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.
*If you'd like to make your own pumpkin pie spice blend, you can find the recipe here.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour.