Pumpkin Bars are full of spice, incredibly moist and topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting. This is one of my favorite pumpkin recipes for potlucks and get togethers.
It’s that time of year. It’s pumpkin season! These pumpkin dessert bars are are soft, moist, and delightful. The name is deceptive though because they definitely fall more into the “cake” category than a bar.
I’ve tried a lot of pumpkin bar recipes over the years and I loved the flavor of this one. I added some pumpkin spice to pump up the pumpkin flavor a bit.
And look at that frosting…it’s definitely just good by the spoonful.
CAKE OR BAR?
Is this fall recipe a cake or a bar? Well I guess that’s up to you and the pan size you decide to use. If you bake it in a 9×13 pan it is thicker like the cake above.If you cook it in a 12×17 inch jelly roll pan it’s a little thinner but still oh so fluffy. I prefer this method a little bit over the cake because I feel like it cooks more even. It’s kind of like a pumpkin sheet cake.
The rich cream cheese frosting is perfection if I do say so myself.
The hardest part is letting the cake cool on a wire rack so you can frost it. Frost it with this tangy cream cheese frosting.
I usually don’t mind chocolate chips in my pumpkin cake bars but I really like these plain
OTHER PUMPKIN DESSERTS
- Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Pumpkin Pancakes
- Melt in Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies
- Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars
- Rich Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Earthquake Cake
- Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Roll
- 4 eggs
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, , softened
- 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- (optional) milk or cream to thin frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease or line your pan with parchment paper. For a thick cake-like bar use a 9x13-inch baking dish. For a thinner bar use a jelly roll pan (12x17 or 15x10).
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the pumpkin mixture is smooth.
- For a 9x13 baking dish: Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick to check for doneness. For a jelly roll pan (my preferred method): Spread batter into a greased jelly roll pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Add a little milk or cream to make it to your desired consistency. Beat until fluffy. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars and cut into squares or cut bars first and frost individually. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
This is my absolute favorite! Do you know if this recipe would convert well to cupcakes?! I’d love to have them in cupcake form!
I think they would but I haven’t tried them
So delicious and simple to make. Definitely keeping this recipe!
Fantastic!!!! Gave some to my neighbor and she keeps asking when I’m going to make it again!!
Haha well when are you? 🙂
Christy, this Pumpkin Bar Cake was so delicious the first time I made it my family devoured it in one day I made it exactly from the recipe you posted. They raved about it so much I had to make another one, but this time I added shredded apples to the batter and crust walnuts on top of the cream cheese butter frosting and drizzle it with some maple syrup. The Pumpkin Bar Cake didn’t last for not even a day this time, it’s such a wonderful delicious recipe, and thank you sooooo much for sharing your very tasteful recipe.
Great adjustments you made!
This pumpkin cake is superb! The spices used make it perfectly seasoned, and the cake turns out moist and yummy.
I use 4 cups of powdered sugar for the frosting; otherwise, I follow the recipe to the letter.
This is a delightful cake to serve in the fall, but I enjoy it year round.
Thanks for a great recipe!
How many cups of pumpkin would I need if I was using homemade pumpkin puree? I like to make my own cause it’s cheaper. Thanks in advance for a response. This is my first time visiting your site and I love it. Thanks again.
Welcome! You would use the same amount of homemade as canned. Hope that helps.
I have homemade pumpkin puree how many cups of pumpkin can I use for this cake
15 ounces of pumpkin puree is just shy of 2 cups so you would substitute that amount.
Crowd pleaser! Very moist, I made it in a bundt cake pan & it turned out great!
GOod to hear!
I’d like to make these bars, but I don’t ever use or buy Vegetable Oil. Can I use Canola Oil instead?
I think so but I’ve never tried it so I can’t be sure.
Hi there, in Australia I cannot find a tin of pumpkin. Can I substitute that with cooked, mash butternut pumpkin? Pls let me know – would love to try this.
I think that would work. The flavor won’t quite be the same but the texture should.
Hi can anyone help I have tried baking pumpkin cake twice now and it’s not coming out moist and risen it rises a little I’m not sure where I’m going wrong I’m not too sure what a cup measurement is I managed to buy pumpkin in Waitrose in UK I really would like to make this properly have you any tips?
Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are not expired. A cup is equal to 240 grams. Hope that helps.
What about using a cup of coconut oil instead of veg oil? Sounds good, but not too good of a cook or baker to know…… thanks.
You can definitely substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil.
I don’t know if thats a picture that you took or not but I found this recipe with the exact same image… http://www.aworkerathome.com/2013/09/pumpkin-cake-you-know-you-want-some.html
Yep. That picture is one I took. She even watermarked my image with her logo. Thanks for the heads up.
Glad I could help…. Your recipe is my favorite pumpkin bar recipe 🙂
Made this over the weekend and it was a HUGE hit. Can’t wait to try some of the other recipes.
I made this cake last night and not only was it easy, it made the entire house smell like FALL! My husband came home from work, and it had unexpectedly began raining with thunder and lightning… a perfect night to indulge in something like this! From the frosting, to the texture it’s perfect! Even my 2 and 1/2 year old kept saying “nummy nummy!” every bite.
My friend who lives across the street said her husband was sick and I asked if he liked pumpkin desserts, and sent one over. She called to tell me that she’s not a pumpkin lover, but this cake changed her mind! I will be making this for any Fall themed get together!
Just baked this recipe in tiny jars. Darling and delicious! Thank you for sharing such a tasty recipe.
I made this as a cake for Christmas eve the other night. It was delish! I didn’t use the recipe for the icing I made my own but I am sure they are quite similar. I didn’t use pumpkin pie spice, just extra cinnamon. Yummy! Making it again today into cupcakes for a family gathering tomorrow!
Hope it’s not too late…yes, always unsalted butter for frosting. I’ll change it in the recipe…
unsalted butter??? for the frosting???
I just wanted to say that this is such a wonderful recipe. I made the thicker version and loved the pretty color, taste and texture of the bars. I also made them in a mini cupcake form and they were perfect! This is a flawless, quick easy recipe for anyone. Thanks!
Just made these as cupcakes for a dinner party, and I loved them. And, they make a great breakfast =)
Made these today for my family dinner. Ohhh they were so delish. All the family loved them & I’m just happy we have some left over for FHE tomorrow night! Thanks for this one.
These look just great – love the combo of pumpkin and cream cheese!
Just made these and man are they incredible! They are unbelievably moist. Absolutely perfect!!!
Thanks for the recipe! These were delicious. I ended up using 4 tsp of cinnamon instead of 2. They tasted a little too squash-y without the extra cinnamon.
Just personal preference whether you want to frost them before or after cutting the bars. But yes, prettier if you do it after cutting.
So obviously the one in the picture was frosted AFTER cutting. More labor intensive but prettier and you get more frosting per bar! Right?
We just had a baby girl and named her Kira. When naming children, we’ve always used the social security website as a reference for popular baby names. http://ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/
You can rank the top names on your list and see if they are gaining or losing popularity. My husband and I also used it to check the spelling variations. We wanted names that people could pronounce and common spellings but not any name in the top 10. Or top 50.
I didn’t think Kira would be mis-pronounced so much, but it is. We say it K-ear-a and many people look at the spelling and say K-eye-ra.
I love pumpkin bars (who doesn’t?), especially with cream cheese frosting!
this is exactly the recipe my family loves! i make it with home grown pumpkin. Delish!
I forgot to post my girl name suggestions! My girls are Brynn Elise and Britton Reese. I think you should go with one of those. 🙂
Hi there! I recently found your blog and I am LOVING it!!! I made your grilled brushcetta chicken a few nights ago and it was delicious. Also, I am obsessed with pumpkin and will have try this recipe very soon!!
This looks so yummy! And I love the almost bar almost cake category.
p.s. belated congrats to you and the hubbie!
These look great. I just had my fourth child, a girl, and we named her Mary Frances. My other girl names are Manning and Evie (Evelyn).
I really love everything pumpkin and this is no exception!
This sounds perfectly delicious! Yum!
The Paula Deen version is my absolute favorite dessert recipe of all time! It’s one the things I look forward to most about fall. Glad you enjoyed 🙂
These look soooo good. Maybe ya just want to name the baby Punkin? :o)
Yummy. I might just make these and bring them to our trunk or treat this weekend. I love all things pumpkin!
Good luck with the name decision! I love pumpkin bars. This recipe looks delicious!
Cream cheese frosting is my favorite. And I love it with pumpkin too! Yummy cake-bars.
I am pregnant with a girl as well. So far my husband and I are choosing between Makaila, Paige, Kelsey, Kira (Kiera). My sister’s names are Kali and Ambria and my name is Natali. We all love our names.
My daughters name is Kelsi! 💖💖💖
Those look amazing! And the cream cheese frosting sounds like a perfect compliment. I will definitely be trying these out.
I made pumpkin cake/bars a few weeks ago for my friend’s birthday. They were so good! Seeing your photo has me craving them all over again!
Mm, those look super good! I love pumpkin bars, and with some cream cheese frosting I bet those are awesome!
Love the texture here, looks delish.