Menu
Desserts / Holidays / Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Bars

Oh, how I love these delicious Pumpkin Bars! And I’m sure you will too – after all, what’s not to love? This dense and spicy pumpkin cake tastes like a blondie and Pumpkin Spice Latte combined. With a swirl of fluffy cream cheese frosting, this recipe will have your tastebuds swooning.

side shot of frosted pumpkin bar on a plate with a fork next to it

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Bars

As Fall gets under way, a pumpkin-y, cinnamon-y treat just feels right, doesn’t it? And these super-easy pumpkin bars totally fit the bill, whether you just want to serve a special after-school snack, or you need a sweet note to end a special evening.

Everything about this recipe is simple, but the result is so incredible! All you’ll need to bake up these moist and dense pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are a few pantry staples and a little bit of time.

overhead shot of cream cheese frosted pumpkin cake sprinkled with chopped pecans

Recipe Ingredients

  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour; gluten-free and other flours can be substituted, but the texture and flavor may vary.
  • Sugar: You can substitute maple syrup, honey, or the correct amount of your preferred sweetener, but the texture and flavor may vary.
  • Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt
  • Cinnamon, Cloves, and Nutmeg
  • Eggs: You will need 4 large eggs, lightly beaten.
  • Canned Pumpkin: Make sure you use canned pumpkin puree, not canned pumpkin pie filling mix. Homemade pumpkin puree may also be used.
  • Vegetable Oil: You will need a cup of oil; I use vegetable oil, but you can substitute your preferred light-tasting oil (olive and avocado oils are not recommended, as they tend to have strong, noticeable flavors). Melted butter can also be substituted, as can applesauce or mashed banana, but the texture and flavor may vary.
  • Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
pumpkin puree in a mixing bowl

How to Make Pumpkin Bars

  1. Combine the Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined.
  2. Add the Wet Ingredients: Using a spoon, stir the eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla into the flour mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Pour into a buttered 15×10 inch baking dish, spreading the batter evenly.
  3. Bake, Cool, and Frost: Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for two hours on a rack before frosting.
  4. Make Frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Then beat in the powdered sugar, a little at a time until you’ve reached desired consistency and sweetness.
  5. Add frosting, cut into bars, and Enjoy!
pumpkin cake in a baking dish

Tips for Success & Serving Suggestions

  • Watch Your Substitutions: Like many blondie/bar type recipes, this one can be tweaked in a number of ways, but don’t try making too many substitutions at once or the recipe may not have the correct taste and texture.
  • Cool It: As delicious as the bar itself is warm, if you want to frost the bars, be sure to cool them thoroughly! The cream cheese frosting is very delicate and may melt if the bars are warmer than room temperature.
  • Chocolate, Anyone? Shaved or melted chocolate goes well with both cream cheese and pumpkin, so consider a delicate chocolate garnish to add some fanciness to this recipe. Chopped pecans are also welcome.
  • What goes with pumpkin bars? I love a good Iced Mocha Coffee or a hot cup of tea with these.
pumpkin bar slice topped with cream cheese frosting a chopped pecans
top shot of pumpkin bar slice topped with cream cheese frosting a chopped pecans

How to Store Homemade Pumpkin Bars

  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, placed and covered in airtight containers, for 4 to 5 days. It is hard to imagine they won’t be gobbled up the same day though!
side shot of frosted pumpkin bar on a plate with a fork next to it
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Pumpkin Bars

A wonderfully easy Fall dessert with a pumpkin spice flavor, blondie-like texture, and whipped cream-cheese frosting.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling Time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy pumpkin bars, healthy pumpkin bars, pumpkin pie bars
Servings: 36 bars
Calories: 197kcal

Ingredients

For the Bars

For the Frosting

  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 to 6 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

To Make Bars:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Lightly butter a 9×13 or 15×10 inch baking dish. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves, and nutmeg; whisk until well combined.
  • Using a spoon, stir in the eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Pour batter into previously prepared baking dish; spread evenly.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack; cool in pan for 2 hours.
  • Spread prepared cream cheese frosting on top. Recipe to follow.
  • Cut into bars and serve.
  • Cover leftovers and keep refrigerated for 5 days.

To Make Frosting:

  • While the pumpkin bars cool, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl; using an electric mixer set on medium, beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add powdered sugar, little by little, and beat until incorporated. Start with 4 cups, and if consistency is too thin, add more sugar until you’ve reached desired consistency and sweetness.

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 1955IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

12 Comments

  • Jen
    October 8, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    5 stars
    I’m going to try these with the chocolate garnish you mentioned. I know my kids are going to love it.

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      October 9, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      I hope you and your kids enjoy them! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Beth
    October 8, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    5 stars
    Yum! These look so delicious and tasty! I can’t wait to make this!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      October 9, 2020 at 1:31 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Sara Welch
    October 8, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    5 stars
    What a great dessert and perfect for fall! Looking forward to enjoying this all season long; especially on Thanksgiving!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      October 9, 2020 at 1:31 pm

      Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Amanda
    October 8, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    Perfect fall treat, I will be making these this weekend!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      October 9, 2020 at 1:30 pm

      I hope you enjoy them! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Toni Dash
    October 9, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    5 stars
    This is so good!! A must-make for fall!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      October 12, 2020 at 1:50 pm

      Thank YOU! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Kevin
    October 13, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    5 stars
    These made my house smell amazing! I will be baking them often!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      October 14, 2020 at 2:02 pm

      That’s great! I am very glad you enjoyed them! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating