Pumpkin Caramel Pie Bars With Toasted Coconut

2.9
(8)

If pumpkin pie and salted caramel had a baby, it'd be this Thanksgiving dessert.

Pumpkin Caramel Pie Bars With Toasted Coconut
Photo: Brie Passano
Hands On Time:
35 mins
Bake Time:
35 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs
Refrigerate Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
10 hrs 10 mins
Yield:
16 servings

Love pumpkin pie but can't handle rolling out pie dough, not to mention crimping? For this stress-free alternative, just press a buttery crust into a 9 by 13-inch pan. To make these pie bars extra special, we developed a simple homemade caramel sauce and stirred it right into the filling. The result? A warmly spiced pumpkin filling with sweet notes of caramel in every bite.

Make sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, or this'll end up too sweet. And don't let the "toasted coconut" garnish turn you off. It's easy: Just spread coconut flakes onto a baking sheet and bake at 325°F, stirring once, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.

Ingredients

  • For the crust:

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • cup packed light brown sugar

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

  • For the filling:

  • 1 29-oz can pure pumpkin puree

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • pinch ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted

  • Flaky salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with two crisscrossed sheets of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides, and coat the parchment with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, and salt. Slowly add melted butter, stir with a fork, and press gently with your hands until combined.

  3. Press crust dough into the bottom of prepared pan, prick all over with a fork, and then bake until puffed and lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.

  4. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, cloves, and ½ teaspoon salt.

  5. To make the caramel, combine granulated sugar and ⅓ cup water in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat and stir to combine. Cook until sugar melts, about 1 minute, and then increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, swirling the pan every few minutes, until the syrup is a rich caramel color, 6 to 7 minutes.

  6. Remove caramel from heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream (the mixture will bubble). Return to heat and simmer, whisking constantly, until smooth and thickened, 7 to 8 minutes.

  7. Remove caramel from heat and add remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside two tablespoons of the caramel, and then stir the rest into the pumpkin filling.

  8. Add eggs to the pumpkin mixture, whisk to combine, and then pour onto pie crust.

  9. Bake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and the center is just set, 25 to 30 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325°F and continue baking until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes more.

  10. Let bars cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate overnight.

  11. Just before serving, top with toasted coconut and cut into squares. Drizzle with reserved caramel, and top with flaky salt.

Related Articles