Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

My mom’s famous Pumpkin Bars recipe slathered in the best cream cheese frosting. These will be your new favorite and the only fall dessert you need!

As far as Pumpkin Desserts go, there isn’t a bad one to be had.

However, I’m playing favorite with Pumpkin Bars if only because they are the easiest to make.

The recipe is made with 100% pure canned pumpkin, but I tested it for Pumpkin Pie Mix, too – so if that’s all you have, scroll down and you’ll see how to adjust!

My mom's famous Pumpkin Bars recipe slathered in the best cream cheese frosting! These will be your new favorite and the only fall dessert you need!

MY LATEST RECIPES

These Pumpkin Bars are made in a 10-inch by 15-inch jelly roll pan. I love jelly roll pans because the resulting bars are thinner than a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. This means you have a more equal ratio of cake-to-frosting.

The same phenomenon happens with my favorite Frosted Banana Bars. SO GOOD.

My mom's famous Pumpkin Bars recipe slathered in the best cream cheese frosting! These will be your new favorite and the only fall dessert you need!

Can I use Pumpkin Pie Mix?

If you only have Pumpkin Pie Mix on hand (canned pumpkin mixed with spices and some sugar, as opposed to 100% pure canned pumpkin), no problem! I tested and adjusted my standard recipe just for you.

To use Pumpkin Pie Mix:

  1. Increase the baking powder to 3 teaspoons.
  2. Omit the cinnamon and pumpkin spice.
  3. Substitute 16 ounces of  canned Pumpkin Pie Mix.

I know Pumpkin Pie Mix has sugar in it, but I personally felt that the batter benefitted from the full 2 cups of sugar as listed in the original recipe. It tastes closest to the original that way.

When we eliminated the sugar entirely, the bars were flat, unsweetened, and very sad.

My mom's famous Pumpkin Bars recipe slathered in the best cream cheese frosting! These will be your new favorite and the only fall dessert you need!

I found it easiest to cut the entire pan of bars at once so I could accurately place the Mellowcreme pumpkins. Using a ruler (nerd alert) I aimed for roughly 2 1/2-inch by 2 1/2-inch squares. I ended up with 24 squares in a 4×6 configuration.

If you feel like baking for your neighbors, for your child’s preschool, or for your coworkers, make these. Everyone will be so excited to be your friend!

Save this Pumpkin Bars to your “Desserts” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

My mom's famous Pumpkin Bars recipe slathered in the best cream cheese frosting! These will be your new favorite and the only fall dessert you need!
5 from 3 votes
Print

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

My mom's famous Pumpkin Bars recipe slathered in the best cream cheese frosting! These will be your new favorite and the only fall dessert you need!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 346 kcal

Ingredients

For the Bars:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 24 MellowCreme pumpkins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch by 15-inch jelly roll pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, and oil. Mix well. Whisk in eggs.
  4. Fold in the flour mixture until uniformly combined. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely, at least 30 minutes.
  5. Using a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, or using an electric hand mixer with a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Add the powdered sugar in batches until combined. Spread on the cooled cake.
  6. Cut into 24 bars and top each with a MellowCreme pumpkin.

Recipe Notes

To substitute canned Pumpkin Pie Mix:

  1. Increase baking powder to 3 teaspoons
  2. Omit cinnamon and pumpkin spice
  3. Substitute 16 ounces canned Pumpkin Pie Mix

This post contains affiliate links. For more information on my Affiliate and Advertising Policy, please click here.

 

My mom's famous Pumpkin Bars recipe slathered in the best cream cheese frosting! These will be your new favorite and the only fall dessert you need!

More recipes you'll love...

15 comments

  1. Yum! I can already see them disappearing!

  2. Oh my gosh, these look delicious! I was wondering how long I should cook these if I were using mini cupcake tins?

    • Hi Jodi! Thanks! I would check them at 9 minutes. Might take 12-14 minutes, but please check them at 9. And temp stays at 350 degrees. What a great idea!

  3. Looks delicious! I don’t have a jelly roll pan and was going to try to bake in a 9×13 pan instead. How long would you recommend baking with a 9×13? 

    • Hi Paige! Good question! I’d keep the oven temp at 350 degrees but bake it for 30 to 35 minutes. This is a guess, so obviously stab it with a toothpick and check it and bake longer as needed. But I think that should do it! Thanks for checking, I will definitely test this myself soon so I can make sure. Thanks again!

  4. It was kind of easy to make, but very delicious. My family has it gone in less than 5 days. Everyone loved it. 

  5. I will definitely make it again. 

  6. Why does the cook time at the top of recipe differ from the one in the directions?

    • Hi Debra, sorry for the confusion. “Cook time” refers to the amount of time it takes to complete all of the instructions, not just the time the cake spends in the oven. If that makes sense. Versus “prep time” which refers to how much time to get the ingredients to the state they are listed in the list. For example, “1 carrot, grated.” You would count how long it takes to grate a carrot in “prep time.” Once you start actually following the directions, that is what goes in to “cook time.” So really cook time should be called “The amount of time it takes to complete all of the instructions.” And generally that includes cooling time or chilling time, marinading time, whatever. All of it. Does that make sense? Sorry for the confusion. Also, recipes that have absolutely no “cooking” (as in heating or whatever) still have a “cook time.” Which is also a bit confusing. Sorry again!

  7. Hi Megan, It’s Mary from Shawano Wi. “GO PACK GO”
    Another of your fabulous recipes. The BBQ one was one of our favorites and now the pumpkin bars. I always thpugh my recipe was hands down the best, but yours are fabulous! I added a bit more pumpkin cuz it makes even more moist. Thanks for posting such good recipes.
    Hope u can make it back to WI for a visit before the snow flies. It’s coming quick. In April we got 38′ of snow! Wjat a shocker that was.
    Yack Care!

  8. All I have is the Libby’s easy pumpkin pie mix. Could I use that instead of the 100% pumpkin? 

    • Hi Kaela! I think so. I feel like you could use that and just leave out the pumpkin spice and cinnamon… and probably all or most of the sugar. I can test this on Wednesday 8/29 and report back how it turns out. How soon are you going to make the bars? I hope I give you enough time! Thanks for the question!

    • That’s plenty of time, thank you so much! 

    • Hi Kaela, yes you can! Here’s what you need to do. Increase the baking powder to 3 teaspoons (instead of 2), omit the cinnamon and pumpkin spice, and then swap in 16 ounces of your canned pumpkin pie mix (instead of the pure pumpkin). Now, I was only able to locate a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix. If that is your situation, too, you can freeze the other half of the can to make these again later. I also have a Pumpkin Muffin recipe that is going up soon which I think is basically the exact same batter, so I’m going to double-check that this substitution works for the muffins too. So that’s another option to use up the pumpkin pie mix!

      One more thing I wanted to mention. While Pumpkin Pie Mix has sugar in it, there really isn’t much. I made one batch of bars with no sugar in it, and the bars were NOT sweet. They were just flat and sad. I personally think the full 2 cups of sugar from the originally recipe belongs in the Pumpkin Pie Mix version, too. My assistant thought the bars were a little sweet, but to my knowledge they taste identical to the original. But, if you want to cut out 1/4 cup sugar or something, you can probably get away with it. Or even 1/2 cup. But I haven’t tested those variations so I don’t know for sure!! Depends on how risk-averse you are. :D I think it’s perfect with all the sugar.

      If you have any other questions, or you need anything else, just let me know! Thanks Kaela! -Meggan

    • Thank you so much! I’m so excited to make these 💖💖💖💖💖

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

thanks for stopping by!

y’all come back now, ya hear?