Pumpkin Shortbread Bars



Indulge in the ultimate fall dessert with these irresistible pumpkin shortbread bars! With a buttery and sturdy shortbread crust that doubles as a pie crust, the creamy and decadent pumpkin pie custard filling is a step above the average pumpkin pie. And when you thought it couldn’t get any better, a sweet buttery crumble topping takes it over. You won’t be able to resist the heavenly combination of flavors and textures in every bite. 

As we enter the end of August, it’s time to start prepping for Autumn and holidays! These days just fly by until the end of the year, and I feel ready for the magic. Are you holding onto summer? Or diving right into Autumn everything, like I am!?

crumble topping on pumpkin shortbread bars stacked on top of each other

Making these for Thanksgiving? Good call! Enjoy our Thanksgiving menu and add them to the list! Try our Apple Blueberry Pie and Pumpkin Spice Martini or Apple Cider Mimosa while you’re at it!

Why you’ll love them:

  • The shortbread crust is sturdy enough to withstand pumpkin puree pie filling. You can pick them up and eat these pumpkin bars like a cookie.
  • They are like pumpkin pie bars, but so much better. No soggy pie crust bottom!
  • A few steps are involved, but these are a beginner-level bake – no special skills necessary, and they are impressive with three decadent layers!
overhead shot looking onto crumble topping f pumpkin shortbreadd bars

I feel the sparks of creativity and am ready to make memories with my family. I can’t help but feel a sense of excitement for the season ahead. Food has always been a way for me to express my love and gratitude for those around me, and I’m thrilled to incorporate it into our traditions more often.

Our new Sunday brisket tradition is just the beginning, and as the leaves begin to fall, I plan to bake a special treat each week to indulge in together. It may seem early to some, but I can’t help but want to get a head start on making our time together this season as special as possible. As my children are growing quickly, I want recipes that will provide them with comfort for years to come.

After all, nothing brings people together quite like a warm meal and the comfort of loved ones.

Ingredients:

Shortbread crust:

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup  (100 grams)  granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon  salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pumpkin Filling Layer:

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweet condensed milk
  • 1 can (15 oz) pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Crumble Topping:

  • ½ cup 113 grams butter, unsalted, melted
  • ½ cup 100 grams granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cup 100 grams light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups 188 grams all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon or pumpkin spice

How to make them:

The shortbread base:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F or 176 C
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, add in your butter and sugar.
  3. Cream for 2 to 3 minutes or until the butter has taken on a deeper yellow color; that’s a good indicator that your ingredients are creamed.
  4. Add in your vanilla extract and flour and mix well, eventually using your hands to create a dough if need be.
  5. Press the dough into the parchment paper-lined pan and fork with holes to prevent the butter from bubbling. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Your cookie will still be soft and fluffy. It will harden more once removed from the oven. While it’s in the oven, make your other layers.
  6. Keep oven on and heated at 350 while you make the remaining layers, as you’ll need to bake it with the pumpkin custard and crumble topping.
close up shot of pumpkin shortbread bar base, holes poked, ready to be baked, step 1
Step 1: Make shortbread base

The pumpkin custard:

  • In a large bowl, combine 4 egg yolks, pumpkin puree, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and pumpkin spice until well combined.
  • Pour over shortbread cookie crust once it’s cooled some.

The crumble topping:

  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter for about 1 minute on high power.
  • Add the sugar to the melted butter and whisk to combine. Add the flour, optional salt, and stir to combine, gently. You want the mixture to be crumbly, not formed into a dough. 
  • Add crumble all over the top of your pumpkin layer.
  • Bake at 350 (176 C) for an additional 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool completely, and sit in the refrigerator for at least two hours before slicing into it. Preferably overnight.
pink warm image of pumpkin shortbread bars
pink warm image of pumpkin shortbread bars

Pumpkin Shortbread Bars

5 from 3 votes
Indulge in the ultimate fall dessert with these irresistible pumpkin shortbread bars! With a buttery and sturdy shortbread crust that doubles as a pie crust, the creamy and decadent pumpkin pie custard filling is a step above the average pumpkin pie. And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, a sweet buttery crumble topping takes it over. You won't be able to resist the heavenly combination of flavors and textures in every bite. 
Print Recipe
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams) 
  • ½  cup granulated sugar (100 grams) 
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (227 grams or 2 sticks) room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pumpkin Pie Filling

Crumble Topping

  • ½ cup  unsalted butter (113 grams) melted
  • ½ cup  granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • ½ cup light brown sugar (100 grams)
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (188 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon salt optional
  • ½ tablespoon pumpkin spice

Instructions

Shortbread Base:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F or 176 C
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, add in your butter and sugar.
  • Cream for 2 to 3 minutes or until the butter has taken on a deeper yellow color; that’s a good indicator that your ingredients are creamed.
  • Add in your vanilla extract and flour and mix well, eventually using your hands to create a dough if need be.
  • Press the dough into the parchment paper-lined pan and fork with holes to prevent the butter from bubbling. 
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Your cookie will still be soft and fluffy. It will harden more once removed from the oven. While it's in the oven, make your other layers. 
  • Keep oven on and heated at 350 while you make the remaining layers, as you'll need to bake it with the pumpkin custard and crumble topping.

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

  • In a large bowl, combine 4 egg yolks, pumpkin puree, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and pumpkin spice until well combined.
  • Pour over shortbread cookie crust once it's cooled some.

Crumble Topping

  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter for about 1 minute on high power.
  • Add the sugar to the melted butter and whisk to combine.
  • Add the flour, optional salt, and stir to combine, gently. You want the mixture to be crumbly, not formed into a dough. 
  • Sprinkle the crumble all over the top of your pumpkin layer.
  • Bake at 350 (176 C) for an additional 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool completely, and sit in the refrigerator for at least two hours before slicing into it. Preferably overnight.

Notes

Let bars chill for two hours or longer before serving. This will allow the custard to set properly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 21g | Vitamin C: 12mg
Course: Pies & Bars
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin crumble bars, pumpkin pie bars, pumpkin pie with shortbread crust, pumpkin shortbread bars
Servings: 16 bars
Calories: 452kcal
Author: sarah

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