These Pistachio Cream Bars have a shortbread cookie base and the filling is a cross between a pudding and a cheesecake.
Though you can make them any time of year, they are a nice treat for St. Patrick’s Day with the green colour. I don’t need a special occasion to make these yummy bars. It’s always a good time!
Pistachio Cream Bars
It has been a long time since I’ve had pistachios. They are quite the hard little nut to find especially where I live. I had to go to four different grocery stores to find them. The joys of living in a small town! However, pistachio instant pudding mix was readily available at all the little stores. Go figure!
These bars are SOOOOO good! It’s creamy, smooth and sweet. They taste even better the next day. That is, if you have any leftovers. You might just gobble them up in one sitting.
Let them set in the fridge overnight and it will be very easy to cut into squares the next day. Yum! There’s a reason I’ve been making this recipe for years.
How to Make Pistachio Cream Bars
They don’t require much effort to make!
Start by combining the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the butter with a mixer on medium speed until completely blended.
Add the dough mixture to a 13×9 inch pan and press down. This will be your shortbread crust.
Bake the crust for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Let cool.
To make the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Add milk and pistachio pudding mix and continue to mix until fully combined.
Spread the pudding mixture over the baked crust. Sprinkle pistachios on top. Refrigerate for at least one hour or until set.
It makes 24 to 36 bars depending on the portion size. Yum!
Want more bar recipes to try? I have several for you here.
- Mud Hen Bars: A vintage dessert from Grandma’s cookbook! It has a cookie bar base, topped with a rich layer of walnuts, chocolate and melted marshmallows followed by a sweet brown sugar meringue topping.
- Sour Cream Raisin Bars: This easy dessert recipe is a cross between a date square and a butter tart. It has a creamy raisin filling that everyone loves!
- Lemon Bars: This easy lemon dessert will practically melt in your mouth!
- Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars: This cheesecake has a rich butterscotch base, smooth, creamy cheesecake filling and topped with some butterscotch crunch.
How Do You Tell If Shortbread Bars are Done
You will find that your shortbread bars will start to turn golden brown on top, and you can take a toothpick and stick in the bar and if it comes out clean it is done.
Make sure to watch that your edges of the bars don’t get overly brown or that means that you overcooked your shortbread bars.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
These kitchen tools will help you get the job done!
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How to Store Pistachio Cream Bars
You will want to store your pistachio cream bars in the fridge. The reason being is the filling of these bars has to be refrigerated or it will go bad. So make sure to store properly for up to a week.
One note is that if you serve these bars make sure not to leave them out at room temperature for more than two hours at a time. The reason being is after the two hour mark, you will find that bacteria can begin to grow at a much more rapid pace.
Can I Use a Different Type of Nut to Top Pistachio Bars
I love having pistachios on top of these bars, but if you don’t have any, feel free to reach for walnuts or even pecans. It will still give you that nice crunch factor while pairing nicely with the flavors in this dessert.
Can I Use a Gluten Free Crust in this Recipe
If you want to make a gluten free based crust you are more than welcome. If you have a gluten free flour that converts well compared to all purpose flour feel free to experiment to see if it works.
You will find many gluten free flour blends can easily be swapped in replace of regular flour. Others there is some math involved to convert. I can’t guarantee the recipe will work with any flour. But most will work okay in swapping.
When to Serve Pistachio Pie Bars
- Potlucks | This is the perfect dessert to whip up the night before you plan to have a potluck! Bring in a covered dish for the ultimate dessert.
- Holidays | St. Patty’s Day, Easter, and more these bars are a colorful dessert to share with friends and family.
- Weeknight Dessert | Or don’t require a reason and make these bars up for a weeknight dessert. Or reward your family with a treat to break up a long work week.
Pistachios don’t always get the credit they deserve in my eyes. If you want a creamy, dreamy, and crunch worthy easy pistachio dessert, this recipe is a must.
Can You Freeze Pistachio Cream Bars
Because of the pudding base of these pistachio bars, you will find they don’t freeze and thaw well. It is best to only make what you plan to eat and then discard the rest when it expires.
Can I Double this Cream Bar Recipe
If you would like to make a double batch of these cream bars you are more than welcome to. Just use two pans and mix them up accordingly. You can mix up the batter in the same bowl and then just divide it between the two.
Let me know if you try this recipe out and what you thought about it! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
You’ll also like this Shamrock Shake.
Pistachio Cream Bars
Made with a shortbread cookie base and filling that is a cross between a pudding and cheesecake. This vibrantly coloured dessert is a great make-ahead dish for entertaining. The crowd pleasing flavour of pistachio will be a winner!
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 box Pistachio instant pudding mix (4 serving size)
- 3/4 cup milk
- ¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Then beat in the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until completely blended. Add the dough mixture to a 13×9 inch pan and press down to make the crust.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until edges of the crust are golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until blend. Then add in milk and Pistachio pudding mix and continue mixing until fully combined.
- Spread pudding mixture evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the nuts on top. Refrigerate for at least an hour or until set. Makes 24 to 36 bars depending on the portion size.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 136Total Fat: 8.3gSaturated Fat: 4.8gUnsaturated Fat: 2.9gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 71.7mgCarbohydrates: 13.9gFiber: 0.3gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g
Any other suggestion for the crust. Maybe graham cracker crust?? If so how would I go about using the graham cracker crust???
I would just use a regular graham cracker crust recipe like the one found here http://allrecipes.com/recipe/12254/graham-cracker-crust-i/
I made these, they are awesome! Really easy too. Thanks:) they’re delicious! Appreciate your sharing
I made these this weekend. The shortbread crust turned out great. The pudding topping was not as I expected. It was super soft and unformed, like a thin yogurt texture. Not sure what I did wrong. Didn’t look at all like yours, and not very appetizing with the soft texture and color. But they did still taste great.
I would like to make these, however, I’m a bit puzzled. The recipe indicates the pudding & milk are added to and mixed in with the creamcheese/sugar. If that is so, how does it separate? Your photo is showing a cheesecake type bottom with a creamy pudding on top. Please advise? Do all the ingredients get blended together (other than the crust of course) or are they 2 separate and distinct layerings? Thank you.
There are only 2 layers in the picture – the bottom shortbread layer you referred to as the crust, and the top pistachio layer that the milk, cream cheese, etc, are part of.
Is it white sugar and unsalted butter?
Stacie Vaughan says
Yes, it’s white sugar. You can use either unsalted or salted butter. I typically use salted.
Janet C says
These turned out very good. I didn’t have any milk, but I did have some heavy cream/whipping cream. So I whipped it a little before mixing with the rest of the filling ingredients. I think I’ll make these again sometime.
I made these with a graham cracker crust and almond/cashew milk. I also put it in a smaller pan so it was thicker more like a pie. Turned out even better than expected, although I probably would use less powdered sugar next time. Thanks for the recipe!
Kevin Ryan says
I made these with a brownie base. Incredible!
A brownie base soynds like a great variation! I’m going to try both!