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Have you ever wanted to make pumpkin pie for a crowd, but not wanted to make a bunch of round pies? These pumpkin pie bars (aka pumpkin slab pie) are just what you’re looking for. This recipe makes enough for 15 people to have a big slice of buttery pastry and creamy, pumpkin spice filling this Thanksgiving.
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What do pumpkin pie bars taste like?
Pumpkin pie bars taste just like pumpkin pie. They have a crisp pastry base and a creamy, pumpkin custard filling flavored with fall spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice). Serve them with whipped cream, mini pastry cutouts, and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, and you’ll be in autumn dessert heaven!
How do you know when pumpkin pie bars are done?
Pumpkin pie bars are done when the center of the pie jiggles just a bit when the pan is shaken. Mine was done after 35 minutes of baking at 375 F.
Why are my pumpkin pie bars cracked?
Pumpkin pie cracks on top when it is overbaked. Next time, make sure that the pie has a slight wiggle in the middle when you shake the pan. If it doesn’t wiggle at all, that means it’s overcooked. Feel free to cover up any cracks with whipped cream, and no one will know the difference.
How to Serve Pumpkin Pie Bars
Keep things simple and just slice and and serve, or get fancy and garnish with whipped cream and other goodies. The bullet points below outline how I like to decorate the bars.
- Cut in the bars in 15 slices. This is enough for everyone to have a good-sized piece.
- Pipe whipped cream in a mound on top of each slice.
- Decorate by putting a baked pastry leaf or acorn on an angle on the whipped cream.
- Sprinkle with a little bit of pumpkin pie spice.
Do pumpkin pie bars need to be refrigerated?
Yes, pumpkin pie bars should be refrigerated, since they contain eggs and milk. Store them in a single layer and tightly covered with plastic wrap to keep out odors. The bars will keep very well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze pumpkin pie bars?
Yes, you can freeze pumpkin pie bars. Just make sure they are completely cooled or chilled from the fridge, then seal them in a single layer in a zip-top freezer bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. Note that the pastry may separate from the crust for the pieces along the sides or corners of the pan.
How to Make Pumpkin Pie Bars
Gather the ingredients for the filling. You’ll need pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, 2 large eggs, granulated sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. (Make sure you have 15 ounces (425g) of pastry, either homemade or store bought, as well.)
Pour all the ingredients for the pumpkin filling into a large mixing bowl.
Whisk thoroughly until all the ingredients are well combined. At this point, if you’re not using the pumpkin filling right away, cover it and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
Line a 9×13-inch cake pan with pastry, pressing the pastry into all the corners. Trim the edges so the pastry goes 1 inch up the side of the pan; use a clean ruler to help you make a straight cut. Prick all over the base of the pastry with a fork, then chill the pastry for 10 minutes.
Spread a sheet of parchment paper on top of the pastry, making sure it goes into the corners and up the sides. Fill the pie shell with dried beans and bake at 400 F for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for 10 minutes. This step is called blind baking, and it prevents the pastry from bubbling up as the pie bakes.
Note: I did not do the blind baking for the pumpkin pie bars in the photos, as I did not realize at first that it was necessary. If you want to see step-by-step photos for this process, check out my post on how to blind bake pastry.
Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the baked pastry crust.
Carefully put the pumpkin pie bars in the oven and bake at 375 F for 35 minutes, until the center jiggles slightly when the pan is shaken.
Please note that the funny looking dents in the bars below are caused by the pastry bubbling up as it bakes. I did not blind bake my pastry for the photos, and that’s why it happened. Please blind bake your pastry to eliminate this problem.
Once the pumpkin pie bars are baked, let the pan cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate the bars for at least 1-2 hours. This will make them much easier to slice. To cut the bars into 15 pieces, do three cuts from the short side and five cuts from the long side.
Extra pastry scraps can be re-rolled and cut into decorative shapes with fall cookie cutters – size 1 1/2″ to 2 3/4″. Bake them on a small cookie sheet at 400 F for about 10 minutes. Use these fall inspired shapes to decorate each pumpkin pie bar. These Wilton cookie cutters were purchased from Michaels or Joann’s, but you can buy them on Amazon.
Decorate each slice of pumpkin pie bar with piped whipped cream, the baked pastry shapes, and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy!
Pro Tips for Making Pumpkin Pie Bars
- Use homemade pastry for the best flavor and texture.
- Pre-bake the pastry to prevent it from bubbling up as the bars bake.
- Whisk up the filling and keep it in the fridge until needed.
- When are the pumpkin pie bars done? The center should jiggle slightly when shaken.
- Let the bars cool completely and refrigerate them for at least 1-2 hours before slicing.
- Make it look pretty by decorating with mini fall leaf pastry shapes and piped whipped cream.
Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Pumpkin Pie Bars
- Set of 3 Whisks: these whisks don’t bend out of shape or rust.
- Parchment Paper: line your pastry with this parchment paper as it blind bakes.
- Wooden Rolling Pin: this handle-less rolling pin is easy to use and clean.
- Wilton 9×13-Inch Pan: this is the perfect pan for slab pies and sheet cakes.
- Wilton Fall Cookie Cutters: these cute nesting cutters are great for cutting piecrust into decorative shapes.
- Pumpkin Puree: can’t buy pumpkin puree at the grocery store? No problem!
Satisfy hungry crowds with these other easy, popular desserts.
- Apple Cranberry Crisp: a sweet, tangy fruit mixture baked with a crunchy oatmeal topping.
- Caramel Pecan Bars: a buttery shortbread topped with gooey homemade caramel and toasted pecans.
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins: these streusel-topped muffins are stuffed with cream cheese.
The pleasure of a 5-star review for these pumpkin pie bars would be greatly appreciated.Print
Easy pumpkin pie bars are a Thanksgiving dessert that makes enough for a crowd of hungry guests. This creamy homemade pie is made completely from scratch, and is quick to make. Everyone will love this take on the classic pumpkin pie.
Pre-Baking the Pastry (20 min + 25 min baking)
- Roll the pastry into a large rectangle that’s 1/8 inch thick. Put the pastry inside of a 9×13-inch cake pan, pushing it into all the corners. Trim off the excess pastry so the pastry goes 1 inch up the sides of the pan. (If desired, re-roll the offcuts and cut out mini leaves and acorns and bake them for 10 minutes at 400 F. These are good decorations for the pumpkin pie bars.)
- Prick the base all over with a fork and chill the pastry for 10 minutes in the fridge or freezer.
- Crumple up a large piece of parchment paper and spread the paper inside of the chilled pastry, then fill the pastry case with dried beans or pie weights.
- Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment paper and beans and bake for 8-10 minutes longer, until the pastry is pale golden around the edges.
Baking the Pumpkin Pie Bars (10 min + 35 min baking)
- Lower the oven temperature to 375 F.
- Whisk all the pumpkin pie filling ingredients together until smooth, then pour into the pie shell.
- Bake at 375 F for 35 minutes, until the filling jiggles only slightly in the middle when the pie is shaken.
- Let the pumpkin pie bars cool completely on a wire rack, then chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before slicing.
- Slice with a sharp knife. Decorate each slice with whipped cream, a baked pastry cutout of a leaf or acorn, and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
- The pleasure of a 5-star review for these pumpkin pie 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: Pie
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pumpkin slab pie, healthy pumpkin pie bars