Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are a dessert that will have folks lining up for the recipe! This is the BEST pumpkin bar recipe you’ll ever encounter!

When autumn rolls around, these seasonal pumpkin squares are always on my baking list. The lovely spiced bars with a thick, dreamy layer of frosting are the perfect treat for pumpkin lovers.

Killer Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting on a white ceramic plate with a candy pumpkin garnish

Why You’ll Love this Pumpkin Bars Recipe

  • Nicknamed “Killer Pumpkin Bars” by some of my online foodie friends, you will agree there are the best pumpkin bars once you taste your first bite.
  • They’re a terrific fall treat, but you’ll get no complaints if you serve them any other time of year.
  • Cream.Cheese.Frosting!!! Who can resist??? It’s the perfect complement to these autumn spiced pumpkin bars.

My kids adore pumpkin bread (don’t ask about the hubby as he only eats his pumpkin in a pie), so it was no stretch to surmise that these Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting would be a home run. And adding a nice layer of cream cheese frosting never hurt any dessert, at least in my book.

Overhead view of 2 Killer Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting on square white plates

Frequently Asked Questions

What Else Can I Make with Pumpkin Puree?

Pumpkin puree is great for making pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, and even scones and cookies. Again, read the recipe carefully so you’re buying the correct product for the recipe.

How Do You Store Pumpkin Bars?

Since they’re super moist and have cream cheese frosting, it’s best to keep them refrigerated in an airtight container. They will stay fresh for up to 5 days. They will also freeze well, if kept airtight, for up to 3 months.

To freeze, first set the bars on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. They place them in an airtight container, separating layers with a sheet of wax or parchment paper. To defrost, unstack, then place in the refrigerator, covered, overnight.

Tips for Making the BEST Pumpkin Bars

My friends have told me that this is the best pumpkin bar recipe in the world. My family loves them and so will yours!! Here are a few tips for making these bars.

  • PRO-Tip: Use a can of pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix. The latter has sugar and spices added and you want plain pumpkin. You’ll be adding your own spices. Read the label carefully.
  • These bars are baked in a 10 x 15-inch jellyroll pan which is not the same as a 9 x 13-inch cake pan. Check the affiliate link below to see the details.
  • PRO-Tip: Use an offset spatula to smooth out the batter, then later to smooth out the frosting. It’s one of my most used kitchen tools!
  • These easy Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are more of a cake-like consistency than a cookie bar, so check for doneness like you would a cake.
  • PRO-Tip: Insert a toothpick into the middle of these pumpkin squares to check to see if they’re done. If it comes out clean, your cake is done. If there is batter on the toothpick, more baking time is needed. Check more than one spot to ensure the center is fully baked.
  • Alternatively, tap your index finger lightly on the surface of the cake. If it leaves an indentation, the bake isn’t done. If the cake springs back, it can come out of the oven.
A pumpkin bar on a round white plate with 2 mini pumpkin candies to garnish

More Pumpkin Recipes

When autumn rolls around, I turn to all things apple and pumpkin. This pumpkin bar recipe always makes the yearly cut. My Pumpkin Roll is also a family favorite.

A loaf of Pumpkin Zucchini Bread is ideal for the seasonal transition and this marvelous  Pumpkin Crumb Cake can be eaten for breakfast AND for dessert! Plus I’m loving the look of these Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies. I’d love to keep a batch in my freezer for those emergency cravings. 

*P.S. I found the cute little Wilton Pumpkins made of royal icing at Target. They appear to be sold out on Amazon.

This pumpkin bar recipe was first shared in October 2014. The photos and text were updated in 2020.

Pumpkin bar on a square wite plate with a couple bamboo forks

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 24 bars

Cake-like pumpkin bars topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting!


For bars:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (one 15 ounce can)
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted to remove lumps
  • Candy pumpkins, optional, to garnish*


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease a 15 x 10 inch (jelly roll) pan.
  2. Stir flour, baking soda, spices and salt together and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat till smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix till well combined. Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or till cake springs back when lightly touched in the middle or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
  5. Cool completely and frost. Garnish with candy pumpkins if desired.
  6. To make icing: beat all ingredients together till smooth.


These freeze beautifully.
You can make a half batch in an 8 x 8-inch pan, but start checking for doneness at the 20-minute mark.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 289Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 246mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 1gSugar: 36gProtein: 3g


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