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Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 14 oz. canned (1+3/4 cups) pure pumpkin purée like Libby’s or E.D. Smith brands.
    (you can also use your own pumpkin purée for this recipe, but I highly recommend using canned – see my notes)
  • 2 tsps pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt

Frosting ingredients:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 oz. (1 1/2 cups / 1 1/2 blocks) of plain cream cheese, softened (don’t use the light kind for this recipe)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  3. Beat in the brown sugar and then eggs one at a time.
  4. Slowly combine the pumpkin.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients so that they are well combined.
  6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  7. Scrape the batter into a greased and parchment paper lined 9 x 13” metal baking pan.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
  9. Once the pumpkin bars have finished baking, allow them to cool on a metal cooling rack until they reach room temperature (while still in the pan!).
  10. Once cooled, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the surface of the bars. Chill in the fridge for at least four hours. Once chilled, cut into about 18 bars and serve.

Frosting instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth.
  2. To this, beat in about ¼ cup of the icing sugar at a time and mix until smooth.
  3. Spread evenly over the pumpkin bars.


For this recipe, you can use either homemade pumpkin puree or the canned store bought kind (like Libby’s). Both will work however I’d highly recommend using store bought as the pumpkin flavour will be more rich and pronounced. I find that sometimes when using homemade puree, the pumpkin flavour we’re looking for just isn’t as intense as the canned version… and that’s ok! The store bought kind has is super concentrated, thicker and contains less water, so that’s why it works so well!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking

Keywords: pumpkin, halloween, fall dessert