These moist and dense pumpkin bars are loaded with pumpkin spice flavor and topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting. It’s like pumpkin pie meets pumpkin cake in one easy and delicious dessert. A slice of pumpkin bar with cream cheese frosting on a white plate.

What are pumpkin bars?

Pumpkin bars are dessert bars made with pumpkin puree. Some are fluffy like a cake and some are dense and chewy like a brownie. Most are topped with some sort of frosting, most commonly cream cheese frosting.

Why this recipe is so great:

  • Easy to make – The bars are made by hand and the frosting is made in one bowl. Each takes only about 10 minutes of prep.
  • Can be made in advance – These bars can be made and completely frosted a day in advance, which is great for the busy holiday season. This recipe also makes enough to serve a crowd.
  • It’s the best of all pumpkin desserts mashed into one! – If you love pumpkin pie, cake, and brownies, then these are the perfect dessert for you. They taste like pumpkin pie with the crumbs of a cake and the texture of a chewy brownie. Oh, and don’t forget the cream cheese frosting. It adds a layer of sweet creaminess that pairs perfectly with the flavor of pumpkin spice.

Pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting and walnuts on a white oval serving plate.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Baking powder & baking soda
  • Vegetable oil or any neutral oil
  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar & brown sugar
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Cream cheese & unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar

How to make pumpkin bars:

how to make pumpkin bars process shots

  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, sugars, and pumpkin puree.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into a 9×13″ baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
  5. Beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Mix in the powdered sugar until smooth.
  6. Spread the cream cheese frosting on the completely cooled cake.

Cream cheese frosting in mixer bowl and on pumpkin cake.

How to store pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting:

Place the bars in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

How to freeze pumpkin bars:

Unfrosted – Place the bars in a freezer ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Prepare the frosting as instructed and top before serving.

Frosted – Place the bars on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for about an hour until frozen solid. Individually wrap each bar in saran wrap, place them in a freezer ziplock bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Unwrap the bars, place the bars in a Tupperware container with a lid, and thaw overnight in the fridge.

Two pumpkin bars on white plates and four on a serving plate.

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    Pumpkin Bars


    • Author: Lily Ernst
    • Prep Time: 20 min
    • Cook Time: 30 min
    • Total Time: 50 minutes
    • Yield: 24

    Description

    These moist and dense pumpkin bars are loaded with pumpkin spice flavor and topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting.


    Ingredients

    Bars:

    • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup (100g) lightly packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
    • 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin puree

    Frosting:

    • 1 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup (114g) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 cups (250g) powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/41/2 cup chopped walnuts for topping (optional)

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, sugars, and pumpkin puree.
    4. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
    5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
    6. Beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Mix in the powdered sugar until smooth and spread on cooled cake. Cut into 24 squares (approximately 2×2″ each).

    Notes

    Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    • Category: dessert
    • Method: bake
    • Cuisine: American

    Keywords: pumpkin bar recipe, cream cheese frosting

    Recipe adapted from Delish.

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