The BEST Pumpkin Bars slathered in Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting are easy, soft, tender, exploding with flavor and will have everyone singing your praises all season long!
These Pumpkin Bars are the only pumpkin recipe you need this Fall! They are super easy made with one bowl and one sheet pan and ridiculously delicious! The Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting elevates them to beyond any pumpkin bar recipe you’ve ever tasted before!
September 22 is the first day of Fall which means everything pumpkin! In anticipation of that blessed day, I’m wetting your palate with these Pumpkin Bars with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting. I am salivating just thinking about them.
These Pumpkin Bars might be favorite pumpkin anything to date. They are super moist, rich, fluffy and the Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting is pure creamy decadence. But you don’t have to take my word for it. The day I made these Pumpkin Bars, my friends were having a church youth activity so I asked if they wanted the bars.
These were the texts I received later that night:
“Those pumpkin bars were seriously unreal. And the girls would not stop talking about how good they were.” Jen G.
“Jen those bars were incredible!!!! The whole pan was gone in seconds. They said they were the best thing they’ve ever tasted and they seriously were. Weston wants me to get the recipe. In my next life I want to cook like you. “ – Shannon
Well, the good thing is, you can all “cook like me” and devour these ‘incredible” bars with my Pumpkin Bar recipe!
This Pumpkin Pie Bar recipe is modified from my mom’s famous Pumpkin Bread and the Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting idea comes from my Pumpkin Crepes with Nutella Filling because pumpkin + chocolate = exponentially more delicious! So if you’re looking for the best homemade pumpkin bar recipe from scratch – look no further!
Looking for more Pumpkin Recpes?
- Pumpkin Praline Pie
- Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Cookie with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pound Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze
- Pumpkin Angel Food Cake French Toast
- Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
- Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
- and be sure to check out my collection of over 50 Thanksgiving Recipes!
How to Make Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
At first glance, the ingredient list for this Pumpkin Bars recipe might seem lengthy, but the recipe is very simple and takes less than 10 minutes to make, so bake on! Below please find how to make the Pumpkin Bars with Tips and Tricks in bullet points.
1. Preheat the oven and line a 12 x 17 baking sheet with sides (jelly roll pan) with parchment paper.
- Alternative you can butter and flour your pan but I find the parchment paper so much easier. By using parchment paper, you can also lift your bars out of the pan when they’re done.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together all of the Wet ingredients. This includes:
- 1 15 oz. can pure pumpkin (not filling)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- Room temperature eggs: It is essential that you use room temperature eggs for fluffy bars. Room temperature eggs whisk to a higher volume because the egg whites and yolks whisk together more easily. This promotes more even distribution into the batter resulting in light, fluffy cake (because eggs trap air). Cold eggs result in a more dense cake.
- To quickly bring eggs to room temperature: fill a bowl with warm water (not hot) and add eggs and let sit 10-20 minutes.
3. Sift the Dry Ingredients into the Wet Ingredients.
- Sifting the flour not only evenly distributes the ingredients but results in much fluffier Pumpkin Bars. Dry ingredients include:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together just until combined, taking care not to overmix. Stir in chocolate chips just until combined.
- Never overmix batter and stop mixing as soon as you see the white disappear. Overmixing cake batter causes the gluten in the flour to from elastic gluten strands which result in a dense, chewy texture.
5. Spread the Pumpkin Bar batter into your prepared pan and bake for for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- If you don’t have a 12 x 17 pan, then other sizes will also work, just take care to adjust the cooking time accordingly and be aware you will end up with thinner or thicker bars depending on your pan size. This will also affect the frosting to Pumpkin Bar ratio.
6. Let Pumpkin Bars cool completely before frosting.
If you try and frost your bars right away, then the frosting will melt.
7. To make, Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat butter, sugar, cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons milk with handled mixer at medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth. Add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add Nutella and vanilla and beat to combine. Add additional milk if needed to reach desired consistency. Evenly spread frosting over pumpkin bars.
- Do NOT microwave butter or cream cheese to soften for Cream Cheese frosting or it will be too runny. Let them both soften at room temperature.
- Cream Cheese Frosting is RICH, so don’t use all of it unless you want rich bars. (which we love and so did everyone else who devoured them).
- This is optional but you can decorate your Pumpkin Bars with mini chocolate chips, candy corns or candy pumpkins, etc.
9. Let the frosting set for at least 30 minutes.
- I tasted my bars right after frosting and then tasted them 3 hours later and they were WAY better because the frosting had set and the bar flavors developed. They are also much easier to slice.
Want to try this Pumpkin Bar Recipe?
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