Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting is a classic fall dessert that’s simple to make, soft, utterly delicious, and filled with warm spices. Like a taste of autumn in every bite. The velvety Cream Cheese Frosting makes these simple bars a standout favorite.
I don’t about you, but it truly couldn’t be fall without pumpkin bars. Around about the end of August, I’m either already baking them or am eagerly anticipating not only the quintessential pumpkin spice flavor, but the aroma that fills every room of my house.
Fall candles, especially “pumpkin spice” candles are wonderful… but they can never stand up to the “real” thing! There is nothing like the warm and cozy autumn vibes created from the aroma of pumpkin bars baking in the oven.
What to Love About Pumpkin Bars
- Simple to make with easy ingredients
- Baked in a 9 x 13-inch pan for easy storing and cutting
- Velvety smooth cream cheese frosting
- Pumpkin spice in every bite
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
Here are the ingredient you’ll need to make these easy pumpkin bars. The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
For the Bars
- Eggs: Large eggs add moisture, richness, and structure.
- Granulated sugar: For the perfect balance of sweetness.
- Pumpkin puree: I use canned pure pumpkin puree, but you can also use homemade puree.
- All-Purpose flour: Provides structure to the cake.
- Baking soda and baking powder: gives the pumpkin bars rise and a fluffy texture.
- Spices and seasonings: Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice bring delicious warmth of flavor to the bars and salt further enhances it. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice on hand, there is a substitution in the “notes” section of the recipe card below.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream cheese: Be sure to use room temperature or softened cream cheese. It is the base for this oh-so-velvety frosting.
- Butter: Lends a rich and creamy texture to the frosting.
- Vanilla extract: Brings a depth of flavor.
- Powdered Sugar: Confectioners’ sugar sweetens and provides a creamy perfect consistency.
How to Make Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
You’ll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here’s a brief overview of how to make these fall pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting:
Bake the cake: Combine the sugar, cooking oil, and pumpkin to beaten eggs until well-combined. Whisk the dry ingredients together and then fold into the pumpkin mixture until combined. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.
Make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla until combined. Then gradually add the powdered sugar until smooth.
Frost the pumpkin bars: Once the pumpkin bars are completely cool, spread the frosting evenly. Cut into squares and serve.
Pumpkin Bars Questions
Store the pumpkin bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Absolutely! You can easily make the bars ahead and freeze for up to 3 months. Wrap the unfrosted bars in a layer of plastic wrap followed by another layer of foil. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then ice with Cream Cheese Frosting when ready to serve.
How are These Pumpkin Bars Different?
I have a few pumpkin bar recipes and a pumpkin bread recipe here at 31Daily. While I love each one of them, and continue to make all of them throughout the autumn season, like Healthy Pumpkin Spice Bars (a bar that conveniently “hides” veggies in the batter I made for a then-toddler son), these are a classic “pumpkin-spice” bar.
- Baking pan: 9 x 13-inch
- Mixing bowl, spatula, and whisk
- Electric hand mixer is very helpful for making the cream cheese frosting and an offset spatula for spreading it.
More Fall Recipes You May Also Enjoy
SAVE THIS AND PIN IT FOR LATER!
Make sure you don’t lose track of this recipe by pinning it for later! If you are not already you can follow me on Pinterest, as well as keep up with me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. If you make this recipe I would also love it if you’d tag me in your photos and leave a star rating below!
- 4 large eggs
- 1 and 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (*see substitution in notes)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cost a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
To make the bars:
- Whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla in a large bowl until fully combined. You can do this by hand or with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda. Then add the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Stir until combined with no dry flour streaks. Try not to overmix the batter.
- Pour the batter into prepared baking dish and spread evenly to the edges. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Spread frosting evenly once the bars have cooled.
To make the frosting:
- In a large bowl, stir together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until combined. Stir in the confectioners' sugar until the frosting is smooth. Add additional powdered sugar until it reaches desired consistency.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
If you don't have this in your spice cabinet, you can substitute:
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 184mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 2g