Southern Brown Sugar Pie Bars, Cookie Bars, Shortbread, slab pie, Southern Brown Sugar Pie
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Southern Brown Sugar Pie Bars

Southern Brown Sugar Pie Bars are easy to make, easy to eat, and wonderful to pair with whisky. It’s like having a portion-controlled piece of pie in your hand!
Adapted from Pizzazzerie
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Cooling Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: Cookie Bars, Cookies & Bars, Pies, Shortbread, Southern Brown Sugar Pie
Servings: 48 2-inch squares
Calories: 160kcal
Author: Tammy Spencer, Scotch & Scones

Special Equipment


These amounts are for an 18-x13-inch half sheet baking pan…the amounts for a 13- x 9-inch quarter sheet baking pan are in the Notes below

    For the Crust

    • 8 oz all purpose flour (1-3/4 cup, 225g)
    • 3 oz powdered sugar (3/4 cup, 85g)
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 6 oz butter (3/4 cup, 1 1/2 sticks)

    For the Filling

    • 2 lb brown sugar (32 oz, 900g)
    • 1 cup unsalted butter (8 oz, 227g)
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp salt


    Make the crust

    • Line an 18- x 13-inch half sheet baking pan (or a 13- x 9-inch quarter sheet baking pan) with parchment paper or foil (make sure it hangs over the edges to help lift out the bars later)
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter until smooth, then add flour and salt; mix until dough forms. (If you prefer to make the dough by hand, stir together flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a medium bowl; with a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.)
    • Sprinkle the crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan. Using your hands, press to cover bottom of pan firmly (I used plastic wrap and a small pie roller, like I do when making shortbread).
    • Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown (it will be partially baked), then remove the pan from the oven.

    Make the filling

    • While the crust is baking, mix together the eggs and add in sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla; whisk together until well combined and smooth.
    • Pour filling on top of partially baked crust and bake until set, about 25-30 minutes.
    • Cool the bars completely in the pan on a wire rack.
    • Lift the uncut bars out of pan by aluminum foil or parchment paper. Transfer to a cutting board; cut into bars.

    Recipe Notes

    Dark brown sugar really emphasizes the molasses flavor, but you can use light brown sugar as well
    Watch that the shortbread crust doesn’t get too dark when you're first baking it…at 20 minutes, my crust was medium-dark brown
    Bake the filling for no more that 35 minutes…it will puff up but will settle down when cooling
    Cut the bars using a pizza wheel…it’s much easier. If you use a knife, just wipe the blade after each time you slice

    For a 13- x 9-inch quarter sheet baking pan:

    Bake the filling-topped bars for 20-25 minutes using the following ingredient amounts:
    For the Crust
    • 1 cup flour (150g)
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (56g) (or 1/4 cup, 50g granulated sugar)
    • 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup butter (4oz, 1 stick)
    For the Filling
    • 1 lb brown sugar (16 oz, 454g)
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 oz, ½ stick), melted
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    If you want to make thicker bars, use a 9-inch square cake pan and the same ingredient amounts as for the 13- x 9-inch baking pan.
    Nutrition Facts
    Southern Brown Sugar Pie Bars
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 160
    * Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 cal per day diet.
    Did you make this recipe?Please share your pictures with the world...mention @scotch_scones and tag #scotchandsconesblog on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. I can't wait to see your creations!