Bake a batch of Brown Sugar Bars with Pepitas for a tasty dessert. With the texture of a sugar pie, these brown sugar cookie bars are delicious on their own with milk or served with ice cream.
Dish up a cookie plate of Brown Sugar Bars, Chocolate Mint Brownies, and Chocolate Chip Cookies for a fun party dessert or gift to give. These go great on a Dessert Charcuterie Board, too!
Bar cookies are super easy to bake — just one pan and slice them up ready to go! These Brown Sugar Bars are ones that my great grandmother made with walnuts in the 1930s. I’ve adapted them to be nut-safe, instead using Pepitas or Pumpkin Seeds. They are almost like pecan pie bars, without the pecans!
Why Make This
Brown Sugar Bar Cookies are easy! These are super easy cookies to bake, featuring just a handful of ingredients.
They are super versatile. You can bake these gluten-free and use whatever nut or seed you have on hand. You can even add some chocolate chips to the mix if you’d like.
They freeze well. These Brown Sugar Bars freeze really well! Make some now and enjoy them all season long. They are a great Christmas Cookies to Make Ahead & Freeze.
They are delicious! These Brown Sugar Bars with Pepitas are super tasty. They don’t have any butter, but the texture is almost like caramel candy. So good!
Here’s what you need to make Brown Sugar Bars:
eggs – You’ll need two eggs. They help give these cookies their texture, so don’t omit them.
brown sugar – You can use dark or light brown sugar. In a pinch, remember you can make your own brown sugar.
flour – I typically use unbleached, all-purpose flour, but have tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to1 gluten-free baking mix.
leavening – You’ll need baking powder and salt to help these Brown Sugar Bars rise.
flavoring – I use vanilla extract, but you can use another flavoring if you prefer, such as almond, rum, or maple. You could also add a teaspoon cinnamon if you like.
nuts or seeds – I typically make these with pepitas or pumpkin seeds, but you can use walnuts, pecans, almonds, or sunflower seeds.
Here’s how to make Brown Sugar Bars:
Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the sugar and continue beating.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat this into the mixture. Stir in the vanilla and pepitas or nuts.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the mixture is golden brown and crisp looking on top.
Cool the pan on a rack.
Remove the parchment paper from the pan and trim ugly edges. Eat those right away. Cut square or rectangular bars. Store in an airtight container, layered with parchment.
TLDR? Watch this Easy Brown Sugar Bars web story.
Cool the cookies on a rack completely. Cut into squares and layer in an airtight container, between pieces of parchment. Store in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
Brown sugar shouldn’t go bad, but it may get hard. To soften brown sugar, place it in microwave-safe bowl and cover with a moist paper towel. Microwave for 20 seconds at a time, checking for softness and breaking up clumps with a fork. Don’t overcook or the sugar will melt.
Pumpkin seeds, aka pepitas, are great as a nut substitute in many recipes.
More Great Cookies
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Brown Sugar Bars with Pepitas
- dough knife
- 2 egg
- 2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cup pepitas , other seeds, or coarsely chopped nuts of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the sugar and continue beating.2 egg, 2 cup brown sugar
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat this into the mixture. Stir in the vanilla and pepitas or nuts.3 tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cup pepitas
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the mixture is golden brown and crisp looking on top. It will jiggle and collapse as it cools.
- Cool the pan on a rack.
- Remove the parchment paper from the pan and trim ugly edges. Eat those right away.
- Cut square or rectangular bars. Store in an airtight container, layered with parchment.
This post was originally published on December 12, 2014. It has been updated for content and clarity.
How is the cook time for this recipe with parts coconut flour and a convection oven setting? I think they will eventually set but I’m finding it to be a longer bake time. Is coconut flour not an ok substitute? Thanks.
I have never used coconut flour and do not own a convection oven. Sorry I can’t be of more help.
I made these with a combo of walnuts pecans and almonds. They are indescribably tasty. The way they come together is unique too. I’m excited to have these in my Christmas cookie boxes this year.
These are soo good! Thanks for the great recipe!
They are addicting, aren’t they?! I want to try them with some other nuts sometime. Maybe almonds or hazelnuts which my daughter can have.
i am going to try this with Gluten Free flour, I will let you know how they turn out!
Can’t wait to hear!
I just recently found your blog and was excited to try these Pepita bars as one of my sons also has a walnut and peanut allergy. I was going to buy a bag of pepitas at Trader Joe’s today and noticed they are now labeled as cross-contaminated with peanuts! So bummed about this as I looked at an almost empty bag I have in the freezer and it does not have this warning. Any thoughts on where else to buy them? So hard to find things without cross-contamination labels these days.
The cross-contamination thing is a bane of my existence. The pepitas I had were safe, but now you have me wondering if they changed their supplier. Such a bummer! I’m not sure, but I will let you know if I hear of another source. Ugh. Thanks for the tip.