These Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars are made with a creamy cheesy pumpkin pie filling baked on top of a buttery shortbread crust. They are the perfect dessert for when you’re craving a little bit of pumpkin pie but don’t want to bake the whole pie.
Pumpkin pie to me is so quintessential Thanksgiving, so that is seriously the only time of the year there is a pumpkin pie on my table. But it’s so delicious that it really needs to be enjoyed all season. So I made these more casual Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars to sneak in a little pumpkin pie before and after the holidays.
How to Make Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars
We start with a shortbread crust, which is almost exactly the same as these Classic Shortbread Cookies, just slightly less sweet so it doesn’t take away from the creamy pumpkin pie filling on top. The shortbread dough is pressed evenly into a baking pan and baked until just slightly brown. Then the filling is poured on top and baked until set.
I also made some maple leaves decoration using my all-butter pie crust just for fun. I tend to keep a batch of pie dough in my freezer for impromptu baking, and this was the perfect occasion. I used a maple leaf stamp to cut out the shape (I link to a similar one at the bottom of this post). These are completely optional, a dollop of fresh whipped cream is enough garnish for these delicious Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars.
Be sure to use pure pumpkin puree (not can pumpkin pie filling) to make these Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars. The recipe only calls for 1 cup, and not the whole can. You can save the rest for muffins, cookies, or even smoothie. This recipe doesn’t make a huge batch so you won’t have a ton of leftover. It is perfect for a casual dessert for Autumn. However, it can be easily doubled and baked in a 9”x13” pan for a larger batch. Enjoy!
More Pumpkin Treats
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 pinch kosher salt
- 4 oz unsalted butter - room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 4 oz cream cheese - softened
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 big pinch kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Make the crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Brush the bottom and sides of an 8”x8” square baking pan with melted butter, line the pan with a long strip of parchment paper and let the excess hang over the side. Brush the parchment paper with butter as well and add another long strip of parchment paper crosswise. Brush with melted butter again.
- In a small bowl, add flour and salt, and thoroughly combine with a whisk.
- In the stand mixer bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract with a paddle attachment until light in color.
- Add the flour mixture and mix on low until a dough ball forms.
- Dump the dough into the previously prepared baking pan and press it into an even layer.
- Bake the crust for 20 minutes until lightly brown.
- Let cool on a wire rack while you prepare the pumpkin pie filling. Leave the oven on.
Prepare pumpkin pie filling
- In the stand mixer bowl, cream the cream cheese and dark brown sugar until creamy.
- Add vanilla extract and beat to mix.
- In another bowl, beat together eggs, pumpkin puree, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
- Add the pumpkin mixture to the cream cheese mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Fold in the flour.
- Pour the mixture over the crust and bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the filling is set.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
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