Pumpkin Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting are a favorite fall family dessert.
These delicious and easy bars are always a hit. They are perfect for taking to fall get-togethers or Halloween parties, and make an easy Thanksgiving dessert.
This is hands down the BEST pumpkin bar recipe I’ve ever tried.
Not only are they delectable, they are SO easy to make that my nine year old made the batch you see in these photos, with my supervision.
Let me repeat that, my nine year old daughter made these incredible easy pumpkin spice bars with cream cheese frosting.
So I know YOU will have great success making them as well.
What Are Pumpkin Bars?
These delicious bars are an easy dessert that is made with pumpkin puree. They are baked in a baking or jelly roll pan, and are most often topped with decadent cream cheese frosting.
Personally, I prefer pumpkin bars that are not cake like.
Because that would just be pumpkin cake. If I want pumpkin cake, I’ll make pumpkin cake.
It’s as if those three amazing desserts came together to create the perfect pumpkin dessert bars.
What Is In Pumpkin Bars?
The ingredients in this recipe are easy!
Easy Pumpkin Bars Ingredients:
- Pumpkin Puree* (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Pumpkin Pie Spice and Cinnamon
- Baking powder & Baking Soda
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
- Cream Cheese
- Vanilla Extract
- Powdered Sugar
- Cream or Milk
I made this recipe using canned pumpkin puree.
Canned pumpkin is made from pumpkin varieties that are cultivated specifically with baking in mind. It is typically thicker and denser than fresh pumpkin puree.Moisture levels and density can vary a great deal with fresh pumpkin puree.
This specific recipe has been tested and made only with canned pumpkin puree. I cannot speak as to how the recipe works with fresh pumpkin puree – which can have a slightly different moisture level.
Make sure when buying canned pumpkin that you do not buy pumpkin pie filling, which is often sitting right next to canned pumpkin puree.
How Do You Make Pumpkin Bars?
As mentioned, these bars are so easy to make that my nine year old made them with just a bit of supervision from me.
- In a large bowl, pumpkin, sugar, eggs and oil are mixed well with an electric mixer.
- Flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt are added to the wet ingredients and mixed by hand until just combined.
- The batter is placed into a 9×13 inch baking pan, and baked for approximately 35 minutes. After baking, bars are given time to cool.
- Frosting is prepared by combining cream cheese, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, cream (or milk) and salt, and mixing with an electric mixer. Then spread onto cooled bars.
How Long Are Easy Pumpkin Bars Good For?
Curious how long these delicious treats last?
If stored in the refrigerator, they are good for approximately one week.
They are best consumed or frozen in the first few days, as they will dry about a bit over time.
Do Pumpkin Bars Need To Be Refrigerated?
Always erring on the side of caution, I recommend refrigerating anything with cream cheese frosting.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Bars?
Yes, they can be frozen! They actually freeze quite well.
How Do You Freeze Pumpkin Dessert Bars?
- To freeze, first chill them in the refrigerator. This helps the frosting set up that it holds up when wrapped.
- Once frosting has set a bit (you can gently touch it and not get frosting on your finger) they are ready to freeze. Cut into individual bars, and gently, and thoroughly, wrap with plastic wrap.
- Carefully place wrapped bars into a large ziploc style freezer bag. Use care, as prior to being frozen these bars can be smashed or broken into pieces. I recommend placing them side by side in the freezer bag, not stacked or thrown in.
- Place into the freezer for storage. Once bars are frozen, it’s then okay to stack them within the freezer bag to save space.
More Great Pumpkin Desserts:
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Pumpkin Blondies
- Pumpkin Poke Cake
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Butterscotch Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Brownies
- Easy Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
- Pumpkin Lasagna
Easy Pumpkin Bars Recipe
This recipe was adapted from Paul’s Pumpkin Bars recipe on All Recipes. While a good recipe, it really produces more of a pumpkin cake, in my opinion. I tried a few variations, and this one is the winner. Hands down the best pumpkin bar recipe I’ve made!
Easy Pumpkin Bars
Easy Pumpkin Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting
- 9x13" baking pan
- 29 oz Pumpkin Puree 29oz can of pumpkin puree
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp salt if a hint of saltiness is a good thing to you, definitely add 2 tsp
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened brick, not tub style cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp heavy cream milk or half and half can be used
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, eggs and oil with an electric mixer until well combined.
- Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt to the wet ingredients and mix by hand until just combined.
- Pour batter into a 9x13" baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. Bars should be starting to set up, but remember this is more like a brownie than a cake, it should seem a bit undercooked in the center, but not still be wet.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
- Cream together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add one cup of powdered sugar, and salt, and mix until well combined. Then add remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined.
- Add in one tablespoon of cream and mix until well combined. If a slightly thinner texture is desired, add in additional tablespoon of cream and mix until combined.
- Spread frosting over bars. Slice and serve.
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