These absolutely decadent pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting really are perfect; you can make them into more of a cake by adding only one can of pumpkin, OR you can add a large 28 oz can of pumpkin like I did and have the most moist, decadent pumpkin-bursting flavor-filled pumpkin bars you have ever tasted, between a cake and a pumpkin pie! My family raved about these, and as a family that has taste-tested my bestselling dessert cookbook for me over the years, that actually takes something to impress them!
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
These light, fluffy and decadent pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are the ultimate treat to have on standby this fall. Honestly, these bars so delicious I could eat them all day! They don’t last very long in our house, that’s for sure! These pumpkin bars are moist, sweet, and all kinds of neat. They’re also super easy to make!
So whether you want an indulgent treat to go with your lunchtime coffee or another option for dessert, pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are ALWAYS the right choice. We’re talking pumpkin perfection right here.
How To Make Perfect Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- To get started on your pumpkin bars you’ll need to preheat your oven to 350 F
- Grab a stand mixer with a bowl attached and place the eggs, oil, sugars, butter, vanilla, and pumpkin into the bowl. Beat until the mix is light and fluffy. If you don’t have a stand mixer just use an electric mixer instead.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together. Then slowly add the pumpkin mixture until the mix is completely combined. Keep the mixer on low.
- Spread the batter evenly in a pan (9×13 is perfect) and bake for around 30 minutes in the preheated oven. You can check if the bars are ton by inserting a toothpick in the middle; if it comes out clean then they’re ready to go! Keep an eye on the bars and check them around 25 mins in to make sure you don’t over-bake!
- Let the bars cool completely before adding the frosting.
Cream Cheese Icing
- Cream the butter and cream cheese together to make the frosting. Then stir in the vanilla and add the sugar a little at a time, beating until you get a smooth mixture.
- Once the mixture is completely smooth you can spread is evenly over the top of the cooled bars.
- Cut into squares and serve!
Tips And Tricks For Making Perfect Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- If you have any leftovers (I’m not sure this is possible, to be honest!!), you CAN store them for a day or two (without the icing) on the counter once they’re covered with foil. They’ll start to go stale after a day or two on the counter but you can also store them in the fridge or the freezer to last a little longer. These will last in the fridge for up to 5 days max with the icing on top, if you can hold off on eating them for that long!
- If you’re freezing the pumpkin bars (I admire your willpower), remember only to freeze the cake part. If you freeze the frosting it’s going to go off a bit. It’s just as easy to get some new frosting ready when you’ve thawed out the bars to serve.
- Festive toppings can add some fun to your yummy pumpkin bars! I like to add some candy pumpkins or sprinkles for some added pizzazz!
- For an even more decadent serving of these pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, you can add some chocolate chips to the batter before baking…. YUM!
More Pumpkin Recipes to try:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bundt Cake
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The Ultimate Creamy, Decadent Pumpkin Bars
- Prep Time
- 20 minutes
- Cook Time
- 30 minutes
- 9x13 pan
- Karlynn Johnston
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup salted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- one 28 ounces can pumpkin puree
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
- one 8 ounces package cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
- In a bowl attached to a stand mixer, place the eggs, sugars, oil, butter, vanilla and pumpkin. Beat with the paddle attachment ( or with an electric mixer if you don't have a stand mixer) until light and fluffy.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add to the pumpkin mixture slowly, with the mixer on low, and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Spread the batter evenly into a 9x13 pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven. The bars will be done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Don't over bake! Start checking around the 25 minute mark!
- Cool the bars completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Icing
- To make the frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in vanilla. Add confectioners' sugar a little at a time, beating until mixture is smooth. Spread evenly on top of the cooled bars. Cut into squares.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Question: the instructions call for a large 28 oz can of pumpkin. I have what I think is a large can (it’s the largest size the stores usually have around my parts), but it says 796 ml, which is not as much as 28 oz when I do the conversion. Will the 796 ml work okay?
Beverly Seal says
Could you use pumpkin pie mix instead of the puree? If so, how would it change the ingredients then?
Could you put a graham cracker mixture down for crust?
Karlynn Johnston says
These are a very dense cake-like bar, so that’s like baking a cake on top of a graham crust. They slice like cake. It wouldn’t work well!
I family member of mine used to make a version of these bars when I was a child but the yield was massive. Usually one or even two large cookie sheets. I live in a household of three (including myself) with few visitors so this recipe produced a much more reasonable ammount. Everyone loved them! We also tasted a pumpkin pie from a renowned local French bakery on the same day but these bars were the definite winner. I love that this recipe uses twice the ammount of pumpkin that similar recipes call for. They seemed a little undercooked when I took them out of the oven but firmed up just enough as they cooled. A very tender and moist bar that melts in your mouth. They kept well for a few days with no noticeable change in taste or texture. The only change I made was using slightly more pumpkin pie spice. I wonder if this recipe could be scaled down to a 8×8 or 9×9 pan? I might try dividing the batter into two smaller pans and giving one away the next time I make these or else I’m in danger of eating the entire batch myself.
Very good. Love that they are a cross between pie and cake. Next time I make them I’m going to cut the butter in the frosting way back. It’s just my personal preference.
I can’t wait to make this cake.
Also, that frosting looks absolutely divine.