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Pecan Pie Bars with Sweetened Condensed Milk (Without Corn Syrup)

A buttery shortbread crust meets an indulgent pecan pie filling in these delicious pecan pie bars with sweetened condensed milk. The recipe has all the classic flavors of pecan pie in an easy bar dessert and might become your new favorite fall dessert!

condensed milk pecan pie bars

Condensed milk pecan pie bars without corn syrup

These simple and quick pecan pie bars with sweetened condensed milk deliver all the deliciousness of real pecan pie with way less hassle. The recipe comes together in a heartbeat, and there’s no need to mix, chill, and roll out pie crust. All good things in my book.

The bars consist of a buttery, chewy shortbread layer topped with the stars of the show, pecans and condensed milk. Using condensed milk puts a delicious twist on classic pecan pie bars and makes a great stand-in for corn syrup.

I love the subtle caramel flavor and gooey texture condensed milk lends to these bars. It’s the perfect amount of sweetness without being cloying.

These nutty, chewy pecan pie bars are one of my favorite holiday desserts, and they are perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are also great for cookie platters and cookie boxes to gift away.

Friendly warning though, these condensed milk pecan bars are so scrumptious and positively decadent, it’s impossible to eat just one! You bet I’ve sneaked them in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We love pecans so much that we have this condensed milk pecan pie and pecan tartlets as well!

gooey pecan pie bars

Reasons to love no corn syrup pecan bars

  • Quick + easy: Because they whip up in no time, these easy pecan bars make the perfect sweet treat when you’re in a hurry and need a last-minute dessert.
  • Feeds a crowd: Pecan bars without corn syrup are a great recipe for a group of people and can easily feed 10 to 16. You can also double the recipe if you need more servings.
  • Customizable: You have so many options to adapt the recipe and make it your own. I’ll share tips for ingredient swaps and add-ins in the variations section below.
pecan pie bar ingredients

Ingredients

Get ready to fall in love with these irresistible pecan pie bars with sweetened condensed milk! They bake up easy with a handful of ingredients and just 15 minutes prep time. Refer to the recipe card at the end of the post for exact quantities.

  • Pecans provide crunch and have a slight bitterness that pairs beautifully with the condensed milk and brown sugar. I used whole pecan halves, but you can also make the recipe with chopped pecans.
  • Condensed milk: No corn syrup is needed for these bars! Instead, we use a can of sweetened condensed milk. Condensed milk and pecans are a heavenly pair because the milk caramelizes as the bars bake, creating a delicious milk toffee aroma.
  • Brown sugar gives amazing flavor and sweetness. We use brown sugar in both the crust and the filling.
  • Butter infuses an irresistibly buttery aroma in every bite. Salted and unsalted butter will work here. There’s no need to soften the butter. Cold butter is perfect for shortbread.
  • Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour is all you need for this simple pecan bar recipe. For best success, spoon and level the flour into your measuring cup or weigh it with a digital kitchen scale.
  • Eggs: The recipe requires 2 large eggs. Allow the eggs to warm up on the counter or soak them in warm water for 15 minutes before making the filling.
  • Sea salt (optional): Magic happens when you sprinkle flaky sea salt onto the bars to help balance out the sweetness of the pecan pie filling.
pecan bar recipe

How to make pecan pie bars with sweetened condensed milk

Let’s bake! From beginners to seasoned bakers, pecan pie bars without corn syrup are a dessert that anyone can make! Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the recipe.

Step 1: Prepare for baking

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. Line a 9 in x 13 in / 23 x 33 cm baking pan (tin) with parchment (baking) paper.

step 2 mix shortbread crust

Step 2: Mix shortbread crust

Add the flour, butter, and brown sugar into a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a large fork, cut the butter into the flour until the flour is coated and the mixture looks crumbly.

step 3 pre-bake crust

Step 3: Pre-bake crust

Transfer the dough mixture into the prepared baking pan (tin). Use your hands or a spatula to press the crumbs into an even layer. Bake the crust for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.

step 4 mix filling

Step 4: Mix the filling

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the condensed milk, brown sugar, and eggs until well combined. Fold in the pecans.

step 5 bake pecan bars

Step 5: Bake bars

Evenly spread the pecan topping over the pre-baked crust. Bake for a further 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are set and the center is baked through.

Step 6: Cool

Let the bars cool completely in the pan.

Step 7: Slice and serve

Slice into squares and enjoy! If desired, serve the pecan bars with caramel sauce, whipped cream, or ice cream.

condensed milk pecan pie bars

Tips for success

Sticky sweet pecan pie bars with sweetened condensed milk make a superb Thanksgiving dessert and holiday bake. Here are some tips to help you achieve success.

  • Toast pecans: To amplify the nutty aroma, toast the pecans. Arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed, lined baking sheet in a 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 oven until browned and fragrant, for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Don’t overbake. Take care not to over-bake the bars after adding the pecan layer, or they might turn out dry. For the best texture, bake the bars until the edges are set and the center is just cooked through.
  • Let bars cool before cutting, or they might fall apart. I recommend refrigerating them for a few hours or overnight. Then slice them with a sharp knife and wipe the blade with warm water and paper towels between cuts.
pecan pie bars without corn syrup

Variations & add-ins

Here are a few ways you can customize your ooey-gooey pecan bars. It’s the perfect fall dessert, filled with so much cozy flavor. You’ll love how this recipe for pecan pie bars turns out!

  • Different pecans: Instead of whole pecans, try any combination of pecans, halves, chopped, chips, etc.
  • Walnuts: If pecans aren’t your thing, try these bars with walnuts or a mix of different nuts.
  • Cinnamon: For a festive holiday twist, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to the filling.
  • Toffee bits:
  • Chocolate chips: To make chocolate chip pecan bars, stir 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips into the filling. Any type will work here, milk, semisweet, or bittersweet.
  • Cocoa: Create chocolate pecan pie bars by mixing 1/4 cup cocoa powder into the filling.
  • Chocolate: Another idea is to drizzle melted chocolate on top of this pecan bar recipe.
pecan bar recipe

Serving suggestions

You can enjoy the pecan pie bars “plain” – they are truly delicious this way. But then again, why not go for a little extra indulgence and drizzle them with caramel sauce? Or you can go all in and add a scoop of ice cream and sweetened whipped cream.

Storage instructions

Making condensed milk pecan bars ahead of time

Pie bars are fantastic to prepare ahead of time, so feel free to bake this recipe a day or two in advance.

Alternately, you can combine the crust, mix the filling, and store them covered in the fridge for a day.

How to store pecan pie bars with sweetened condensed milk

Once the gooey pecan pie bars have fully cooled, store them well covered at room temperature for 3 days. If you would prefer to keep them refrigerated, place them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

pecan bars with condensed milk

Condensed Milk Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

Yield: 20 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A buttery shortbread crust meets an indulgent pecan pie filling in these delicious pecan pie bars with sweetened condensed milk. The recipe has all the classic flavors of pecan pie in an easy bar dessert and might become your new favorite fall dessert!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups / 240 g / 8.5 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup / 2 sticks / 230 g / 8 oz salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup / 50 g / 1.8 oz brown sugar

Filling

  • 1 can (14 oz / 400 g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups / 240 g / 8 oz chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Prepare for baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. Line a 9 in x 13 in / 23 x 33 cm baking pan (tin) with parchment (baking) paper.
  2. Mix shortbread crust. Add the flour, butter, and brown sugar into a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a large fork, cut the butter into the flour until the flour is coated and the mixture looks crumbly.
  3. Pre-bake crust. Transfer the dough mixture into the prepared baking pan (tin). Use your hands or a spatula to press the crumbs into an even layer. Bake the crust for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Mix the filling. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the condensed milk, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Fold in the pecans.
  5. Bake bars. Evenly spread the pecan topping over the pre-baked crust. Bake for a further 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are set and the center is baked through.
  6. Cool. Let the bar cool completely in the pan.
  7. Slice and serve. Slice into squares and enjoy! If desired, serve the pecan bars with caramel sauce, whipped cream, or ice cream.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g
easy pecan pie bars

Becky

Monday 12th of December 2022

Has anyone added chocolate chips to this? If so, how much did you use and how did it turn out?

Eileen Rush

Tuesday 19th of September 2023

@Irena | Country Hill Cottage, I make these all the time and love them. I had one and one half cups of pecans, one cup of chocolate chips and one cup of cranberries …..delicious!

Irena | Country Hill Cottage

Monday 12th of December 2022

Hi Becky! You can stir 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips into the filling. Any type will work here, milk, semisweet, or bittersweet. Happy baking!

Valerie Irwin

Tuesday 29th of November 2022

I'm looking forward to trying this recipe (Condensed Milk Pecan Pie Bars)..but have a small oven. Can I use a Pyrex glass 8 inch square dish?

Irena | Country Hill Cottage

Tuesday 29th of November 2022

Hi Valerie! I think the quantities are too much for an 8-inch pan. However, you can cut the recipe in half or divide it between two 8-inch pans (that you bake after another). I hope this helps you out and happy baking!

Rosalyn

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

I want to make this for Thanksgiving but you do not say whether to use dark or light brown sugar. Please help. I look forward to trying this

Irena | Country Hill Cottage

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

Hi Rosalyn! You can prepare the recipe with both light or dark brown sugar, so feel free to use whatever you have available. Happy baking and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

NADIA

Saturday 23rd of July 2022

Help!! My top layer turned out great but my bottom layer is super dry and flaky. Both layers did not stay together well at all. I baked both times for 22mins. What could have gone wrong??

Irena | Country Hill Cottage

Saturday 23rd of July 2022

Hi Nadia! I'm sorry you had an issue. The crust should be soft and buttery, not dry, and the pecan topping should bake into the crust and adhere well.

My guess is that you may have accidently used not enough butter (you need 1 cup / 2 sticks) or that your oven bakes hot and overbaked the the crust. Double check the oven temperature and try pre-baking the crust for only 10 to 15 minutes.

I hope this helps you out and please let me know how it goes!

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