This pumpkin dessert couldn’t be any simpler! These Easy Pumpkin Bars have cream cheese frosting and will feed a crowd. A quick Thanksgiving dessert. You may also love our pumpkin crumb pie!
Easy Pumpkin Bars Recipe
This cake is one of our classic fall recipes! Some friends from our church gave me this recipe. It often shows up at our church or small group get togethers and I love it when it does. Every time I make it I realize what an easy dessert it is…and it feeds a crowd!
Pumpkin Sheet Cake
Pumpkin Bars….Pumpkin Sheet Cake…I’m not really sure what makes the difference, but these soft, fluffy pumpkin bars do have a cake-like texture. You bake the cake in a 10×15 pan so the bars are a little shorter than traditional cake. You could bake it in a 9×13 pan also and have a simple pumpkin cake if you’d like. You’ll probably need just a few more minutes in the oven if you choose this option.
What is solid pack pumpkin?
Be sure to pick up solid pack pumpkin for this recipe. What is solid pack pumpkin? Well, it’s just as it sounds. 100% pumpkin, packed in a can. It is just pumpkin puree…no sugar or seasonings added. Watch closely…I’ve accidently picked up pumpkin pie filling (the can often looks similar) before and you don’t want to use that in this recipe.
This recipe is also great if you use homemade pumpkin puree. If you’re wondering how to cook a pumpkin at home, click here for the best method!
How to Make Pumpkin Bars
Just as with many cake recipes, these easy pumpkin bars are made by mixing up the dry ingredients first and the wet ingredients second. This is an important step so that you don’t overmix the batter and make the bars tough. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet and mix just until combined.
Be sure to grease your baking pan before pouring the batter in so the bars come out cleanly.
How do I make cream cheese frosting?
Cream cheese frosting is one of the best frostings. It pairs with just about any flavor of cake. The most important thing to remember when making cream cheese frosting is to have the butter and cream cheese at room temperature. You want them softened, but not melted (which would give your frosting a weird texture).
Cream together the butter and cream cheese first in order to get them both smooth, then add the other ingredients and mix it well. We like to use a hand mixer so that everything gets blended easily.
Do I have to refrigerate a cake with cream cheese frosting?
You should always refrigerate a cake with cream cheese frosting. It will be ok at room temperature for a couple of hours, but if you are not serving the bars right away, store them in the refrigerator. Remove the bars from the fridge 2 hours before serving if you don’t want to serve them cold.
Other Pumpkin Recipes
- The Best Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Pudding Rolls
- Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Bites
- Easy Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
Tools to Make This Recipe
- Saigon Cinnamon: This is our favorite cinnamon. You can’t beat its flavor!
- Hand mixer: I don’t pull out my stand mixer for this recipe. It makes a small amount so a hand mixer works perfectly.
- 10×15″ Baking Sheet: I love this size pan for sheet cakes and cake rolls.
- Straight Icing Spatula: The long straight spatula makes it easy to smooth frosting.
Easy Pumpkin Bars
For the Bars:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ⅔ cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 16 ounces solid pack pumpkin
For the Frosting:
- 3 ounces softened cream cheese
- ½ cup softened butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Chopped pecans for topping (optional)
Make the Bars:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix well.
- Pour into a greased 10x15x1 baking pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Make the Frosting:
- In a bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the sugar, vanilla and milk. Mix until smooth.
- Spread frosting over cooled bars.
- Sprinkle with chopped pecans if desired.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Remove the bars 2 hours before serving if you don't want them cold.