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Pumpkin Bars With Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting

I have collected, prepared, and rated hundreds of recipes over 15 years. This recipe is excellent.

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting ready to serve

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting ready to serve

Easy-to-Make Pumpkin Bars

I'm always looking for simple pumpkin recipes, and I came across this one online. I followed the recipe to the letter except for the frosting.

The recipe called for cream cheese frosting but it called only for cream cheese and powdered sugar. I didn't trust that so I added butter and a tablespoon of milk. It came out so creamy and light, you could eat the leftover frosting with a spoon.

I also dusted the frosting with a little nutmeg. It looks prettier and just adds that little "umph."

My family ate the whole dessert in one sitting and that was after a hearty pasta meal.

Pumpkin, autumn, and Thanksgiving just seem to go together. Enjoy.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

30 min

50 min

Makes 12 bars




For the bars:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 ounces butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

For garnish:

  • Nutmeg
Mixing the frosting

Mixing the frosting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13" baking pan with baking spray or nonstick spray.
  2. In a bowl beat the oil with the brown sugar, white sugar, eggs and egg yolks until incorporated.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree and continue beating until fully incorporated.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice and slowly add to the wet ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. You don't want to overmix it.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the bars.
  6. Allow the bars to cool for at least 30 minutes or more before frosting.
  7. In a bowl whip together the cream cheese and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar half at a time until incorporated. Add the milk and whip. If it's too thin just add very little more of the powdered sugar. If it's too thin add just a tiny bit of milk. The frosting should be light and fluffy and very creamy.
  8. Frost and cut into bars and serve them in cupcake papers and place them on a serving tray. Dust with a little nutmeg on top. Enjoy!

Photo Guide

Whisk the dry ingredients.

Whisk the dry ingredients.

Mix in the pumpkin.

Mix in the pumpkin.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Changes I Made

You can make changes to any recipe for fit your likes and dislikes. Departing from the original recipe I found online, I made the following changes:

  • I used canola oil instead of vegetable oil.
  • I used light brown sugar.
  • I used 8 oz. of cream cheese and 4 oz. of butter instead of 12 oz. of cream cheese.
  • I added 1 tablespoon of milk.
  • In the recipe instructions I whisked together the dry ingredients before adding them to the wet ingredients. The original recipe said to add them separately, which might not divide them evenly in the batter.

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© 2022 Rachel L Alba