Maple Pecan Pumpkin Bars ❦ Get Your Pumpkin Spice On

[Sponsored] My latest article for Middlesex County takes us to the pumpkin patch! After all, if you’re going to use pumpkin spice, don’t you think there should be a pumpkin involved in the recipe as well? The County pays me to develop recipes and write about the food producers and markets in the rich agricultural area outside of London, Ontario, but I would have created these Maple Pecan Pumpkin Bars regardless.

Maple Pecan Pumpkin Bars ❘ ©

Maple Pecan Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin pie is one of the few desserts all three of my kids like. Every year at Thanksgiving, I’m asked (um, ordered?) to make pumpkin pie and firmly cautioned not to substitute anything weird instead. In case you’re wondering, pumpkin cheesecake or a pumpkin cake would fall into the weird category. This year I dared to make these Maple Pecan Pumpkin Bars, and I’m pleased to report that even the most ardent Thanksgiving traditionalist among the Offspring loved them.

The idea behind these bars was to have all the flavour of pumpkin pie — with my signature pumpkin spice — without the fuss of making a flaky pie crust, while still having a pastry element. I don’t mind making pie pastry, but sometimes it’s refreshing to do something easier, like patting a shortbread-like crumble base into the bottom of a pan.

Who can’t get behind easy?

Maple Pecan Pumpkin Bars ❘ ©

I departed further from tradition by adding chopped pecans to the crumble base, and maple-candied pecans as a decorative topping. And, yup, you guessed it, those went over a treat too! For a fancier touch for the client version of the recipe, I placed a whole maple-enrobed pecan half sprinkled with some fine sea salt in the centre of each bar. But for Thanksgiving brunch, I wasn’t sure how many bars I’d be cutting, so I scattered coarsely chopped and candied pecans over the top of the whole pan. No persnickety presentation required!

While pumpkin pie (and now these pumpkin bars) is traditional at Thanksgiving, it’s welcome any time of year around here. If you celebrate American Thanksgiving, Christmas, or autumn generally, why not add this recipe to your dessert table? You can find it on the Visit Middlesex site, here.

Maple Pecan Pumpkin Bars ❘ ©

Looking for More Middlesex County Fare?

I love taking a drive through Middlesex County and stopping at farm stands and country markets to get the freshest local products so I can make things like Chicken & Harvest Vegetable Shepherd’s PieCaramel Apple Crumble Squares, and Asparagus Goat Cheese Tart. [Note: these are all sponsored posts for which Middlesex County compensated me.]


  1. I like how your family was concerned about your trying anything “weird.” Mine would be the same. I’m sure they’d like these, though. I love a shortbread crust!

    • It’s touching, really, how the kids want the traditional holiday meals. It’s fun for the cook, though, to do something a little different now and then! I agree about the shortbread crust … they’re rich, especially here with the pecans. It would be easy, I think, to make a GF version!

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