I love all things pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, and most especially pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe. These pumpkin bars are more cake-like than cookie bars, but cookies or cake, they’re absolutely fantastic!
This traybake has moist, decadent pumpkin cake bar deliciously topped with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting, which might be one of the most perfect culinary creations ever! Cream cheese makes everything better. I mean, have you ever tried cream cheese cookies?
So, enough talking about how great they are. Let’s get these pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting baking!
I think everything about this pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe is perfect, but most specifically…
- The cream cheese frosting
- Moist, chewy cake-like pumpkin bars
- Bursting with cinnamon and spice and everything nice
- Amazingly simple to make
One of the best things about pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting is how easy they are to make! Here are a few extra tips!
Don’t over mix: Since we’re shooting for a light spongy texture, stop mixing just as soon as the dry ingredients are well incorporated.
Frosting: Just like frosting pumpkin cookie bars, make sure that your pumpkin bars are completely cool before you frost them. Nothing is worse than watching your delicious frosting melt!
Canned Pumpkin: This is a pumpkin bar recipe with canned pumpkin. The convenience of the can wins for me every time! However, you can make your own pumpkin puree. Just remember that fresh puree might have a different moisture level, color, and taste!
Healthy pumpkin bars: One of the easiest ways to lighten this recipe is to decrease the sugar or use calorie-free sugar substitutes like stevia or Splenda baking blend. You can also play with using applesauce or Greek yogurt instead of part or all of the oil.
This pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe needs to be stored in the fridge. Be sure to wrap or seal it well or the cake will dry out!
Can You Freeze This?
Freezing my pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe is a great way to extend their shelf life. I like to freeze them unfrosted, but you can freeze them with the frosting.
If you are freezing frosted bars, I suggest putting them in the freezer unwrapped until the icing is frozen. Then, wrap the bars tightly in cling wrap and put them into a freezer bag.
Make Ahead Tips
These bars hold well for a day or two fully assembled. To maximize freshness, you can make the bars and frosting ahead of time and frost them just before serving.
How Long Can You Keep This?
This recipe will hold well in the fridge for 3-4 days. According to food handling guidelines, you can freeze them for up to 4-6 months unfrosted. Frosted cakes can start to lose the texture of the frosting after about 3 months.
For those of you, like me, who love to experiment in the kitchen, here are a few variations to consider for this pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe.
Can I Add Chocolate Chips?
You could certainly add a cup of chocolate chips to the batter or even sprinkle mini-chips on top of the frosting. If you love the pumpkin and chocolate flavor, you should try pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! Another great cookie with a twist is my strawberry chocolate chip cookies.
A classic chocolate chip tray bake would be chocolate chip cheesecake bars with delicious cheesecake flavor in a handheld treat!
Can I Add Oats?
If you love the texture oats bring to baked goods, you could try exchanging a bit of the flour for oats. It would taste a lot like a pumpkin oatmeal cookie! If you’re in the mood for an oatmeal cookie, you should try my banana oatmeal cookies or one of my favorite tray bakes, oatmeal chocolate chip bars!
Can I Add Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter in this pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe would be an interesting addition. Peanut butter and pumpkin together make things extra moist and chewy, and a lot of recipes with this combo incorporate oatmeal as a way to offset the moisture.
I love peanut butter and oatmeal together, like in peanut butter oatmeal bars. Of course, chocolate goes with peanut butter, so consider trying chocolate peanut butter bars.
Can I Use Lemon Instead?
A straight lemon substitution on this pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe isn’t going to work well, but if you’re looking for lemon-flavored treats, I’ve got you covered!
Can I Add Berries To This Recipe?
Dried berries could be added for an extra layer of flavor in this pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe if you’re feeling adventurous! I like to use fresh berries to make some fabulous tray bakes.
What Other Desserts Can I Make With Cream Cheese?
Cream cheese is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with! Cookies like cream cheese spritz cookies or cream cheese sugar cookies go from ho-hum to oh-YUM with cream cheese! Of course, without cream cheese we wouldn’t have cheesecake, and oh what a shame it would be to miss out on lemon cheesecake bars!
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ground cinnamon
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ground cloves
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 (15-ounce) can solid packed pumpkin
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin. Gradually add the dry ingredients to egg mixture and blend well.
- Pour the batter into an ungreased jelly roll pan (17x12x1) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare to frost by beating together all frosting ingredients until smooth. Frost cake. Store in the refrigerator.
Here are some delicious cookies that are full of fruit, flavor, and fun!
- Peanut Butter Banana Cookies – Peanut butter and banana- Elvis would approve!
- Lemon Crinkle Cookies – Pretty on the outside and lemony delicious on the inside
- Coconut Bars – Moist and chewy with the convenience of a traybake
- Strawberry Cookies – Yummy, chewy cookies bursting with berry flavor
- Lemon Drop Cookies – tastes just like the iconic candy
While this pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting recipe is going to make you think of fall, sweater weather, and apple cider, you’re going to love them so much that you’ll want to make them all year round!
You’re going to love them! I can’t wait to hear how they work for you! Be sure to leave me a comment!