These tasty pumpkin pie bars give you everything you love about classic pumpkin pie, all without the hassle of dealing with a pie crust.
Classic pumpkin pie trasnforms into a simple dish with these pumpkin pie bars. Let's be real — making pumpkin pie from scratch is not always the easiest. Sure, the filling is rather quick to make, but the crust, now that's another story. That's where these pumpkin pie bars come into play.
Pumpkin Pie Bar Recipe
The bars ditch the traditional pie crust and replace it with a gingersnap cookie base. It takes a complicated dessert and transforms it into a quick and easy treat to make for the holiday season.
Don't let the excitement of not having to make a full pie crust distract you from the rest of the recipe. Along with the cookie crust, the bars include a creamy pumpkin filling. The filling uses canned pumpkin to capture the fall flavors, along with traditional warming spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
The layers don't stop there. To finish it all off, the bars are topped with a fresh layer of whipped cream. The fluffy whipped cream, mixed with the creamy pumpkin filling and the zingy gingersnap cookie crust, make for an excellent bite.
Why I Love These Pumpkin Pie Bars
- No Crust Required - The recipe skips the butter crust and swaps it out with a gingersnap cookie base.
- Simple Kitchen Tools - No fancy kitcehn equiptment is needed to make the bars. You can even use a rolling pin and a plastic bag to crush the cookies if needed.
- More For Your Worth - The bars will give you a few more pieces that a typical sized pie.
Ingredients Needed For Pumpkin Pie Bars
See below for all the details on what you'll need to make the full recipe.
- Gingersnap Cookies - Premade store-bought cookies are super simple to use.
- Pumpkin - Use the canned variety for best results.
- Warming Spices - Grab cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves from your spice pantry.
- Heavy Cream - Creates a fluffy whipped cream base.
- Powdered Sugar - Sweetens the whipped cream without creating a grainy texture.
How To Make Pumpkin Pie Bars
- Prepare. Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a 9x13 baking dish with grease or parchment. Set to the side.
- Make the crust. Using a food processor, combine the cookies, flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the melted butter and process the ingredients until smooth. If you don't have a food processor, use a rolling pin and plastic bag to crush the gingersnap cookies. Mix the remaining ingreidents in a bowl with the cookie crumbs to form the crust.
- Bake the crust. Dump the cookie crumb mixture into the prepared pan and evenly distribute the crumbs. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until firm.
- Prepare the filling. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the eggs and brown sugar. Then, add the spices, vanilla, pumpkin, and evaporated milk. Whisk until combined.
- Bake. Pour the filling into the crust and place bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the filling sets.
- Make the whipped cream. While the bars are baking, make the whipped cream. Whip the cream with the vanilla and powdered sugar until the cream has formed stiff peaks.
- Chill. When the bars are done, place them in the fridge to chill for at least one hour.
- Frost and enjoy. When the bars are fully cool and set, top with the whipped cream and enjoy.
Make-Ahead and Storage
The pumpkin pie bars are best made fresh. If you want to make them ahead of time, make the bars, but don't top them with the whipped cream until you are ready to serve them. Store any extra bars in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
Tips and Variations
- Be Patient - Don't rush the chilling process in the fridge. If the bars are not properly chilled, they will fall apart.
- Overwhipped Cream - Keep an eye on the whipped cream when the mixer is going. You don't want to overmix the cream, or else you will end up with butter.
- Graham Crackers - Don't love gingersnap cookies? No problem! Replace them with graham crackers for the bottom layers of the bars.
Yes! The longer the bars chill the better. Just make sure they chill over one hour.
Not at all! If you don't like whipped cream and prefer your pumpkin pie bars to be all pumpkin skip the whipped topping.
While you can freeze pumpkin pie bars, the texture will change slightly in the freezer. The bars are best eaten fresh.
Pumpkin Pie Bars
- 1 ¼ cup crushed gingersnap cookies 1 10 oz box
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoon butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream
- 3-5 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a 9x13 baking dish with grease or parchment. Set to the side.
- Using a food processor, combine the cookies, flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the melted butter and process the ingredients until smooth. If you don't have a food processor, use a rolling pin and plastic bag to crush the gingersnap cookies.
- Press the cookie mixture into the pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is firm.
- Make the filling. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the eggs and brown sugar. Add in the pumpkin, spices, vanilla, salt, and evaporated milk. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the filling over the cooked crust and place back into the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, until the filling is set. You want it to be firm in the oven and not jiggling.
- While the bars are baking, make the whipped cream. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and beat the heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla. Gradually add in the powdered sugar to achieve the desired sweetness. Beat until stiff peaks start to form.
- When the bars are done, place them in the fridge to cool for at least one hour or overnight. When the bars are fully cool, top them with the whipped topping. Cut, serve, and enjoy!