These chewy caramel pecan bars are the perfect Thanksgiving snack.  You’ll love every bite of this buttery shortbread base topped with gooey homemade caramel and toasted pecans.  Everyone will enjoy this ultra nutty sweet treat during the holidays.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
person holding a caramel pecan bar
Bars, Desserts with No Egg

Caramel Pecan Bars

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This post was originally published on October 4, 2017.

As a kid, I would occasionally have the job of picking out shells from the big bags of Georgia pecans that my Dad would bring home.  Since I really like pecans in desserts, I thought I’d share this delicious caramel pecan bar recipe with you.  It’s an easy fall treat that’s an ooey gooey caramel delight!

person holding a caramel pecan bar

What are caramel pecan bars?

Caramel pecan bars are made up of a shortbread base topped with toasted pecan halves and homemade caramel sauce.  They are buttery, chewy, and gooey–definitely an addictive fall treat.

How to Tell When Pecan Bars Are Done

You’ll know that the pecan bars are done baking when the caramel sauce on top is bubbling gently.  The bars take about 15 minutes to bake at 350 F.

person holding a plate of caramel pecan bars

How to Cut Pecan Bars

  • Chill the bars for at least 2 hours before cutting.  This makes them easier to cut.
  • Lift the bars out of the pan with the foil and place on a cutting board.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the bars into the desired pieces.

How long do pecan bars last?

The bars keep for 3-5 days in the fridge.  It’s best to keep them in the fridge because the caramel sauce contains cream.

plate of caramel pecan bars

Do pecan bars need to be refrigerated?

Yes, the bars should be refrigerated.  The caramel sauce contains perishable ingredients that would spoil at room temperature.

Can pecan bars be frozen?

Yes, these pecan bars freeze exceptionally well.  Just place them in an airtight container or a zip-top bag, seal tightly, and freeze for up to 1 month.

How to Make Caramel Pecan Bars

Gather the ingredients for the caramel pecan bars.  You’ll need all-purpose flour, cornstarch, unsalted butter, light brown sugar, pecan halves, and homemade caramel sauce.

ingredients for caramel pecan bars

Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast at 350 F for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.  The nuts should taste and smell toasty.

toasting the pecans on a cookie sheet

Beat together the softened butter and the brown sugar until fluffy.

mixing bowl of creamed butter and sugar

Whisk the flour and cornstarch together until blended.

whisking a bowl of flour and cornstarch

Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, then mix gently until a dough forms.

shortbread dough in a mixing bowl

Line a 9×13-inch cake pan with aluminum foil.

lining a cake pan with aluminum foil

Pack the shortbread dough into the pan.

pressing the shortbread into the foil lined pan

Bake the shortbread at 350 F for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned.  Let it cool completely on a wire rack.

baked pan of shortbread

Once the base has cooled, stir together the toasted pecans and the caramel sauce.

mixing pecans with caramel sauce

Gently spread the caramel and pecans on top of the shortbread.

caramel and pecans on top of shortbread

Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes, until the caramel is bubbling gently.  Let the bars cool completely on a wire rack, then chill in the fridge for 2 hours before cutting.  Enjoy!

pan of baked caramel pecan bars

Pro Tips for Making Caramel Pecan Bars

  • Watch the nuts carefully while they’re toasting; the nuts can burn quickly.
  • Make sure the butter is softened, but not greasy.  You should be able to easily press your fingertip into the butter.
  • Handle the shortbread dough gently.  Overmixing will make it tough.
  • Let the base cool before putting the caramel pecan mixture on top.
  • Always use homemade caramel sauce for the best taste.
  • Chill the bars for 2 hours before cutting them.  This firms them up, making them easier to slice.
  • Have leftovers?  Store in the fridge or in the freezer in an airtight container. 

caramel pecan bars on a plate

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Caramel Pecan Bars

Craving more amazing fall desserts?  Here’s some tasty ideas.

Pecan Pie without Corn Syrup: a slightly healthier version of pecan pie with all the classic flavor. | www.savortheflavour.com caramel apple pie after baking holding a glass of maple mousse

The pleasure of a 5-star review for these caramel pecan bars would be greatly appreciated.

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person holding a caramel pecan bar

Caramel Pecan Bars


  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 32 bars 1x

Description

These chewy caramel pecan bars are the perfect Thanksgiving snack.  You’ll love every bite of this buttery shortbread base topped with gooey homemade caramel and toasted pecans.  Everyone will enjoy this ultra nutty sweet treat during the holidays.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Shortbread Base

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened (460g)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed (187g)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (390g)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (68g)

For the Caramel Pecan Topping


Instructions

Preparing the Pan & Nuts (15 min)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line the base and sides of a 9×13-inch cake pan with aluminum foil.  Set the pan aside.
  2. Spread the pecan halves evenly on a cookie sheet.  Roast them at 350 F for 10 minutes until they smell and taste toasted, stirring them halfway through.  Watch the nuts so they don’t burn.

Making the Shortbread Base (10 min + 25 min cooking)

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until well blended and fluffy.
  2. Whisk together the flour and cornstarch together in a medium bowl, then gradually mix it into the butter and sugar in two or three additions.
  3. Press the shortbread into the prepared pan with your fingers.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes, until the base is set, lightly golden brown on top, and a darker golden brown around the edges.  Let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Baking the Pecan Bars (5 min + 15 min baking + 2 hrs 30 min cooling)

  1. Mix the toasted pecans with the caramel sauce, stirring gently until evenly mixed.  Spread the topping evenly over the shortbread.
  2. Bake at 350 for for 15 minutes until the caramel is bubbling gently.
  3. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for until completely cold, about 30 minutes.  Chill the bars for 2 hours to harden them.
  4. Lift the foil from the pan and place the bars on a cutting board.  Cut the bars to the desired size with a sharp knife.  Serve at room temperature.

Notes

  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for these caramel pecan bars would be greatly appreciated.
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Want to see our latest recipes?  Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: caramel pecan bars, ultimate pecan bars

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4 thoughts on “Caramel Pecan Bars

  1. The shortbread is crumbly and soft. The caramel is chewy and delightfully sweet, and the pecans add the finishing crunch. Absolutely addicting!

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