Pumpkin Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust on a serving tray.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust – take everyone’s favorite pie and serve a crowd with these sheet pan pumpkin pie squares! Perfect for Thanksgiving, this recipe is from Sheet Pan Sweets: Simple, Streamlined Dessert Recipes by Molly Gilbert.

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust on a serving tray.
Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust – take everyone’s favorite pie and serve a crowd with these sheet pan pumpkin pie squares! This recipe is from Sheet Pan Sweets: Simple, Streamlined Dessert Recipes by Molly Gilbert. Perfect for Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust on a serving tray.

There is one non-negotiable every Thanksgiving at our house. And it’s not even the turkey. Can you guess what it might be?

It’s the pumpkin pie. And it must have a graham cracker crust.

With an upcoming season of holiday baking in mind, I was happy to welcome Molly Gilbert on the podcast to discuss her newly released cookbook. Sheet Pan Sweets: Simple, Streamlined Dessert Recipes (affiliate link) takes her expertise in sheet pan cooking and translates it into baking! She shares so many favorites, from classic sheet cakes to her Nana’s Gingerbread recipe.

It turns out that pumpkin pie bars are also one of the stars of her Thanksgiving dessert table. So naturally, I had to make them!

Sheet Pan Sweets cookbook by Molly Gilbert.
Pumpkin puree for pumpkin pie bars in a glass bowl.

The Benefits of Sheet Pan Baking

The beauty of sheet pan baking is that you can bake a large volume (and feed a crowd!) and have faster baking and cooling times (thanks to more surface area)! So, whether you’ve got a lot of guests for the holidays, need to bring a dessert to a potluck, or have a bake sale, these pumpkin pie bars are a great way to deliver those nostalgic pumpkin pie flavors.

For this recipe, you will need a half sheet pan, measuring 18 x 13 inches, with a 1-inch rim; also known as a rimmed baked sheet.

You can also divide it up into two quarter sheet pans measuring 13 x 9 inches, or divide the recipe in half and bake it in one quarter sheet pan.

How to Make Pumpkin Pie Bars

Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust on a table.

I am a big fan of a pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust, and this crust recipe has one more special ingredient: pecans. It adds a nutty flavor and extra texture to the pie!

A food processor makes quick work of crumbling the crackers and nuts. Pressing the mixture into the sheet pan couldn’t be simpler. Use a measuring cup and your fingers to press the crust into the sheet pan, packing it into an even layer and up the rim of the pan.

The filling couldn’t be easier. Whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, salt, and the spices, followed by the eggs, milk and cream. This creamy custard gets poured into the crust and it’s off to bake!

Perhaps the hardest part about making pumpkin pie is patiently waiting for the bars to cool and chill. But the good news is you can make it the night before, which is perfect for the holidays when oven space is in big demand.

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust with whipped cream.

Listen to the Podcast with Molly Gilbert

For more sheet pan inspiration and to learn more about sheet pan baking, be sure to check out my interview with Molly Gilbert in Episode 57 of the Kitchen Confidante Podcast!

More Pumpkin Recipes

Buttermilk Pumpkin Bread
Chocolate Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Cassava Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust on a platter.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Sheet Pan Sweets to review for the Kitchen Confidante Podcast Episode 57 with Molly Gilbert. All opinions are, of course, my own. There may be affiliate links in the post, see my Disclosure page to learn more.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust – take everyone's favorite pie and serve a crowd with these sheet pan pumpkin pie squares! Perfect for Thanksgiving!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 253kcal

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs from about 24 whole crackers
  • 1 cup whole pecans or skinned hazelnuts heaping cup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

Pumpkin Filling

  • 2 15-ounce cans pure pumpkin puree preferably Libby’s
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon heaping
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 
1 1/2

    cups heavy cream

Whipped Cream (optional, for serving)

  • 1 to 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Make the graham cracker crust: Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center position. Grease a sheet pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a food processor, grind together the graham cracker crumbs and nuts until coarsely ground and well combined. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, melted butter, and salt and pulse to com- bine until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Pour the graham mixture evenly into the prepared pan and use your hands or a flat-bottomed measuring cup to press the crumbs firmly against the bottom and up the sides of the pan, making sure there are no holes or extra-thin spots anywhere.
  • Make the pumpkin filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg until smooth. Whisk in the eggs until smooth, then add the milk and cream and whisk until homogeneous.
  • Pour the pumpkin custard over the prepared crust and very carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Bake the bars for
 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the custard is mostly set— the center should just barely jiggle. Allow the pumpkin bars to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator, uncovered, to cool completely, at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  • Meanwhile, make the whipped cream, if desired: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, whip the cream and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.
  • Slice the pumpkin bars into squares or triangles and serve topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream. The bars will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Notes

Recipe reprinted with permission from Sheet Pan Sweets by Molly Gilbert (‎Union Square & Co., October 2022). 
For this recipe, you will need a half sheet pan, measuring 18 x 13 inches, with a 1-inch rim; also known as a rimmed baked sheet.
You can also divide it up into two quarter sheet pans measuring 13 x 9 inches, or divide the recipe in half and bake it in one quarter sheet pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 1375mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 434IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante

Comments

Recipe Rating




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  1. Jeanne Reynolds

    I made this and the crust was a soggy mess. The directions didn’t bake the crust before the pie filling was added, this seems like a mistake, and the bars were a failure. Tasted good but the crust was a failure. Help?

    Reply
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