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Kentucky Derby Pecan Pie Brownies Recipe

Derby Pecan Pie Brownies recipe is an unforgettable combination of a dark chocolate fudgy brownie and a rich creamy pecan pie. The hit of bourbon makes these rich and delicious boozy pecan brownies the hit of the party.

I first published this recipe in 2016, but it was time for an update. I’ve added detailed information to improve my readers’ experience. No changes were made to the recipe.

A side photo of a Derby Pie Brownie Bar sitting on a piece of parchment paper over a piece of slate. Pecans and chocolate chips sit next to the bar.

When it comes to dessert, I tend to make a few over and over. When I serve Pecan Pie Brownies, I know everyone is going to ask for the recipe. Bourbon brownies are perfect for parties and holidays because they can be made ahead and feed a crowd!

Why you’re going to love this Pecan Pie Brownies Recipe!

  • By baking this Pecan brownie in separate layers, it’s easier to get the layers to adhere, unlike many pecan brownie recipes that lose the pecans as you pick them up or chow into them.
  • Pecan brownies are easy to bake. Since the layers cook at different rates the brownie layer gets a head start assuring they’ll be baked perfectly.
  • Make them ahead of time!
  • They feed a crowd! This is a 9×13 dessert. However, it’s so rich that I get 16 servings from one pan.
  • This is the perfect Kentucky Derby Dessert. Just bring your most outrageous hat and your party-ready.

What’s so special about these Pecan Pie Brownies?

I would love to take credit for this decadent Derby Pie Brownie Bar recipe, but this recipe is actually inspired by the Cookie Exchange edition of our Freaky Friday Blog Hop.

Freaky Friday Blog hop banner

What is the Freaky Friday Blog Hop? Freaky Friday is a blog hop with some of my favorite food blogger buddies!

We secretly are assigned one another’s blogs to make a recipe from, and then we all reveal who we had and what we made on the same Friday, and that is today!

The Freaky Friday blog hop is organized by Michaela from An Affair From the Heart.

Take Two Tapas

I was so excited to get my friend Jennifer’s blog “Take Two Tapas” for our Virtual Cookie Exchange edition of Freaky Friday.

Let me tell you a little bit about Jennifer

I got Take Two Tapas from the amazing Jennifer.

Jennifer and I have been friends for a long time and I can’t even describe how sweet and brilliant this girl is. She’s a southern girl and a great momma and wife.

She started her blog because she enjoyed grazing on several different dishes instead of filling up on a big plate. I’m with her! She enjoys entertaining and is a real magician when it comes to transforming a dish into a delicious lighter version. And you’ve got to check out her cocktails! whoa to the Pineapple Bourbon Lemonade!

I had so many things to pick from including her Star Crunch Truffle Balls that looked delicious and would be amazing on a cookie tray or her Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut Cookies! You’ve just got to visit her site and take a look at her recipes. That’s the first place that I head to when entertaining!

I’ve never been to the Kentucky Derby but never shy away from a reason to entertain so these Kentucky Derby Brownies were a must make for me.

A side photo of a Derby Pie Brownie Bar sitting on a piece of parchment paper over a piece of slate. A cooling rack holds additional bars in the background.

Kentucky Derby Pecan Pie Brownie Recipe

Equipment needed to make Pecan Pie Brownies Recipe

A great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t take any fancy kitchen equipment so you can whip a batch whenever you feel like it.

  • Baking Dish – I’ve got this one and love it. It comes with a lid that makes taking and refrigerating my treats a lot easier.
  • Parchment Paper – This is my favorite parchment paper. It’s important to know that there is an oven temperature rating on parchment paper. If you exceed it your parchment paper can catch fire in your oven. This one is rated up to 450°F, which is high enough for my bread recipes too.
  • Derby Party Plates and Napkins – It’s a Kentucky Derby Dessert right?

Derby Pie Brownie Ingredients

Ingredients needed to make the Brownie layer

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate – You can use chips for bar chocolate. Feel free to mix up your chocolate. You can combine dark chocolate or milk chocolate with semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Butter – I really recommend real butter for this recipe.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar.
  • Eggs – I use Grade A large eggs for consistency in baking. Slightly beating them with a fork or whisk so they’re easier to mix in.
  • Vanilla – I use pure vanilla extract.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour bleached or unbleached

Ingredients for Pecan Pie Layer

  • Brown sugar – I prefer dark but the light is fine
  • Dark corn syrup – You could use light in this recipe
  • Butter – Real butter
  • Eggs – Grade A large is what I prefer
  • Bourbon – I used Crown Royal Vanilla Whiskey but any bourbon will work
  • Semi-sweet chocolate – I used chips for convenience
  • Pecans – Pecans taste best toasted. I explain how to do that below.

How to make Pecan Pie Brownies

Pecan Brownie Filling layer

  1. I make these pecan brownies without a mixer. They’re quick and easy to mix and put together.
  2. Preheat the oven so it’s good and hot when you’re ready to use it and prepare your baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a large glass bowl melt the butter in the microwave. Add chocolate and stir until melted. Cool slightly.
  4. Add the sugar and vanilla, and slowly drizzle in the slightly beaten eggs, whisking continuously until combined.
  5. Mix in the flour and stir until combined.
  6. Spread the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish and bake.
  7. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the pecan pie topping.

Derby Pie Topping layer

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and bourbon together until combined.
  2. Add the toasted pecans and the chocolate chips to the brown sugar layer and mix to combine.
  3. Pour the pecan pie topping layer over the baked pecan brownie layer.
  4. Bake

Please note, that the recipe card has more complete instructions. This is intended as an overview.

A top-down photo of a Derby Pie Brownie Bar sitting on a piece of parchment paper over a piece of slate. A cake stand holds additional bars in the background over a blue napkin. Fresh pecans and chocolate chips surround the bar.

Tips for the perfect Derby Pie Brownies

  • Don’t overmix. These Derby brownies come together quickly and there’s no need to pull out the mixer.
  • Slightly beat your eggs before adding them to the recipe. That makes mixing them into the batter quicker and easier.
  • Kick up this recipe by toasting the pecans before using them.
  • I go overboard when preparing my baking dish. I spray it and then line it with parchment paper and spray it again. You don’t want these brownie pie bars to stick.
  • Derby pie bars are easier to cut if they are allowed to cool completely and then be chilled. Dip a sharp knife in hot water and dry it between cuts.
  • To serve these pecan pie brownies, cut them into bars after they’ve chilled and before you want to serve them.

How to toast pecans

No matter how you toast your pecans, please note that they can go from raw to burnt very quickly because of their oil content. Watch them continuously.

I toast pecans on the stovetop. Just add them to a skillet and over medium heat cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally to turn the nuts. Immediately pour them out onto a cutting board to stop the cooking.

You can also bake them by putting them on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

A side photo of a fork full of a Derby Pie Brownie Bar hovers over the Derby Pie Brownie that sits on a piece of parchment paper over a piece of slate. A cooling rack holds additional bars in the background.

Storing Pecan Pie Brownies

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Since this recipe contains eggs, I don’t recommend leaving them out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. You risk spoiling.

Bourbon brownies also freeze well. If you have them all cut and ready to serve, you can freeze the individual pieces by wrapping them in plastic wrap and slipping them into a freezer-grade reclosable bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.

By freezing them individually you can just slip out as many as you need. Thaw them in the refrigerator or quickly at room temperature. You can heat them gently in the microwave and put on a dollop of ice cream, but I like them chilled.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have to use bourbon?

No, you can substitute with 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.

Can I make these derby pie brownies ahead of time?

Yes, I would bake them up completely and put them in the refrigerator in a covered container. They’re best if served within one day of baking.

Pin it now!

3/4 angle of a pecan pie brownie bar sitting on a piece of parchment paper surrounded by chocolate chips and pecans.

If you enjoyed this recipe here are a few more you may like

Don’t forget to stop back and let me know how your Derby Pie Bars turned out!

3/4 angle of a pecan pie brownie bar sitting on a piece of parchment paper surrounded by chocolate chips and pecans.
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5 from 2 votes

Kentucky Derby Pecan Pie Brownie Recipe

Derby Pecan Pie Brownies recipe is an unforgettable combination of a dark chocolate fudgy brownie and a rich creamy pecan pie.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 16
Author Julie Menghini

Ingredients

Brownie Layer

  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or 4oz of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter – melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs – large, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour

Derby Pie Layer

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter – melted
  • 4 eggs – large, slightly beaten
  • 3 tbsps bourbon I used Crown Royal Vanilla Whiskey
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups pecans – toasted

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line the dish with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.

Brownie layer

  • In a large glass mixing bowl melt the butter in the microwave. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Add the sugar and vanilla, and slowly drizzle in the eggs, whisk continuously until combined.
  • Add flour and stir until combined and no flour is visible.
  • Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the brownie layer from the oven and set aside.

Derby Pecan Pie layer

  • Mix the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, eggs and bourbon together until combined.
  • Add toasted pecans and chocolate chips. Mix together.
  • Pour the pecan layer on the brownie layer.
  • Bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  • Store covered in the refrigerator.

Notes

Recipe originator is Jennifer of https://taketwotapas.com/

Nutrition

Calories: 600kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 193mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 564IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg
This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.
Tried this recipe? That’s awesome!Mention @hostessatheart or tag #hostessatheart!

Recipe Rating




Tristin

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

What an amazing combination. Pecan pie mixed with brownies is my kind of dessert!

Jennifer

Monday 23rd of May 2022

Love Love Love these! More than a Mint Julep!

Julie Menghini

Monday 23rd of May 2022

Thank you, Jennifer!

Michaela Kenkel

Monday 23rd of May 2022

We loved these brownies SO MUCH!! It'll be hard to look at a plain old brownie after these! ;)

Julie Menghini

Monday 23rd of May 2022

They didn't last long here either! Thank you, Michaela!

Orpha B

Wednesday 26th of May 2021

Oh my goodness, these bars are just decadent. They taste like they're hard to make but I was surprised at how easy they actually were.r

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Tuesday 18th of April 2017

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