Pumpkin Pie Bars

Better Than Pumpkin Pie

I know that it’s officially fall when the pumpkin pie bars reappear in the pastry case at my local Peet’s Coffee and Tea. I love those things, mostly because I can’t manage to make a decent pumpkin pie at home. Even when I finally nail a decent crust, it gets soggy and gross by the next day. Frankly, I can’t handle the pressure of trying to eat an entire pumpkin pie in one sitting at Thanksgiving.

I don’t know why it had never occurred to me to make my own pumpkin pie bars at home. I decided to use the crust base from a lemon bar recipe in a church cookbook, circa 1984. And it’s perfect.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Serves 12
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 5 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Christmas, Thanksgiving
I love pumpkin pie, but can never seem to nail the crust. This crust is perfectly crisp and flavorful, even days later. Make ahead and serve on Thanksgiving day.


  • 1 cup All-purpose flour
  • .5 cup Rolled oats
  • .5 cup Brown sugar (packed)
  • .5 cup Unsalted butter (cold (equal to 1 stick))
  • 2 cups Pumpkin puree ((equal to 1 can))
  • 1 can Evaporated milk
  • 2 Eggs (beaten)
  • .75 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon (ground)
  • .25 teaspoon Cloves (ground)
  • .25 teaspoon Allspice (ground)
  • .25 teaspoon Nutmeg (ground)
  • .5 teaspoon Salt


Refrigerate any leftovers. Best when served with homemade whipped cream.


Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9 baking pan. Set aside.
Step 2
In a medium bowl, mix flour, oats and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. You can be delicate about it, or you can just get in there with your hands and squeeze the mixture around like you're making mud pies. That's much more fun.
Step 3
Press the mixture into the greased baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Step 4
In a large bowl, whisk together all filling ingredients until smooth.
Step 5
Pour the filling mixture over the baked, golden crust. Return to the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Weekend-AllThe Tiny Kitchen Assistant had looked on with great skepticism as I roasted the world’s largest pumpkin. He had his doubts that the equivalent of 11 cans of pumpkin puree was going to result in anything that he deemed to be edible. You should have seen his eyes light up after he took the first bite. He asked for seconds and thirds (umm, no) and begged me to make a batch for his teacher. Success! Let’s hope that his teacher likes pumpkin pie.

The Husband is not typically a huge fan of pumpkin, but he readily ate a slice each night until it was gone.

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