Famous Carolina Pecan Bars



3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp Maple extract

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs, room temperature

1 cup butter, unsalted

2 cups white sugar

1 tbsp butter

1 ½ cups pecans, roughly chopped


6 cups Confectioners Sugar

12 ounces Cream Cheese, softened

⅔ cup butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp Maple extract

1 to 2 tbsp Milk


Step 1: 

Preheat the oven to 350*

Grease a 9×13 baking pan

In a small skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter, then add the chopped pecans and stir until toasted

Remove from heat

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup butter and sugar. Beat until fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each

Then add the Vanilla extract and the Maple extract

Step 2: 

In another bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder

Slowly add the dry mix into the wet mixture, alternate mixing in the 1 cup Milk

Mix until just combined, then gently fold in the pecans

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan

Step 3: 

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean

As the cake bakes, prepare the frosting

Combine the Confectioners Sugar, Cream Cheese and ⅔ cup butter, vanilla extract and maple extract. Beat until smooth, adding just enough milk to make the consistency you want

When the cake is done, and has cooled enough to handle it, divide the cake in half

Take one half of the cake and crumble it into a large bowl, stir in ¼ of the frosting

Repeat this process with the second half of the cake

Transfer all the cake crumble back into the baking pan and press into an even layer

Top this pressed layer with the remaining frosting

Sprinkle with chopped pecan pieces to garnish

Refrigerate until fully set, about 4 hours or overnight

Cut into small squares and serve chilled


Nutrition Information:


Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 909 | TOTAL FAT: 48g | SATURATED FAT: 24g | TRANS FAT: 0g | UNSATURATED FAT: 21g | CHOLESTEROL: 161mg | SODIUM: 482mg | CARBOHYDRATES: 116g | FIBER: 2g | SUGAR: 89g | PROTEIN: 9g

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I substitute the Maple extract with something else?

Yes, you can substitute Maple extract with additional Vanilla extract or other flavor extracts like almond or butterscotch if you prefer a different flavor profile.

Is it necessary to toast the pecans before adding them to the cake batter?

Toasting the pecans adds a rich, nutty flavor to the bars.

While it’s not strictly necessary, toasting enhances the overall taste.

If you prefer untoasted pecans, you can skip this step.

Can I make these bars without the frosting?

Yes, you can omit the frosting if you prefer a simpler version of pecan bars.

The cake itself is delicious, and you can enjoy it without the frosting.

How long should I refrigerate the bars before serving?

It’s recommended to refrigerate the bars for about 4 hours or overnight to allow the frosting to set and the flavors to meld.

This helps in achieving the best texture and taste.

Can I freeze these pecan bars for later?

Yes, you can freeze pecan bars.

Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thaw them in the refrigerator before serving.

Can I use something other than pecans in this recipe?

While pecans are traditional and provide a distinct flavor, you can substitute them with other nuts like walnuts or almonds if you prefer or have dietary restrictions.

Do I have to use both Maple and Vanilla extract?

No, you can adjust the flavor to your preference.

If you want a stronger maple flavor, you can increase the amount of Maple extract and reduce the Vanilla extract or vice versa.

What if I don’t have a 9×13 baking pan?

If you don’t have a 9×13 pan, you can use a similar-sized baking dish or even a slightly larger one.

Just keep in mind that the baking time may vary slightly depending on the size and material of the pan.

Can I make the frosting less sweet?

Yes, you can adjust the sweetness of the frosting by reducing the amount of confectioners’ sugar.

Start with less sugar, taste, and add more as needed until you reach your desired level of sweetness.

How can I tell when the bars are done baking?

You can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake.

If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached, the bars are ready.

Be cautious not to overbake, as this can make them dry.

Leave A Reply