These crunchy Vegan Pecan Pie Bars are seriously rich, decadent, and are even healthier and easier to make than traditional Pecan Pie Recipes! Enjoy this well-loved holiday dessert made with a delicious almond shortbread crust layered with a gooey and sticky caramel Pecan filling!
Each piece is bursting with sweet, buttery, and nutty flavors. It has layers of textures from the chewy crust, sticky caramel filling, and the crunchy Pecan bits! Once you have tried this, you will make room for it in your holiday menu for sure.
What are Vegan Pecan Pie Bars?
Unlike the traditional way of making Pecan Pie, I did not use eggs, refined white sugar, or corn syrup in this recipe. I opted to use natural, less-processed sweeteners like maple syrup and raw cane sugar, and dairy-free milk to make this dessert healthier. And I still got that rich buttery-sweet caramelized nut bar that I was aiming for!
Which ingredients are used for making them?
- All-purpose flour – You can turn this into a gluten-free dessert by using gluten-free flour instead.
- Ground almonds – also known as almond meal. This is different from almond flour as it has a more coarse texture and contains more fat content. If you have whole almonds handy, you can just ground them using a food processor with or without the skin intact. If you plan to use almond flour as a substitute, you might need to add a little more vegan butter or coconut oil for moisture.
- Raw cane sugar – I prefer using this type of sugar instead of the processed refined ones for a more naturally sweet and richer taste due to the molasses. However, you can also use other kinds of sugar like coconut, turbinado, or brown sugar.
- Vegan butter – when making the pecan pie bars crust, I diced it into small squares and added them to the dry ingredients cold. But for the filling, it is better if you add it to the pan almost melted already. You can use coconut oil as a substitute for this.
- Maple syrup – is an unrefined and less processed alternative to corn syrup. It will still guarantee that the filling will set properly.
- Vanilla extract – adds a more caramel-y and floral taste to the filling. This is different from vanilla essence which is usually made with artificial flavors and colors.
- Plant-based milk – You can use your favorite dairy-free varieties such as cashew milk, almond milk, or soy milk.
- Pecan nuts – have a sweet, nutty, buttery flavor and add that crunch to the filling. I love pecan nuts; however, if you don’t have them on hand, feel free to use other nuts like cashews, walnuts, or even plain ‘ol peanuts!
- Salt – provides a flavor contrast from all the sweetness!
How to make Vegan Pecan Pie Bars
As always I recommend watching the recipe video and checking out this step-by-step guide first. Then you’ll find the full recipe for these pecan pie bars with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Making the shortcrust
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt. Use a wooden spoon or your hands or a food processor to incorporate the diced vegan butter. Pour in the ice water and knead until the dough comes together.
Then press the dough firmly and evenly into a parchment-lined pan, using your hands or the bottom of a flat glass or the back of a spoon (watch the recipe video for details). Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and let it cool completely.
Step 2: Making the Pecan Pie Topping
In a saucepan, melt the vegan butter over medium heat. Add maple syrup, sugar, vanilla extract, and dairy-free milk, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in chopped pecans, then pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Place in the hot oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Step 3: Let cool and enjoy!
Once done baking, let it cool completely. Then put it in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight to firm up before cutting and serving.
Serve it with style!
You can amp the yumminess even further by serving these pecan pie bars with a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream, vegan yogurt, or vegan whipped cream! Drizzle with vegan caramel sauce or chocolate syrup as desired!
Tips for making the Best Vegan Pecan Pie Bars
- Make sure to line the pan with parchment paper to prevent the bars from sticking to it.
- Do not over-mix your shortbread dough. It will be a bit crumbly but will hold together once you press it down into the pan.
- Make sure to press the dough down uniformly on the pan so it evenly bakes. You can use your hands, a flat glass, or the back of a spoon.
- Let the shortbread crust cool down completely before adding the filling for a more distinguished layering.
- Keep a close eye on the pecan pie topping mixture while cooking, and stir it constantly to prevent it from burning.
Can I make them ahead of time?
Yes. These goodies need to be cooled in the fridge for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving. You can also make it the day before and let it cool overnight.
How to store leftovers?
Store the leftover bars in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They are also freezer-friendly so you can keep them frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
More vegan holiday desserts recipes to try:
Looking for more delicious snack recipes for the holidays? Then be sure to check these out:
- Crunchy Nut Corners
- Vanilla Crescent Cookies
- Homemade Granola Bars
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Cinnamon Streusel
- Almond Horns (Vegan Marzipan Cookies)
- Apple Crumble Pizza
- Apple Blondies with Caramel
- Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- Vegan Mini Apple Pies
- Best Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- Linzer Cookies (Spitzbuben)
- Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
- Vegan Chocolate Cookie Butter Cake
- Best Vegan Pumpkin Bread
If you try these vegan pecan pie bars, please leave me a comment and a rating on how you liked this recipe! And if you take a picture of your healthier candy bar and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka, because I love to see your remakes! Enjoy! 🙂
Vegan Pecan Pie BarsAuthor:
You do not have a fitting cake pan at hand right now? Try my Cake Pan Conversion Calculator!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour as needed
- 1 cup ground almonds or sub more flour (*see blog post for suggestions)
- ¼ cup raw cane sugar or another sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup cold vegan butter diced into small pieces
- 2-3 tbsp ice water
*Note: Be sure to check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Preheat the oven to 347°F (175°C) and lightly grease a 7x11- or 8×8-inch pan, then line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt. Use a wooden spoon or your hands or a food processor to incorporate the diced vegan butter. Pour in the ice water and knead until the dough comes together (but please don't over-mix!).
- Press the dough firmly and evenly into your prepared pan, using your hands or the bottom of a flat glass or the back of a spoon (watch the recipe video for visual instruction). Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and let it cool completely.
- In a saucepan, melt the vegan butter over medium heat. Add maple syrup, sugar, vanilla extract, and dairy-free milk, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly (to prevent it from burning). Stir in chopped pecans, then pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Place in the hot oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool completely, then put it in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight to firm up before cutting and serving.
- Drizzle with vegan caramel sauce as desired. Enjoy!
- Store leftover bars in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Then thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Please read my blog post for substitutes, helpful tips, and further information on this recipe.
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