My Favorite Pumpkin Dessert Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 0
  • October 21, 2016
pumpkin bars

It’s that time of year again. Pumpkin. In everything these days. I am totally good with that! I love pumpkin. I use it in sauces, pasta, salads, roast it and of course, bake with it. It’s extremely versatile whether doing sweet or savory dishes.

Every family has recipes that have meaning to them. This one is mine. My Mom has been making these bars since we were kids. In fact, she used to make them and put them in the freezer for when guests came over. The problem is, we discovered that is where she was “hiding” them and ate them frozen. It’s up for debate, but I think they are better frozen as the cake doesn’t totally freeze so it’s not quite as sweet. Strange comment, I know, since we are talking about a dessert! The cake itself is light and fluffy with true fall flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon in it. Add a cup of coffee and enjoy!

When you are lucky to have friends that just drop by to catch up on life, having some sweet treats available is always a plus. And for one special boy, a plate all his own. It’s the way we have been doing it since he was very young. He even gave me the following sign that is perfect for our tradition. How lucky am I?!


Pumpkin Dessert Options

Over the years, I have made this recipe in so many different formats. You can make it as bars, in a layer cake, trifle, cupcakes, and even in this super cute mold that I found from NordicWare. I highly recommend you use really good vanilla for the frosting. It makes such a difference. My favorite is Nielsen Massey Madagascar Vanilla. It’s pure vanilla with no artificial anything. If you want to learn more about the different kinds of vanilla, here is an article which breaks it down a little more. 


A bonus to this recipe is the quantity of bars it makes when baking it in a jelly roll pan. It’s so large that it’s great for parties or even freezing some for a later date.  


And even more entertaining when made in this NordicWare Pumpkin Bundt Cake Pan. Whether Thanksgiving or Halloween, just decorate the cake to fit your theme. 


I hope you enjoy these Pumpkin Dessert Bars as much as we do. Happy Holidays!

pumpkin bars

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

An easy pumpkin dessert recipe that makes a large quantity and freezes well. Make in a jelly roll pan or a bundt pan.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • Jelly roll pan
  • Or Bundt pan


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unflavored oil - canola, vegetable
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 16 ounces can pumpkin puree


  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp milk


  • Preheat oven 350 degrees
    Grease jelly roll pan.
    Beat eggs.
    Add pumpkin, oil, sugar and spice together.
    Add dry ingredients. Mix till blended.
    Pour into pan.
    Bake 20-25 minutes.
    Cool cake.
    Combine topping ingredients. Frost bars.
    Best when refrigerated. Freezes well.


If you make these in the bundt pan, follow the time given on the pan packaging as it will depend on the depth of each well.
The cream cheese frosting can be used to fill the center of the cake to hold the top and bottom together.
Have fun decorating the cake with as many creative colors and designs as you like.
Keyword dessert, Halloween, holidays, pumpkin, Thanksgiving



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.