Sheet Pan Pumpkin Bars
These pumpkin bars are literally the very best pumpkin dessert I’ve ever had. What I love about them is not only that they are super soft, moist, and full of pumpkin flavor, but that they are a quick and easy fall dessert that can be whipped up in no time. I would take these pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting over pumpkin pie (or any pie for that matter) any day.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Use pumpkin puree. Not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling, canned pumpkin puree is 100% pumpkin and does not have the added sugars and spices that are found in canned pumpkin pie filling. In this recipe, the spices are added separately for better flavor control.
Don’t overmix the batter. Mix the ingredients just until they are fully combined. Overmixing will make your bars dense and chewy.
Add nuts. Of course this is totally optional, but adding some nuts to this pumpkin bar recipe really takes it to the next level. You can try adding chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter before baking or sprinkling them on top of the cream cheese frosting.
Let the bars cool before frosting. As tempting as it may be, don’t frost your pumpkin bars until they have cooled to room temperature, otherwise, your frosting will melt and become thin and runny instead of thick and creamy like you want!
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Before You Start
- Remove the butter and cream cheese from the fridge so they can soften. Check out this post all about how to soften butter quickly.
- Remove the eggs from the fridge so they’re room temperature when you start.
Pumpkin Bars With Cream Cheese FrostingNovember 5, 2021
- Baking Sheet 18"x13"
FOR THE CAKE
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 cups pumpkin puree canned
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
FOR THE FROSTING
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ½ cup butter (1 stick) softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoon evaporated milk
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecan for topping (optional)
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 375°F, and prepare a greased half sheet pan (18×13).
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices, and mix just until the ingredients are fully combined.
- Pour the batter into the greased pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 minutes.
FOR THE FROSTING
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the vanilla extract and evaporated milk, and mix until fully combined.
- Once the pumpkin bars are cooled to room temperature, spread the frosting evenly across the top. Serve and enjoy!
- Use evaporated milk for a silky smooth cream cheese frosting
- Let the pumpkin bars cool completely before frosting