Pumpkin Pie Bars

These Pumpkin Pie Bars feature a gingersnap cookie base, and they’re the perfect sweet treat for Thanksgiving and holiday parties!

These Pumpkin Pie Bars feature a gingersnap cookie base, and they're the perfect sweet treat for Thanksgiving and holiday parties!One pumpkin pie bar.  Two pumpkin pie bars.  Three pumpkin pie bars.  Mwahaha!  On any given day around our house, we’ll hear Robbie counting things, and he almost always ends with a ‘mwahaha.’  One block.  Two blocks.  Three blocks.  Four blocks.  Mwahaha!  You see, this all came from a Halloween-themed Sesame Street book that Robbie loved to read last year.  Every night, I would read that book with him, and we’d count all of the different things in the pictures.  Pumpkins, cupcakes, candy, bats, you name it…we counted it.  And I would often end the counting with a ‘Mwahaha!’ just like The Count from Sesame Street.

These Pumpkin Pie Bars feature a gingersnap cookie base, and they're the perfect sweet treat for Thanksgiving and holiday parties!The Count has long been one of my favorite Sesame Street characters.  In fact, in our high school calculus class, one of my buddies sat in the back of the room, and he’d occasionally drop a “Mwahaha!” after solving a particular hard problem.  One absolute value.  Two absolute values.  Three absolute values.  Mwahaha!  See?  I guess all we need to know in life we really did learn on Sesame Street.  Or something like that.

Robbie’s got his numbers 1-20 down solid now, and he loves to count things.  We’ll hear him in the other room just counting things to himself.  And then we’ll hear a Mwahaha!  I crack up every single time.  I suspect he thinks he’s supposed to end with a ‘Mwahaha,’ and I’m totally ok with that.  It’s moments like these that create the best memories, right?  I also kinda wonder whether he’s done this at daycare.  I’m pretty sure he has, and I’m pretty sure his teaches probably cracked up laughing.

These Pumpkin Pie Bars feature a gingersnap cookie base, and they're the perfect sweet treat for Thanksgiving and holiday parties!Pumpkin Pie Bars

Let’s turn our attention over to these Pumpkin Pie Bars.  Thanksgiving is sneaking up on us quickly, and that means it’s time to plan out the menu for Gobble Gobble Day.  Truthfully, our Thanksgiving menu rarely changes.  We’ve come to associate Thanksgiving with certain family recipes, and we typically make the same recipes each year.  There’s mac and cheese (yes, mac and cheese…on Thanksgiving), Laura’s Italian stuffing balls (so good!), my cornbread dressing (a family favorite), the turkey (duh!) and a brown sugar pecan pie.  Wait.  There’s no pumpkin pie on the list.  That’s right.  Pumpkin pie has never really been a thing for us at Thanksgiving.  But I’m shaking things up a bit this year and making Pumpkin Pie Bars.  Oh, and I’m still making that pecan pie because, well, pecan pie.

These Pumpkin Pie Bars feature a gingersnap cookie base, and they're the perfect sweet treat for Thanksgiving and holiday parties!I don’t know about you, but I’m always stuffed by the time we finish our Thanksgiving meal.  We often wait an hour or two before going back for dessert.  But that’s where these Pumpkin Pie Bars come in.  They’re classic pumpkin pie, just cut up in bar form.  That way you can grab a small bar to snack on whenever you walk past the dessert table.  Finger food is always a fun option when you’re entertaining for a crowd!

Oh, and before we wrap up, I must mention that I included a gingersnap cookie base on these Pumpkin Pie Bars.  I love the flavor combination of gingersnaps and pumpkin, so these bars were right up my alley.  You’ll have to grind up gingersnap cookies as gingersnap crumbs aren’t really a thing in the grocery store.  But trust me when I say the effort is well worth it!  You could also just use pie dough as the base for these bars, too.  Either way, I hope you enjoy these Pumpkin Pie Bars!  Mwahaha!

These Pumpkin Pie Bars feature a gingersnap cookie base, and they're the perfect sweet treat for Thanksgiving and holiday parties!

Love pumpkin recipes?  Check out some of these other favorites!

Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait

Pumpkin Spice Pound Cake Bites

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Pumpkin Ice Cream (who says ice cream is only for summer!?)

These Pumpkin Pie Bars feature a gingersnap cookie base, and they're the perfect sweet treat for Thanksgiving and holiday parties!

Pumpkin Pie Bars

These Pumpkin Pie Bars feature a gingersnap cookie base, and they're the perfect sweet treat for Thanksgiving and holiday parties!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 128kcal

Ingredients

For the Gingersnap Crust

  • cups gingersnap crumbs ~50-55 gingersnap cookies
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter melted

For the Pumpkin Filling

  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten.
  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
  • {for garnish} whipped cream

Instructions

For the Gingersnap Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Using a food processor or mini-chopper, pulse the gingersnaps until finely ground. In a medium bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs, brown sugar, ginger and melted butter; stir until well combined.
  • Lightly butter or grease a 12”x12” tart pan (or a 9”x13” baking dish). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. (Tip: A flat-bottomed glass helps pack the crust mixture down evenly.)
  • Bake crust for 10 minutes; remove from oven and set aside.

For the Pumpkin Filling

  • Using a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and salt.
  • Add eggs, pumpkin and evaporated milk; whisk together until smooth. Pour filling into the pan and bake at 350°F for 35-38 minutes, or until center of filling is set.
  • Let bars cool for 1 hour before transferring pan into refrigerator until cold, at least 3-4 hours (or overnight).
  • Remove pan from refrigerator and cut into squares.
  • Before serving, garnish tops of squares with whipped cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

These Pumpkin Pie Bars feature a gingersnap cookie base, and they're the perfect sweet treat for Thanksgiving and holiday parties!

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30 Comments

  1. You had me at pumpkin and kept me with gingersnap crust. I think every fall/winter dessert should have a gingersnap crust! I have a cheesecake coming up that uses one and I’m officially hooked. And I can’t leave without saying that Robbie is the cutest! I can just hear him taking his SATs one day and saying mwahaha during the math portion 🙂

    1. I am with ya 100%, Kelsie! Gingersnaps are one of my favorite holiday flavors…probably because I’m addicted to gingerbread. Truthfully, I love gingersnaps year round…but have you ever looked for gingersnaps in May? They’re not easy to find! Oh man, if Robbie is saying mwahaha during the SATs, he might get in a lot of trouble. But it would be worth it! 🙂

  2. Robbie is just so darn cute!! Yes! After a big meal like the one we have on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, I’m totally stuffed and like to wait a bit for dessert….cause you definitely gotta have dessert 😉 These bite-sized pumpkin pie bars are just perfect. Though, I have a suspicion I would be enjoying more than one, lol.

    1. Laura likes to say that she has a separate compartment for dessert! No matter how big the meal, we can always find room for a sweet bite. 🙂 (Truthfully, we don’t always do dessert, but it sure is a special treat when we do!) The good thing about these bars is that you can sneak by and grab one off the counter…and no one will be the wiser!

    1. Thanks so much, Mimi! These bars are just a twist on the classic pumpkin pie, but serving them in bar form just makes them more fun if you ask me! 🙂

  3. David! Gary does love his pumpkin pie, but I think he would be really happy with these, especially with the gingersnap crust! Only problem is that being able to just grab and go they wouldn’t last very long! My son’s favorite dessert is pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting (he prefers the cake texture) which I am sure he will be making soon.

    1. I hear ya, Dorothy! The grab-and-go aspect of these bars creates a bit of trouble. They’re just too easy to grab and go! 🙂 Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, eh? That sounds like a Thanksgiving classic! I make a pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting, and I bet that’s similar. Come to think of it, I haven’t made that pumpkin bread yet this year. I’ll have to put it on the Turkey Day menu!

  4. The gingerbread crust makes this recipe hard to resist, David! I love anything gingerbread! We don’t make pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving either, because I make this chocolate-coconut-pecan tart. Anything else I make just sits there for a day or two until the tart is gone. But I think these would make a great weekend-before Thanksgiving recipe! Because I need a reason to buy some gingersnaps! Pinning!

    1. I am right there with ya on the gingerbread boat, Laura! I love all things gingerbread…and the holidays are the perfect time to find it. I totally understand about not making pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. We don’t make it either. I asked Laura the other day about Thanksgiving dessert, and she answered back in about .8 seconds: brown sugar pecan pie. It’s just a tradition around here! But I bet a batch of these bars would be good for the weekend after, righ

    1. You make a good point, Kathy. There are few cartoons (or even shows) that have stood the test of time…and Sesame Street is one of them. I actually enjoy watching Sesame Street with Robbie, and of course the Count is my favorite character. Well, the Count and Snuffalupagus because it’s just fun to say his name! Thanks so much, my friend!

  5. I love how you’ve got a ginger snap crust on these. Yum! It’s a favourite of mine to have a ginger biscuit base on my cheesecakes so I know these pumpkin pie bars will be so good. I’ll need to come and visit to sample them! And the rest of your amazing sounding Thanksgiving meal too.

    1. I love gingersnaps! They’re a bit difficult to find here in the non-holiday season (although you can find them…they’re just on the bottom shelf at the store). But come holiday season, I’m all about the gingerbread! You are welcome to make the trip over to sample these bars, my friend. Just bring a good bottle of whiskey, ok? 🙂

  6. I didn’t remember how the Count looked like, so I needed to Google that guy. Cannot say I’m familiar with him very well, but I hope he can count lavender correctly too. Wondering, what would happen if I say “Mwahaha” in the bank or supermarket? Would I end up being arrested? And those pumpkin bars look delicious, David! I’m glad you used cardamom among other spices; it’s often neglected when it comes to pumpkin desserts, but I do love how it works with it. Now, pass me a slice or two of these bars, please. Mwahaha.

    1. The Count wasn’t the most popular character on Sesame Street, but he’s always been one of my favorites. (I also love Snuffalupagus…do you remember him??) I’m thinking you should try out that experiment. Next time you go into the bank, stand there and count the money and then say “Mwahaha.” The folks around you will either get it and chuckle, or they’ll think you’re some weirdo. 🙂 I do agree that cardamom needs to play a more prevalent role in pumpkin desserts. It’s such a good spice! Thanks, Ben…mwahaha!

  7. Aw, that is ADORABLE! Love it! Miss those times when my girls were young but they do still have their fair share of funny and cute moments. These pumpkin bars are gorgeous…each one is perfect with that cream on top! And I love the pan you used too! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. I feel like kids at every age have their fun (and funny) moments. It’s fun to watch their personalities develop, and it’s particularly fun to see how my personality carries into Robbie’s personality. He’s just a little mini version of me! 🙂 Thank you so much for the kind words, Sherri. And Happy Thanksgiving right back at ya, my friend!

  8. Perhaps Robbie will be an ac-count-ant, Mwahaha!
    Pumpkin bars with a gingersnap crust, good thinking David. This works for me, as I’m not a great lover of pumpkin pie, but a small serving is OK (with vanilla sauce). Pumpkin pie is on our American Thanksgiving party menu (Sat the 24th), so I’m thinking I’ll shake it up a bit as well with your pumpkin bars.

    1. Hah! You certainly are puntastic, Ron. 🙂 Funny enough, though, my Dad is (was) an accountant, so the apple wouldn’t be falling too far from the tree there. Robbie does like to count things!

      I totally hear ya about pumpkin pie, too. It’s ok, but I’ll take a slice of pecan pie any day. But with that said, the gingersnap crust on these bars is a fun way to incorporate more holiday flavors. I hope you enjoy ’em, my friend! Happy (American) Thanksgiving!

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly! Robbie’s little ‘mwahaha’ really is hilarious. The best is when I hear him counting in the other room and saying ‘mwahaha’ by himself! 🙂 And thanks for the kind words about the pumpkin pie bars, too!

  9. Oh my gosh, I LOVED reading those Sesame Street books with my boys! 🙂 These look super delicious — I’ve always been a big fan of ginger with winter squash, so I’m loving this crust.

    1. I absolutely love ginger, and I’m all about the gingerbread/gingersnaps during the holidays. Using a gingersnap crust on pumpkin pie (or pumpkin pie bars) is a fun way to incorporate more holiday flavors, too. Thanks so much, Valentina! I hope you had a great weekend, my friend!

  10. I couldn’t agree more – Robbie’s “mwahaha” moments definitely make for the best kinda memories – have you asked his daycare teachers if he’s doing this there too? Too too adorable!
    Now to these bars – we are a house divided when it comes to pies, I like apple and pumpkin and lil S loves pecan – and she usually wins – but with these bars I could have a little pumpkin joy on the side too! Loving that gingersnap base!

    1. You know what, I keep forgetting to ask Robbie’s teachers if he’s doing the ‘mwahaha’ there, too. Laura and I keep commenting to ourselves that they probably crack up laughing at him…but I need to ask!

      To be fair, I’d probably side with Little S on the pecan pie train. I love a good pecan pie, and I always make a brown sugar pecan pie at Thanksgiving. But these pumpkin pie bars are a fun way to get some pumpkin pie into the picture…and the gingersnap base is a must! Thanks, Shashi!

    1. Hey Anne! I have not frozen these bars before, but I have frozen a pumpkin pie – and it worked great. Since these bars are essentially pie in bar form, I think they would freeze well, too. I do recommend letting the pie (bars) come fully to room temperature before freezing. If you freeze it while it’s warm, ice crystals will develop from the steam – and those ice crystals will make your crusty soggy. So let cool to room temperature, wrap in plastic wrap and then wrap in aluminum foil. I used that method with a pie, and it worked great! Happy baking!!

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