The BEST pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting


The BEST pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting -a super soft pumpkin spiced sheet cake topped with a delicious creamy topping.

It’s pumpkin time -one of the best times of year. One of my ALL time favorite pumpkin dessert is pumpkin bars! However, they must be super moist and fluffy with rich cream cheese frosting. Don’t get me wrong… I love everything pumpkin but these bars just seem to beat them all. If you’re looking for homemade pumpkin bars from scratch -look no further!


This post was original posted in 2012, but I had to bring it back for all my new followers. I even updated a few photos for you :) These pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are everything I love about fall. I first got this recipe when I got married and have made them every year since then. They are a fall staple around our house. My kids love to decorate them with candy corn and pumpkins. You can always sprinkle a little cinnamon or nutmeg on top as well.

Pumpkin bars from scratch with cream cheese frosting -a super soft pumpkin spiced sheet cake topped with a delicious creamy topping.

The BEST pumpkin bar recipe

The BEST pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting -a super soft pumpkin spiced sheet cake topped with a delicious creamy topping.

Yield: 35 bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan and set aside.

In a large bowl beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin just until combined. In a medium sized bowl sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, soda, and spices. Add to pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined. Spread in greased 15x10 inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick comes clean. Allow to cool.

For the frosting cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy. Frost on pumpkin bars.

Slice and enjoy!

You can also use a 9x13" pan for a thicker bar. Cook for 30-35 minutes.

How to make pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting

Print the recipe above and then make sure to gather all your ingredients. Preheat the oven, butter your pan and set aside.

Start mixing your ingredients together. I find that sifting the flour and spices together makes these bars extra fluffy. I also find not over-mixing the batter helps them to stay nice and fluffy.

Bake them just until lightly browned. You do not want to burn them. Then allow them to cool and frost with the most delicious cream cheese frosting … and try not to sneak a bite during the process ;)

Come on over and grab yourself a plate and glass of milk!


For more recipes make sure to check out the recipe box.

Looking for more pumpkin recipes? You’ll love these too:

BEST EVER pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting -a super soft pumpkin spiced sheet cake topped with a delicious creamy topping.

more by Jamielyn »

Jamielyn Nye

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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  1. Aimee @ ShugarySweets posted on September 27, 2012 at 4:17 am (#

    Too funny! I just made pumpkin bars and put those cute little candy corn pumpkins on them! Yummers. I love the pic with the little hand, so sweet.

    • Jamielyn posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:46 am (#

      I love those little pumpkins! They are quite addicting though… ;)

  2. karen Weight posted on September 27, 2012 at 8:22 am (#

    Oh, I love a good pumpkin bar recipe! This one looks so yummy. I am going to have to try it!! Thanks for sharing Jamielyn:)

    • Jamielyn posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:45 am (#

      You’ll have to let me know how you like them. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Stephanie posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:02 am (#

    These sound awesome- almost bought a mix to make these at Wal Mart earlier today, and thought, “Bet they would be waaaay better homemade, just need to find a recipe.” Thanks for sharing!

    • Jamielyn posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:45 am (#

      ooo they’re SO much better homemade! Especially the frosting! mmmm :)

  4. Libby posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:22 am (#

    Help! How many eggs?

    • Jamielyn posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:44 am (#

      whoops! 4 eggs :)

      • Libby posted on September 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm (#

        Thank you!!

  5. Miranda posted on September 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm (#

    If I don’t have a sifter what else can I use?

  6. Lori posted on September 28, 2012 at 4:13 am (#

    Great recipe–thank you! Wish you had a “print” option for just the recipe–would be so handy. Other than that, great site. I enjoy your posts.

    • jill posted on September 28, 2012 at 7:16 am (#

      I agree with Lori. A “print” option for just the recipe is needed. I don’t need or want everything else that’s on the page. Your recipes are yummy!

    • Bonnie K posted on October 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm (#

      Just cut and paste to a word document, then print the document. Easy as pumpkin bars!

    • Linda posted on September 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm (#

      Just highlight and cut or copy and paste to Microsoft word!

  7. Bobbi Jo Nichols posted on September 28, 2012 at 8:12 am (#

    Oh my goodness these look amazing! Thanks for the share! Hugs, Bobbi Jo

  8. Melissa @ No. 2 Pencil posted on October 1, 2012 at 11:34 am (#

    These look delicious and the toddler hand sneaking in is beyond cute! Love it!

  9. Kaylee @ Couponing & Cooking posted on October 2, 2012 at 8:07 pm (#

    We make pumpkin bars like this all the time for the holidays but I have never thought of adding the little pumpkin on top. What a fun and cute idea!

  10. Sheryl @ Lady Behind The Curtain posted on October 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm (#

    I LOVE your recipe! Please come over and party with me at Cast Party Wednesday!
    Thanks! ~Sheryl~

  11. Carlee posted on October 18, 2012 at 9:47 pm (#

    I love pumpkin bars, they are my favorite too… I love your pictures, so beautiful! I found you at the CSI project!


  12. Cheryl posted on October 20, 2012 at 4:42 am (#

    Love the recipe, but the picture of the starfish hand taking a taste is priceless.

  13. Megan posted on November 7, 2012 at 12:29 am (#

    Thank you for this recipe! I was told that I had a really great pumpkin bar recipe years ago. In fact, I am fairly sure is one of the main reasons my husband asked me to marry him! Sadly, between the years, the moves and the kids, the recipe disappeared . I’ve been searching and tweaking and experimenting and then I found your wonderful site and you have a recipe that is very close to my old one! Woo-hoo!!! I now have a very happy hubby and I feel as though I found the Holy Grail! ;-) THANK YOU!!! (the kids aren’t complaining either!)

    Eternally grateful,
    Megan :-)

  14. Lisa posted on November 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm (#

    What kind of flour? Plain? All Purpose? Self Rising?

  15. Jamie posted on November 15, 2012 at 11:30 am (#

    Is a 16 oz can of pumpkin the same as using two cups? that might be a dumb question but I buy the huge cans and don’t want to use the wrong amount and ruin these!

  16. Elizabeth Carter posted on September 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm (#

    great recipe, made these last night and they we’re a big hit

    • Linda posted on September 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm (#

      Will have to include raisins!! Will make them asap!

      • Jamielyn posted on September 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm (#

        Yum…raisons sound good! Thanks for the idea Linda!

    • Jamielyn posted on September 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm (#

      Glad you liked them, they are a favorite in my family! :)

  17. BitsyBet posted on September 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm (#

    I usually shy away from recipes that use this much oil, but these look really good. Do you think I can substitute a half a cup of applesauce for half of that oil?

  18. BitsyBet posted on September 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm (#

    I usually pass by recipes with this much oil, but these look so good. Do you think I could substitute a half a cup of applesauce for half of the oil?

    • Jamielyn posted on September 11, 2013 at 11:21 am (#

      Yes, I have actually made them with applesauce and greek yogurt with pretty good results. :D

  19. Farida posted on September 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm (#

    these are delicious and easy to make :) def. on my must try recipes list :

  20. Tresea posted on October 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm (#

    Theses bars are very good . I made these to take to church, but I grabed the crushed red pepper instead of cinnamon an they were a hit . It has a little bit but were awesome..

  21. Chelsea Day posted on October 22, 2013 at 11:00 am (#

    Love it! If you haven’t linked up yet, come share your project on Teach Me Tuesday:

    • Jamielyn posted on October 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm (#

      Thanks Chelsea! I’ll have to check it out! :)

  22. Deb posted on October 30, 2013 at 2:25 pm (#

    Hi Jamielyn! Do we have to use a 15×10 inch pan or can we use an 8×11 (if so, should we lessen the amount of ingredients?)


    • Jamielyn posted on November 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm (#

      You could possibly get away with using a 9×13, but I think if you used an 8×11 the texture would change. If you want to use the 8×11, I would probably half the recipe so you can get the same thickness of the pumpkin bars! Hope that helps, they are so yummy! :)

  23. Joi posted on November 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm (#

    I have 2 fresh pumpkins from Halloween but now I’m trying to find all kind of recipe for fresh pumpkin and i found yours, but I’m wondering how can i substitute fresh pumpkin instead of the can pumpkin?

  24. Joi posted on November 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm (#

    I really want to try using my own homemade puree with your recipe, but I just read a post about making pumpkin puree from scratch, its seems like a bit of work…now I think I’ll just stick with the good ole’ canned stuff. Anyway I’m definitely still gonna try your recipe!! I’m sure it gonna be delicious!! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe :)

    • Jamielyn posted on November 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm (#

      I’ve never tried making my own puree, but I have friends that have and it tends to make recipes a little more wet since there is so much moisture in the pumpkin. This is my all time favorite pumpkin recipe, I hope you enjoy it Joi! :)

  25. Angie posted on November 27, 2013 at 10:05 pm (#

    I rarely leave comments but these are so good that I have to! This is my second thanksgiving making these- on request from my in-laws because they remembered them from last year! I saw the other comment about using a 9×13 pan. That’s what I use because I don’t have the larger size. It works great- just bake an extra 10 minutes or so (about 35 minutes total). Thought that might be helpful to others who may wonder. Thanks for a fabulous recipe! (An added bonus is that they are super easy to whip up!)

  26. Laura Strnad posted on August 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm (#

    I make hard days easier by eating anything chocolate and curling up with a good book.

  27. Adriane posted on September 20, 2014 at 12:01 am (#

    These are AMAZING!!!! I baked them in a 9×13 pan because i wanted them a bit thicker and they came out perfect! Really good if you put them in the fridge for an hour or so, perfect fall desert!  p.s baking time for 9×13 glass pan was 350 degrees for 35 minutes!

    • Jamielyn posted on September 20, 2014 at 11:20 pm (#

      I’m so glad you liked these Adriane! I agree, these are my favorite right out of the fridge! :)

  28. Katie posted on October 8, 2014 at 12:27 am (#

    I  just found these bars on Pinterest and had to try them. They are truly amazing and all four of us loved them. I did sub out 1/2 whole wheat flour and cut the oul and sugar just a little bit. Thank you for sharing!  

    • Jamielyn posted on October 10, 2014 at 12:23 am (#

      I’m so glad you loved them! They are my favorite after chilling in the fridge for a day or two. Thanks for your comment Katie! :)

  29. Sylvia Svihel posted on October 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm (#

    Hi Jamielyn, have you ever made this recipe with coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil? Just wondering about the taste difference and lightness! Thanks :D

    • Jamielyn posted on October 22, 2014 at 12:33 am (#

      Hi Sylvia! I haven’t tried it with this recipe, but if it has worked in other recipes, I’m sure it would turn out great! :)

  30. Stefanie Winborne posted on October 22, 2014 at 10:41 am (#

    Hi!  Do you use pumpkin pie filling or just canned pumpkin puree?  These look SOOO good!  Going to make some for us and some to send to my college boy!

    • Jamielyn posted on November 18, 2014 at 8:30 pm (#

      Just canned pumpkin puree! :)

  31. Kyra posted on October 26, 2014 at 11:00 pm (#

    I made the pumpkin bars. But it ended up more like a cake not bars. Did I do something wrong

    • Jamielyn posted on October 29, 2014 at 1:20 am (#

      Hmmm! These are supposed to be moist and fluffy, not cakey. I am thinking that you may have cooked them too long! I’m sorry that they turned out like cake bars!

  32. Karen McGuire posted on November 1, 2014 at 11:08 pm (#

    Very moist, not overly sweet – Yummy!

    • Jamielyn posted on November 6, 2014 at 12:23 am (#

      I’m glad you liked these Karen! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  33. Rebekah posted on May 19, 2015 at 9:32 pm (#

    Loved these. :)

    My only comment – for the 15×10″ pan, I had to double the frosting. :)

  34. John posted on September 22, 2015 at 11:59 am (#

    The Recipe suggested here are awesome. It will be going be to prepare here at my home. Fantastic

  35. Bonnie Kirk posted on October 8, 2015 at 10:55 pm (#

    I loved these and made them a second time with one less egg and they were more like a moist bar and not so much like a cake. We liked them much better. I also added and extra ounce of cream cheese to the frosting since we love it.

  36. Mirtha posted on October 29, 2015 at 12:55 pm (#

    So easy and so delicious! made these last year, my then 10-yr-old son and his friends inhaled them and have been asking for them since. I will surprise them on Saturday. Thanks for sharing.

  37. Stephanie posted on November 21, 2016 at 2:28 pm (#

    Do you think these would work as cupcakes?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on November 21, 2016 at 4:51 pm (#

      These are bit too dense for a cupcake (unless you make mini-cupcakes). I’d recommend this recipe instead. :)

  38. Lori posted on October 13, 2017 at 1:07 pm (#

    I’ve made these several times to rave reviews at my workplace. This week I made them with a gluten-free flour for one co-worker and they turned out great! Everyone thought they were just s good as with traditional flour. That’s the only change I made – substituting the gluten-free (with added xanthan gum) in equal amount. Thank you for a terrific recipe – I’ve shared your site over & over!

    • Jamielyn posted on October 13, 2017 at 5:45 pm (#

      Thank you so much for sharing this Lori! I know several people that will love to hear you can make these gluten free. :)

  39. Donna M posted on October 22, 2017 at 10:54 am (#

    These were great!! So easy to make and tasted like pumpkin roll without all the fuss! Will definitely make them again!!

    • Jamielyn posted on October 23, 2017 at 11:15 pm (#

      I’m so glad you liked them Donna! Thank you for your comment. :)