We’re beginning that slow slide into fall, so it’s time for my pumpkin pie bars recipe!
Of all the seasonal fruit cookies that come around, pumpkin baked goods have to be my favorite! All the delicious flavors you’d expect from pumpkin spice cookies but in a cookie bar form. You’ll love the play on oatmeal cookies this takes too with the oatmeal crust!
What better way to ring a new season than by trying new treats? I have plenty of reasons why my pumpkin bars recipe should be on your list!
- Less than an hour from start to finish
- Plenty of bars to go around!
- Crunchy, gooey, warm — all the YUM!
- Easy clean-up
How To Make Pumpkin Pie Bars Recipe
Start by preheating your oven and prepping your baking sheet. You’ll want to line your pan with foil so the bars can be removed — let the foil hang over the edges by about an inch so you can grab it and lift the bars out easily!
Then mix your sugars and flour together and cut the butter into the mixture. Stir in your oats and nuts, setting aside one cup of the oat mix to serve as the crust. Press most of that into the bottom of the pan.
Next, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla, bourbon, pumpkin, and spice until well blended. Pour onto the crust and sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture and a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips for extra yum!
There are hundreds of recipes for pumpkin bars on the internet — why is mine the best? Pull up a chair, friend!
Easy Pumpkin Pie Bars Ingredient Notes
You’ll recognize a lot of these ingredients from easy pumpkin pie bars recipes, and even some pumpkin pecan bar recipes (gotta have that nutty crunch!). But let me walk you through a few of the other additions:
- Oats: The addition of oats gives this treat a wonderfully hearty base that transforms any ordinary fruit bar into pie bars, like my blackberry pie bars recipe. But be sure to use old fashioned rolled oats, not quick-cooking oats, which will break down much faster and not give you the structure you want.
- Bourbon: Bourbon is one of my favorite lesser-used autumn flavorings! But I realize not everyone is as bourbon-crazy as I am. If you want to swap out a different flavor, try rum, brandy, or cognac; or go non-alcoholic with apple cider.
- Spice: Was the store out of pumpkin pie spice? No worries! Cinnamon is the predominant flavoring in that spice mix, so feel free to use that as a substitute. Or you can always make your own spice arrangement with a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom!
- Cream Cheese: The cream cheese element adds a perfect cheesecake twist to these bars, calling to mind my favorite lemon coconut bars recipe. But if you forgot to let your cream cheese soften (I do this all. the. time.), you can get the same effect by quickly microwaving your cream cheese.
Tools to Make
The tools to make this recipe are so simple! I guarantee you already have them, but you’ve probably not used them to make pie before!
- A baking sheet
- Mixing bowls
If you love the flavor of pie but don’t want the hassle of making a whole pie, then this recipe is for you!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
My bars fill up a heaping 9×13 inch pan — so prepare for leftovers!
Your leftovers will be fine at room temperature for up to four days, though I do recommend popping them in the fridge when you get a chance. These bars taste even better the next day, straight out of the fridge!
Can You Freeze Them?
Yes! Treat my pumpkin bars just as you would brownies. Store in an airtight container in your freezer for up to six months. Thaw them by letting them sit in the fridge overnight, or toss ’em in the microwave!
One thing to look out for though is that by storing these bars in either the fridge or the freezer, you will lose the streusel topping’s crunch. If you want to revive it a bit, you can always pop your bars in a toaster oven to crisp them up!
Easy Pumpkin Bars Make Ahead Tips
Baking my easy pumpkin bars ahead of time is a bit difficult since so much of the chemistry depends on the butter being at the perfect consistency and the cream cheese being just so.
If you must make some of it ahead, you can blend together the ingredients in Step 3, and store in an airtight container in your fridge for up to two days.
When I start making autumn treats, I can’t stop! If you don’t have a whole cookie buffet by the end, did you really even bake?
So buddy up your bars with my divine sugar cookie bars — so simple to make and that classic taste is out of this world!
And don’t forget to use your extra nuts from this pumpkin pie bars recipe to make pecan pie bars!
Want to transform this recipe base into something else scrumptious? Yes, please!
- Grab your favorite seasonal stone fruit to make peach crumb bars!
- Lean more into Christmas by swapping the pumpkin for cranberry with cranberry bars
- Indulgence, I see you! Make a creamy filling instead of the pumpkin and get coconut cream pie bars
- Another autumn favorite that will have everyone raving is apple bars!
- Want to focus on a different seasonal fruit? Swap the pumpkin out to get strawberry bars
Pumpkin Pie Bars
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup divided sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter cold
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats uncooked
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin solid packed
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons bourbon
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; grease foil.
- Mix flour, 1/4 granulated sugar, and brown sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and nuts. Reserve 1 cup oat mixture; press remaining onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min.
- Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, vanilla, bourbon, pumpkin, and spice with mixer until well blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips.
- Bake 25 minutes or until the center sets; cool 10 min. Use foil to transfer dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.
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Still hungry? The pumpkin desserts never end once autumn starts!
- Pumpkin Scones – The best way to wake up on a crisp autumn morning
- Pumpkin Pie Fudge – All the flavors of pumpkin pie packed into one perfect bite
- Pumpkin Crunch Cake – Gimme that CRUNCH!
- Pumpkin Pie – The original, the classic, the untouchable!
- Pumpkin Lasagna – When you’re in a pinch and need something delicious, go for this winner!
I know you have a lot of choices when it comes to pumpkin desserts, so I am truly grateful that you chose to let my pumpkin pie bars recipe become part of your autumn baking schedule! It’s so delicious, isn’t it?
What was your favorite part? Let me know in the comments!
Source: Adapted From Kraft as seen on Joy The Baker