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 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!
Pumpkin Spice Cake Bars
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
- 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.
- 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.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour.