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Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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.

Front view of Pumpkin Bar with Cream Cheese Frosting with a bite missing.

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.

Top view of served Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting for teatime.
Serving for fall teatime with Spode Indian Tree china.

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
Top view of Pumpkin Bars ingredients on a round wood board.

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: 

Top view of unbaked Pumpkin Bars in a white 13x9-inch pan

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. 

Top view of baked Pumpkin Bars in a white handled casserole pan

Make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla until combined. Then gradually add the powdered sugar until smooth.  

Top view of Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting in a baking pan

Frost the pumpkin bars: Once the pumpkin bars are completely cool, spread the frosting evenly. Cut into squares and serve. 

Pumpkin Bars Questions

How do you store Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting?

Store the pumpkin bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can you Make the Pumpkin Bars Ahead?

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.

Equipment Needed

  • 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

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Side view of Best Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting on a white scalloped plate
Front view of Pumpkin Bar with Cream Cheese Frosting with a bite missing.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 24 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting is a classic fall dessert that's simple to make, soft, utterly delicious, and filled with warm spices. The velvety Cream Cheese Frosting makes these simple bars a standout favorite.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cost a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

To make the bars:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Spread frosting evenly once the bars have cooled.

To make the frosting:

  1. 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.

    Notes

    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

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    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

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