These are the BEST pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting! These pumpkin bars are so soft and make the perfect fall treat.
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Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
One of my all-time favorite pumpkin recipes is pumpkin bars! However, they must be super moist and fluffy with rich cream cheese frosting. If you’re looking for an easy homemade recipe from scratch, look no further!
Why This Recipe Works
This dessert is everything I love about fall. The bars are soft, moist, and loaded with pumpkin spice flavor. Perfect for feeding family and friends!
- Serves a crowd. This pumpkin bars recipe is made in a large jelly roll pan and makes about 35 servings once sliced. Great for serving a large crowd!
- The perfect texture. What makes these the best pumpkin bars you’ve ever tried is the super soft, moist, and fluffy texture thanks to the pumpkin puree and oil.
- A creamy finish. The cream cheese frosting is what takes these pumpkin bars to the next level. It’s the perfect finishing touch and adds a creamy, sweet, rich, and tangy flavor.
This recipe for pumpkin bars is made with simple ingredients which are mostly pantry staples that I bet you already have in your kitchen.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Baking staples: All-purpose flour, granulated sugar, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla extract.
- Pumpkin: It’s important to use 100% pure pumpkin puree with no extra sweetener or spices. This is different from the canned pumpkin pie filling which is not the correct type to use.
- Oil: Using vegetable oil instead of butter will give these bars a super moist and tender texture.
- Spices: Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice for a warm, fall flavor. Feel free to add more or less depending on how much spice you like.
- Frosting: The best pumpkin bars are topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting! Made with cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar.
Feel free to mix chopped nuts or chocolate chips into the batter for added crunch and sweetness. For a bolder spice flavor, you can mix in other fall spices like ginger or cloves, as I do in this gingerbread bars recipe.
How to Make Pumpkin Bars
These easy pumpkin bars are simple to make and taste absolutely delicious! It is a mix between pumpkin cake and pumpkin cookies. Create the best fall treat that everyone loves in minutes!
- Mix batter. Start mixing your bar ingredients together at medium speed. Mix the wet ingredients first, then add in the dry ingredients.
- Pour. Spread the batter out evenly into a greased jelly roll baking dish.
- Bake. Bake in the oven at 350°F for about 25 minutes, just until lightly browned. You do not want to burn them. Then allow the pumpkin bars to cool.
- Mix frosting. Cream together the frosting ingredients until the mixture is smooth and creamy with no lumps.
- Spread. Use an offset spatula to spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cooled pumpkin bars. Frosting the bars too soon will have the frosting slide off or melt. Room temperature pumpkin bars are best!
- Slice. Slice into squares and enjoy!
Follow these quick and helpful tips to make the best pumpkin bars! Make them thicker, add more spice, and decorate these pumpkin bars just the way you like them.
- Thicker bars. You can use a smaller 9×13″ prepared pan for thicker bars if preferred. You’ll need to cook them longer, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Sifting. I find that sifting the flour and spices together makes these bars extra fluffy.
- Don’t overmix. It is best not to over-mix the batter. This helps the pumpkin bars to stay nice and fluffy.
- More spice. Sometimes I sprinkle extra cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice on top for even more flavor.
- Chill before serving. I like to refrigerate the dessert before serving so that the frosting has time to set.
- Decorate. My kids love to decorate them with candy corn and pumpkins on top. You can always sprinkle a little cinnamon or nutmeg on top as well. Seriously so delicious!
There are so many ways to jazz these up for any fall occasion. For something simple, I might sprinkle pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon over the top. I also love to top each bar with a candy pumpkin, candy corn, or fall sprinkles to make them feel really special.
No need to worry, you can make it at home with just 4 spices I am sure you have on hand. This is my favorite pumpkin pie spice recipe to use.
They are OK to stay out on the counter for about 24 hours, but I personally prefer to refrigerate the leftovers. They’ll stay fresh longer and actually taste great cold.
For one bar it is said to have 275 calories, 15 grams fat, and 4 grams saturated fat. These nutrition facts can change depending on how much frosting or what type of decoration is added to the pumpkin bars. This is an estimate of what it could be.
Pumpkin is the best option for this pumpkin bar recipe. If you need to switch it for another main ingredient, I would recommend sweet potato, carrot, or squash puree as a substitute. These are all a little stretched but can work!
5 star review
“Honestly the BEST pumpkin bars ever! I loved the cream cheese frosting on top too! I’ve made them with chocolate chips mixed in and that was delicious as well!”-Eva
Storing + Freezing
Storing these easy pumpkin bars in properly will only help keep them lasting even longer! Usually, these dessert bars are gone within the night but it is nice to make these ahead of time and have them stored. Here are a few ways to store and freeze pumpkin bars!
- Refrigerator: Cover the bars with a lid or plastic wrap. They will stay fresh for 3 to 5 days covered in the refrigerator.
- Freezing: If you are planning on freezing them, I would recommend freezing without the cream cheese frosting and then adding that fresh. Let the bars cool completely, then wrap and place in a freezer bag or airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Thawing: Let thaw until no longer frozen, then spread the frosting on top.
More Pumpkin Desserts You’ll Love
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ⅔ cups (340 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil , see notes
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree , I prefer Libby's
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups (275 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice , add an extra 1/2 teaspoon if you like spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 6 ounces cream cheese , softened
- ½ cup salted butter , softened
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Optional toppings: Cinnamon, Pumpkin pie spice, Candy pumpkins
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 15×10" jelly roll pan and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin, and vanilla just until combined.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- Mix the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until just combined. Spread the batter evenly into the pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add a pinch of salt and cinnamon, if desired.
- Spread frosting on top of the pumpkin bars with a spatula. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon or pumpkin spice, if desired.
- Slice into squares. Top with a candy pumpkin, if desired.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!