Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

The allure of pumpkin spice comes alive in the fall, but the joy of baking with pumpkin is something that can be savored all year round. This Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe is a testament to that timeless appeal. The first time I baked these bars, their moist texture and the harmony of spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves wrapped in a sweet, creamy frosting, enchanted everyone who tasted them. These bars are a perfect balance of the rich flavors of pumpkin and the tangy sweetness of cream cheese, making them an ideal treat for holidays, gatherings, or as a comforting snack on a cozy night in. Their simplicity and deliciousness may just make them a new favorite in your baking repertoire.


For the Pumpkin Bars:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ can pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves

For the Frosting:

  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar (amount as needed for desired consistency)
  • Whole pecans for decorating



  1. Preheat the Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). This ensures that the oven is at the right temperature for baking.
  2. Prepare the Baking Pan: Grease a baking pan lightly with butter or non-stick spray to prevent the bars from sticking.


  1. Mix Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, pumpkin puree, and sugar. Mix these together until they are well blended.
  2. Add Dry Ingredients: Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until the mixture is smooth and uniform.


  1. Bake the Bars: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven and bake for 25 to 27 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness; if it comes out clean, the bars are ready.


  1. Prepare the Frosting: In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.


  1. Finalize the Frosting: Sift the confectioners’ sugar and gradually mix it into the cream cheese mixture until it reaches a fluffy consistency that you like.

To Serve:

  1. Cool and Frost: Allow the pumpkin bars to cool completely before spreading the cream cheese frosting over the top. Use a spatula or knife to create an even layer.
  2. Decorate: Garnish with whole pecans for a decorative touch and added texture.

Preparation Time

  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 25-27 minutes
  • Total Time: Approximately 40-42 minutes

Additional Tips

  1. Serving Size: Cut the bars into squares or rectangles depending on your preference. This recipe typically makes 12 to 16 bars.
  2. Storing: These bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  3. Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the bars without the frosting and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Frost before serving.
  4. Variations: Feel free to add nuts or chocolate chips to the batter for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  5. Pumpkin Puree: Ensure you’re using pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugars and spices.

FAQ Section

Q: Can I use homemade pumpkin puree? A: Yes, homemade pumpkin puree is a great option. Ensure it’s well-drained to remove excess moisture.

Q: Can I make these bars gluten-free? A: Substitute the all-purpose flour with your preferred gluten-free flour blend to make these bars gluten-free.

Q: What can I use instead of oil? A: Applesauce or melted coconut oil can be used as a healthier alternative to vegetable oil.

Q: Can I use a different type of sugar? A: Yes, brown sugar can be substituted for white sugar to add a deeper flavor.

Q: Can the frosting be made without cream cheese? A: While cream cheese is essential for the traditional flavor, a buttercream frosting can be used as an alternative.

These Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting bring together the beloved flavors of pumpkin spice and the creamy tang of cream cheese in a delightful treat. Whether you’re an experienced baker or trying your hand at something new, this recipe is straightforward, forgiving, and sure to yield delicious results. Perfect for any season, these bars offer a taste of autumn’s best flavors in every bite.