These to die for Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are every bit as amazing as they sound! They’re made in a sheet pan, so you’ll have plenty to share, no judgment from me if you don’t want to! Sharing is optional!
This post was originally published in 2014. It was update in 2020 to include new images and content. The recipe is the same.
This is my mom’s pumpkin bar recipe that I loved as much when I was little as I do now!
Justin loves pumpkin rolls. I’m not going to lie I like them too. I know how to make them and everything, but it’s time consuming and a lot of work. They’re kind of finicky, and that’s not the kind of recipe I go back to over and over.
That’s why I opt for easy pumpkin bars over a tricky recipe any day. Plus, he loves this cake too! It’s a win win for everyone!
Trust me, I know it’s going to be a win at your house too!
SEE MORE: Be sure to check out my collection of 20+ Canned Pumpkin Recipes!
Pumpkin Bars Ingredients
I know the list that you’ll need to make this recipe is long. Don’t stress though, for the most part, you probably have all these simple baking ingredients on hand.
If you don’t have pumpkin in your pantry, I’d recommend stocking up on it! It’s a really versatile food storage item.
Here’s a run down of what you’ll need.
- Pumpkin Puree – Be sure it’s pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. What’s the difference? Pumpkin pie filling already has pumpkin pie spices in it. You could use fresh pumpkin, but I really prefer canned pumpkin. It’s easy and I think it’s even better.
- Eggs – Use whole eggs
- Granulated sugar
- Oil – vegetable oil or canola oil are great choices
- Flour – all-purpose (I haven’t tried gluten-free flours)
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Spices (Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) or you can use pumpkin pie spice instead
- Cream Cheese – Use full fat. Reduced fat isn’t as sturdy.
- Butter – I always recommend real salted butter, unsalted is fine too
- Vanilla or almond extract – either way, is great. Vanilla will change the color of the frosting and make it a little bit darker.
- Dash of salt – optional
Little Dairy on the Prairie Pro Tip: Pumpkin bars freeze beautifully. Wrap unfrosted bars in plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months. Frost them after you take them out of the freezer.
How to make pumpkin bars
You guys! I feel like I say this on every single recipe I post. It’s true though!
This recipe is so easy to make! It’s literally mixing a few wet ingredients together, adding some dry ingredients, and that’s about all there is to it.
Honestly, the hardest part is frosting because the cake is so soft and tender that it almost peels up when you spread the frosting over it.
Let’s walk through the steps together.
- Mix dry ingredients together; flour, soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Mix wet ingredients; eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla.
3. Add pumpkin puree to wet ingredients. Mix.
4. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Be careful to not overmix.
5. Spread batter in a greased, or parchment lined, baking sheet.
6. Bake cake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
7. To make the frosting mix cream cheese and butter till smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until creamy. Add salt to taste. Add a little milk (one tablespoon at a time) if frosting is too thick.
8. Spread frosting on COOLED cake. Cut into squares.
Little Dairy on the Prairie Pro Tip: Store pumpkin cream cheese bars in the fridge for up to four days.
Pumpkin Bar Toppings
If you’re looking for a little bit more healthy pumpkin bar recipe you could always make them with no frosting. Or you could just dust them with powdered sugar.
I have a soft spot in my heart for cream cheese frosting so I’m probably going to stick with it!
I always feel like these pumpkin squares look a little plain without some kind of garnish. You can definitely get creative here.
Since fast and easy is my style I usually just sprinkle a little nutmeg on the frosting.
You could also add those little candy pumpkins, or even pipe a pumpkin on there if you’re really feeling ambitious.
Although I’ve never tried it these bars would be really amazing drizzled with caramel ice cream topping.
Little Dairy on the Prairie Pro Tip: To make bars thicker bake in a 9 x 13 inch pan and increase the baking time to 30-35 minutes.
Other Easy Pumpkin Bars Recipes
- No-Bake Pumpkin Cookies – quick and easy
- Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes – healthy
- Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins – ultra moist
- Pumpkin Magic Bars – gooey and insanely delicious
- No-Bake Pumpkin Icebox Cake – only a handful of ingredients
- Easy Pumpkin Lasagna – couldn’t be easier
- Crescent Squares with Pumpkin – perfect holiday breakfast
- Pumpkin Blondie Pie – so rich and decadent
Grab my Pumpkin Bars Recipe
Be sure to comment below and leave me a star rating if you try this Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing Recipe!
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Pumpkin Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 4 whole eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup oil vegetable or canola
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter room temperature
- 4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- dash salt
- milk as needed to thin frosting
How to make the pumpkin cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 15x 10 inch sheet pan with nonstick spray.
- Mix dry ingredients together; flour, soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients; eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla.
- Add pumpkin puree to wet ingredients. Mix.
- Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Be careful to not overmix.
- Spread batter in a prepared baking pan.
- Bake cake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Completely cool the cake.
How to make the cream cheese frosting
- Mix room temperature cream cheese and butter till smooth.
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until creamy. Add salt to taste. Add a little milk (one tablespoon at a time) if frosting is too thick.
- Spread frosting on COOLED cake. Cut into squares.