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Pumpkin Bars

close up overhead shot of pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting
Nothing screams fall like pumpkin and these delicious pumpkin bars are the perfect kick off into the season of pumpkin everything.
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Table of Contents
  1. PUMPKIN BARS INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS PUMPKIN BARS RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Inspired by pumpkin pie, but much easier to make, these moist and decadent pumpkin bars are the perfect dessert for fall. The recipe comes together fast and includes a tangy cream cheese frosting recipe that’s made in just two steps. Celebrate all things pumpkin with these tasty bars.

If you enjoy our best pumpkin bars recipe, you have to try our Pumpkin Roll and Pumpkin Spice Latte. These are two more of our favorite pumpkin recipes for fall.

PUMPKIN BARS INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

For the Pumpkin Bars

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 – 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 – 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla flavoring

PRO TIP

Watch out when you are at the grocery store that you buy pure pumpkin purée and not canned pumpkin pie filling.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

NUTS: If you’d like to add a bit of crunch to your pumpkin bars, you can garnish them with nuts, by sprinkling them over top of the cream cheese frosting. I love to add pecans to mine!

CINNAMON: I like to add a very light dusting of cinnamon to the top of my frosted pumpkin bars. It adds a nice appeal visually and enhances the cinnamon flavor overall.

OIL: If you wish, you can substitute the whole cup of oil with ½ cup unsweetened applesauce and ½ cup vegetable oil.

SPICE: If you are wanting a “spicier” pumpkin pie bar, you can increase the pumpkin spice to 1 tablespoon.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS PUMPKIN BARS RECIPE

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or line it with parchment paper. Set it aside.

PRO TIP

You can overlap the parchment paper on the ends to aid in removing the bars from the baking pan.

STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt. Set flour mixture aside.

STEP THREE: Using either a stand mixer, or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat together the vegetable oil, granulated sugar, canned pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract until the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.

STEP FOUR: With the mixer speed on low, add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each egg.

STEP FIVE: Keeping the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Blend just until all the ingredients are well combined. 

STEP SIX: Evenly pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the pumpkin bars to cool completely.

STEP SEVEN: Using a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and clear vanilla flavoring for about 1 to 1 ½ minutes.

PRO TIP

Make sure your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature so that they blend fully.

STEP EIGHT: Lower the mixer speed to low, slowly alternate the powdered sugar and milk. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until the frosting is smooth.

STEP NINE: Using a silicone spatula, evenly spread the cream cheese frosting over the cooled pumpkin bars, and slice either 5 slices x 5 slices or 5 slices x 6 slices.

HOW TO SERVE

Serve this perfect fall treat on its own with a cup of tea. If you want to make these bars extra indulgent add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. These bars are just oozing with fall flavor and would be delicious for Thanksgiving or other fall events.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: You can store your pumpkin bars in the fridge to help preserve them longer and to keep the frosting from melting. They will keep for about a week if stored in the refrigerator. They could also be stored on the kitchen counter at room temperature, they will last about 3 to 4 days this way. These bars will stay nice and moist, thanks to the pumpkin puree.

IN THE FREEZER: To keep longer, you can freeze these perfect pumpkin bars with the cream cheese frosting already on it. Cut the bars, then place them in an airtight container in the freezer. They will last in the freezer for about 3 months. This makes it easy to take out and thaw as many bars you like, later!

This easy pumpkin bars recipe is full of cozy pumpkin spice flavor and is just the right choice this fall season. With just six steps to make the bars themselves and two steps to make the homemade cream cheese frosting, these bars are simple. This is a dessert that you’ll be coming back to again and again.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze these bars?

This easy recipe is perfect for making ahead of time. Whip up a batch and store it in your freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw fully before serving.

Can I make my own homemade pumpkin puree?

If you would prefer to use homemade pumpkin puree rather than store-bought, you certainly can make this substitution.

Can I add pecans or chocolate chips to this recipe?

Nuts or chocolate chips would be a tasty addition to these moist pumpkin bars.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up overhead shot of pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting

Pumpkin Bars

5 from 2 votes
Nothing screams fall like pumpkin and these delicious pumpkin bars are the perfect kick off into the season of pumpkin everything.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 25

Ingredients
  

Pumpkin Bars

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup butter (8 tablespoons), softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla flavoring

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set it aside.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and salt. Set it aside.
  • Using either a stand mixer, or a medium sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat together the vegetable oil, granulated sugar, canned pumpkin puree and vanilla extract until the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.
  • With the mixer speed on low, add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each egg.
  • Keeping the mixer speed on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Blend just until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Evenly pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 22 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the pumpkin bars to cool completely.
  • Using a medium sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter and clear vanilla flavoring for about 1 – 1 ½ minutes.
  • Lower the mixer speed to low, slowly alternate the powdered sugar and milk. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until the frosting is smooth.
  • Using a silicone spatula, evenly spread the cream cheese frosting over the cooled pumpkin bars, and slice either 5 slices x 5 slices or 5 slices x 6 slices.

Notes

TIP: Watch out when you are at the grocery store that you buy pure pumpkin purée and not canned pumpkin pie filling.
TIP: You can overlap the parchment paper on the ends to aid in removing the bars from the baking pan.
TIP: Make sure your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature so that they blend fully.

Nutrition

Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 2914IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
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