Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ahh, more pumpkin! I can’t get enough. I have to pack it all in before Thanksgiving because after that I’m all-in with Christmas – cookies, candy and homemade gifts. I can’t wait! But for now, a little more pumpkin :) I realized that, surprisingly, I haven’t shared a classic pumpkin bar recipe with you yet. I made pumpkin pie bars last year, but those are more like a brownie/blondie than the traditional pumpkin bars. I still struggle with why this recipe is referred to as a pumpkin bar, when quite clearly this is a traditional one-layer pumpkin cake with a frosting, much like a Texas Sheet Cake or Tres Leches Cake. Semantics aside, these are awesome, awesome, awesome. Moist and fluffy pumpkin cake with a slathering of cream cheese frosting. And it couldn’t be simpler to make.

Fifteen minutes is all you need to get this cake in the oven, and just another five to whip up the frosting. A perfect recipe to keep stashed away for when you find out you’ll be getting last-minute guests during the autumn season. An added bonus is that the whole house will smell fabulous from this baking up in your oven! (There’s definitely a reason why “pumpkin pie spice” is a popular candle scent!)

Serving it with candy pumpkins is optional :)

Two years ago: Soft Cheese and Pepperoni Bread

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Servings 18 bars
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 45 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Michelle

Tasty bars that are perfect for fall


For the Cake:

  • 2
    all-purpose flour
  • 2
    ground cinnamon
  • 2
    baking powder
  • 1
    baking soda
  • 1
  • 15
    canned pumpkin
  • 1 2/3
    granulated sugar
  • 1
    canola oil
  • 4

For the Frosting:

  • 8
    cream cheese
    (at room temperature)
  • ½
    butter, at room temperature
    ((4 ounces))
  • 3
    powdered sugar
  • 1
    vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, oil and eggs until smooth and thoroughly combined. Pour the flour mixture over the pumpkin mixture and whisk or stir gently until incorporated and smooth.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, smoothing out the top with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, mix together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy (you can do this by hand if they are both nice and soft, otherwise use a hand or stand mixer on medium speed). Add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time, and mix until completely combined and smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  7. Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers covered, at room temperature or in the refrigerator.


Calories: 322kcal
Fat: 11g
Saturated fat: 6g
Cholesterol: 63mg
Sodium: 291mg
Potassium: 139mg
Carbohydrates: 51g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 39g
Protein: 3g
Vitamin A: 4055%
Vitamin C: 1%
Calcium: 49%
Iron: 1.3%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!