Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars with Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars with Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Pumpkin Pie Bars

5 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars with Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream
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Cook time
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Boring old pumpkin pie has too much pumpkin custard, a soggy crust, and a sad dollop of whipped cream. These bars fix the mixed-up proportions, pairing a buttery shortbread crust with an equal amount of pumpkin custard. A mountain of incredible maple cinnamon whipped cream rounds out the fall dessert you won't be able to get enough of!
Serves: 16
Shortbread Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
Filling Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream Ingredients:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  1. Make the shortbread. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a foil sling. Process the flour, powdered sugar, and salt together for a few seconds before adding in the chunks of cold butter. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with about 6-8 pulses or until it looks like small peas. Press the mixture into the baking dish with the flat bottom of a glass or small dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until very lightly browning.
  2. While the shortbread bakes, make the pumpkin pie filling. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, pumpkin, and this sugar mixture. Gradually whisk in the evaporated milk. Pour this mixture over the prepared shortbread crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 32-35 minutes or until pumpkin custard reaches 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Cool for at least 2 hours (I put mine in the fridge after 30 minutes).
  3. When your bars are cool, make the maple cinnamon whipped cream. Combine whipping cream, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and maple extract in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip to stiff peaks. Lift bars out of the pan using the foil sling and cut into 16 squares. Pipe a big puff of maple cinnamon whipped cream on each one. Serve bars with extra maple cinnamon whipped cream on the side.


35 Comments on Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars with Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream

  1. Michelle @ My Gluten-free Kitchen
    September 28, 2015 at 1:05 am (7 years ago)

    I’ve been looking at all sorts of pumpkin recipes this weekend. This one really stands out to me because of the maple cinnamon whipped cream. That is seriously calling my name and will definitely be happening in my kitchen this week!!

  2. Catherine
    September 28, 2015 at 6:40 am (7 years ago)

    Dear Julie, I think we have found ourselves a new fall staple. These looks marvelous…and I love how I get an even crust to filling. The whipped cream is a beautiful finishing touch. xo, Catherine

  3. Kelly @ Mostly Homemade Mom
    September 28, 2015 at 9:10 am (7 years ago)

    Admittedly, I LIKE the soggy crust from pumpkin pie – but I’ll take more crust anyday! These bars look fantastic!

  4. Emily R
    September 28, 2015 at 10:58 am (7 years ago)

    OMG these look so good! I’m with you – pumpkin pie does absolutely nothing for me (give me sweet potato pie all day long!). But these…..these look DELISH.

  5. Katrina
    September 28, 2015 at 1:03 pm (7 years ago)

    That whip sounds incredible. Really yummy bars!

  6. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    September 28, 2015 at 1:37 pm (7 years ago)

    That maple whipped cream… having extra is definitely necessary!

  7. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    September 28, 2015 at 4:46 pm (7 years ago)

    Oh YUM. I adore shortbread. And I’m totally loving the proportions here – definitely new and improved. I especially like the amount of whipped cream 😉

  8. Ramona W
    September 28, 2015 at 7:59 pm (7 years ago)

    Looks amazing. 🙂

  9. Laura @MotherWouldKnow
    September 28, 2015 at 8:35 pm (7 years ago)

    Yes, please, I’ll take several. Like you, I don’t quite “get” the traditional, soggy pumpkin pie. Your improvements make me think that I should nominate you as the Empress of Better Pumpkin Desserts!

  10. Annie
    September 29, 2015 at 6:48 pm (7 years ago)

    Pumpkin pie was always my favorite, but the traditional pumpkin pie has long needed a overhaul and you’ve created it to the MAX! Now I have my Thanksgiving dessert, no doubt I’ll be making it sooner, too. Thanks!

  11. vivarais@restaurant-le-vivarais
    September 30, 2015 at 1:36 am (7 years ago)

    this looks wonderful! but since my husband is gluten intolerant and i have egg and dairy allergies i believe we’ll be making the crust with almond or cashew flour, maybe use the cashew flour in the pumpkin with either flax eggs (freshly ground flax seed and water) or other egg substitute.

  12. Kaitlin
    October 3, 2015 at 11:07 pm (7 years ago)

    I had no idea pumpkin pie needed fixing, but I can tell after seeing this that eating pumpkin pie is going to be a dismal experience from now on. I think I’ll make these instead of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving – thank you for sharing your awesome fix!! I love the idea of more crust 😀

  13. candice
    October 21, 2015 at 12:05 am (7 years ago)

    Hi. Beautiful bars! Could the recipe be doubled and use a jellyroll pan for a large crowd? Thanks. Waiting for a new recipe from you is always a delight.

    • Julie Ruble
      November 10, 2015 at 9:55 pm (7 years ago)

      Thank you, Candice! I think if I doubled it, I would try it in a 9 x 13″ pan. I hope everyone likes it!

      • Francine Guillory
        October 19, 2017 at 8:31 pm (5 years ago)

        Lol ohmygosh do I feel silly. ????????‍♀️????????‍♀️???? I’ve done this many times, I just never heard of it be called a foil sling ha ha

        • Julie Ruble
          October 19, 2017 at 10:10 pm (5 years ago)

          Don’t feel silly! I think America’s Test Kitchen might have created the term so I’m sure many people had the same question.

  14. Nicole in Tucson
    November 10, 2015 at 9:52 pm (7 years ago)

    These pumpkin pie bars are perfect! Perfect amount of pumpkin and delicious crust. The kids loved them too! Thank you for the recipe.

    • Julie Ruble
      November 10, 2015 at 9:55 pm (7 years ago)

      Hooray! That makes me so happy to hear! Thank you for your kind words.

  15. Lizzy
    November 20, 2015 at 11:27 am (7 years ago)

    1. what would it do to the crust (make soggy?) if I made these ahead and froze them (less the whipped topping)
    2. the pictures look like the filling or crust separated into a yellowy middle layer between the crust and the pumpkin – what’s with that???

    • Julie Ruble
      November 21, 2015 at 7:16 pm (7 years ago)

      Not sure about freezing — I haven’t tried it! I’d recommend googling what happens when you freeze pumpkin pie in general, since these are similar. As for the yellow, I don’t think anything separated; it’s just the shortbread crust staying moist against the pumpkin custard. I think that’s why normal pumpkin pies get soggy crust (because that happens there, too, but the crust isn’t nice and thick).

  16. Andrew Hopkins
    April 7, 2016 at 7:05 am (7 years ago)

    What a delicious and gorgeous!!!
    We will try to make it.

  17. Lucy
    August 13, 2016 at 2:45 am (7 years ago)


    I have just made this slice but I don’t want to put the topping on until tomorrow. Should I just leave the slice in the fridge?

    Many thanks

    • Julie Ruble
      August 13, 2016 at 12:35 pm (7 years ago)

      Yes, that is fine. Enjoy!

  18. nancy
    October 28, 2016 at 5:28 am (6 years ago)

    I made these and they are a keeper. Delicious. I doubled the recipe – 9×13. perfect crust.
    for the pumpkin I used real pumpkin and didn’t have evaporated milk. So i used a little less milk and put a tablespoon of cornstarch in the milk. Turned out perfect.

  19. marcia
    November 18, 2016 at 4:49 pm (6 years ago)

    Can I use real maple syrup in the whipped cream? How much.

    • Julie Ruble
      November 18, 2016 at 4:52 pm (6 years ago)

      Sure! It just takes more to create a concentrated flavor and so your whipped cream might be looser, and it sweetens too, so you’d want to cut back the sugar. I’d start with a couple of tablespoons (and decrease the powdered sugar by the same) and taste/evaluate: if the whipped cream is not too loose and you want more flavor/sweetness, you can add more syrup one tablespoon at a time. Just be careful not to overbeat your cream.

  20. Jennifer McCleary
    October 8, 2017 at 7:47 am (5 years ago)

    Although I am baking all the time, I don’t often take the time to post my comments. I realized that this was a missing link to bloggers like yourself who take the time to share your fantastic recipes and inspiring photos! It’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and I made these pumpkin shortbread bars last night. They are fantastic! Much easier than pumpkin pie and easy to slice into large, or small portions (who actually wants a smaller portion of pumpkin pie?). Thank you for your creations and more importantly – thank you for posting wonderful recipes time and time again.

    • Julie Ruble
      October 8, 2017 at 12:10 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you so much for this kind comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed them!! Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. Francine Guillory
    October 17, 2017 at 3:38 am (5 years ago)

    What is a foil sling. Although I’m an experienced baker, I’ve enever heard of this lol. Please clarify

  22. Mara
    November 21, 2017 at 2:27 am (5 years ago)

    If I double the recipe and use a 9×13 pan how long should I let it bake?

    • Julie Ruble
      November 21, 2017 at 11:41 am (5 years ago)

      I’m not sure, but you’ll want to check early and often for doneness (for the shortbread crust, that means slightly golden. For the final product, you want it mostly set.)

  23. Marie
    August 17, 2018 at 2:49 am (5 years ago)

    Is Pumpkin Puree the same as pumpkin pie filling?

    • Julie Ruble
      August 17, 2018 at 3:12 am (5 years ago)

      No: pie filling has spices added and pumpkin puree is just the puree. They should be right beside each other in the baking aisle though!


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