Pumpkin Bars with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
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! 
    Servings Prep Time
    35-48 (depending on bar size) 10minutes
    Cook Time
    Servings Prep Time
    35-48 (depending on bar size) 10minutes
    Cook Time
    up close front view of easy pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting
    Wet Ingredients
    • 115 oz. can pure pumpkin
    • 1cup packed light brown sugar
    • 2/3cup granulated sugar
    • 1cup Vegetable oil
    • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 4 eggsat room temperature
    Dry Ingredients
    • 2cups all-purpose flour
    • 2teaspoons baking powder
    • 1teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2teaspoon salt
    • 1tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2teaspoon ground ginger
    Add later:
    • 1cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
    • 4tablespoons unsalted buttersoftened**
    • 1 1/2cups Powdered sugar
    • 1/4cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2-3tablespoons milk
    • 4oz. cream cheese cut into piecessoftened**
    • 1/2cup Nutella
    • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
    Pumpkin Bars
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 x 17 jell roll pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together all of the Wet ingredients. Sift in Dry Ingredients into the Wet Ingredients and mix just until combined – don’t overmix. Stir in chocolate chips just until combined.
    3. Spread the batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let cool completely before frosting.
    Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
    1. Beat butter, sugar, cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons milk with handled mixer at medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth.
    2. 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.
    3. Evenly spread frosting over COOLED pumpkin bars. Garnish with mini chocolate chips, candy corns, etc. if desired (optional). Bars are best if frosting is allowed to set for at least 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
    Recipe Notes
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Sifting the flour not only evenly distributes the ingredients but results in much fluffier Pumpkin Bars.  Alternatively, you can whisk together all the Dry Ingredients in a separate bowl then stir them into the Wet Ingredients, but the bars won’t be quite as fluffy.
    • 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.
    • Pan Sizes. 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.
    • Let Pumpkin Bars cool completely before frosting because if you try and frost your bars right away, then the frosting will melt.
    • **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.
    • Nutella 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).
    • 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.