Pumpkin Bars are moist pumpkin spice cake bars topped with rich cream cheese frosting. Easy one-bowl Fall or Thanksgiving dessert recipe that’s ready in about 30 minutes!
It seems like people either love or hate pumpkin spice. I fall into the first category. I love (love, love) pumpkin spice! I look forward to pumpkin spice season, and I can’t wait for all things pumpkin every fall.
One of my favorite pumpkin desserts is also one of the simplest – pumpkin spice cake bars.
Pumpkin spice cake bars are moist pumpkin spice cake bars topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. I top them with toasted nuts for a little crunch and texture.
These bars are also an easy, one-bowl 30 minute recipe that makes an easy weeknight dessert or a simple Thanksgiving dessert.
Tips For Making Pumpkin Bars
- I like to use nonstick baking spray with flour to grease the pan when I make these bars.
- You can use other flavors of oil in this recipe. Melted coconut oil works well and makes for especially fluffy cake.
- Be sure to use canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix in this recipe.
- You can either use store-bought pumpkin pie spice, or you can make your own pumpkin pie spice blend.
- Be sure to let the bars cool completely before frosting.
- You can use regular or 1/3-less fat cream cheese in the frosting, but I don’t recommend using fat-free cream cheese.
How To Store Pumpkin Bars
Store the bars covered in the fridge. These bars are great for those times when you need to make dessert ahead of time because they taste as good, or better, once they’ve had a chance to chill for a little bit.
More Pumpkin Spice Recipes!
If you’ve tried this pumpkin bar recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. I love to hear from people who’ve made my recipes!
Pumpkin Cake Bars
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 1/4 cup butter (softened)
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- 1 cup toasted walnut or pecan pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a large rimmed half-sheet pan, about 18x 13-inches. I like to use a nonstick baking spray with flour.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the oil and sugars together until well blended.
- Beat in the eggs, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Mix in the pumpkin purée and vanilla.
- Stir the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spice into the wet ingredients, then stir in the flour, beating gently to combine.
- Stir in the nuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan.
- To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together.
- Mix in the powdered sugar.
- Stir in enough milk to make a spreadable frosting.
- Frost the bars, and sprinkle with the toasted nuts.
- Store leftovers covered in the fridge.
- Nutrition values are estimates.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour.