The Best Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting! The pumpkin bars are moist, flavorful, and topped with heavenly cream cheese frosting! These are easy to make and the ultimate fall dessert!
All things pumpkin is one of the best parts of fall! I LOVE pumpkin desserts! My favorites are my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting. Pumpkin has a warm flavor which when paired with spices like cinnamon, makes you feel cozy and happy! Bonus too! Pumpkin is good for you! It’s rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
I’ve spent the past two months recipe-testing these pumpkin bars! After many Google searches, I realized that almost all the pumpkin bar recipes out there are the exact same. I have made that go-to recipe and while it is good I was looking for something less fluffy and airy. Let me tell you, I have found pumpkin bar perfection after MANY tests in my kitchen!
Why These Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are THE BEST:
- Major pumpkin flavor
- Perfect amount of spices
- Moist and tender
- The perfect texture: not too airy but not too dense
- Heavenly cream cheese frosting
The Best Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for potlucks, parties, sharing with neighbors, and just a delicious snack any time of year! You are going to LOVE it!
Ingredients Needed for The Best Pumpkin Bars:
- Brown Sugar- Adds sweetness to the bars with a hint of molasses.
- Granulated Sugar- Gives the bar a nice classic sweetness.
- Melted Butter- Using melted butter gives this recipe moisture and richness.
- Pumpkin Puree- Make sure to use Libby’s pumpkin brand. This recipe doesn’t shy in using plenty of pumpkin puree!
- Eggs: Gives structure and fluffiness to the bars but not too much as it just calls for 2 eggs.
- Vanilla Extract- Adds a delicious aromatic flavor and makes the bars even more delicious!
- Salt- Helps give contrast to the sweetness of the pumpkin bars.
- Baking Soda- Helps it rise. Unlike other recipes, I did not add baking powder so the bars would be less cakey.
- Cinnamon- Elevates the flavor immensely just like the pumpkin pie spice listed below.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice- If you don’t have this you can substitute: 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon each ginger and nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.
- All-Purpose Flour- Gives structure to the bars.
How to Make The Best Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Step 1: Prepare by preheating the oven to 350 F. And grease a 9×13 pan.
- Step 2: Make the Pumpkin Bar batter by mixing together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and melted butter. Then the pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla extract. Lastly, stir in the salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Then the all-purpose flour.
- Step 3: Bake Bars: Evenly spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 22 minutes.
- Step 4: Let the Bars Cool. After about 30 minutes you can put it in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
- Step 5: Make the Cream Cheese Frosting: Mix together the cream cheese and butter, then the salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Frost the bars.
- Step 6: Chill the Bars, Cut, and Enjoy! You are going to LOVE these Pumpkin Bars!
Cream Cheese Frosting:
For the Cream Cheese Frosting, you will need both cream cheese and butter. I love the addition of butter as it makes the cream cheese frosting more creamy and tasty. You will also need a little salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Once all of that is mixed in, add the powdered sugar.
Tip: Use the paddle attachment on a kitchen aid mixer to reduce air bubbles and get a smoother texture of frosting.
How to Store:
Keep in an airtight container (or if still in the pan just cover tightly with plastic wrap) in the fridge for up to 5 days. I LOVE these bars cold so I like to chill them before serving!
You Might Also Like:
- Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
- Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars
- Chocolate Silk Pie
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla exract
- 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and melted butter. Stir in the pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined.
3. Whisk in the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Gently stir in the all-purpose flour and stir until incorporated and smooth.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, and spread it out in an even layer. Bake for 22 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely. (After about 30 minutes you can put the pan in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.)
5. Making the Cream Cheese Frosting: In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
6. Mix in the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt then gradually add powdered sugar and beat for a few minutes. Mix on low for about 30 seconds. Spread evenly over cooled bars. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or longer to help the frosting set and make cutting the bars cleaner.
7. Cut into bars. Serve. Keep stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.
I think these Pumpkin Bars taste best cold so I chill them in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.