Sweetened with maple syrup and brown sugar and baked atop a buttery shortbread crust, these vegan pecan pie bars are the ultimate way to eat a classic dessert with your hands!
I love pecan pie. I assume you do too, or you wouldn’t have made it even this far. But you know what I don’t like? Making a whole pie when I just need a little pecan fix. Let’s reserve the pie making for “pie season”, and make these beauties any time we want!
These vegan pecan pie bars are so wonderful, I feel like a proud parent bragging about a child. They’re perfectly sweet without being overpowering. The pecan mixture is filling and rich, and pairs beautifully with the light and buttery shortbread crust. They stay fresh and don’t decrease at all in quality for many days, so you can enjoy them all week. They don’t use any corn syrup! All in all.. *chef’s kiss*
And the added bonus of bars instead of a full pie? More socially acceptable to eat it with your hands!
How To Make Them:
First thing to note – I use an 8×8 pan here. If you want to use a 9×13, just double the recipe.
Start out by making the dough for the shortbread crust. You want to use your vegan butter right out of the fridge so it is cold, as this leads to the correct dough consistency. Cutting it into smaller cubes helps make it workable with the dry ingredients, especially if you are using your hands not a pastry cutter. You will combine the vegan butter with the flour, sugar, and salt until it is fully mixed. The consistency will seem like crumbs, or wet sand. Check the first photo below if you are unsure!
Press the shortbread dough into the lined pan using either your fingertips or the bottom of a glass, and try to get it as even as possible throughout. I won’t lie, I am not great at this part. Its okay if it’s not perfect here, just make sure you at least cover the whole bottom of the pan. The crust will bake on its own for 12 minutes at 350, which allows you time to make the pecan mixture.
Note – if you are following along with the photos, you will see I use binder clips to help keep the parchment paper in the perfect shape for the pan. I remove these before putting the pan into the oven.
Measure out your pecans and set aside in a large bowl. Then combine all the rest of the pecan mixture ingredients – vegan butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, vanilla extract, cornstarch, and salt – into a small pot or pan. Turn your stovetop onto medium heat, and stir all the ingredients together until brought to a boil. This will take just a few minutes. Don’t let it go too long as you don’t want it to burn! Soon after it begins to boil, remove it from the heat and pour the mixture over the pecans. Mix all together, then add this mixture on top of the pre-baked shortbread crust. More photos here to help guide you!
Now you bake the whole thing for another 30 minutes. It will be boiling when you remove it from the oven, make sure to let it cool for at least 30-60 minutes (ideally the full hour at minimum) before removing from the pan and slicing into. This will be a hard wait, as it smells amazing, but I promise it’s worth it to get solid bars rather than a gloopy wet mess.
And that’s it! Time to eat your vegan pecan pie bars!!
Nutritional info can be found in the Notes section below the recipe instructions.
After they have cooled, seal in an air-tight container at room temperature. They will stay good 5-7 days.
Pro tips and tools:
- Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method. Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
- Make sure you measure your liquid ingredients using liquid measuring cups. This will ensure accuracy! I love this set.
- In the photos you can see that I used binder clips to hold my parchment paper in place. I do this so it’s easier to press the shortbread crust in and get it to the edges. I remove the clips before sticking it into the oven.
- A little flaky sea salt over the top at the end never hurt anyone.
- Flour – Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method. Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
- Granulated sugar – this is for the shortbread crust. If you want to make these sugar free, I love using this Monkfruit Sweetener in place of granulated sugar.
- Vegan butter – for the shortbread crust as well as the pecan mixture. I use Earth Balance sticks.
- Light brown sugar
- Maple syrup
- Non-dairy milk – use any of your choice. I tend to use soy and almond.
- Vanilla extract
What To Bake Next:
- Want more nuts in your baked goods? Try this Vegan Carrot Cake, or these Vegan Levain Copycat Cookies.
- Want to use up the container of pecans you just opened? Try these Vegan Brown Butter Chocolate Chip & Pecan Cookies.
- Want more use out of your 8×8 pan? Try these Vegan Lemon Bars, or this Vegan Coffee Cake, or these Vegan Fudgy Brownies, or these Vegan Raspberry Crumble Bars.
Vegan Pecan Pie Bars (Gluten Free option)
Shortbread Crust Ingredients
- 1 cup gluten free flour can sub all-purpose if desired. This links to my favorite store bought gluten free flour blend that works best with all of my recipes, or see "Ingredients Needed" section for further info.
- ¼ cup granulated sugar *if you want a sugar free option, this links to my favorite sweetener, you can substitute it 1:1 in place of regular granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp vegan butter cold from the fridge
- ¼ tsp salt
Pecan Filling Ingredients
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ cups pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. If you want to use a 9×13 pan simply double all the ingredient amounts.
- Combine all the shortbread crust ingredients into a bowl. Mix either by hand or with a pastry cutter until fully combined. The consistency will resemble crumbs, or wet sand.
- Cover the bottom of the pan with the shortbread crust dough and press firmly and as evenly as possible across the pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, measure out your pecans into a large bowl. Add all the rest of the Pecan Mixture ingredients – NOT the pecans themselves – into a small pot or pan. Combine together on medium heat until brought to a boil, usually just a few minutes, then pour the mixture over the pecans.
- Add the pecan mixture on top of the pre-baked shortbread crust, and put all back in the oven for 30 minutes. Let cool for at least an hour before removing from the pan and cutting into 9 or 16 bars.
- Eat and enjoy!
Total amount: 16 bars
Serving size: 1 barPer serving amounts:
- Calories – 183
- Grams of fat – 12.2
- Grams of carbs – 16.6
- Grams of protein – 1.3