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Published October 25, 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
These deliciously easy-to-make pumpkin bars are topped off with an incredible cream cheese frosting for the perfect fall dessert.
We are big-time dessert fans in this house and always like to finish off our meal with a sweet. If you are looking to expand your dessert recipe repertoire then definitely try my Blueberry Crostata or Pound Cake.
Pumpkin bars are a delicious seasonal dessert consisting of a base layer of “pumpkin” style cake and is commonly topped off with a cream cheese frosting. They are jam-packed with pumpkin flavor and are always a big hit during the fall months. Pumpkin bars are very easy to make and can be served warm or at room temperature.
Is It the Same as Pumpkin Cake?
Pumpkin bars are very similar to pumpkin cake and absolutely share the same flavor profiles. I like to think of pumpkin bars as almost like a sheet cake. It’s thin, a little denser, but still has some cake-like consistencies.
How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Bars
Follow these easy-to-make instructions for preparing an amazing homemade pumpkin bars recipe:
In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients including the pumpkin pie spice blend and set aside.
Next, in a medium-size bowl whisk together the wet ingredients until completely combined.
Vigorously whisk the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients until mixed and smooth.
Generously spread the batter all over a 10×15 cookie sheet tray with parchment paper that has also been sprayed with non-stick spray.
Bake in the oven until it becomes firm in the center, or when it reaches 200° internally.
Remove the cake and cool it completely on a resting rack. You can serve this warm if you’d like. Evenly spread the cream cheese frosting over the top.
Add on any additional toppings, slice, and serve.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this up to 2 days ahead of time.
How to Store: Carefully cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. It would be better if the cake was not frosted before freezing.
chef notes + tips
- I prefer to pull it out of the refrigerator for about an hour before slicing and serving it, so the cream cheese frosting softens up a bit.
- Feel free to add assorted seasonal toppings like candy corns or other Halloween-themed decorations.
- You may also add chocolate chips, currants, raisins, or walnuts into the cake batter for enhanced flavor.
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Amazing Homemade Pumpkin Bars Recipe
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice blend
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 stick melted unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- cream cheese frosting recipe x 1 ½
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spice blend until combined and set aside.
- Whisk together the eggs, oil, pumpkin puree, sugars, butter, and vanilla in a separate large bowl until completely mixed.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl and mix until combined and smooth.
- Pour the batter onto a 10×15 cookie sheet tray that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with non-stick spray and spread out until even.
- Bake in the oven at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until firm in the center and a toothpick comes out clean after sticking in the center.
- Cool the cake completely on a rack, which takes about 45 minutes, you can keep this warm, but the frosting will melt a bit.
- Generously frost the cake with the cream cheese frosting, slice, and serve.
These are divine! I just replaced a recipe that I used for 15 years for this one. The flavor of the pumpkin bars is the best I’ve made or had! I used a different recipe for the frosting, just my personal taste as i like less tang in the cream cheese frosting, but his recipe is the one I find all the chefs use. They’re so good I don’t wait for fall to make them and everyone loves them! Thank you for sharing this outstanding recipe Chef Billy!
Thanks for making them!