These easy to make Pumpkin Bars with rich cream cheese frosting deserve a spot on your Thanksgiving line up! They’re deliciously moist, sweet, spiced, and might just be better than your typical pumpkin pie. Great for making ahead of time and keeping in the fridge until you’re ready to slice and serve!
‘Tis the season! Well, not that season – at least not yet anyways. It’s pumpkin season! For Thanksgiving, I usually offer quite a few different pumpkin desserts because I simply can’t help myself. While I have quite a few that I love dearly, I think this pumpkin bars recipe has reached the top of my list as a must-make.
They’re rich, moist, and pretty dense. Flavors of sweet, spiced pumpkin make every bite better than the last… But I think my favorite part of all might just be the thick cream cheese frosting on top! I’m such a sucker for good homemade frosting.
How to Make Pumpkin Bars
This pumpkin bar recipe is going to become your new favorite Thanksgiving dessert! Here’s how to make it:
- Mix the wet ingredients. Beat the eggs and sugar together until combined. Stir in the melted butter and pumpkin puree.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Combine. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
- Bake. Pour the pumpkin batter into a 9×9 pan and bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature prior to frosting.
- Make the frosting. Add all of the frosting ingredients to a bowl and and beat together until combined. Slowly add milk to the bowl until you reach the desired consistency.
- Frost and serve. Spread the icing in an even layer all over the cooled bars. Slice and serve chilled or at room temperature.
Tips for the Best Pumpkin Bars
Make sure you check out these quick tips and tricks before baking:
- Homemade is best. If you have some extra time to play with, consider making homemade pumpkin puree and homemade pumpkin pie spice for this recipe! They’re both pretty great fall staples to have in your kitchen.
- Let the bars cool before frosting. This is so important! If your pumpkin bars are still warm from the oven, the icing will melt all over the place and become a total mess. Let the bars completely cool to room temperature before adding your cream cheese frosting.
- Make sure the melted butter isn’t hot. If your melted butter is hot when you pour it into the eggs and sugar, you may very well cook the eggs. Make sure your melted butter is either room temperature or barely warm before using.
- Room temperature cream cheese. If you’ve ever tried to whip cold cream cheese, you know what a disaster it can be! Make sure your cream cheese is adjusted to room temperature before making your frosting.
Pumpkin bars are a fabulous make-ahead recipe because they’re easy to keep in the fridge! Once the fully cooled bars are frosted, wrap the baking dish tightly with a few sheets of plastic wrap. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, but note that they’re best when served within 24 hours.
Go big or gourd home this Thanksgiving!
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Get the Recipe: Easy Pumpkin Bars Recipe
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Icing
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1 9×9 baking pan
- Beat the eggs and sugar together until well blended.
- Mix in the butter and pumpkin to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix until well blended.
- Pour the mixture into a 9×9 inch baking pan.
- Bake at 350˚F for 30-40 minutes or until set. Cool Completely.
- Make the icing while the bars bake by beating the cream cheese, sugar, butter and vanilla together in a large bowl. Slowly add the milk until the desired consistency.
- Spread the icing over the bars and cut into squares.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.