Pumpkin Crumble Cookie Bars

These pumpkin crumble cookie bars made with a shortbread cookie base that is topped with a pumpkin jam (cabello de angel) with a shortbread crumble and cinnamon sugar dusting is the perfect seasonal treat for this time of year. It is light, sweet and delicious. You can use pumpkin spice if you like. These cookie bars can be made vegan by replacing the butter with margarine or vegan butter.

It is not autumn without a pumpkin recipe, is it? This one just does not use pumpkin spice as it is a nod to a Spanish delicacy called dulce de cabello de angel and we are all about cinnamon. You could use pumpkin spice if you wanted to. It also uses an angel hair jam made from caramelized fibres of certain pumpkin varieties (here spaghetti squash), that I introduced you to last year. In Spain and many Latin American countries you can probably buy cabello de angel in a can, and I would certainly recommend doing that if you can. If not then you can always make your own (Angel Hair Jam) or fill it with another compote, jam or even custard. It does not have to be a pumpkin crumble cookie bar as you could fill in a variety of ways such as a lemon custard or a raspberry filling. You could also add a caramel or chocolate ganache, although you should blind bake your crust before adding a filling that requires no more cooking. The shortbread crust is tender and delicious, whilst shrinking only minimally if at all when baking making this the perfect cookie crust for any sort of custard pie (blind bake the crust first). I like two things in a recipe, simplicity and versatility. You can be creative with how you would like to fill these.  

Pumpkin Crumble Cookie Bars

Ingredients for 1 sheet pan:

  • 250 gr butter
  • 200 gr sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • zest of a lemon*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 450 gr flour
  • 500 gr pumpkin jam**
  • cinnamon sugar***


  1. With a hand or stand mixer whip the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. The sugar should have dissolved completely. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and mix again.
  2. Add the flour in stages, mixing slowly in between until it has formed bigger lumps of cookie dough. Bring the dough together with your hands, forn it into the shape you want to roll it out to (here a rectangle), wrap it in cling film and chill for one hour in the fridge.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  4. Roll the cookie dough on a piece of baking parchment until it is big enough to cover the entire baking sheet with a border of one centimeter and dock it with a fork. Spread the pumpkin jam in an even layer on top. Crumble any leftover cookie dough into small pieces and add them on top. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Slice into pieces of desired size while still warm, but leave it on the baking sheet until fully cooled. 

*If making a different filling you might want to skip the lemon zest.

**You can use any other jam, compote, custard. Make sure before you slice the bars that the filling has fully set.

***Cinnamon can be replaced with pumpkin spice.

So there you have an easy recipe for pumpkin crumble cookie bars, which you can make a variety of ways. It makes a big batch with a lot less effort than regular cookies. They also freeze really well and can be made vegan. I hope you enjoyed this recipe and have a great day. Stay safe and wear a mask!

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