These small-batch Shortbread Pumpkin Pie Bars are everything you love about pumpkin pie, but with an easy shortbread base, crunchy streusel topping, and sweet cream drizzle!
Are you sick of pumpkin yet? I’m not, and I’ve been testing pumpkin recipes since August. TBH, I spend most of the year just waiting for October in all its pumpkin-flavored glory to roll around, so I’ll happily stay here eating Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Glaze, Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies, and Pumpkin Eclairs as long as the air is crisp and the leaves are red and gold.
The one thing I don’t do is break out pumpkin pie until November. Why? I don’t know. Probably for the same reason I only watch Christmas movies between December 1st and the 25th. But, if you are craving pumpkin pie, minus the pie, you’re going to love this recipe: Shortbread Pumpkin Pie Bars with Brown Sugar Streusel and Sweet Cream Drizzle.
This recipe is a totally gaming the no pumpkin pie until November system, because it’s technically a bar, with a killer shortbread base, but the pumpkin layer is literally exactly the same as pumpkin pie.
And, on top of it all is a brown sugar streusel, because as I already established with my Cinnamon Apple Crumb Muffins and Dutch Apple Galette, streusel is one of the greatest things in the world. Finally, there’s a cute little sweet cream drizzle, because it looks pretty and tastes even better. 😉
Best thing about these Shortbread Pumpkin Pie Bars is that they freeze super well, so you can enjoy one, share one, and pop the rest in the freezer to enjoy when you feel like something pumpkiny and delicious. I have one left from this batch and it’s been calling to me all morning…
Shortbread Pumpkin Pie Bars Recipe Tips
- Since this is a small-batch recipe, you’ll need a 5×7-inch baking dish or something with approximately 35 square inches of surface area. I like these Pyrex containers* for all my small-batch baking because they’re handy, dishwasher safe, and come with a lid for easy storage.
- These bars freeze very well. To freeze, freeze solid on a plate and then store in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. To eat, allow bars to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
- For the easiest removal and prettiest looking bars, use parchment paper in your baking pan. To line your pan, fold a sheet of parchment paper in half and cut it down so it will fit lengthwise in your greased pan. Press the parchment down over the greased surface and fold the curly ends over the long sides (the short sides will be bare). Trim if necessary. When the bars are done and cooled, you should be able to loosen the short sides with a thin knife and lift the bars right out by the sides of the paper.
- For more fall desserts, try The BEST Dutch Apple Pie, Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts, Small-batch Pumpkin Cupcakes, and Small-batch Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting.
Small-batch Shortbread Pumpkin Pie Bars
- 1/4 cup (2oz) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/4 cup (30g) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (17g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Pumpkin Pie Layer
- 1/2 cup milk any percentage
- 1/2 cup (122g) canned pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup (50g) packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch ground cloves
Brown Sugar Streusel
- 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons (38g) packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons (1oz) unsalted butter room temperature
Sweet Cream Drizzle
- 1/4 cup (30g) powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons heavy cream or milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 5x7-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, cream together butter, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla until well-mixed.
- Stir in flour and salt until mixed. Scrape dough into your prepared baking dish and press it out into an even layer over the bottom. Bake for 18 to 21 minutes, until lightly browned.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, egg yolk, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Pour over baked shortbread base and bake for 15 minutes.
- While your pumpkin pie layer is baking, in a small bowl, stir together flour and brown sugar. Use your fingers or a fork to mix softened butter into the dry ingredients until crumbs form. Place streusel in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
- Once the timer goes off, drop streusel in crumbles over the pumpkin pie surface. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely before adding the glaze.
- In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over the surface of the bars. Cut into 6 to 8 bars. For the cleanest cuts, cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before cutting. Bars are delicious at room temperature or chilled.
Nancy Mock says
These sound divine! Thanksgiving is so far away, these bars will nicely bridge the pumpkin gap until then.
I like to pull out Edgar Allen Poe and Edward Gorey books at this time of year. Classic creepiness!
Thanks, Nancy!! Ooo, good recs. I love Poe, but I’ve never read Edward Gorey. I will have to check him out!!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
I’m definitely not pumpkined out yet!! I’m not a huge Halloween person, but sometimes I do wear a little costume or face make up (a cat or something). And hubby and I usually make sliders….I’m all about the food, lol. As for scary shows and stuff….have you watched The Exorcist tv show yet? It’s awesome! Love it. Pinning these bars and can’t wait to try ’em. Have a great weekend, Tracy!
Mmm. I like your take on Halloween! 😉 I haven’t watched The Exorcist show yet, but I’ve heard good things. I will have to check it out!
Is it blasphemous to say that I think these look even better than an actual pumpkin pie? These bars looks wonderful, and that’s great to know that they freeze well too.
Ha, never! 😉 Thank you!!
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Really nice recipe! I don’t like super sweet things so I cut the sugar 25% and it was perfect. I had to add a bit extra flour to the base to get it the right texture, but I might have put in too much butter. I also found the streusel topping to be a bit less than I would want for total coverage. I think next time I’ll try adding oats and walnuts to the topping. The pumpkin flavour and spicing is perfect! So yummy.
I’m so glad they worked out for you, Kyrie! And I love your idea of adding oats and walnuts to the topping!
I baked this today.. How wonderful to use up leftover pumpkin puree..
They turned out delicious and… really look good.. (not a given with my short baking experience)… ;o)
Thank you :O)
I’m so glad you enjoyed them (and that you were able to use up your leftover puree 😉 )!!
Not sure about the first sugar amount – “1 tablespoon 1 teaspoon”? Could you please clarify? Thanks.
Hi, Sabrina. It’s 1 tablespoon *plus* 1 teaspoon. Edited the recipe to make that more clear. Hope you enjoy the bars!