're going to be adding spices yourself this isn't a recipe for pumpkin pie filling. Another idea is to cook and mash your own pumpkin or to use mashed pumpkin leftovers.
- Piecrust: To hold the ingredients together. Using a readymade piecrust is the easiest way to make pumpkin pie bars, although you can use your favorite piecrust recipe instead if you prefer to make it from scratch. Prefer your bars without any crust at all? You could use a lightly greased silicon muffin pan to make them instead.
- Sweetened condensed milk: For sweetness as well as consistency. This ingredient pairs the creaminess of milk with the sweet appeal of sugar. You won't need to add additional sugar to the recipe when using this. Don't replace it with evaporated milk instead, they aren't the same thing.
- Spices: These add so much flavor. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger really bring out the pumpkin taste. If you prefer, you can use a pinch of pumpkin pie spice instead. Allspice and cloves would also taste good in these bars, but only use a tiny pinch since they're strong-tasting.
- Eggs: For the right texture. Eggs help hold everything together, so the bars stay intact after you cut them. They also add a rich flavor.
- Salt: You'll be surprised what a pinch of salt can do! Many sweet recipes call for the addition of salt. You won't really taste it in the finished bars, but a little salt really does bring out the sweet flavors beautifully.
You won't want to head to the grocery store or bakery for pumpkin pie or pumpkin bars when it's so easy to make your own.
Combine the sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin, eggs, salt, and spices together, then pour the mixture into a pie crust.
All that's left to do is bake the pie and then let it cool and cut into bars. See? Told you it was easy!
Yes, these are two terms for the same ingredient. You need 100% pumpkin. Don't buy pumpkin pie filling for this recipe because it's sweetened and flavored and won't work here.
Pumpkin should be the only ingredient in your canned pumpkin. To make it, pumpkins are steamed and then mashed. There shouldn't be any other ingredients in there.
These pumpkin pie bars are great as they are or you can serve them with whipped cream on top or some chocolate sauce, candied pecans, or anything else you like.
The unopened can will keep for months (or years!) somewhere dark and cool. Keep any leftovers from an opened can in a sealed container in the refrigerator and use it up within a week. It will also freeze well for up to a year.
If you’ve ever wondered why we eat pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and during the winter holiday season, that’s because the early settlers in Plymouth were making a rudimentary version of our beloved pie. It began in 1621 though back then, they didn’t make it with a crust. It was filled in stewed pumpkins or pumpkin shells and then baked in a bed of hot ashes.
The kind of filling in pumpkin pie is classified as a custard. That means it tastes best served cold after being refrigerated or at room temperature shortly after baking.
Because of its rich, custardy filling, pumpkin pie is an outstanding pie to freeze. Once it cools completely, you can wrap it up in several layers. Make sure no air can get in, then you’re good to go for keeping it in the freezer for up to one month.
If you overbaked your pumpkin pie or cooled it too quickly, the eggs will tighten up and form cracks, tarnishing the surface of your pie. Follow the recipe and pull the pie out of the oven at the end of the baking time. The residual heat will continue cooking the filling even when you remove it and thus, you’ll avoid the cracks.
Homemade pumpkin pie bars need to go in the fridge because it lacks those preservatives that the store-bought ones have. While it’s fine to leave it out on the dessert table until everyone is full, be sure you wrap it up and put it in the fridge afterward.
- Make sure the bars are completely cool or else you won't be able to cut them cleanly.
- Optional add-ins you might like to try including chopped nuts, chocolate chips, and vanilla sprinkles.
- Set a timer so you don't forget to turn the oven temperature down after the first 15 minutes.
Not only are these pumpkin pie bars quick and easy to make, but they're really tasty too. This is a must-make for pumpkin fans.
Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.
How to Make
Pumpkin Pie Bars
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
- 15 ounces pure pumpkin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Whisk together condensed milk, 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 large eggs, and spices in a large bowl until smooth and pour into a crust.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 425 F for around 15 minutes.
- Decrease the temperature of the oven to 350 F and bake until a knife inserted comes out clean from the center, for a further 35 to 40 minutes.
- Once done, allow to cool and garnish as needed.
- Leftovers can be stored in a refrigerator.
- Set a timer so you don’t forget to reduce the oven temperature after 15 minutes. Failing to do so could result in a cracked surface.
- Use plain canned pumpkin for this recipe. Flavored pumpkin pie filling has unwanted additives and flavors that will compromise the taste of this recipe.
- This dessert is amazing with whipped cream on top, though feel free to get creative with chocolate sauce or candied pecans too!
Comments & Ratings
These were so good!! My kids loved it and everyone at my house enjoyed this!
I love pumpkin year round so I need to try this recipe- it sounds so delicious! :P)
I am not ready to give up all the holiday treats and this is this perfect way to still enjoy it. Love it!
These bars look so delicious. Light and perfect for afternoons with a cup of coffee. Oh, I must make them. Thanks for the lovely recipe!
Those look fabulous and I love how easy this recipe is!
this is so much easier than making a whole pie and a must try ASAP!