These easy pumpkin bars are a delicious dessert or snack that you’ll want to enjoy with your family. They have the perfect balance of chewiness and crunch. And the cream cheese frosting adds a depth of flavor that makes them even better.
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese
Certain flavors simply go together so well that it’s hard to imagine not pairing them. That’s how I feel about pumpkin and anything creamy.
I’ve experimented with pumpkin bar recipes, and this is what I wound up liking the most.
These pumpkin bars are fun to make and even more fun to eat. They’re good in the fall, but I’ll eat them any time of year.
In other words, you don’t have to wait until pumpkin season rolls around in September. If you like them, make them whenever the mood strikes.
I’ve always thought it was silly to wait until fall to have pumpkin because it’s available year-round. And it is so delicious. I mean, why wait when you can have it now?
After I made these, I did what I always do. I tasted them. Their deliciousness compelled me to taste them again. You know, just to make sure.
Sshh, don’t tell anyone, but I had a third. Since I like to have as balanced of a diet as possible, I made myself stop there.
In order to prevent my willpower from failing, I divided them up and gave some of them away. It’s always nice to share with other, and most people appreciate the treats.
Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients. Did you know that one serving has more than double the minimum recommended requirement of vitamin A?
According to Healthline, pumpkin contains vitamin C, fiber, manganese, copper, B12, and so much more.
You can enjoy quite a few benefits along with the delicious flavor. It is packed with antioxidants that fight disease and lower your risk of cancer.
Versatility of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is an extremely versatile food. In fact, I love these refreshing pumpkin smoothies any time of year.
Ingredients for Easy Pumpkin Bars
You can make pumpkin bars the old fashioned way with twice as many ingredients. Or you can make them this way without the hassle.
Here are the ingredients for the crust:
- Yellow cake mix
- Melted butter
Ingredients for the filling:
- Can of pumpkin puree
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Dash of salt
If you want twice as many pumpkin bars as what this makes, just double the ingredients.
You can also add a teaspoon of vanilla extract. That enhances the flavor, but it isn’t necessary.
Or if you want less, go ahead and make the whole batch and freeze what you can’t eat. Yes, these pumpkin bars freeze extremely well.
How to Make Pumpkin Bars
Put the cake mix and melted butter in a bowl and mix it until it has the consistency of wet sand.
You have a choice of adding the cinnamon to the crust or the filling. I chose to add it to the crust.
If you like an extra sweet crust, you may add 1/2 cup of sugar to the mixture.
Press the dry ingredients and butter mixture into a greased pan. Make sure you even it out by pressing into the corners and across the middle.
You may use a spoon, a spatula, or your hands. Since I wanted it packed down tightly, I used all of them.
Next, scatter the nuts over the top and press them into the crust. This is super easy.
Now it’s time for the filling.
Mix the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
You can also add a teaspoon of vanilla extract if you want, but I wasn’t able to tell the difference.
I started out stirring the wet ingredients with a spoon before adding the seasonings.
Once all of the filling ingredients were somewhat mixed, I pulled out my hand mixer and turned it on a medium speed to thoroughly mix everything together.
The beaters also incorporate a little bit of air into it, making it a tad lighter in texture.
Pour the filling over the crust.
Using a spoon or spatula, smooth out the filling over the crust until the top is even.
Put it in the oven and bake it until a toothpick comes out clean.
Check out the detailed recipe card below for the times.
Once it’s done, allow it to cool to room temperature.
Soften the cream cheese icing in the microwave and then drizzle it over the cooled pumpkin bars.
Drizzle as much or as little as you want.
I like to drizzle a lot because the icing is very thin when it’s warm.
Cut these bars into rectangles or squares and serve. I like to cut mine into 2” x 3” rectangles.
But it’s completely up to you to decide how big you want them.
More Options for Easy Pumpkin Bars
If you like a stronger pumpkin spice flavor, add an extra teaspoon of it. But first, make it according to the recipe below and adjust with your next batch.
For a little extra flavor, add some chocolate chips. I’ve made pumpkin chocolate chip bars and brought them to potlucks. They always disappeared very quickly!
If you prefer, you may use the entire can of cream cheese icing and cover the bars. However, the filling is already pretty sweet, so I chose to use the drizzle method.
Frequently Asked Questions
After you make these yummy pumpkin bars, you’ll probably add the recipe to your holiday, or even your year-round dessert rotation. But you might have some questions.
Here are some questions and answers:
Should You Refrigerate Pumpkin Bars?
After I make pumpkin bars, I’ll leave them on the counter for a day. However, if you still have some left, cover them with plastic wrap or put them in an airtight container and refrigerate them.
How Long Do Pumpkin Bars Last?
These pumpkin bars will be good for up to a week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months.
How Many Pumpkin Bars Should You Make Per Person?
This is determined by how much each person eats. When I’m making pumpkin bars for the family, I make sure to have enough for everyone to enjoy seconds.
However, if I’m making them for a potluck, I like to make 50 percent more than the number of people. Based on my experience, only half of the people will want seconds.
Make sure you have enough for seconds because people will want more. In fact, these easy pumpkin bars are addictive.
If I’d kept the whole batch in the house, my husband and I could have gobbled them up within days.
Another dessert you may enjoy includes this delicious pineapple upside down cake that you can make in your rice cooker. Although you don’t have to have a rice cooker, I’ve discovered that it’s much moister than one baked in the oven.
If you’re a fan of coconut, try this yummy coconut cream pie from Out of the Box Baking. It’s easy to make and out-of-this-world delicious!
Chocolate lovers will go crazy for this amazingly easy, super scrumptious chocolate walnut pie. Try baking one and see how fast it disappears. It’s the perfect dessert or treat for family and company.
If you like dessert bars, you’ll love these 3-ingredient lemon bars. They’re easy to make and have the perfect balance of tart and sweet.
Add a little color to a favorite treat by making this yummy 2-ingredient festive fudge. It’s perfect for any special occasion or holiday.
These brownie waffles are fun, delicious, and easy to make. Top them with ice cream, and you have a dessert the whole family will love.
For a dessert that only requires a few super easy steps, try this pineapple dump cake. It’s a favorite at our house!
- 1 box of yellow cake mix (regular or gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup of melted butter (1 stick)
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of chopped nuts (optional)
- 1 can of pumpkin
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 3 tablespoons of cream cheese cake frosting
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a pan (9”x13”) with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix the yellow cake mix with the melted butter. Press this mixture into your baking pan.
- Gently press the chopped nuts into the crust.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. You can stir it by hand, but it’s much easier to use a hand mixer for 3 minutes. You want the mixture to be smooth and velvety.
- Pour this mixture over the crust and smooth the top.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Test it by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
- Cool for at least an hour. After it is cool enough, it is ready for the top layer.
- Scoop the frosting into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds. Using a spoon, lightly drizzle the topping over the baked pumpkin filling.
- After the drizzle dries, cut your creation into bars. It is now ready to serve! Enjoy!
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Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 318Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 54mgSodium 476mgCarbohydrates 43gFiber 1gSugar 24gProtein 5g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.