Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cider mills, apples, cinnamon, doughnuts, sweaters, jeans, boots, leaves, football, tailgate parties, pies, soups, stews, chili…those are what come to mind when I think of fall. The air turns nice and crisp and I am immediately reminded of fall in Michigan, with all of the beautiful leaves and the perfect weather to leave the house wearing jeans, a sweater, cute boots and a scarf. My all-time favorite outfit.

Another item that always comes to mind when I think of fall always puts a huge smile on my face. As soon as the first of October arrives, I immediately take out my fall decor from the storage closet and begin placing these beautiful little gems all around the house. I have quite the collection already and I’m always picking up more whenever I go to the store. What item might this be? The pumpkin, of course.

I love pumpkins. I love everything about them. I love their various colors, shapes and sizes. I love picking one at the local market, wrapping my arms around it and giving it a huge hug. I love the pumpkin guts. I love giving it a cute pumpkin face. I love placing a candle in it and watching its face come to life. I love everything about pumpkins and I cannot get enough of them.

Do you know what else I love about pumpkins? They taste great. Pumpkin can be added to a variety of dishes and, when completed, the finished product always looks and tastes exactly like fall…my absolute favorite season.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting



  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin with a mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Pour flour, powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda into another bowl and mix.
  4. Pour flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and mix until incorporated and smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking dish and level out the batter.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the dish or frosting.
  8. Frost the bars when they have cooled — To make the frosting: Combine cream cheese and butter in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add the sugar slowly until you reach the desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla.

What is your favorite pumpkin treat to enjoy during the fall season?

* Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen


  1. Reply averagebetty October 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I've been waiting forever for a friend of mine to give me her recipe for Pumpkin Bars… hers uses a box mix… so, I am done waiting! Trying yours instead!! Thanks :)

    • Reply Anonymous August 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      The box recipe is use one box spice cake mix with one can pure pumpkin with just the eggs spread in a sheet pan and bake for a little less time than a 9×13. Then top with cream cheese frosting.

  2. Reply Eliana October 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Love that these are simple. I have so so many creative uses for pumpkin over the last few weeks but my favorite is also a piece of cake (or a bar) and cream cheese frosting. And this looks delicious.

  3. Reply naomi October 7, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I love pumpkin anything too. Bars are such a great simple way to enjoy pumpkin.

  4. Reply Tracy October 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    I love fall and everything pumpkin, too! I love your pumpkin decorations in the background. :-)

  5. Reply theconfidentmom October 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    These are on my list to make this weekend!!

  6. Reply alison @ Ingredients, Inc. October 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    These are a wow! Just retweeted it for you!

  7. Reply breadandputter October 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    You cracked me up going from giving the pumpkin a hug to loving pumpkin guts! These look yummy. I have a similar recipe but as a roulade. Gotta love pumpkin with cream cheese frosting!

  8. Reply Joanna October 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Sweet! The only thing I have to buy is a can of pumpkin

  9. Reply Anonymous October 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Oh Man! These sound SO yummy. This reminds me of pumpkin cheesecake. I've gotta share my recipe with you Jen…I make it every Thanksgiving and people always think I bought it from the Cheesecake Factory. ;) – Lauren S.

  10. Reply Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction October 8, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    These look wonderful… I love pumpkin! I am sure I would LOVE these. :)

  11. Reply Ninette October 11, 2010 at 3:02 am

    I made this tonight — delicious! The cat licked off some of the cream cheese frosting though … I didn't know cats ate frosting, but it must have been that good!

  12. Reply Anonymous October 11, 2010 at 7:10 am

    i'm really excited about making this but i'm a poor college student that's super cheap. can i use vegetable oil instead of canola? will it make a big difference?

  13. Reply Maghan October 11, 2010 at 7:43 am

    My favorite pumpkin recipe would have to be pumpkin soup with wild rice and kielbasa. It's delicious.

  14. Reply How To: Simplify October 11, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Anonymous: Feel free to use vegetable oil! It won't make a big difference at all! Let me know how it goes!

  15. Reply Cookin' Canuck October 12, 2010 at 3:45 am

    What pretty bars and the cream cheese frosting makes them even better.

  16. Reply KYLE October 13, 2010 at 9:41 am

    This is such a beautiful post, and Congratulations, your work in photography is stunning and very inspiring.

  17. Reply Michelle October 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I made these yesterday! I doubled the batch using a little less sugar. Yummy, nearly cakey!!

  18. Reply Hallie October 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    These look SO delicious! Can't wait to make them!

  19. Reply Rhonda October 23, 2010 at 3:16 am

    I feel like I need to confess:) I don't know whether these are divine or sinful. Seriously, I am *amazed* at how good these were. I made them yesterday for a teacher appreciation meal. Thankfully, I cut into them and saved a few for my family. 12 yo daughter "Mom is AWESOME!" Thank you for sharing this recipe. Definitely a keeper. BTW, for me they took about 5 minutes longer to cook and I used 3 cups of the powdered sugar and 1-1/2 tsp vanilla in frosting. Oh, my!

  20. Reply DeeRaspberry October 31, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    So I made these this weekend and they were tooth-rotteningly decadent! It's the first time I made cream cheese frosting so I wasn't exactly sure what I was aiming for but my advice would be to make half the icing recipe because the bars/cake is SO good, that the icing was overpowering a bit. Great recipe, they were a hit with my bf and sis in law ;)

  21. Reply Stacy November 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I'm making these right now. A friend of mine didn't get to the store yesterday to get the stuff she needed for pies. I had everyone on hand for these, and hope they save the day. Can't have Thanksgiving dinner without some pumpkin.

  22. Reply Anonymous March 23, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Batter was really soupy even though I followed the directions exactly as listed. I have no clue what went wrong. :(

  23. Reply Kacie September 1, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Can't wait to try these out. I love anything with pumpkin!!

  24. Reply Christina September 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe for my house and my son's 3rd grade class and its a hit!! i had to double the recipe but still good. I definitely posted a link to this on my blog…

  25. Reply Amy @ TheMombot.com September 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    This looks so delicious!! I am obsessed with pumpkin and cream cheese frosting :) I can't wait to try it. I found you on Pinterest, and then sent you some link love today: http://themombot.com/food/2011/09/16/link-love-recipes-im-dying-try

  26. Reply akm September 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    to Anonymous: did you use canned pumpkin, or did you use a can of pumpkin pie filling? Packed pumpkin is not runny at all, but the pie filling is soupy.

  27. Reply Teresa M October 26, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I am going to attempt cupcakes with this recipe. It looks so delicious!

  28. Reply Teresa M @Vintage Rose Brocante October 29, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Cupcakes turned out wonderful! Yummy & pretty!

  29. Reply Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Mom my used to make these when I was a kid &I haven't had them for years but these were as good as I remembered! Got RAVE reviews from friends & family!

  30. Reply katie November 26, 2011 at 1:33 am

    I made these last week, but the middle NEVER cooked! I used about 3/4 of the batter this time, and used the rest to make cupcakes. The bars are PERFECT and the cupcakes are cooking as we speak!

  31. Reply Val November 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I am going to try these using up some leftover sweet potatoes!

  32. Reply Molly December 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    My Grandma has been making these for years! For a nice twist use clove, ginger, and nutmeg to taste in addition to the cinnamon. And for the frosting use real maple syrup instead of vanilla, again to taste! You'll think you've died and gone to heaven!! Thefinal change is to use a cookie sheet instead of a pan… way more bang for you're buck that way! I have a cookie sheet that I keep just for this recipe!

  33. Reply SLDurell March 11, 2012 at 12:25 am

    For a less calories but really delicious topping use Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chai tea added to fat-free Cool-Whip type whipped cream. Scoop a little out and sprinkle on and stir in the Chai tea to taste. Spoon or pipe onto square.

  34. Reply Anonymous April 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    hi i printed your recipe & the 1 cup canola oil wasnt included. im trying your recipe but im using butternut squash.

  35. Reply Anonymous May 22, 2012 at 4:29 am

    I found this recipe on Pinterest last year and it has got to be the best recipe I've tried hands down. Everyone who has tried them loves them. I've never been a huge fan of pumpkin bars, but this is more a pumpkin cake, and it's just so good I have no other words. It's my husband's favorite and he always requests it whenever I'm baking.

  36. Reply BetterTogether September 9, 2012 at 1:34 am

    What size baking dish?

  37. Reply Anonymous September 17, 2012 at 1:33 am

    only used 2 cups of confectioner's sugar in the frosting and it tasted delicious! it was already so sweet i can't imagine how sweet it would be with 1-2 MORE cups?!

  38. Reply Anonymous September 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I make something similar to these but I use a jelly roll pan. They turn out more like bars:)

  39. Reply taskmastermomma September 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I'm going to make these to take to a friend's house tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.

  40. Reply Anonymous September 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Great recipe we loved them!!

  41. Reply Anonymous September 24, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Made this last night. It was a huge hit with my family!

  42. Reply LivingSoAbundantly September 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I made this last night. Let's say that I've had more than my share of cake. This is amazingly good! Thank you for posting. I got here from simpleorganizedliving. :)

  43. Reply Anonymous October 4, 2012 at 2:51 am

    I used vegetable oil and turned out just fine. Original recipe from Paula Dean was actually vegetable oil. I will defiantly be making these again!!

  44. Reply Anonymous October 6, 2012 at 5:01 am

    Just made these tonight and they are amazing!! Very light with so much yummy flavor! The frosting is delicious! Definitely recommend! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  45. Reply Anonymous October 9, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Making them today. But using fresh pumpkin :-)

  46. Reply Krissy Sherman Bonning October 12, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Wow – these look amazing! I hope you'll stop over to B-InspiredMama.com on Monday to enter it in my Perfectly Pumpkin Contest. :)

  47. Reply bitsybet October 13, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Can you use less oil or substitute something else in its place? I love pumpkin, but one cup of oil is holding me back from making these.

  48. Reply Anonymous October 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Simply awesomeness in a pan! Way and so delicious!

  49. Reply Megan October 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Bitsybet: replace half the oil with applesauce.

  50. Reply Amy October 28, 2012 at 1:18 am

    I just made this recipe this evening and it is fantastic!!! My mouth was watering the whole time waiting to cut into them! Thanks for the wonderful delicious "perfect for fall" recipe!

  51. Reply Anonymous October 30, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    I only used 1/2 c of oil for the cake and only about 1/3 stick of butter in the icing and added vanilla almond milk – made it in the blender w/ the cookie dough paddle and it was perfect! and even though i added less oil to the cake, it was still very moist and amazing!

  52. Reply Chelsea Rose November 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I made these last month and they were AMAZING! Not too dense, perfect pumpkin flavor, and they were gone in seconds. Such an easy recipe too! Thank you for sharing!!

  53. Reply Anonymous November 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I have these in the oven now….easy to make! let's see how they turn out!

  54. Reply Anonymous November 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Oh so yummy!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  55. Reply S Avalos October 14, 2013 at 12:18 am

    I made this for my family and we loved it! The very best tasting, moist and delish!!!. Thank you for sharing. Making some more!

  56. Reply S Avalos October 14, 2013 at 12:19 am

    I made this for my family and we loved it! The very best tasting, moist and delish!!!. Thank you for sharing. Making some more!

  57. Leave a Reply