Oh my gosh, these pumpkin bars are good! Add the cream cheese frosting, and then they become dangerously good. This recipe makes a big batch to share. It seems like everyone has had similar bars and remembers enjoying them!
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Did I tell you these pumpkin bars are so moist? I have some other pumpkin recipes on my site that are quick and easy, using cake mixes as helpers. Those recipes are 2 ingredient pumpkin muffins and a super easy pumpkin loaf.
To make these, everything was in my fridge and pantry except an 8 oz bar of cream cheese. I LOVE recipes that are simple and don't have complicated ingredients.
Table of contents
Why I love these bars
- They are moist and flavorful. The pumpkin puree gives the bars their moist texture, and the cinnamon adds a warm, autumnal flavor.
- This recipe is simple and straightforward so that you can whip up this delicious dessert quickly and easily.
- Pumpkin bars are the perfect dessert for fall, especially around Thanksgiving and Halloween.
- The cream cheese frosting is the perfect way to top off these bars and make them extra decadent.
This is a made-from-home scratch recipe with simple ingredients.
For the Bars
15 oz can of 100% pure Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 ⅔ cup Sugar
1 cup Vegetable oil
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
½ tsp salt
You can use a different oil for baking, such as canola oil. Do not use olive oil since it is not normally used for baking and has a strong flavor.
Instead of adding just cinnamon, substitute pumpkin pie spice. I've written a post including my easy pumpkin pie spice mixture recipe.
For the Frosting
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup butter
4 cups Powdered Sugar (Icing Sugar for my Canadian friends)
1 tsp. Vanilla
Instructions - Bars
Preheat over to 350 Fahrenheit
Let butter and cream cheese sit out to warm to room temperature (cut into small pieces, and it will warm up faster). You want to do this so that it mixes better and you don’t have butter or cream cheese lumps.
Mix Pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil first. Then, add the balance of bar ingredients and combine until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
Spread batter onto a greased baking pan. Mine is 13 x 17 inches.
Bake at 350 for approx. 25 minutes. Check with a toothpick to test if done.
Set aside and let the bar base cool.
Instructions - Frosting
Add all cream cheese icing ingredients into a bowl.
Beat until the mixture is smooth.
Smooth frosting on top of the baked batter layer.
Do the math and figure out how many bars you would like. For the 12 x 17 pan, I do 5 x 6, totaling 30 bars.
Stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezes well. The easiest way to freeze is to wrap the entire pan in plastic and then wrap it again with foil. Remove most of the air from wrapping to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for a maximum of 3 months.
Thawing and Serving
Allow to thaw overnight in the fridge. Sit out at room temperature for approximately an hour and serve at room temperature.
No, I do not recommend using pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie filling has added spices and sugar, which can make the bars too sweet.
Yes, you can make these bars without the cream cheese frosting. If you do not want to make the frosting, you can simply dust the bars with powdered sugar. Or, serve with ice cream or whipped topping.
Yes! These are like that classic recipe. Many people no longer know them by that name, but this is the recipe!
Other Pumpkin Recipes
Come back and leave a 5-star rating after you have tried this!
Pumpkin Bars with cream cheese frosting.
- 4 Eggs
- 15 oz Pumpkin canned pure pumpkin not pie filling
- 1 ⅔ cup Sugar
- 1 cup Vegetable oil
- 2 cups Flour
- 2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup butter
- 4 cups Powdered Sugar Icing Sugar for my Canadian friends
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- Preheat over to 350 Fahrenheit
- Let butter and cream cheese sit out to warm to room temperature (cut into small pieces and it will warm up faster) You want to do this so that it mixes better and you don't have butter or cream cheese lumps.
- Combine all Pumpkin Bar ingredients in one bowl. I recommend using a mixer. It's easy to do with your stand mixer but I've done this easily with my hand mixer. Mix until well combined.
- Spread batter on a greased 17 x 11 inch(ish) cake roll pan.
- Bake at 350 for approx. 25 minutes. Check with a toothpick to test if done.
- Set aside and let the bar base cool.
To make Cream Cheese Icing
- Add all cream cheese icing ingredients into a bowl.
- Beat until mixture is smooth.
- Wait for baked pumpkin bars to cool prior to adding frosting.
Nutrition information is an estimate only provided as a courtesy using an ingredient database. Garnish and optional ingredients are not included in the calculations.
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Originally published Sept. 15, 2015.