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Southern Brown Sugar Pie Squares Recipe

Southern brown sugar pie is an easy pie that truly is as easy as pie! And in the form of pie squares, it’s easier than ever to drum up that rich brown sugar flavor in a hand-held way.

Sugar pie squares stacked up on a white cake plate.

These squares still ooze with the impeccable sweetness like the pie and come with a slightly crispy top that contains the gooey center over the shortbread bottom crust.

They’re absolutely divine, and the perfect potluck treat to bring to church or work or for serving up at family gatherings. 

Perfect For Holiday Parties

The sugar pie squares are perfect for cookie exchange parties, potlucks, or holiday desserts.

The recipe is made with simple ingredients and doesn’t take a large amount of time to make them.

So consider these the next time you’re headed out to a party. The popular dessert will be a hit for sure!

Three sugar pie squares stacked on top of each other. They are on a white plate with a fork next to them.

Ingredients for Southern Brown Sugar Pie Squares

When you’re ready to make these dreamy pie squares, grab two medium-sized mixing bowls, a pastry cutter, an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish, and parchment paper.

If you don’t have a pastry cutter, don’t stress about it since a fork can easily be used instead.  

Shortbread Base

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vanilla extract

Topping and filling

  • Light brown sugar (or dark brown sugar if you want a deeper flavor)
  • Whipping cream
  • Eggs
  • Melted unsalted butter
  • Cornstarch
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

Sugar pie squares sliced and sitting on top of a piece of parchment paper.

How to Make This Easy Brown Sugar Pie Recipe

The sooner you start making this tasty treat, the sooner you’ll get to eat it! It all begins with preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients for sugar pie squares. The ingredients are all in small dishes.

Gather your ingredients.

While the oven warms up, take your parchment paper and line your baking dish. I like having a little extra parchment paper coming out above the top of the dish to serve as handles…it makes taking the pie squares out an absolute breeze!

Dry ingredients in a clear glass mixing bowl.

Next, you’ll add the flour, sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir the dry ingredients together.

Cubed butter in a mixing bowl.

Then, take your chilled butter and use the pastry cutter to cut it into the dry mixture. You’ll keep doing this until it’s all combined and all the butter is about as small as a pea in size.

Ingredients for sugar pie squares in a clear glass mixing bowl.

Drop in the vanilla extra and keep cutting the mixture, combining it well.

Crust in a square pan.

You can then press it down into the bottom of your parchment paper-lined pan. Bake this for 10 minutes, and then take it out of the oven.

Don’t turn off that oven yet because this will go back in there once you add the rest of the ingredients.

Ingredients fo sugar pie squares in a mixing bowl.

You’ll take your other mixing bowl and add the brown sugar, whipping cream, eggs, melted butter, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt, whisking until it’s nice and smooth. 

Uncooked sugar pie squares in a square baking dish.

Pour this over your warm crust and bake it in a preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Cooked sugar pie squares in a square baking dish.

The top will be a nice golden brown. The outer edges will be nice and crisp, but the middle should still jiggle. Let this sit and cool completely, and then you will put it in your fridge to chill and set.

This should take about two or three hours.

Sugar pie squares sliced and sitting on top of a piece of parchment paper.

Once it has set, you can pull up on those parchment paper handles and cut it with ease into 16 pie squares. 

Parchment paper is the best way to take these out of the pan without mangling them (not that it would stop me from eating them).

Three sugar pie squares on a white plate.

Recipe Tips for Southern Brown Sugar Pie Squares

  • You might be tempted to shove this back into the oven a little longer when you see that center jiggle, but don’t! As long as those edges are crisp, it is ready to come out. Remember, the squares will continue baking in your pan as they cool. 
  • Sugar burns very quickly and easily, and since these pie squares are all about the sugar, putting it back into the oven while the center jiggles will result in a burnt mess.
  • When they’re ready to enjoy, you can feel free to add a delicious scoop of vanilla ice cream or a little dollop of fresh whipped cream (or both!) to top them off when serving. 

More Delicious Desserts and Holiday Sides

  • Copycat Ruth’s Chris sweet potato casserole – so glad this recipe is in my recipe box. It’s one of the best side dishes I have ever eaten, and it’s perfect for the holidays.
  • Classic pumpkin pie – stick to this classic with a flaky pie crust and a creamy pie.
  • The best sweet potato pie – this is a popular dessert in the South and one that has been around for generations.
  • Chocolate pie – It’s hard to eat just one small piece. The recipe is made with simple ingredients, and a slice of this pie will bring back a lot of memories.
  • Buttermilk pie – this is a budget-friendly and delicious pie that has been around for years. The simple pie is made up of simple ingredients and packs a delicious taste.
  • Jiffy corn pudding is a hit on the blog. It’s the perfect addition to any holiday meal. It’s comforting and delicious.
  • Easy peach crisp from Joyous Apron
Sugar pie squares stacked up on top of each other. They are on a white plate.

How to Store Delicious Brown Sugar Pie Squares

Leftovers of this simple dessert should be covered and stored in the fridge, where they will be good for up to four days.

You can stack them, but remember to use parchment paper between each layer, or they will stick together.

Can You Freeze Southern Brown Sugar Pie Squares?

Freezing these Southern brown sugar pie squares is easy, too. It’s much easier to freeze them before cutting, though you can do it if you cut them already.

Freeze the sweet pie squares in an even layer and cover them up with plastic wrap. An airtight container is even better, allowing you to freeze them for up to three months.

You can put them in the fridge the night before for thawing before you are ready to dig into them again!

Sugar pie squares stacked up on top of each other. They are on a cake plate.

Southern Brown Sugar Pie Squares Recipe

Southern brown sugar pie is an old-fashioned recipe that definitely deserves a comeback. It’s a simple recipe, too, and a perfect treat for just about any occasion.

If this is your first time making southern brown sugar pie squares, I know it will become a favorite.

Whether for the holidays or any day, everyone will clamor for more of these indulgently sweet bars. The recipe card below gives you all the details on how to whip these up in no time!

Three sugar pie squares stacked on top of each other. They are on a white plate with a fork next to them.

Southern Brown Sugar Pie Squares Recipe

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes

Southern brown sugar pie squares are a delicious and easy recipe to make. The gooey centers and crunchy top make for the perfect dessert.

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping/ Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Shortbread Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Line an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.  Leave a little parchment above the top of the dish to use as handles when lifting the squares out.
  3. In a medium to large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt.  
  4. Add the chilled butter. Use the pastry cutter (or a fork) and cut the butter into the flour mixture.  Continue doing this until combined, and the butter is no bigger than the size of a pea.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and continue cutting in until combined.
  6. Push the shortbread crust into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  7. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on.
  8. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, whipping cream, eggs, melted butter, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth.
  9. Pour the mixture over the warm crust and bake for 25 minutes. The outside edges will be crispy, while the middle will still be jiggly.
  10. Cool completely before placing in the fridge to chill until set, 2-3 hours.
  11. Once set, remove from the pan and cut into 16 equal squares.

Notes

  1. If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator for four days. 
  2. If you stack them, place parchment paper between them to avoid sticking.
  3. You can freeze the squares, either before or after cutting, but it's easier to freeze before. If you freeze them after you cut them, freeze the squares in an even layer.
  4. Cover completely with plastic wrap or in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge until chilled before enjoying.
  5. It is important to pull this recipe out of the oven while it still has that jiggle in the middle. As the squares are cooling, they will continue baking in the pan. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 212Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g

Nutrition is approximate.

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