Pecan pie meets German chocolate cake and baked into cute little squares! Need I say more?? 😍
Okay, I’ll say a little more. These German chocolate pecan pie bars are super addictive and perfect for a Thanksgiving dessert. Or really any occasion! They are also paleo, gluten free, and can be easily made dairy free.
I LOVE a good German chocolate cake. Super moist chocolate cake with that ooey gooey light brown frosting filled with coconut. YUM!!! And pecan pie? Well, it’s definitely one of my holiday favorites. I chose to combine the two into one flavor-packed masterpiece! And dang is it good.
These German chocolate pecan pie bars are sweetened with dates, coconut sugar, and maple syrup instead of the traditional corn syrup and refined sugar. These natural sweeteners still have quite a few calories, but they don’t cause huge blood sugar spikes like regular sugar and corn syrup. Plus, they are packed with all sorts of vitamins and minerals. Especially the Medjool dates. These little babies are full of healthy minerals and fiber. And their gooey texture creates the perfect base for the pecan pie filling.
You can use an 8×8″ or an 8×6″ baking dish for this recipe. If you use a 8×8″ pan, you can cut into either 9 or 16 bars, depending on how large you want them. If you use an 8×6″ pan, cut into 12 bars. Since the crust is a shortbread crust, it will be slightly crumbly. If you would like to enjoy these as a finger food, you will likely need to chill them in the refrigerator for a few hours or else the delicate crust probably won’t hold the weight of the filling. In other words, it will be a big mess! I recommend just eating these little bars with a fork like you would with a normal slice of pie. Note: if you slice into 9 large bars, then you will probably need to enjoy them with a fork whether or not they are room temp or chilled. They are great either way!
- 1 cup packed (150g) almond flour
- ⅔ cup (85g) arrowroot powder
- 2 Tbsp (13g) cocoa powder
- 2 pinches sea salt
- ½ cup (112g) salted butter, ghee, or palm shortening, softened
- ¼ cup packed (43g) coconut sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (180g) dairy free chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- 1 cup packed (265g) pitted Medjool date halves (~14 dates)*
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup (56g) salted butter, ghee, or palm shortening, melted
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (45g) unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 cups (230g) pecan halves and pieces
- *This recipe uses fresh Medjool dates. They should be soft and moist, not dried.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF/177ºC and line an 8x8" or 8x6" baking dish with 2 overlapping pieces of parchment paper, creating overhang to help with removal after baking. For even easier removal, grease the corners of the baking dish if they are not covered by parchment (optional).
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine almond flour, arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, and sea salt. Mix well.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
- Pour dry ingredients into the large bowl and mix everything together until a dough forms. This is a shortbread dough, so it will be a little crumbly, not overly sticky.
- Press dough into an even layer in the lined baking dish. Poke a few holes in the crust with a fork.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the center is set and the edges are slightly browned.
- Remove to a cooling rack. Spread chocolate over the top in an even layer. Allow to cool completely.
- While crust is cooling, make the filling.
- Place date halves in a bowl and pour boiling water over them (just enough to cover). Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then drain off the water.
- Place soaked dates, maple syrup, melted butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt in a blender and blend on high until the mixture is smooth (about 1-2 minutes in a Vitamix).
- Add eggs to blender and briefly blend just to mix.
- Pour filling mixture into the large mixing bowl from earlier. Add in coconut flakes and mix.
- Once crust has cooled, pour the filling over the crust. Top with pecans then jiggle it a bit to settle the pecans into the filling.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until filling is set and before pecans start to burn.
- Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool for about 3 hours.
- Remove from baking dish using the parchment overhang. Slice into pieces with a sharp knife.
- Store under refrigeration for up to 5 days.
Did you like the recipe?? If so, let me know in the comments below and leave me a review!