Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

A perfect fall dessert, delicious pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
There are not a lot of things in life that define Fall more for me than Pumpkin Bars. Actually, they’re a hit with my family anytime of the year.

I love this recipe for so many reasons – first of all there’s pumpkin involved, second it made with rich cream cheese frosting. Combined, they’re the perfect way to fit your taste buds, or please a crowd of party-goers.

These pumpkin pie bars are a delicious cross between a quick bread and a delicate cake, loaded with pumpkin and topped with a delicate cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cut the bar into any size you like – depending on how many you are feeding. I’d also like to slice them into bite size bars, so they would be perfect for any upcoming holiday function, potluck or Nighttime snacking. Just sayin’.

UPDATE : Sorry there was a “jelly roll pan” typo in the recipe. Thanks for pointing it out! Recipe calls for baking in an 9×9 square pan, jelly roll pan is a TYPO !
I hope you love these!

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

A perfect fall dessert, delicious pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.
4.85 from 20 votes
Course Dessert


  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Frosting:
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • 2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, ground ginger, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cloves and cinnamon. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  • 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the eggs, vanilla, oil and pumpkin on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir gently, just until combined.
  • 4. Pour into a pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  • 5. When completely cooled, frost.
  • 6. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again.
  • 7. You may need to add a little milk to make it spreadable if your butter wasn’t soft enough.
  • 8. Spread frosting evenly on top of cake. Cut the bar into any size you like.
Keyword Fall, Pumpkin, Recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

A perfect fall dessert, delicious pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.

A perfect fall dessert, delicious pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.

A perfect fall dessert, delicious pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.

About Sarah Kozowski

Hi! Welcome to my blog! I’m Sarah– I do part-time job at a kindergarten and in my free time i love to cook, take photos and go jogging. I'm recipe developer, photographer, writer, and taste tester behind this blog. I develop my recipes and photos through good old fashioned trial and error, some days I have more success than others, as you can judge by the photos here. Grab a cup of coffee (or beverage of your choice) and stay with me awhile, poke through recipes, pick your favourite and reach out to me if you have any questions!

101 thoughts on “Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Hi. I have a question on instructions 2, 3, and 4. Do I combine the sugar with the dry or wet ingredients? Step 3 also says to combine sugar with the eggs, oil, etc. Also, do I mix the wet ingredients together first, Before adding in the dry ingredients? Or do I place the wet ingredients inside the “well” of the dry ingredients and then mix?
    The instructions are not very clear…

      1. A jelly roll pan is similar to a baking sheet or cookie sheet, but it has sides that are usually 1 inch (2.54 cm) deep.

          1. Dear Amanda,when your wet ingredients become light and fluffy,pour in a well of dry ingredients. Stir gently, just until combined.

        1. Your recipe calls for a 9 x 9 jelly roll pan. The only jelly roll pan I’ve got is much larger like 10 x 15. I didn’t know jelly roll pans came in a 9 x 9 size. Wouldn’t a 9 x 9 pan make very thick bars? Can you please clarify if it is a 9 x 9 pan or a traditional jelly roll pan? Approximately how many bars does one recipe make if they were cut into approximately 2″ x 2″ squares? Thanks.

          1. Oh my gosh!!!! Okay I feel horrible! there was a “jelly roll pan” typo in the recipe. Thanks to all for pointing it out!
            I have no idea how It happened. I read it 3 times before posting, so I don’t know how that got left out! I’m sure it was midnight. I’m so sorry!

    1. Hi, not sure if you got an answer or not to your sugar question. Mix the sugar in with the dry, then mix the wet ingredients and then fold all together. I just put my eggs, oil, etc. in my mixing bowl, mix a little, then add the small dry ingredients, mix a little and then add the flour and sugar. That way I only use one bowl. Just make sure you put all the ingredients in that it calls for and mix it all up. It is pretty hard to screw up most bars and cakes.

    2. I too have the same questions. It seems people post recipes on this site without ever reading them. There is a step left completely out of this recipe. It does not say what to do with the dry ingredients after making the “well.” Also, the sugar is put in both the dry and wet ingredients! I also have a problem with people who say “flour” without ever saying “plain” or “self rising.” I know you add baking soda and salt to “plain” but lots of people don’t know the difference. I’m making the bars now, they are in the oven. I just hope they turn out OK, they look good in the photo.

      1. You seem a bit rude, these are free recopes posted by people, typos and errors happen. If you don’t like it look for another or send this nice blogger a check and maybe she’ll send you a perfect copy bound and typed. I like the recipe, I appreciate it because I’m always looking for new pumpkin stuff! Thank you!

          1. I agree with Emily..no need to be rude. Just made these bars. They were wonderful! Thanks for the recipe

        1. Agree… Sarah is trying to share a recipe that is so yummy out of the goodness of her heart. Cut her some slack. To make her feel horrible is just not right. Sarah I sure appreciate your generous efforts. Smiles ✨?✨

        2. I think some times people who’ve never baked or maybe are just learning/starting would not understand some of the directions. They don’t have prior knowledge of baking so they may tend to ask a lot of questions. There are tons of flour and pans out there. Maybe we should remember that some times.

        3. If people are going to post recipes, they should be correct and exact. And if there are questions about it, it’s not being rude, it’s trying to figure out how to make a delicious product. This recipe is missing a step and does, admittedly, have errors.

      2. Wow !!!! Do people not know how to bake. Using common sense, I’m sure if your a baker you could figure it out. No need to be bashing the nice person who posted this recipe.

        1. Just made them and just use common sense and then if u bake at all it’s not hard to follow … only thing I questioned was size of pan but hey next time if I don’t like how thick they r will use 9x 13 instead of 9×9 🥰thanks for recipe

    3. If I were to make this, I would mix the wet ingredients before adding them to the dry ingredients so that they are combined well. I would also add the sugar to the wet ingredients since you probably don’t want the sugar to be grainy. Good luck!

    1. A stand mixer just makes it “hands-free” mixing. If you have an electric hand mixer, that will work just fine. Hope this answers your question.

  2. Did you realize that you have vanilla listed as an ingredient for the pumpkin bars and as an ingredient for the frosting, however, you don’t have it listed in the instructions for the bars? I completely left it out of the bars. Thankfully I had my husband taste the batter (before realizing had left the vanilla out) so I know it tastes okay.

  3. Hi
    Are the 9×9 dimensions correct? Usually a jelly roll pan is 13×9 or larger??
    9×9 is a square pan….appreciate the feedback and the amazing recipes!

      1. Hi Debbie,
        Parchment paper makes it easy to remove bars and other baked goods from baking sheets and almost eliminates cleanup, but you can use nonstick cooking spray as a great alternative, or grease and flour if you prefer.
        Hope that helps !

  4. Hi, I’m also wondering about the pan size…..9×9 or jelly roll pan?? My 9×9 is a deep pan and my jelly roll is thin by 10 x 13. which is better to use????

  5. I am still confused – do I use a 9 x 9 pan or a jelly roll pan? The response is not clear. I am really anxious to make this recipe and want to do it right the first time.

    1. Hi Susan,
      I’m sorry, I should write it more clearly.
      Recipe calls for baking in an 9×9 square pan, jelly roll pan is a TYPO !
      Please don’t be anxious, I’m sure that your Pumpkin Bars will turn out great.

  6. The photo is tempting me to try this recipe immediately. Reading through the recipe instructions, however, you should probably edit them for clarity on step 3, because you don’t say to add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. I know what you mean, and realize that you want us to put the wet ingredients into the well that we made with our dry ingredients and stir to combine. Also, the double numbers before each listed step is a little funky. Thanks for this recipe. I’ll give it a try!

    1. Any time a recipe has baking soda, baking powder and salt added in the recipe, it is all-purpose flour. Self-rising flour already has those ingredients added.

  7. A quicker way to make cream cheese frosting.
    Just beat 8 oz cream cheese with one jar of marshmallow fluff. Super creamy and not so sweet.

    1. I made the Pumpkin Bars tonight and will use your cream and marshmallow fluff recipe. I’ve had a jar of fluff that I wanted to use. It sounds yummy.

  8. can these be made without the cream cheese frosting? I am diabetic and try to stay away from sugary frostings if at all possible. these sound so delicious. I love pumpkin anything 🙂

    1. Not the author but I do a lot of low carb and sugar free baking. I’m sure you don’t have to frost them or you could get sugar free frosting from the grocery store, but the bars will just be pumpkin cake without the frosting so it could be dry. However there is a cup of sugar in the bars themselves too. You could probably replace it with splenda or some other sweetener that won’t impact your blood sugar.

    1. She said 9 x 9 in her response earlier. She made a mistake and stated jelly roll by accident in her original typing of her recipe. So 9 x 9 it is.

  9. I just baked these.
    First, my wet ingredients never got “fluffy”. I did use fresh pumpkin instead of canned.
    Second, I just gently combined the dry ingredients into the wet in the mixer bowl, just until combined.
    Third, in my 9×9 pan, it took more like 45 minutes to bake and it rose like a cake. I think a 9×13 cake pan, not a 9×13 jelly roll, would have given me a true bar. Looks and smells delish! Going to frost it and devour it!
    I will make these again using a 9×13 cake pan, for sure!

  10. Can you add the step where you add the wet to the dry ingredients so I can print this out!! I’m actually trying it today and wanted to print it if they turn out good thank you!!!!

  11. Hi there, I have all the ingredients assembled to make a couple of batches.
    I”m wondering though if you have tried converting this into a muffin recipe?
    The best muffin I have ever had was a Pumpkin Raisin (golden) that was the Tuesday special at the coffee bar I used to go to 30 years ago! What I wouldn’t do for that recipe! I have tried everything to no avail. Help! The muffin top was superbly crunchy then super moist inside & served piping hot. I then smothered it in butter. Totally decadent. Breakfast of champions.

  12. Hi and Thanks so much for this yummy recipe. I saw this on fb and shared so I could find it. I did see a comment on the post I shared though that said if using self rising flour to not use baking soda and powder. Is there any truth to this rumor? :-))
    Aren’t you glad I didn’t ask about the jelly roll pan????

  13. As I’m getting older I try to do my cooking as easy & simply as possible. I totally understand making from scratch, but if I can cut corners to make it quicker & easier, that’s what I like. So, is there a way I can use a cake mix to make these instead of totally from scratch & if so, what should eliminate and keep?

    1. One can of pumpkin, 1/2 cup water, spice cake mix. It’s a weight watchers recipe with no fat or cholesterol ( unless you frost it). I do this in muffin pans usually

  14. Tried these and they are wonderful!, I changed out half of the oil for applesauce. If you like pumpkins bars these are tasty and very easy!

  15. I thank you for this recipe. I just want to know if I follow the recipe and just add the dry ingredients to the wet in the stand mixer will it ruin it or do I have to make the well in a bowl and put the wet ingredients in the well and hand mix??

    1. Hi Jodie,when your wet ingredients become light and fluffy,pour in a well of dry ingredients. Stir gently, just until combined.

  16. Just made this using a 9×9 and it’s definitely more like a cake. Took mine about 45 minutes to be done. Next time I’ll try using a bigger pan or maybe even a bundt cake pan. Looking forward to trying it, it smells delicious! Just have to wait for it to cool so I can ice it.

  17. I think this pumpkin bar recipe needs to be rewritten with better instructions. Also this should be made with a 15x10x1 jelly roll pan.

  18. I just made these. Followed the directions exactly. Turned out great! Who cares if the size is larger pieces!!! And if you understand how to cook use some common sense! Great recipe!!!!

  19. These are wonderful! I’m giving 1/2 my pan away & my husband said “looks like you’ll need to make more then!”. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Thank u for the recipe. pumpkin is one of my favorites. I can’t wait to make this. With Fall in the air this will ne perfect.

  21. Hi Sarah(: I was just looking over your awesome pumkin bar recipe & i just have to say how patient, helpful & obviously kind person you are to go out of your way to do all the grunt work of figuring out recipes to share with people like me & some people very much Not like me as well! But thank u for the wonderful recipes youve worked hard on & im sorry u have to deal w the ignorant people tht go along with having a blog & sharing ur talents. I much appericate ur work & wanted you to know tht!(: Thank u 4 the great recipe!

  22. Making this today….Looks great! What DID NOT look great, all of the RUDE comments to this! You don’t like it, you can’t figure it out, decided that the only way to fix it was to be rude? Go somewhere else or buy a cookbook. KEYBOARD BULLIES

  23. Absolutely delicious. I doubled the quantities to make 2 and used 11 x 7 inch pans as that was the only size I had and it worked out great. No cans of pumpkin puree to be found in many places in the UK but homemade worked well.
    Thanks Sarah

  24. These are great and I had no problems following the recipe. I used pumpkin pie spice to taste and vanilla creamer for the milk in the frosting with a little vanilla. Prolly the best pumpkin bars I’ve made-I always just pick a pan that will work-no need to get all bent out of shape about measurements. I baked them a little less then stated but pulled them out once the center had set. Nice thick batter-def go for this one:)

  25. I just threw this together and it is now baking in the oven so we shall see how it turns out! I’m starving and was craving pumpkin so I found this and decided to bake it for breakfast for myself with some coffee. I only had half a can of pumpkin leftover from a seperate recipe so u just halved this one and put it into a loaf pan. Hopefully it turns out well.

  26. These pumpkin bars are AMAZING! This is the second year I’ve made them and they are delicious. I used a larger pan (9 X 13) and they were the perfect size. Thank you for this recipe!

  27. I made these yesterday, doubled the recipe and baked them in a 9x13x2 cake pan and they are wonderful! My husband has asked me to make a batch for him to take on his upcoming hunting trip to South Dakota.

  28. Sarah! I Threw this recipe together for an impromptu family get-together yesterday; it was absolutely delicious! I have a tendency to test recipes before sharing them on Facebook, especially for the boys in the family, whom I taught to cook, as youngsters, as their mothers aren’t keen on cooking, particularly baking. They’re grown up and living on their own now and I love when I test and share recipes and find they’ve made them for their friends. Thank you!

  29. I just made this and did it in a 9 by 11 pan, baked it 25 mins and it came out Amazing. More like a bar……. Serving it for a party tomorrow!!

  30. I made this today I added chopped walnuts. I used my 9×9 square corningware lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. 35-40 minutes cooking time was perfect.

  31. Great recipe…thank you! I’m amazed at why some people are so confused..I’ve baked for 45+ years..most of it is common sense or maybe just baking experience? I combined my eggs,oil,and sugar and beat till light..then added pumpkin, and vanilla then sifted in all of my dry ingredients used a 13×9 glass pan because I wanted more of a bar..I’m sure your way works out great too..but this was just a way I always mixed up my pumpkin bars..everyone has their own way..I thought this might help someone and be easier😃 it also has less oil than most recipes..not quite as oily tasting which I like….

  32. We made these today! So delicious and fluffy! Perfect frosting I might add! The only issue is that I don’t see a nutritional count? Do we know how many calories and/or carbs something like this has per serving?

  33. This turned out AMAZING! I followed the recipe as printed and used a 9X9 glass pan. I wouldn’t hesitate to use a 9X13 though. I would drop the oven temp and shorten the baking time a bit. But that frosting…oh my!

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