Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are moist, pumpkin spiced bars topped with homemade sweet cream cheese frosting. The best pumpkin bar recipe!
I am keeping the canned pumpkin makers in business! I just can't keep baking up Fall recipes and I am craving everything pumpkin.
This morning I asked my Instagram followers what pumpkin recipe they wanted to see next on Modern Honey. Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting won the popular vote so I got busy in the kitchen.
I don't usually turn around recipes this quick because there are usually several rounds of recipe testing to do, setting up a photo shoot, capturing hundreds of photos, uploading the photos, editing the photos in Lightroom, choosing the favorite photos, uploading them to my website, writing the recipe post, marketing the recipe post on all of my social media platforms, writing a newsletter, and then cleaning up the disaster I made in my test kitchen. It makes for a busy day!
But I promised you a recipe tonight and I want to deliver that to you! These Frosted Pumpkin Bars are to die for and they turned out absolutely perfect so I couldn't wait to share the recipe with you. I love the combination of pumpkin and cream cheese together!
The key to making these pumpkin squares extra moist is to use a combination of oil and buttermilk. This creates a soft, fluffy, moist texture that stays moist. I have tried making pumpkin bars and pumpkin cake before without buttermilk or sour cream but I love the difference it makes in this recipe.
PUMPKIN BAR INGREDIENTS:
- Pure Canned Pumpkin -- only use 100% pure pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling
- Brown Sugar
- Granulated Sugar
- Oil -- use any type of oil such as canola, vegetable, olive oil, etc.
- Vanilla Extract
- Buttermilk or Whole Milk -- may substitute 2% or whole milk
- Pumpkin Spice
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
- Salted Butter
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
- Milk or Heavy Cream
What is Pumpkin Spice?
Pumpkin pie spice, also known as pumpkin spice, is a spice mix usually used in pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin Spice is generally a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice. The main ingredient in pumpkin pie spice is cinnamon.
You can find pumpkin spice in the spice section of your local grocery store.
What size pan should I use?
I suggest using a jelly roll pan, which is 15 x 10 x 1.
If you want thicker pumpkin bars, use a 9 x 13 pan.
If you desire thinner pumpkin bars, use a regular-size cookie sheet, which is about 17 x 13 x 1.
How to make Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Start by mixing together oil, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk for 3-4 minutes until creamy. Add in pumpkin and mix for 1 minute longer.
- Fold in flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until most of the bumps disappear.
- Place a parchment paper sheet into the jelly roll pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray. If you don't have parchment paper, spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour the pumpkin batter into the pan and evenly spread into the corners.
- Bake. Let cool before frosting. If you used parchment paper you can flip the bars onto a cooling rack and peel off the paper. This makes it easier to cut the bars.
- Make the cream cheese frosting and once the bars cool, spread the frosting all over. Cut into squares.
When you are ready to cut into pumpkin squares, there are a few ways to make it easier.
- Freeze the bars for 30 minutes before slicing them to make them easier.
- If you use parchment paper sheets, you can lift the bars out of the pan or flip them over onto a cooling rack. This makes it easier to cut them.
- Use a plastic knife to cut the bars. It creates a smooth edge.
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My favorite all year round....I could eat a whole bowl of this frosting....and the cake is always so moist!
Love the cream cheese frosting!! Yum!
How much powdered sugar should be used in the cream cheese icing?