Cinnamon Pecan Shortbread Bars

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If the perfect slice of cinnamon toast met Pecan Sandies, these Cinnamon Pecan Shortbread Bars would be the result.

This is a tender shortbread, filled with pecans, and then generously topped with cinnamon sugar.

Cinnamon Pecan Shortbread Bars (gluten free and traditional recipes included) by Barefeet In The Kitchen

I brought a double batch of these shortbread bars along on our camping trip last weekend and they kept beautifully for four days at room temperature.

They were a perfect snack with a cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon.

Shortbread Baking Tips

Baking the shortbread in a pan and then slicing it into bars, makes this a very easy dessert. This recipe doubles perfectly and fills a large baking sheet, or jellyroll pan.

Placing a sheet of parchment on top of the dough will make it easier to press/roll the dough and spread it across the pan. Remove the parchment from on top of the bars before sprinkling with cinnamon and pecans.

While baking, do not allow the bars to actually brown at all. If they brown, they will be much more crunchy than desired, once they cool. The goal is a very soft shortbread texture.

Buttery shortbread meets cinnamon toast in these mouthwatering shortbread bars!

Coconut ChewsClassic Chocolate Chip Blondies, and Almond Bars are a few more of our favorite desserts that transport well and stay fresh for days.

As with many of the recipes here, both a traditional recipe and a gluten-free recipe are included. Simply swap the gluten-free ingredient list for the all-purpose flour in the recipe below and you’ll be good to go.

Check out all of the gluten free recipes for your holiday baking needs!

Cinnamon and Pecan Shortbread Bars

Cinnamon Shortbread Bar Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan with butter, or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and mix until light and fluffy. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix until combined. Add the pecans and stir again to distribute.
  3. Press the dough into the bottom of the greased pan. Press with your fingers or a pastry roller to smooth the top of the dough. Sprinkle the top of the dough generously with cinnamon sugar and then with chopped pecans and very lightly press them into the top of the dough.
  4. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until just barely beginning to brown around the edges.
  5. Let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then cut into bars. If they are too soft to cut, let them cool for a few more minutes. Remove them carefully to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Cinnamon Pecan Shortbread Bars (gluten free and traditional recipes) by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Cinnamon and Pecan Shortbread Bars

Cinnamon Pecan Shortbread Bars {traditional and gluten free recipes}

4.5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 18 mins
Total Time: 38 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 18 -24 small bars

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour *
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

TOPPING INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

GLUTEN FREE ALTERNATIVE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup brown rice flour *
  • 3/4 cup oat flour *
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch *
  • 1/4 cup potato starch *
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum *

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan with butter, or line with parchment paper. Sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt.
  • Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and mix until light and fluffy. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix until combined. Add the pecans and stir again to distribute. 
  • Press the dough into the bottom of the greased pan. Press with your fingers or a pastry roller to smooth the top of the dough.
  •  Sprinkle the top of the dough generously with cinnamon sugar and then with chopped pecans and very lightly press them into the top of the dough.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until just barely beginning to brown around the edges.
  •  Let the bars cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then cut into bars. If they are too soft to cut, let them cool for a few more minutes.
  • Remove them carefully to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Notes

Baking the shortbread in a pan and then slicing it into bars, makes this a very easy dessert. This recipe doubles perfectly and fills a large baking sheet, or jellyroll pan. Placing a sheet of parchment on top of the dough will make it easier to press/roll the dough and spread it across the pan. Remove the parchment from on top of the bars before sprinkling with cinnamon and pecans.

Nutrition

Calories: 193kcal · Carbohydrates: 25g · Protein: 2g · Fat: 10g · Saturated Fat: 4g · Cholesterol: 23mg · Sodium: 82mg · Potassium: 77mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 13g · Vitamin A: 171IU · Calcium: 26mg · Iron: 1mg
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{originally published in 7/16/14 – recipe notes updated 11/19/19}

Cinnamon Pecan Shortbread Bars

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Roxanne says

    Just wanted to let you know I made these… and they were outta this world!!!! The first batch was gone in one evening. So, I had to make them again the next day…. Yummie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Janine Tracy says

    i would love to try this but don't have 1/2 cup tapioca starch *
    1/4 cup potato starch *
    3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum *
    can anything else be used as i don't know if i can even get them

  3. Kaye Harris says

    If I have an all purpose gf flour would it still be 2 cups to sub or 2 1/2? Also this flour says add xantham gum, would it still be 3/4 teaspoon?

    • Mary says

      Without having tested your GF flour mix, I can’t really advise you to the exact amounts. You may need to try it both ways. I recommend and often bake this recipe as written.5 stars

  4. KarotzCupcakes says

    I ws really excited to try these. Overall they were good but I found the sugar and cinnamon topping to be excessive as it did not melt or sink into the dough at all. I’d cut the quantity to 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with sparingly sprinkled chopped pecans. I will keep this recipe and try again. I will try freezing the bars similar to your instructions on the almond bars4 stars