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Best Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

A super soft pumpkin spiced sheet cake topped with a delicious creamy topping. These are the absolute BEST pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting! 

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting and a pumpkin on top.
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Favorite Pumpkin Dessert

This dessert is everything I love about fall. The bars are soft, moist and loaded with pumpkin spice flavor. They might be my favorite of all time, although it’s a close race between these and my soft pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

It’s the best time of the year…pumpkin time! 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!

I first got this recipe when I first got married (along with my favorite pumpkin lasagna dessert and easy pumpkin pie bars) and have made them every year since. They are a fall staple around our house even my popular pumpkin pie.

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!

Why This Recipe Works

  • 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.

Recipe Ingredients

This recipe for pumpkin bars is made with simple ingredients which are mostly pantry staples that I bet you already have in your kitchen. Plus a few extra fall ingredients to give them their perfect seasonal flavor!

Pumpkin bar ingredients on marble countertop.

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.

Variations

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.

A sour cream frosting, cinnamon cream cheese frosting or maple cream cheese frosting would also taste delicious on top of the pumpkin bars.

How to Make Pumpkin Bars

These pumpkin bars are simple to make and taste absolutely delicious. Scroll down for the printable recipe.

The process of making mini pumpkin cheesecake in a six step photo collage.
  1. Mix batter. Start mixing your bar ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients first, then add in the dry ingredients. I find that sifting the flour and spices together makes these bars extra fluffy. I also find not over-mixing the batter helps the pumpkin bars to stay nice and fluffy.
  2. Pour. Spread the batter out evenly into a greased jelly roll pan.
  3. 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.
  4. Mix frosting. Cream together the frosting ingredients until the mixture is smooth and creamy with no lumps.
  5. Spread. Use an offset spatula to spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cooled pumpkin bars.
  6. Slice. Slice into squares and enjoy!

Expert Tips

  • Thicker bars. You can use a smaller 9×13″ baking dish for thicker bars if preferred. You’ll need to cook them longer, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  • 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.
Slice of a pumpkin bar with cream cheese frosting.

Recipe FAQs

How do you decorate these pumpkin bars?

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.

What if I can’t find pumpkin pie spice?

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.

Should you refrigerate pumpkin bars?

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.

Storing + Freezing

Cover the bars with a lid or plastic wrap. They’ll stay fresh for 3 to 5 days covered in the refrigerator.

If you are planning on freezing them, I’d 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.

Let thaw until no longer frozen, then spread the frosting on top.

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting and a pumpkins on top.

More Pumpkin Desserts You’ll Love

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Slice of a pumpkin bar with cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Bars

5 from 66 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
A super soft pumpkin spiced sheet cake topped with a delicious creamy topping. These are the absolute BEST pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting! 
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 35

Ingredients 

Bars

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ⅔ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree , I prefer Libby's
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups 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

    Instructions

    Bars

    • 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 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.

    Video


    Notes

    Pan: You can also use a 9×13-inch pan for a thicker cake. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.
    Mix-in’s: Feel free to mix in 1 cup mini chocolate chips (also delicious sprinkled over the top of the frosting at the end), or add chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans into the batter. 
    Frosting: A cinnamon cream cheese frosting or maple cream cheese frosting would also taste delicious. You could also drizzle with a maple glaze if preferred. 
    Storage: Store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. 
     

    Nutrition

    Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 143mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2195IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Diet: Vegetarian

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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