Move over traditional pecan pie because this pecan pie cobbler is just as rich and gooey, without the pie crust. It's easy to make and features all the best fall flavors like pecans and a brown sugar caramel center.
I always love a classic dessert reimagined. You can use the same flavors, add something new, or make it in a new way to mix things up. Have you seen these Snickerdoodle apple pie bars or s'mores cookie bars?
Pecan pie is one of the best desserts to make for Thanksgiving. It's wonderfully rich, gooey, and crunchy. But if you aren't in the mood to make a pie crust, then you must make this pecan pie cobbler.
This pecan pie cobbler features flaky sea salt, a bit of bourbon, and lots of pecans. That cobbler crust becomes perfectly golden brown and fluffy on top of the gooey pecan filling. Bonus: you don't need any corn syrup.
It's the best recipe if you want loads of flavor with minimal work. All you need is to take a leap of hot watery faith (keep reading) and a lot of pecans.
3 Layers in this Pecan Pie Cobbler Recipe
- Gooey salted bourbon caramel: a mixture of butter, salt, and a splash of bourbon is all it takes to set the stage.
- Fluffy cake: a covering of cake sits on top of the gooey caramel. It tastes like your favorite white cake mix, which is different than a biscuit cobbler.
- Golden crackly pecan top crust: Layer the cake batter with pecans, and brown sugar. And for the final step, pour hot water on top. The sugar melts and fuses together with the pecans as the water steams away. Leaving you with a crisp, shiny, crackly crust.
This hot water cobbler technique came from James Beard award-winning chef, Renee Erickson, in her book A Boat, A Whale, and A Walrus. She shared this original recipe for hot water peach cobbler and the internet (and cobblers) have never been the same.
How to Make Pecan Pie Cobbler
Here are the step-by-step photos for this easy pecan pie cobbler recipe so you have a clear idea of what to expect. These instructions will make sure it turns out every time. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements and the printable recipe.
Melt the butter: Slice ½ cup butter into pats and place in the bottom of a casserole dish. Put the dish and butter in the oven to melt while it's preheating. When it's done, whisk in the bourbon and salt.
Mix the dry ingredients: whisk the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl.
Finish the batter: Whisk milk and vanilla into the dry ingredients. Drop small spoonfuls of the cake batter on top of the melted butter in the casserole dish.
Make the cobbler topping: sprinkle the batter with pecans and cover them with brown sugar. Carefully pour very hot water evenly over the entire cobbler and do not stir. You aren't going to want to do it, but the hot water evaporates and leaves you with a crusty top that shatters when you plunge into it. It just works and leaves you with little brown sugar and pecan toffee bits in a crackly crust.
Bake: place the baking pan on a large cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. Transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 30-45 minutes.
Top and serve: while it's cooling slightly, whip heavy cream with vanilla beans and sugar. Serve this gooey pecan cobbler recipe with a heaping scoop of vanilla whipped cream and ice cream too, if you want to go there.
- Add chocolate chips to the cake batter mixture.
- Omit the bourbon and add rum or leave it out altogether.
- Add cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the cake batter.
Expert Recipe Tips
- Spoon and level the flour or weight your ingredients for best results.
- Use high-quality, real butter.
- Don't skip the whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Cobbler and pie filling are related but have some differences. While both can involve fruit (or pecans!), cobbler usually has a biscuit or cake-like topping that's dropped on top, creating a cobblestone-like appearance (hence the name). Pie filling, on the other hand, is typically encased in a pastry crust.
Yes, pecan pie should be firm when it comes out of the oven. The filling of pecan pie typically sets as it cools, so when you take it out of the oven, it may still be a bit jiggly but should firm up as it sits.
Pecan pie filling is made of pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, and a touch of salt for a deliciously gooey and flavorful combination.
The texture is best the day you make it, but you can cover it with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven and serve with whipped cream and ice cream.
To freeze, press a piece of plastic wrap to the top of the cobbler and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven at 250 for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
More Favorite Desserts for the Holiday Season
- Pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting
- Pumpkin pie bars with gingersnap crust
- Dairy-free chocolate pie
Pecan Pie Cobbler
Pecan Pie Cobbler
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter sliced into chunks
- 1 ⅓ cup (160g) all-purpose flour gluten-free if needed
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅔ cup (157ml) whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fleur de sel or flaky sea salt
- ¼ cup (59ml) bourbon optional
- 1 cup (213g) light brown sugar packed
- 1 ½ cups (188g) chopped pecans or pecan halves
- 1 ½ cups (355ml) boiling water
- Homemade whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream for serving
Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean seeds removed 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract works
- 9x13-inch (3 quart) casserole dish
- Large-rimmed baking pan
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and set a large-rimmed baking sheet aside.
- While the oven is preheating, place the butter in a 9x13-inch casserole dish and transfer the dish into the oven while it's preheating to melt the butter.
- While it’s melting, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder. Whisk in the milk and vanilla until combined.
- When the butter is melted, carefully remove it from the oven and whisk the salt and optional bourbon into the butter. Drop small Tablespoonfuls of the batter evenly over the melted butter mixture. Do not mix.
- Sprinkle the pecans in an even layer over the batter then cover the pecans evenly with the brown sugar.
- Boil the water in a saucepan over medium-high heat or microwave on high for about 1 minute. Carefully pour the very hot water evenly over the cobbler. Do not stir.
- Carefully place the baking dish on a large rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet and pecan pie cobbler to the preheated oven and bake for 30-35, or until the top is golden brown and looks dry and set.
- Cool on a wire rack for 30-45 minutes before serving.
- While it’s cooling, make the vanilla bean whipped cream. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, 3-4 minutes.
- Serve the pecan pie cobbler warm with whipped cream and optional vanilla ice cream.