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EASIEST Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are such a classic, easy recipe! From scratch, moist pumpkin bars are the perfect fall treat and simple enough that anyone can make them.

close up shot of a pumpkin bar topped with cream cheese frosting on a white plate

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I have a bit of a confession. I am not a huge pumpkin fan.

I feel like I might be stoned for saying that, given the pumpkin-spice-everything mentality that hits this time of year.

I can handle it though – I don’t like coffee or wine either.

BUT…I’m coming around to pumpkin. It started when I made the Pumpkin Chocolate Marble Bundt Cake. Then I progressed to Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. And now, these bars.

sliced pumpkin bars with thick cream cheese frosting

They are moist and dense – the kind of bar you need to eat with a fork, not handheld – and the cream cheese frosting gives great tangy balance. It is a classic recipe with a cake-like texture that has a sweet but subtle pumpkin flavor that I think anyone will love.

This is my first time enjoying pumpkin without a chocolate component and I think you’ll love them, too!

INGREDIENTS

For the bars, you just need a handful of pantry staples. They are:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Cloves
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Canned Pumpkin
  • Eggs
pumpkin, flour, sugar, eggs, ingredients laid out to make pumpkin bars

For the cream cheese frosting, you’ll need: powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese, milk, and vanilla extract. EASY. You’re going to want to keep this recipe for all sorts of things.

powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese laid out to make frosting

TOOLS FOUND ON AMAZON TO HELP YOU

Mixing Bowls – I love the grippy bottoms so the bowls don’t slide all over.
Hand Mixer – I use my hand mixer way more than my stand mixer, even though I love both.
Jelly Roll Pan – I have a Pampered Chef jelly roll pan that I love but this one works just as well.
Serving Knife – To slice these bars.
Offset Spatula – This makes it easy to frost these bars.

HOW TO MAKE THE PUMPKIN BARS

Did I mention these are easy? They are super easy. Ready? Let’s do this.

STEP ONE: Add all the “bar” ingredients to a bowl – that’s the flour, sugar, baking powder & soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, oil, pumpkin, and eggs – and mix with a hand mixer for two minutes until well combined. Pour into a 15 x 10 jelly roll pan and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350.

overhead shot of process shots with mixing bowl and pumpkin bar batter

STEP TWO: While the bars are cooling, make the cream cheese frosting by mixing the room temperature powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth.

STEP THREE: Once the bars are completely cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the top, slice into bars, and serve!

cream cheese frosting being spread onto pumpkin bars

HOW TO STORE THEM

Store these bars covered in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. They taste just as good cold as they do warm.

HOW MANY DOES IT SERVE

Depending on how large or small you slice these bars, you’ll get a varying amount. I got 48 hours out of my batch, which are small, but the perfect serving size.

sliced pumpkin bars

NEED MORE PUMPKIN RECIPES IN YOUR LIFE? TRY THESE:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts
Pumpkin Scones
Pumpkin Delight

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fork sticking into a pumpkin bar with pumpkin bars text overlaid
close up shot of a pumpkin bar topped with cream cheese frosting on a white plate

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting is such a classic, easy recipe! From scratch, moist pumpkin bars are the perfect fall treat and simple enough that anyone can make them.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 48 bars
Calories 164 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Bars

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 4 eggs

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter softened
  • 6 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 Tb milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions
 

To Make the Pumpkin Bars

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 15 x 10 jelly roll pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • Add all "bar" ingredients to a large bowl. With a hand mixer (or a stand mixer), mix on low speed until moist and then medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until set and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While bars are cooling, make the frosting.

To Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • To a medium mixing bowl, add all "frosting" ingredients and beat on medium until smooth.
  • Once bars are completely cooled, spread frosting evenly over the top.
  • Slice into 48 bars & enjoy!

Notes

Store bars covered in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Recipe from an old Pillsbury cookbook.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 164kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 1gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 87mgPotassium: 52mgFiber: 1gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 1525IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Diane says

    Love anything made with pumpkin. Can I make these in a 9×13 pan?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yes, but add extra bake time because they’ll be thicker 🙂

  2. Cindy Slyh-Curtis says

    5 stars
    I made these last night. My husband who loves desserts, but will only eat one piece of dessert, broke his rule. He commented on how moist the bars are, and didn’t have a very big piece to start with. I noticed the second serving he had was quite large. It’s a win win when the recipes are easy and delicious!

  3. Brenda says

    Could you substitute the canned pumpkin for fresh pumpkin?

  4. Heather says

    Can you sub pumpkin pie spice for the spices? If so how much?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi. Yes, that’ll work. I’d do 1.5 – 2 teaspoons, depending on how “spicy” you like it.

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