Easier than a pecan pie these Pecan Pie Surprise Bars are a sweet and chewy dessert recipe that is a staple on the Thanksgiving table.
Farmhouse Pecan Pie Bar Recipe
A cross between a candy bar and a pie, pecan lovers are delighted by every bite. Each pecan surprise bar is loaded with chopped pecans. Add a dollop of whipped cream for a special touch and holiday favorite recipe.
Even people that don’t crave pecans love this recipe. This and Pecan Pie Brownies are desserts that is a stepping stone to loving all things pecan. A box of yellow cake mix forms a thin base layer that is topped with a rich pecan pie like filling. Pecans are sprinkled on top for more flavor and more eye appeal.
These pecan pie bars are like our Pecan Pumpkin Bars and Frosted Banana Bars, they are a portable handheld treat that can be easily picked up to enjoy. The aroma that fills the kitchen while these Pecan Pie Surprise Bars bake is heavenly!
In our Carrot Cake Loaf and Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls, pecans offer a nice accent, but they are the featured ingredient in these Farmhouse Pecan Pie Bars. While this popular recipe is most popular at Thanksgiving, it’s delicious all year around.
- Yellow cake mix
- Dark brown sugar
- Dark corn syrup
Can light corn syrup and light brown sugar be used?
The bars won’t look quite as dark, but will still be very sweet and enjoyable if light corn syrup and light brown sugar are used.
Tips & Tricks
- Chop pecans well to mix in crust layer, while whole or lightly chopped pecans can be sprinkled on top
- Wet fingers to make spreading out base layer with cake mix easier as it is a pretty tacky mixture
- Use a sharp knife to slice bars and keep a damp dishcloth handy to clean off the filling often to maintain clean cuts
How to Make Pecan Pie Bars
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
Reserve 2/3 cup of yellow cake mix and set aside.
Mix remaining cake mix, stick of butter and 1 egg. Mix well.
Fold in 1 cup of well chopped pecans and spread into baking pan. Mixture will be tacky. Wet fingers to help spread out the base layer.
Partially bake for about 15 minutes. If mixture still looks very moist bake an additional 5 minutes.
While crust is baking mix up the sweet filling! Using an electric mixer beat reserved cake mix, firmly-packed brown sugar, dark corn syrup, 3 eggs and vanilla. Beat well for 1 – 2 minutes.
Pour filling over partially bake crust. Sprinkle remaining cup of pecans over the top of the filling. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until filling is set.
How to Tell When Pecan Filling is Set
Pecan pie filling is set when the center no longer wiggles or jiggles when firmly tapped. There will also be a slight edge around the pan where the pecans have moved in just a bit as the mixture condenses while it bakes.
The key to enjoying pecan pie surprise bars is to remove from the oven as soon as they are set. If a little bit of wiggle remains it will continue baking for a few minutes after being removed from the oven.
More Classic Thanksgiving Recipes:
Citrus Glazed Sweet Potato Casserole glazes tender sweet potatoes with a pineapple juice, orange zest and brown sugar mixture, then sprinkling with chopped nuts makes the dish irresistible.
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole mixes a lot of bacon and cheese into a classic mashed potato recipe to make it even more rich and flavorful.
Grandma’s Dressing Recipe has a surprise step to make the smoothest dressing you’ve ever eaten.
Sweet Potato Souffle adds butter, eggs and brown sugar to enhance the sweet potato experience.
Printable Pecan Pie Surprise Bars Recipe
Pecan Pie Surprise Bars
- 1 box yellow cake mix reserve 2/3 cup
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 egg
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 2/3 cup reserved cake mix
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- Grease bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Preheat oven to 350°F. Reserve 2/3 cup of dry cake mix for filling.
- In a large mixing bowl combine remaining dry cake mix, butter and 1 egg.
- Fold in 1 cup chopped pecans. Mixture will be tacky.
- Wet fingers and press into prepared pan. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Using an electric mixer combine all filling ingredients together on medium speed for 1 – 2 minutes. Pour filling over partially baked crust.
- Sprinkle with pecans. Bake 30 – 25 minutes until filling is set. Cool and cut into 36 bars.
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