I couldn’t let the Thanksgiving holiday slip by without sharing at least one pumpkin recipe with you. I’ve had my unfair share of frustrating recipe fails lately, and I’d rather share nothing at all than something not quite worthy of your attention. But just in time, these delicious Pumpkin Pie Bars rise to the top and demand to be shared.
If you’ve ever made a “dump cake” the technique used here is similar. You can use a box of yellow cake mix, but I’ve written the recipe from scratch using pantry staples. It’s super easy, and tastes better made a day ahead of time. Perfect for serving at your Thanksgiving gathering.
The first layer is a basic pumpkin pie custard. The cake mix (boxed or homemade) goes on top of that, followed by a drizzle of melted butter. If you like pecans, you can sprinkle them over the cake layer as well. I made half with and half without, knowing that there are a few in our family who would appreciate the plain ones. Lastly, take a fork and gently bring that layer of cake mix, butter, and pecans together just a bit.
I loved the ratio of pumpkin pie filling to that topping. It’s not quite a crumble, not quite a cake, and not quite a crust, but lands right in the perfect center of all three. The flavor is so delicious – buttery and nutty – it almost makes a plain pie crust seem underwhelming!
You definitely don’t want to make this recipe the same day you serve it. It really needs to cool at room temperature for a few hours, and then chill in the fridge for another few to really firm up. So take advantage of the fact that it can be made in advance, and have dessert checked off your to do list a day or two in advance.
If you’d like to, you can serve your Pumpkin Pie Bars upside down, more like a traditional pumpkin pie with the crust on the bottom. It makes it a little easier to get the fork through the crust without squishing the pumpkin layer. Whipped cream is a must! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I’m so very thankful for you!
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
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These Pumpkin Pie Bars are the perfect make ahead dessert for your holiday gathering. Creamy pumpkin pie filling and a buttery pecan topping!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dry powdered milk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 29 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch pan with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, dry powdered milk, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In another medium sized mixing bowl, add pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Beat on medium speed with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Pour the pumpkin filling into the prepared pan.
- Evenly top the pumpkin mixture with the flour mixture. Drizzle melted butter evenly over the top. Sprinkle with chopped pecans if desired and use a fork to gently mix that top layer together just a bit, not stirring all the way through to the pumpkin layer.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Cover the top loosely with a piece of foil for the last 10 minutes if the top is getting too brown. Remove from the oven, and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate at least three hours before cutting into bars and serving. You may find it easier to serve the pieces upside down as shown in the last picture. Don’t forget the whipped cream!
This recipe is adapted from Taste of Home.
- Serving Size: 1 Bar
- Calories: 361
- Sugar: 37g
- Sodium: 1605mg
- Fat: 17g
- Saturated Fat: 8.1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7.6g
- Trans Fat: 0.4g
- Carbohydrates: 49g
- Fiber: 2.2g
- Protein: 6.3g
- Cholesterol: 71mg
Keywords: pumpkin pie bars, pumpkin bars, dessert bars, pumpkin, Thanksgiving dessert