Easy pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are one of those desserts that just need to be made every fall.
Moist and perfectly spiced, then topped with tangy frosting, they are perfect for potlucks, family gatherings, and just about any occasion!
I adapted a favorite pumpkin cake recipe to come up with these pumpkin spice bars. A cross between a quick bread and a cake, they have the best flavor, and are sturdy enough that you don’t need a plate.
And of course you can never go wrong when you top something with luscious homemade cream cheese frosting!
ONE OF THE BEST PUMPKIN RECIPES!
If you need an extremely easy pumpkin dessert, these sheet pan pumpkin bars are perfect. Not only is the batter made all in one pan, it comes together with just a whisk.
Honestly, the hardest part is just waiting for them to cool so you can slather them with the creamy frosting!
Because they are baked in a large sheet cake pan (sometimes called a jelly roll pan), they are great for feeding a crowd. You can get up to 36 servings, but I typically cut them into 24 squares.
PUMPKIN BARS RECIPE VIDEO
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN BARS
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a sheet pan with non stick cooking spray. Whisk together the wet ingredients, then add the dry ingredients. Whisk till smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes.
- Cool pumpkin bars completely, then frost with cream cheese frosting.
- To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter till smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat till creamy.
NOTE: You can use either regular or light cream cheese for the frosting. Full fat cream cheese makes a more firm frosting, the light (neufchatel) makes a creamier, softer frosting.
- Stir in some chopped nuts (we like toasted pecans), or even chocolate chips to the batter.
- I love to add about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the cream cheese frosting. So tasty!
- We love these bars with just cinnamon and cloves, but you can also add nutmeg and/or ginger if you like. Or replace the cloves with pumpkin pie spice.
- For a refreshing treat, serve the pumpkin squares chilled.
CAN I BAKE THESE PUMPKIN BARS IN A 9X13″ PAN?
Absolutely! They will need to bake longer, about 35-40 minutes, depending on your oven. Use a toothpick to determine when they are done. You will also need to increase the cooling time before frosting them.
CAN I MAKE PUMPKIN SQUARES AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes, they are a perfect make ahead dessert. In my opinion, on the second day, the bars are actually more moist and delicious because the frosting makes them even more soft.
If you want, you can even bake the bars, then cover them and freeze them. A few hours before serving, remove them from the freezer to thaw. When they are thawed, spread them with the frosting.
In addition, the cream cheese frosting can be made a few days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Just let it sit at room temperature for an hour or two until it is soft enough to spread.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER PUMPKIN BARS?
I typically just store them tightly covered at room temperature and they are fine for 2-3 days, but if you are worried about the cream cheese, you can definitely store them in the refrigerator.
MORE OF THE BEST PUMPKIN RECIPES:
- Pumpkin Cobbler
- Cinnamon Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Pie with Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Spice Cookies (with pudding mix)
- Sausage Pumpkin Pasta
- Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
PUMPKIN BARS RECIPE
- 1 cup oil
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 15 ounce can)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Mix oil, pumpkin, sugar, and egg in a large bowl; whisk till smooth.
- Add dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in pecans if desired.
- Pour into a well greased sheet cake pan. (Mine is about 12x17".)
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or till toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool completely and spread with cream cheese frosting.
- For frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese till smooth. Add vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar and beat till smooth and creamy. Spread over the cooled pumpkin cake.
- Cut into squares and serve. If desired, sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg, or garnish with candy corn or candy pumpkins.
These bars are more moist and delicious with 2 cups of pumpkin puree, but in a pinch you can use a 15 ounce can, which is about 1 3/4 cups.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 284mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 3g