Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are a traditional fall dessert that we look forward to every year! This easy recipe for pumpkin bars has been our favorite for many years.
Loaded with the flavor of pumpkin and cinnamon, these pumpkin spice bars are the perfect fall treat. They’re great for potlucks, parties, and your Thanksgiving table!
I just love all things pumpkin! I even love making my own pumpkin puree (find out how to easily cook a pumpkin in the oven here).
Pumpkin Bars Recipe Notes
- This recipe calls for two cups of sugar in the bar/cake part. You can decrease the sugar by up to one cup and these bars still taste delicious! Not as decadent, but still delicious with the frosting!
- For the oil in the recipe, I use melted coconut oil, but you can use any vegetable oil.
- To the basic recipe, you can also add up to 1 cup raisins, if desired.
- For those who love nuts, walnuts could also be added.
Affiliate links included below, which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my disclosure here.
Supplies Needed for This Recipe
Here are some basic supplies you may need for this recipe:
- Mixing bowl, large
- Jelly roll pan, 15.5 x 10.5 x 1 inch
- Mixer (I use my KitchenAid stand mixer)
- Measuring cups
- Glass measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Icing spatula
- Wire cooling rack
How to Make Pumpkin Bars
Pumpkin bars are very easy to make! Here’s how to make them.
First, gather your ingredients. Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a jelly roll pan with oil (I use coconut oil).
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, oil, pumpkin, and sugar until smooth. If you’re using a mixing bowl (and not a stand mixer), a whisk works well to whisk the ingredients together.
Whisk in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
Spread the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan. A rubber spatula works well to help spread the batter evenly.
Put the pan in the preheated oven, and bake for 25-35 minutes or until the bars are light brown. Oven temperatures vary, so I start checking around 25 minutes, but our oven takes closer to 30-35 minutes.
A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean when they’re done.
When done, remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. It usually takes a couple of hours before they’re fully cooled.
If you’re in a hurry to frost the bars, after the first hour at room temperature, you can put the pan in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Then it’s time to make the cream cheese frosting!
To Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
To make the frosting, you’ll need another mixing bowl and an electric mixer.
I just wash out the bowl of my stand mixer to use that again.
Get our your cream cheese (which should have been softened beforehand), softened butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar.
Add the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla to the mixing bowl and beat at low speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar gradually, about a cup at a time, until the mixture is smooth, with a good consistency.
Spread the cream cheese frosting on the cooled bars.
Store the completed pumpkin bars covered in the refrigerator.
If you’re planning to take these bars to an event or potluck, I’ve found it’s best to wait until after you get to the event to frost them.
Take the frosting in a separate airtight container, and cover the bars with plastic wrap to keep them moist.
Then frost them after you arrive. That way you won’t have frosting stuck to the plastic wrap and your pumpkin bars will look beautiful after being freshly frosted!
Cut into serving sizes before serving. We usually cut them fairly large, but if you need more to go around for a crowd, you can cut them into much smaller squares.
More Fall Recipes to Enjoy
- How to Cook a Pumpkin in the Oven the Easy Way
- Einkorn Pumpkin Muffins with Coconut Sugar
- Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes
- Pumpkin Pie Granola
- Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe
- Healthy Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
- Healthy Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Pumpkin Bars Recipe
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup oil I use coconut oil
- 1 15 oz.can pumpkin
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup butter 1 stick, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a jelly roll pan that is 15.5 x 10.5 x 1 inch.
- In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat eggs, oil, pumpkin, and sugar until smooth.
- Whisk in flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves until well mixed. Spread batter evenly in jelly roll pan.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes or until light brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack until completely cooled (usually about 2 hours).
- Make cream cheese frosting. Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a mixing bowl on low speed until smooth. Then add the powdered sugar gradually, about 1 cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and of a spreadable consistency.
- Store bars in refrigerator.