Pumpkin Bars with a Bacon Fat Shortbread Crust #30DaysOfPumpkin

Day two of  #30DaysOfPumpkin and I am bringing you all a bar much like pumpkin pie but with a crust made of a bacon fat shortbread.

Bacon fat is pretty fabulous. I often save a bit after I fry up our breakfast and use it later on to fry chicken, potatoes, hamburgers, and most importantly eggs. I do love an egg fried in bacon fat. It is pretty much the best tasting egg that ever existed.

A few months ago I saw someone post a recipe for a chocolate tart with a bacon fat crust. I was quite in awe of it. I had never considered using the fat in a sweet dish. But hey why not right? I use bacon in many dessert recipes, why not use it as my fat in  baked goods?

This is another one of those recipes that was unplanned, I was in the mood to bake but didn't have a ton on hand. A can of pumpkin, some left over bacon grease from breakfast and walla 30 minutes later these came out of my oven.

The crust is a traditional shortbread, with one exception. I swapped out half of my butter in the recipe for bacon fat. At first I was thinking the the bacon flavor would not shine through, But just that 1/3 cup made a world of a difference. The shortbread still had that buttery melt in your mouth texture but with the savory flavor from the bacon.

To top the shortbread  off I made a simple sweet pumpkin topping made up of canned pumpkin puree, eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar and a hint of cardamom.

This the perfect recipe for those moments you are craving a pumpkin pie but do not necessarily need a whole 9 inch pie to yourself. These bars are perfect for transporting so they also make great pot luck treats.

Pumpkin Bars with a Bacon Fat Shortbread Crust


For the crust: 
1.5 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup bacon fat

For the filling: 
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tbs flour
2 tbs maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cardamon


Preheat oven to 350.

In the bowl of your electric mixer combine all of your crust ingredients and mix with your paddle attachment on medium speed until the dough is crumbly.   You know it is done when you squeeze it together and it will form a ball but it still appears dry at first glance.

Press crust into the bottom of a lightly greased 8x8 baking dish.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile whisk together your filling ingredients. After the crust has baked for 10 minutes, remove from oven and pour filling over the top.

Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the filling as set. It should no longer jiggle when you shake the pan.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 


  1. Being the bacon lover that I am, I always have a jar of bacon fat in my fridge. I can't believe that I never thought to use it in a sweet crust. You're a genius, Carrie!

    1. Try it out. I'm really kind of obsessed with it now. Apple pie with a bacon fat crust!! Best thing ever.

  2. Freakin' brilliant, girlfriend. I knew there was a reason we got along so well!

  3. so genius. I bet these have the most amazing taste!

    1. Thank you Jamie! The savory flavor from the fat really makes them taste great!

  4. These look so good I can taste them!

  5. Bacon fat?!? I want to marry these bars. I have a vat of bacon fat next to my cooktop that I use all the time. Making these ASAP!

    1. Bacon fat is the best. I am dreaming up so many new ways to use it now!

  6. bacon...Oh my YES! what an amazing bar

  7. Love the use of bacon fat! So genius! I can only imagine how insanely wonderful these bars are!

  8. Wow! I love anything pumpkin, but what stands out is the bacon fat shortbread crust--sounds amazing! Bookmarking this recipe!

  9. I'm picking up what you're putting down, Carrie. Un-freaking-believable! I'm in absolute awe of you for thinking of swapping the butter with bacon fat. Brilliant! Looks like I'm going to have to cook an entire package of bacon in order to accumulate enough fat to make this. It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it.

  10. Uh bacon fat?! I never would've thought of doing something as crazy yet genius as this!

  11. Oh man, I bet this tastes incredible :) what a genius idea!

  12. I assume you are cutting in the fats, as one would do in a biscuit, since it doesn't say to melt the fat.

  13. Pumpkin and bacon, oh wow! Such a different but brilliant idea! Love it!

  14. im making your crust into shortbread cookies with mini chocolate chips! I could never figure out the right bacon fat to butter ratio! THANK YOU

  15. I don't have bacon fat right now. Can I substitute butter?


  16. OMGosh! I'm laughing with the "post"ers who have a "vat of bacon fat" saved for cooking! I grew up with a jar of bacon grease in the frig and now realize it hasn't been forgotten. My favorite, non cooking use is to heal tiny skin slits underneath our toes overnight!