Pumpkin Bars – Light and fluffy pumpkin bars with all those delicious fall spices. Topped with homemade cream cheese frosting for a delicious pumpkin dessert!
When I was a kid there were a few things that you could expect every time we went to family functions on my mom’s side of the family. My grandma would have Apple Bars around if they were in season, she would make pans and pans of them! There would always be nuts in everything….cookies, brownies, fudge, everything.
And my aunt would always bring her pumpkin bars. There was just something about how she made them. I am not sure if it was the cream cheese frosting, or extra spices she added, but they were always extra tasty!
So today I am sharing the pumpkin bars recipe that I grew up with! It is light, fluffy, and full of all those fall spices that you are looking for. And the cream cheese frosting on top makes it all come together and be amazing! I have seen many pumpkin bar recipes start out with a cake mix, but not here. These are completely from scratch, but still so easy to make.
I can’t believe it has taken me so long to actually make and share this recipe. It wasn’t a get together when I was a kid without them. My husband isn’t a huge pumpkin fan, so I don’t like to have those desserts sitting around the house or I will eat them all. But my son LOVES it, and these bars might take over the top spot on his list, ahead of pumpkin pie now.
How to Make Pumpkin Bars
You do not need a mixer to make the bars, you really just need a couple bowls and spatula to mix everything together. I like to use a large liquid measuring cup to mix together the pumpkin, oil, and eggs. Then you just add that to the dry ingredients. Super simple, pantry staple ingredients, so you can make them any day of the week!
The frosting is best if you use a stand mixer or hand held electric mixer. Just beat cream cheese and butter together until it is light and creamy. Start slow when you add the powdered sugar or it will end up all over the place! If your frosting is thick you can add a tablespoon or two of milk to help thin it out. This will definitely help when frosting the bars!
This pumpkin bars recipe uses a full can of pumpkin, which is great. I hate having half a can in my fridge. But if you have some to use up check out my chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes. It will use up what you may have left in a can. Or even this No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake looks delicious!
These pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are the perfect fall dessert. They are great to bring to a potluck or get together of any kind. It makes a lot, so there will be enough for everyone! But they will disappear quickly, trust me on that!
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 15 oz canned pumpkin
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 Tbls butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbls milk, use if frosting is too thick
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper or grease well. Set aside
- In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
- In a separate bowl mix together oil, eggs, and pumpkin until well blended.
- Add pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Let the bars cool completely before frosting
To make frosting
- Beat butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and sugar, beat until creamy. If frosting is too thick add milk to make it easy to spread.
- Once bars are completely cool, spread with frosting. Cut into squares to serve.
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Amount Per ServingCalories 374 Total Fat 13g Saturated Fat 4g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 8g Cholesterol 38mg Sodium 172mg Carbohydrates 64g Fiber 1g Sugar 55g Protein 3g