Pumpkin Pie Bars (with Shortbread Crust!)

All the amazing flavor of your favorite classic pumpkin pie, but without the finicky pie crust! These pumpkin bars are so easy to make, and taste great!

Great classic pumpkin pie flavors without the hassle of dealing with pie crust!  Make your Thanksgiving easier with these Shortbread Pumpkin Pie Bars... perfect for a larger crowd! #pumpkinpie #pumpkin #Thanksgiving #crowd #shortbread #hasslefree #easyrecipe #bars

Hopefully the weather is starting to cool down where you are.  We’re still plugging away in the mid to upper 80’s, BUT it’s supposed to cool down a lot for the weekend, and I can’t wait!  I’ve been in such a Fall frame of mind, and it’s hard to stay that way when I have to keep the AC running all the time lol.  One of the reasons I love Fall so much (other than the comfort and game day foods), is all the Thanksgiving recipes… specifically, the pumpkin pie!

I’ve gone on about my love/hate affair with pie crust (read about my epic crust fail HERE!), and you can actually listen to me talk about my epic cooking fail on this Dishing with Delishes Podcast episode.  So when I was testing pumpkin pie recipes, I really wanted one that didn’t need an actual pie crust.  So many of you have written me to say that you also have issues with making the perfect crust, and I love that.  We all have our strengths, and our areas we need improvement!  So I came up with this INCREDIBLY easy pumpkin pie bar recipe that uses a no pre-bake shortbread crust!

Serving up a slice of pumpkin pie bar


You’ll love how simple this recipe truly is.  First you need to make your crust, which is just combining flour and sugar and cutting some cold butter into it.  I usually use a pastry cutter for that, but if you’d rather use a food processor, just pulse it until you see coarse crumbs.  No need to roll the crust, it’ll still be powdery… just press it into the baking dish with your hands.  No need to pre-bake it either!

Next, you’re going to make the pumpkin pie filling.  Pumpkin pie is a custard-like mixture, so it comes together really quickly.  Combine your ingredients, and stir in the evaporated milk.  Just pour the filling over the crust, bake, and cool!


This can be a little tricky, but I’m here to help!  Start checking around 65 minutes of baking time, and using an oven mitt, gently give the pan a little wiggle.  The bars should jiggle a little in the center, but not be wet and super jiggly all over.  Remember not to cut the bars right away… pumpkin pie needs time to set, which happens during the cooling and refrigerating process.  It’s so tempting to try a bite, but be patient… they’ll be worth the wait!

Pumpkin pie bar with whipped cream


Since this is homemade, and therefore preservative free, plus made with dairy and eggs… it needs to be refrigerated.  Just cover the pan tightly with foil and they’ll keep for 3-5 days.  You may notice when you take the bars out of the refrigerator they’re a little wet on top.  That’s totally normal and due to temperature changes.  Lightly dab it with a clean paper towel and it’ll be good as new!


Yes!  Just remember to cool them completely first, then cover the pan tightly with a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil.  Pumpkin pie bars can be frozen for 1-2 months, and to defrost them, just place in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours.

Pumpkin bar with bite taken out of it


I love to use evaporated milk in this recipe because it’s thicker than normal milk, and has the flavor of cream, without adding all the fat and calories that heavy cream would add.  By no means is this a “healthy” pumpkin pie bar recipe… but every little bit counts, especially during the holidays right?  Some recipes call for using sweetened condensed milk… which would be delicious, but you’d need to omit some of the sugar in the filling.


  • Plan ahead.  These bars have to cool and refrigerate for several hours for the custard to fully set, so make them plenty early enough.
  • Use quality canned pumpkin.  I’ve had the best results with this recipe, and others, by using Libby’s brand.  Store brand, for me, didn’t taste as good.
  • When making the crust, it may look like it’s not mixed enough.  It’ll still be pretty flour-y and powdery.  That’s okay, it all comes together in the oven… like magic!
  • When the pumpkin bars are finished baking, they’ll be puffy in the pan.  Don’t worry, as it cools, the filling will sink back down… just like a classic pumpkin pie would.
  • Pumpkin pie bars can be served cold, at room temperature, or slightly warmed.  Personally, I prefer cold or room temperature.




Great classic pumpkin pie flavors without the hassle of dealing with pie crust!  Make your Thanksgiving easier with these Shortbread Pumpkin Pie Bars... perfect for a larger crowd! #pumpkinpie #pumpkin #Thanksgiving #crowd #shortbread #hasslefree #easyrecipe #bars

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Shortbread Crust

Great classic pumpkin pie flavors without the hassle of dealing with pie crust!
4.8 from 14 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 15 servings
Calories 254



  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter - , cubed


  • 29 oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 (12 oz each) cans evaporated milk


  • Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.  Line a 9x13" baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside. 
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine flour and 1/4 cup sugar.  Add cubes of butter and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two forks.  This can also be done in a food processor by pulsing until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  • Press crust into the prepared baking dish in an even layer and set aside.  To a large mixing bowl, add pumpkin, eggs, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and 2 cups of sugar.  Whisk or beat together.  Add evaporated milk and stir until well combined.  
  • Pour mixture over crust in prepared pan and bake at 425 F degrees for 15 minutes.  Leave the pan in the oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 and continue baking another 50-55 minutes, until filling is set.
  • Remove pan from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before cutting into bars.  I usually make my bars the night before, so they're refrigerated overnight.
  • Slice into squares and serve with whipped cream and a light dusting of cinnamon if desired.



1 serving = 1 bar
Slice panful of pumpkin bars horizontally in thirds (by making 2 slices across), then make 4 evenly spaced vertical slices to make 15 bars per pan.
Tried this recipe?Mention @the_chunky_chef or tag #thechunkychef!


Great classic pumpkin pie flavors without the hassle of dealing with pie crust!  Make your Thanksgiving easier with these Shortbread Pumpkin Pie Bars... perfect for a larger crowd! #pumpkinpie #pumpkin #Thanksgiving #crowd #shortbread #hasslefree #easyrecipe #bars

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Recipe Rating

40 comments on “Pumpkin Pie Bars (with Shortbread Crust!)”

  1. This is delicious anytime of year! Double the shortbread crust for a nice change and sprinkle a bit of ginger into the recipe for a nice twist as well.

    Personally, I found this baked just fine on 350. I did not use the 425 as I have finicky oven. Just kept it in a bit longer, until it is fairly firm when pan is gently moved back and forth.

  2. Can you use a gluten free flour blend in place of the regular flour to make this dessert gluten free? I’m not sure how the shortbread crust would turn out or if any modifications would need to be made.

  3. When you 3′ the recipe, use 3 pans, yes

  4. I did not have evaporated milk, so I used condensed milk and eliminated the sugar.  They were not very sweet, but that was perfect for my family. I loved the crust better than a pie crust. I did not use parchment paper, I just greased the pan & the sides….it turned out great! 

  5. The only thing I do differently is I use fresh pumpkin. No comparison. Just pick up one of the little pie pumpkins and follow directions to prepare the pumpkin glop. You will NEVER use canned pumpkin again.
    Oh, most canned “pumpkin” usually has a large butternut squash content. Just FYI.

  6. hi is there no butter in crust?

  7. This recipe can’t be right.  TWO cans of pumpkin and TWO cans of evaporated milk would normally make TWO pies.  This 9 x 13 pan would have overflowed had I put all this in one pan.  I ended up making two.  The concept is good here.  Someone just needs to rework the recipe.

  8. I made 1/2 of the recipe to try it out, and found that it was too sweet…I had reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup, will need to reduce more….Don’t know why I used the foil to line the pan instead of parchment paper but it was a serious error. The foil remained stuck to the pan and lifting the
    bars out was difficult since bits of foil stuck to it.
    The crust was buttery and good.

  9. Hello!
    I was craving pumpkin pie, but the thought of making a pie crust scared me. Thank goodness I found this recipe. It is so delicious and was a big hit with everyone in my house! The best part is, it was really easy to make,but nobody else needs to know that! 😉 The hardest part was waiting for the pie to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. This is something I plan on making a regular staple for Thanksgiving or whatever time of year I randomly crave pumpkin pie! Thank you!

  10. Do you think a graham cracker crust would be okay

  11. Delicious!

  12. Can i substitute the sugar for confectionary sugar?

  13. Will be making these bars for Thanksgiving. My question is, when you said to line the pan with parchment paper or foil, is that the bottom only or sides too? Does the crust mixture get put up on the sides or bottom only.
    Thank you.

    • I normally do the sides and bottom, just to make it easy on myself, plus it’s a lot easier to remove the bars from the pan for slicing. The crust fills the bottom of the pan, but doesn’t come up the sides. I’ve added a handy video that’s right below the written recipe if that would help 🙂

  14. Oh my goodness these are the best pumpkin bars ever.Shared with friends and everyone loved them.Making my second batch!My new Thanksgiving dessert ❤️

  15. I brought this to my family dinner and everyone raved about them. I have 2 requests to make again for birthdays! Very nice texture and loved the crust

  16. This dessert is absolutely delicious!  Great alternative to a whole piece of pie. I substituted 24 oz of sweetened condensed milk for the evaporated milk and did not add any additional sugar. I also cut the baking time down by about ten minutes. Will definitely make these again. 

  17. Hi, I found your recipe via Pinterest and it looks delicious. I have everything on hand but the pumpkin pie mix is there anything I can substitute with or DIY my own mix? I do have ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg on hand…..

  18. I took your Meatball Parmesan Bake out of the oven a couple hours ago. It was down-right drop dead AWESOME! Thank You for this great recipe. I looked through some of your recipes and I am making your Pumpkin Pie Bars for Thanksgiving. (I too have crust issues.) I don’t usually don’t write back to comment on a recipe but I was so happy with with the meatball recipe I just had to tell you. I also signed up to get more recipes. Thank you again for the recipe. A New Follower, Barb

  19. Yummy, I just made them . Oh my goodness they are very good. I can’t wait to try them when they are cool.

  20. Will a knife inserted towards center if the bars come out clean when fully baked as with pumpkin pie or does that not work for this recipe?  These look delicious!

  21. I am obsessed with pumpkin bars and these look so yummy! Need to try them soon!

  22. It’s pumpkin time! These look so creamy and delicious I can’t wait to try them, and I think my kids will eat them too

  23. These pumpkin pie bars are so creamy! I need to make them!

  24. Those bars are calling my name!! They look like the perfect bite of pumpkin pie!

  25. Oh yum! My whole family would go crazy for these pumpkin bars. This recipe looks super easy and full of ingredients my family loves. Looking forward to trying soon.