These delicious Pumpkin Bars are soft and moist, with just the right amount of pumpkin spice. Top the bars with a generous spread of cream cheese icing to make them downright irresistible! Bonus: they are easy to make and no mixer required!
Looking for more pumpkin recipes? Try these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!
Easy Homemade Pumpkin Bars
If you’re a pumpkin lover like I am, these Pumpkin Bars are going to change your life! With delectable key ingredients like pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, maple syrup and nutmeg, you’re going to love this fall inspired recipe.
I’m always looking for the next greatest pumpkin recipe, but sometimes, it’s comforting to stick with the classics. My mom used to make these dessert bars every year during the Fall, and they always remind me of home. The simplicity of a pumpkin bar during this time of the year is truly the best!
Are These Similar to Pumpkin Cake?
While Pumpkin Bars are certainly closer to cake than any other dessert, they’re a little different than a pumpkin cake! Pumpkin Bars are a bit denser and moister than a typical slice of pumpkin cake.
If you are looking for a more traditional pumpkin cake, I have three other great options for you to check out instead:
What You’ll Need
You will need a handful of easy ingredients to make these amazing bars. Be sure to check out the recipe card below for exact amounts.
For the Pumpkin Bars
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Spices: Cinnamon, Salt, Nutmeg
- Baking Soda
- Vegetable Oil
- Pumpkin Puree: make sure you use pure pumpkin puree — not pumpkin pie mix!
- Maple Syrup
- Vanilla Extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream Cheese
- Unsalted Butter
- Vanilla Extract
- Powdered Sugar
How To Make Pumpkin Bars
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350. Butter or grease a 9×13 baking dish and set it aside.
Step 2: In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg. Set aside.
If you’re trying to kick the fall flavors up a notch, add a little extra sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg!
Step 3: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, pumpkin and maple syrup until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined – you don’t want to over beat the batter!
Step 4: Spread the mixture into a prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely!
Step 5: In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Then, add in vanilla extract and salt, beating to combine. Gradually add three cups of powdered sugar, mixing in between each addition. Beat until light and fluffy!
A tip: Feel free to test and see if you like the consistency of your cream cheese frosting. If you want it thicker, you can add up to one more cup of powdered sugar. If you like it as it is, proceed to the final step!
Step 6: Frost the cooled bars with your icing and slice into squares/bars! Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days.
How To Serve Pumpkin Bars
These Pumpkin Bars are perfect for sharing! If you’re attending a party, a potluck, or looking for a little gift to give a friend, these bars are for you. I’ve never met a person who didn’t love them!
I like my Pumpkin Bars topped with just cream cheese icing, but my kids always ask for the candy pumpkin on top! You can also add some fun sprinkles to make the bars even more festive.
Can These Be Made Ahead?
Yes! These are a great make ahead recipe. You can store these bars in the refrigerator for a couple of days and they will still be delicious!
To keep them fresh, I like to wait to cut the bars until I am ready to serve them. This keeps them as fresh as possible. I also wrap the pan they are in tightly with Saran Wrap to keep them air tight.
Before serving, I like to let my pumpkin bars warm up a little to room temperature.
Tips for Success
- Do not use canned pumpkin pie mix. Pumpkin Pie Mix will have seasonings and sugar already added to it and will alter the taste of your pumpkin bars. You want to make sure you grab pure pumpkin puree! Check the back of the can – the only ingredient listed will be pumpkin.
- Don’t over-mix the cake, stir it long enough to remove the lumps and then bake.
- Ovens bake differently, if your oven cooks hotter or cooler, you may need to adjust your bake time slightly.
- Avoid strong flavored oils like olive oil or coconut oil, vegetable or canola oil will work best in this recipe. Oil keeps the pumpkin bars more moist (and denser!) compared to butter.
Out of all my favorite pumpkin recipes, these Pumpkin Bars have a special place in my heart. They always make me nostalgic, and they always taste so good!
When I think of Fall favorites, this classic recipe for Pumpkin Bars is definitely what comes to mind first. The combination of pumpkin spice and cream cheese is simply irresistible! Once you make a batch of these, they’ll surely be a fall staple in your kitchen too!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, pumpkin, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until well combined. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined, you don’t want to over beat the batter.
- Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
- For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in vanilla extract and salt, beating to combine.
- Gradually add 3 cups of powdered sugar, mixing in between each addition. Beat until light and fluffy. Test to see if you like the consistency of your cream cheese frosting. If you want it thicker, you can add up to 1 more cup of powdered sugar. If you like it as is, proceed to the final step!
- Frost cooled pumpkin bars with frosting and slice into rectangles/bars. Enjoy!
Looking for more pumpkin recipes? Try these reader favorites:
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins
- Best Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Flan
- Best Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- Maple Glazed Pumpkin Donuts
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