Rich and creamy gingersnap pumpkin pie bars – everything to love about classic pumpkin pie, but so much easier, with a flavorful gingersnap cookie crumb crust, a silky smooth, ginger-spiced pumpkin filling, and perfect for a crowd! Gluten-free friendly.
for the crust:
- 2 – 2-1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs ¹
- 1 Tbsp (13g) light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (113g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted ²
for the filling:
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches overhanging on two sides to create a sling. I like to use binder clips to help hold the paper in place.
- Make the gingersnap crust: In a food processor, pulse together the gingersnap cookies and brown sugar until you have a coarse crumb. Add the ginger, cinnamon, and salt, and pulse once or twice to combine. Pour in the melted butter and pulse until combined.
- Spoon the crumbs into the prepared pan and use your fingers to gently press the mixture into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Follow with the flat bottom of a measuring cup or glass to firmly pack the crust into the pan.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes, until the crust is just beginning to set, then remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Set aside.
Pumpkin pie bars
- Meanwhile, make the pumpkin filling: Heat the pumpkin, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and spices in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-heat. When the mixture begins to sputter, cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until smooth and glossy.
- Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the condensed milk, whisking until completely combined. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, whisking until completely combined after each addition.
- Stir in the vanilla. Pour the filling over the crust.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350℉, until the edges of the filling are just starting to set.
- Turn the oven down to 325℉, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the filling is mostly set (the center will still be slightly jiggly). The filling may bubble and puff up slightly as it cooks – that’s okay, it will settle as it cools.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 2-3 hours until completely set. The pie filling will continue cooking through residual heat.
- Garnish with fresh whipped cream and serve chilled or at room-temperature. Enjoy!!
¹ This recipe was originally tested with MI-DEL gingersnaps (10 oz or about 45-50 cookies), but I’ve used other brands with success. If your gingersnaps are very sweet, you can reduce or omit the brown sugar in the crust. This pie is best with a strongly spiced ginger cookie crust.
² Because there are so many different brands of gingersnap cookies, use your judgment when it comes to the butter/crushed cookie ratio. 1/2 cup (1 stick) of melted butter may be more than you need depending on the particular gingersnaps you use. Start by adding about 6 Tbsp of the melted butter to the crumbs. If they aren’t coming together or don’t seem damp enough, add a little more butter. If they seem excessively buttery, add more crumbs, and so on. You want a crumbly, moist crumb that can easily press into the tart pan.
For gluten free pumpkin pie: Simply use gluten free gingersnap cookies such as these from MiDel. Note that they are 8 oz bags instead of 10 oz and will yield about 2 cups of cookie crumbs, so you may need a bit less butter. Several readers have also had good results with the gluten free gingersnap cookies from Trader Joe’s.
³ Substitutions for sweetened condensed milk: You’ll get the best flavor and texture using sweetened condensed milk, but if you’d prefer a less sweet pie, you can also use 1 cup of evaporated milk, heavy cream, or full fat coconut milk.
Best eaten the day of, but will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
- Category: dessert, baking
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: american
Keywords: gingersnap pumpkin pie bars, pumpkin pie, pie, gingersnap crust, fresh ginger, holiday pie, thanksgiving dessert, easy