A grid of maple pecan bars.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Looking for a great edible gift to give friends and family during the holidays? My Homemade Festive Maple Pecan Bars recipe is the clear winner! 

These maple pecan bars are incredibly addictive. The pecans get all warm, flavorful, and toasty in their slightly salty caramel (with a hint of vanilla!) filling, and it all sits on top of a brown sugar shortbread crust. 

It’s seriously like you set pecan pie to “easy mode,” but if you still want my classic, Best-Ever Pecan Pie, you won’t have much trouble there either.

I adapted this recipe from thekitchn’s pecan bar recipe, and it may have just become a staple in my kitchen!

A hand selecting a maple pecan bar from a grid of them.

What Are Maple Pecan Bars?

These little individual bars are the perfect dessert to serve that tastes just like the holidays! Instead of spending time creating a pie crust and perfecting your pecan pie filling, these come in a neat little package that you can bake up in no time! They’re crunchy but chewy, sweet, but a little salty. Basically, these maple pecan bars check every box that a perfect dessert should have! 

What You Need To Make Maple Pecan Bars

How To Make Maple Pecan Bars

Pecan pie is a staple on Thanksgiving and Christmas tables, but this version may just be even more delicious! Here is how you make maple pecan bars (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. For the shortbread crust, whisk the flour, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and stir, using a fork, until it forms a thick, sandy dough. It should be moist and seem a bit greasy.
  2. Pour this mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper, press it down evenly into the bottom. It will seem thin, but it rises up when it is baked.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for about 18-20 minutes, or until the crust is set and a very light golden color. Allow the crust to cool for 30 minutes before adding the filling.
  4. To make the pecan filling, place the butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. 
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Fold in the pecans. The topping should look very thin and liquidy.
  6. Pour the mixture over the baked crust and spread the pecans evenly.
  7. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and very bubbly at the edges. 
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool and set for at least 4 hours. 
  9. Remove from the pan and cut into 24 squares!

A close up of my Festive Maple Pecan Bars.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Maple Pecan Bars

  • No pecans? Try this with walnuts or sliced almonds!
  • Don’t be shy about using the salt and vanilla! It really gives the caramel an incredible flavor.
  • Use salted butter for even more flavor!
  • Brown sugar is a key ingredient. Don’t have brown sugar? Make your own!
  • Bake this in a large pie pan and cut it into slices like a pie for the holidays! 

How Do I Store Maple Pecan Bars?

You can store leftover maple pecan bars in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Stacked Maple Pecan Bars

Make Fall & Thanksgiving Recipes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Prep Time 30 mins

Cook Time 45 mins

My Festive Maple Pecan Bars recipe is the quickest way to that maple pecan flavor you know and love around Thanksgiving in a much easier package!

Author: Gemma Stafford

Servings: 24 squares

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10oz/284g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8oz/225g) butter melted

Pecan Filling

  • 1 stick (4oz/115g) butter
  • ½ cup (3oz/85g) dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (5oz/142g) pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (15oz/425g) pecans chopped

Instructions

For the Shortbread Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

  • Place the flour, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the melted butter and using a fork, stir until it forms a thick, sandy dough. It should be fairly moist and will seem a bit greasy at this point.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and press evenly into the bottom. (It will seem like a thin crust but don’t worry because it will rise up once baked)

  • Bake for roughly 18-20 minutes, or until the crust set and a very light golden. Let the crust cool for 30 minutes before adding the filling.

For the Pecan Filling:

  • Place the butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Fold in the pecans. At this point, the topping will be very thin and liquidy.

  • Pour the mixture over the crust and spread the pecans evenly.

  • Bake for roughly 22-25 minutes or until the mixture is hot and very bubbly around the edges.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set for a minimum of 4 hours. (you can also make them the day before)

  • Remove from the pan and cut into 24 squares and enjoy! Store leftovers in an air-tight container at room temperature.

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