This easy pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe is wonderful any time of the year. It's just too good to save for fall!
Give me one of these pumpkin bars and a cup of coffee on a chilly afternoon and I'm a happy camper. How about you?
Isn't fall just the best time of year for food? I love all the autumn fruits and vegetables. It's time to make my pumpkin bread, easy homemade apple pie recipe, pumpkin bread pudding, and this easy apple crisp recipe. Easy is my favorite word when it comes to baking!
For dinner, I made this Autumn Harvest Soup yesterday and was is so good. Whip up this easy pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe for dessert and you'll be set!
Why This Recipe Works
With all the parties and events from now until the end of the year, we all need easy dessert recipes, and everyone will love these pumpkin bars.
This is the perfect fall dessert, and my bet is that you have most of the ingredients already in your pantry! The creamy frosting is five simple ingredients, and pairs so well with the soft pumpkin cake.
And did you know a cup of canned pumpkin only has 83 calories and 7.1 grams of fiber? It's true! I'm thinking we could almost call these healthy pumpkin bars!
What Goes into this Recipe
Pure Pumpkin - canned works just fine for these bars.
Ground cloves, ginger, & cinnamon - really elevate the flavor!
Cream Cheese - pairs so well with pumpkin.
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list.
This set of baking dishes has both rectangular and square baking dishes I use for dessert and it's on sale.
This set of utensils has everything you need for a well equipped kitchen and is priced right! I love this dusting wand for when I want to add a dusting of powdered sugar.
How to Make this Recipe
Heat oven to 350º.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, oil, and pumpkin puree with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cloves.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until completely combined.
Grease 9 x 13 baking dish with oil, butter, or baking spray.
Pour pumpkin mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake in the oven for 27 minutes. Every time I have made this it was perfect at 27 minutes, but check a few minutes before as baking times vary oven to oven.
While the cake is cooling, make the decadent cream cheese frosting.
How to Make the Frosting
Combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth.
Once the cake is cool spread it with that rich cream cheese frosting. Start in the center of the cake and work your way out to the edges of the bars.
Sprinkle with chopped walnuts or pecans, and cut into 18 bars.
This easy pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe is the perfect dessert to take to a party as it serves 18 and is super simple to make. It might just be your new favorite recipe!
It's a favorite for Thanksgiving dessert and is easy to transport. Make a second batch for a crowd!
Substitution for Dairy Free
If you are on a dairy free diet, this organic cream cheese frosting is dairy free and would work well.
You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to mix the batter and frosting.
I use my 9 by 13 glass dish constantly, for cakes and casseroles.
If you're just starting out in the kitchen, you will need measuring cups and spoons. These are my favorite cups and spoons all in one set.
Letting the cake cool is so important. If you attempt to frost the cake before it's completely cool, you run the risk of the frosting melting off the top and down the sides of the cake.
I know it smells so good and you can't wait to taste it, but be patient and let the cake cool completely for best results.
You can! Just use a total of 1 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
If you're not serving them the same day, it's okay to leave them unrefrigerated, covered with plastic wrap, and serve the next day. After that, they should go in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Yes. Cut them first and just place them in an airtight container. Take out how many pieces you need and let them thaw, placing the rest back in the freezer.
Looking for more of my favorite pumpkin recipes? Check out these Pumpkin and Apple Spice Cinnabons, classic pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips, and these Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Spice Cookies.
You might also want to take a look at this new recipe for butternut squash pasta sauce with fettuccine for dinner. It's fantastic!
Easy Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Pumpkin Bar Ingredients
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 C sugar
- ½ C oil
- ½ can of pumpkin
- 1 C flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ ground cloves
- 1 package of cream cheese softened
- ½ C unsalted sweet cream butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup chopped walnuts to top off
- Directions for bars:
- Heat oven to 350
- In a large bowl, beat eggs, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, oil, and pumpkin until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cloves.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until completely combined.
- Grease 9 x 13 baking dish with oil, butter, or baking spray.
- Pour batter into the pan.
- Bake in the oven for 27 minutes.
- Directions for Frosting:
- Combine first four ingredients in a large standing mixing bowl until smooth.
- Spread that rich cream cheese frosting over cooled bars, starting in the center of the cake and working your way out to the edges.
- Top with nuts and cut into 18 bars.
This recipe was first published on Food, Fun & Faraway Places on October 18, 2016.
Patricia C. Vacca
What size package of cream cheese? 4 oz? 8oz?
Hi Patricia, I would guess it's a standard 8oz block of cream cheese. Not the tub or whipped. Those won't really work for CC frosting.
What size can of pumpkin do you use?
So sorry, Paula. It's a 15-ounce can.
Hi Kelly, so your recipe needs 7.5oz? I have a 10oz can and I'm wondering if I can use the whole can and if I do, should I compensate for the extra moisture like using less oil?
Hi Buffy- I would just use about 3/4 of the can and the bars will be perfect. Enjoy!
What size baking dish do you use?
My word, Carol, I am SO grateful you asked! I can't believe I left that out! 9 x 13, and I've updated the recipe. Thank you!!