Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Or pumpkin blondies. Or pumpkin brownies. Truthfully, my intent was for these to be pumpkin blondies without a leavening agent so that they would have more of a dense, brownie texture. However, upon eating one, I really think that the flavor and texture is most similar to a pumpkin pie, minus the crust and with a cinnamon-sugar mixture sprinkled on top. Not too shabby a result, if I do say so myself. They are actually very reminiscent of the consistency and texture of the Blackberry Pie Bars that I made back at the beginning of summer. You could toss that crust under this recipe and be even closer to a true pie bar!

Pumpkin Pie Bars

I started my search for this recipe by looking for pumpkin blondie recipes – I wanted something that had the seem feel and texture of a brownie, and not cakey or something like a cookie bar, so I wanted to eliminate any baking soda or baking powder. My search turned up empty. So I set out on my own creation. I took a few of my favorite brownie recipes and compared the ratios of flour to eggs and chocolate, knowing that the pumpkin would account for some of the eggs and chocolate in terms of liquid in the recipe. And this is what I came up with. It’s definitely not cakey, nor does it have that fudgy texture that most brownies have, but rather they really do taste like pumpkin pie!

And, on a side note, I finally broke down and bought a bag of candy corn. I try to not even have a bag in the house because I can’t stop eating it! I must be doing a good job at eating a pretty clean diet because only a few pieces of candy corn and I was more than ready to be done. Success!

Enjoy the pumpkin bars! :)

Pumpkin Pie Bars

One year ago: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Two years ago: Challah
Three years ago: Brown Sugar Raisin Bread

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Yield: 24 pie bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, melted
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin

For the top:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides.

2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Add the pumpkin and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently stir or fold the flour into the pumpkin mixture until just combined.

4. Scraped the batter into the pan and smooth the top. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon, and then sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center has just a few moist crumbs on it. Cool completely and then, using the parchment as handles, lift out of the pan and cut into 24 squares. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

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86 Responses to “Pumpkin Pie Bars”

  1. Lisa on October 14, 2010 at 12:51 am

    I’ve tried a recipe for pumpkin blondies before, but was unsatisfied with it because it just didn’t have enough pumpkin flavor for me. These, however, sound exactly like what I’m looking for. I’m saving this recipe for sure.

    Reply

  2. C&C Cakery on October 14, 2010 at 12:54 am

    I love this – anything that gets me close to pumpkin pie without all the pasty bother is fine with me! Can’t wait to try and share with friends and family this fall!

    Reply

  3. Maggie on October 14, 2010 at 1:03 am

    These look so yummy, I love anything pumpkin! I definitely prefer pumpkin bars with a pie-like consistency, so these sound great…I made some very cakey ones a couple weeks ago and while they were good, pie-like is better.

    I saw your request for a baking powder/soda free recipe on twitter yesterday, and coincidentally this turned up on Tastespotting today:

    http://www.tastespotting.com/detail/103463/Pumpkin-Chai-Blondies-with-Spiced-Cream-Cheese-Frosting

    I was going to send it to you when I saw it, but based on your tweets I was already too late.

    P.S. I hope it’s not totally rude of me to include that link to a similar recipe in your comments! Just wanted to share it with you in case you were still interested!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      Hi Maggie, Not rude at all! Thank you for the link, I will definitely check them out!

      Reply

  4. the blissful baker on October 14, 2010 at 1:44 am

    pumpkin pie is one of my favorite desserts. these bars look fantastic!

    Reply

  5. Katie on October 14, 2010 at 4:01 am

    These look divine and a gorgeous texture. Perfect for autumn – I can almost taste them

    Reply

  6. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on October 14, 2010 at 6:25 am

    These look amazing – especially with a side of candy corn (my favorite Halloween treat). :)

    Reply

  7. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on October 14, 2010 at 11:47 am

    These bars look like a wonderful, healthier alternative to a big slice of pie. Definitely putting them on my list! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  8. amanda @ fake ginger on October 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    These look so yummy! I made some pumpkin blondies last year but they came out way too cakey. These guys look right up my alley though!

    Reply

  9. Sara on October 14, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I’ve made pumpkin blondies, but the texture to these looks richer! I can’t wait to make these. Hopefully, they’ll hold me off until Thanksgiving when I’ll get to eat pumpkin pie.

    Reply

  10. Maranda on October 14, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Oh those do look dense…and moist…and delicious. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  11. Diana Lee on October 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    These sound and look delicious. Perfect for fall. I can’t wait to try them!

    Reply

  12. Lauren at KeepItSweet on October 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    pumpkin pie or pumpkin blondie, either one works for me

    Reply

  13. Eliana on October 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    These look super delish Michelle! And thanks so much for the sweet comment ealier today :)

    Reply

  14. Paula on October 14, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    These look so moist! Love the cute presentation too!

    Reply

  15. Shanna on October 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I made some “Pumpkin Blondies” this last weekend, and they weren’t a blondie. They were way cakey. Good, but not the dense texture I was looking for. I hope these will be what I’m looking for. Many thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  16. GreenGirl on October 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    All the pumpkin bars I’ve tried were more like cake than brownie, this is what I always wanted and yours look delicious

    Reply

  17. RavieNomNoms on October 14, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Those just look awesome!

    Reply

  18. Becky on October 14, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    These bars look really good, moist and dense. They’re a different twist on the cake -like pumpkin bars. It isn’t Fall for me until I buy candy corn and make Apple Crisp. I made Apple Crisp already, so now I have to buy candy corn.

    Reply

  19. UrMomCooks on October 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    U had me at “pie”!!! Luv the idea of these! I have been baking with pumpkin (and butternut squash) almost every week, and I have yet to be even a little bit tired of pumpkin goodies! Looks pie-licious!

    Reply

  20. Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox on October 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Mmmm I saving this. Dark brown sugar and pumpkin. Truly a pie bar.

    Reply

  21. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on October 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Oh my… I am so loving all of the pumpkin recipes I’m seeing lately! LOVE these… I made some “pumpkin blondies” from a cookbook a week or two ago, and they came out cakey, which wasn’t what I was going for at all. Will definitely try your recipe!

    Reply

  22. Chef Dennis on October 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I love the idea of pumpkin blondies or brownies….they look delicious!! I bet the pumpkin keeps them so moist! Thanks for sharing, I will have to try this for my girls!!

    Reply

  23. Imwaytoobusy on October 14, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    These look absolutely delicious!

    Reply

  24. Maria on October 14, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    I made pumpkin blondies last year. Loved them. I think I will try your recipe this year:)

    Reply

  25. Liz @ LBBakes on October 14, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Yum! I have a pumpkin bar recipe of my own in the oven as we speak. :)

    Reply

  26. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having on October 14, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I actually think the crust in pumpkin pie is useless. This sounds like a great substitute!

    Reply

  27. Imwaytoobusy on October 14, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Interesting you say that Lynn. I have noticed a trend this fall in recipes leaning towards omitting the crust!

    Reply

  28. Delishhh on October 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Mmmmm, i have been on a pumpkin kick lately and this sounds delicious. I am not a pumpkin pie fan so this is a great recipe for me. Thanks for a great idea.

    Reply

  29. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit on October 14, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Those look so good, and perfect for fall! I have to admit to serious candy corn cravings as well. :)

    Reply

  30. Katrina on October 15, 2010 at 6:07 am

    I love these! i’m going to make them right away. Mmm.

    Reply

  31. eatgreek.net on October 15, 2010 at 9:39 am

    It looks delicious!!! ^_^

    Reply

  32. Patty on October 15, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Oh yum. These sound divine!
    Some pecans sprinkled on top would be awesome as well. :)

    Sometimes I make pumpkin pie without the crust – so it’s more like a pumpkin pudding. Different, and very delicious too!

    Reply

  33. Kristin on October 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    You rock, Michelle!! Thanks so much for getting so creative and coming up with this recipe. I can’t wait to try them!

    Reply

  34. Jason Phelps on October 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    This recipe is perfect timing! I am about to roast two small pumpkins and wasn’t sure if I was going to use it or freeze it. Now I know.

    Jason

    Reply

  35. Allie on October 15, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    I just made these and they were heavenly! Thank you so much!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 10:41 pm

      Yay! You’re welcome, so happy you liked them!

      Reply

  36. Ravenous Rowie on October 16, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Oooh! I love pumpkin, and have been on a bit of a binge with it! This sounds like a great recipe to add to my Fall folder!

    Reply

  37. bridget {bake at 350} on October 16, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Yum…you know I LOVE pumpkin ANYTHiNG!!! These look awesome!

    Reply

  38. Jason Phelps on October 16, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    I just made these and they are everything they are described to be. I used a local organic pumpkin that I roasted, but everything else was per the recipe. My wife and are I in heaven right now!

    Jason

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

      Woo! Thanks for sharing Jason, I’m glad you two are enjoying the bars! And love that you roasted your own pumpkin!

      Reply

  39. nicol on October 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Made them this weekend, and absolutely loved them. Dense, moist, pumpkininy! Honesty made one batch and they are gone already, need to make another batch!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 10:44 pm

      I love when baked goods get gobbled up quickly – sure sign that they’re a winner! Glad you and your clan loved these so much!

      Reply

  40. Leslie on October 17, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Oh these sound and look delightful! I myself CAN NOT buy candycorn..I would eat them all!!!

    Reply

  41. Kirsten on October 19, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Just wanted to say that in the baking theme of the week for pumpkin I made a Sour Cream Pumpkin Coffee Cake. It is yummy! It’s like coffee cake with a pumpkin pie layer in the middle, with a brown sugar hazelnut streusel topping.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      Kristen, That looks fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

  42. Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes on October 22, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    These looks heavenly! I love the idea. Some pumpkin things don’t have enough pumpkin flavor, and I bet these do. And I know just what you mean about the candy corn! I love the little pumpkins. Way too much.

    Reply

  43. Alta on October 23, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Wow these look great. I love the generous amount of cinnamon. Candy corn is something I can’t stop eating either…clean diet or not!

    Reply

  44. Kelly on October 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Holy cow, this is a WINNER! Pumpkin is not my favorite, but these bars are wonderful. My family loves them. These bars have been requested in the lunchbox – the ultimate compliment. If you ever do a cookbook, this recipe must be included. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

      Nothing beats lunchbox treats! So glad you and your family enjoyed these!

      Reply

  45. Lisa on October 24, 2010 at 3:32 am

    I just made these and they are awesome! They are exactly what I’ve always wanted in a pumpkin blondie. Hats off to you for coming up with this winner. It is a recipe that I know I will make time and again.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

      Thank you Lisa, so happy you liked these!

      Reply

  46. Carrie on October 26, 2010 at 9:06 am

    These were delish! Really does taste like the inside of pumpkin pie. Perfect! I did need an extra 10 minutes for baking in a glass Pyrex pan. But it was well worth the wait. Thanks for posting!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 28th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      You’re welcome Carrie, thank you for the review! So glad you enjoyed them!

      Reply

  47. Elda on October 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Just made some and they came out delicious!!! I had been trying other recipes but this was by far the best! it’s a keeper for my recipe book! :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 28th, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      Hi Elda, so honored to have a permanent place in your recipe book!

      Reply

  48. Addicted Baker on March 13, 2011 at 1:29 am

    So yummy did these on my blog!

    Reply

  49. Tashia on September 8, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    These are in the oven RIGHT NOW! So excited!

    Reply

  50. Chelsea on September 10, 2011 at 12:37 am

    So if I wanted to use a crust under this recipe, which one would you recommend the most from the ones on your site, and how long/what temp would I have to bake it for? Thanks! Love your site!

    Reply

  51. Meg on October 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Hey there!
    The recipe looks amazing and I can not wait to try it tomorrow with my family!
    Can you please tell me do I need to buy canned pumpkin?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 1st, 2011 at 9:17 pm

      Hi Meg, Canned pumpkin is the easiest, although if you have fresh pumpkin you can puree it, just be sure to remove as much extra liquid as possible.

      Reply

  52. Kim on October 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Have you considered taking the crust from your peach crumb bars and using this as a filling? I think if you put the cinnamon/sugar on top of the crust crumbles it could be very yummy. I sell a lot of fruit crumb bars at the farmers market and am looking for something fall-ish to sub for fruit. Apple and Cherry are to die for – may try pumpkin next. Then maybe pecan??????????????????

    Reply

  53. Holley on October 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    My mom made a batch of these yesterday, adding a cup of chocolate chips and subbing whole wheat pastry flour for the white flour. Oh my goodness! Super delicious, moist, and not at all cakey. A friend watched our kids last night and confessed to us that she ate two big servings of them before she realized what she was doing. A definite make-again, although we might experiment with subbing applesauce for a portion of the butter to reduce the fat a bit.

    Reply

  54. Naomi on October 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I added an 8ox package of cream cheese. What do you think? It’s in the oven now, I’m kind of nervous…

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 25th, 2011 at 11:36 pm

      It sounds delicious! Let me know how it turns out!

      Reply

      • Naomi on October 26th, 2011 at 10:20 am

        They turned out well with the cream cheese, I think it added something. But the middle didn’t bake super well, it might need to bake longer next time. Definitely love the cream cheese addition though.

        Reply

  55. Naomi on October 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Do you think it would change the bake time? Or still 30 minutes?

    Reply

  56. Patty on November 7, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    So I’ve decided to go through all your recipes week by week. Today I tried these and they turned out great. Talk about a portable pumpkin pie straight to your belly. No need for a fork or knife. I am truely loving your blog. Especially that I’m a full blooded Italian as you. Way to go for Italians that love to cook and bake.

    Reply

  57. Sabrina on November 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    My friend made these last night and they are amazing. is there any way to make this and cut out some of the butter?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 10th, 2011 at 1:31 am

      Hi Sabrina, I’m pretty much an “all things in moderation” type of eater, so I don’t cut butter out of recipes, just eat them a little less often, or maybe a smaller piece. To give you a definitive answer, I would have to re-test the recipe with adjusted butter amounts, which I haven’t done. If you do some experimenting let me know how it goes!

      Reply

  58. kris on November 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I made these today. Yummy!! I did pumpkin pie spice in place of the other because that’s what I had on hand. Taste great!! I had to bake a little longer, mine were a little doughy but once the set up they are perfect. I’m taking to work for a party tomorrow. ( if I have any left)
    thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  59. Hannah on February 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    These are AMAZING!! i make them with sweet potato instead of pumpkin. a total crowd pleaser!! thank you so much for making these!

    Reply

  60. TRF on April 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    I just made these and must say the addition of some chopped toasted almonds to the sugar topping adds a really wonderful textural (and flavor) element!

    Reply

  61. Sarah Darcy on October 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    As a fellow pumpkin lover, I CANNOT wait to make these. I think I will whip some up tomorrow. I make some awesome pumpkin snickerdoodles, but this may step in as my go to pumpkin dessert. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  62. Laura Dembowski on November 14, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I love many of your recipes and have shared a few on my blog, but these weren’t my favorite. Even though I upped the spices they seemed kind of bland. It was a bummer as I thought I would really enjoy the dense texture of these. Butyour blog is still one of my favorites!

    Reply

  63. Sarah on October 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Do you think these would freeze well?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 11th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Yes, definitely!

      Reply

  64. Crystal on November 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I made these yesterday. The flavor is fantastic, but once baked, mine turned out a bit rubbery. What could I have done to cause that? Or what can I do to prevent it? They’re very thick, which is awesome. I want to make them again because they are delicious, and I’ve always wanted a way to have pumpkin pie without the crust. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 26th, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Hi Crystal, I’m thinking that it might be a combination of over mixing and/or over baking? It should have a pretty creamy pumpkin pie texture.

      Reply

  65. Rosie on January 26, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    I just made these, and I love them! Perfect pumpkin pie without a crust recipe!

    Reply

  66. Heidelind on October 11, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Is it 1 cup of butter, or 8 oz?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 13th, 2014 at 11:31 am

      1 cup of butter weighs 8 ounces, so, either/or.

      Reply

  67. Dee on November 15, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Hey all,
    I am making desserts for our school Thanksgiving dinner but I am tight on time. I was wondering how long these will stay before they aren’t good anymore?

    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 16th, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Hi Dee, They will stay fresh for 3-4 days.

      Reply

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