Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Bars

Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Bars are the best ever! Moist and lightly spiced, this recipe is a must for your fall baking list! Top these easy pumpkin bars with a delicious cream cheese icing and enjoy with a tall glass of milk or cup of tea!


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Are you a pumpkin lover? If not, this recipe might just convert you!

I’ve tried many pumpkin bar recipes and this one is THE BEST EVER! I turned to Paula Deen for this wonderful recipe. The original recipe for Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Bars calls for spreading the frosting on the entire cake. We love to cut them up and pipe the icing on individually using a 1M piping tip. So easy!

You can do whatever you like with this delicious cream cheese icing. It can be spread over the cooled cake or piped into pretty rosettes.

Close up image of pumpkin bars on white plate.

If you haven’t quite embraced the fact that FALL is around the corner, this pumpkin bar will definitely get you in the spirit!

If you’re looking for other delicious pumpkin recipes, you have to try Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread. The recipe makes two loaves and it is out of this world!

YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE!

  • I love how quick and easy it is to put together. Wet ingredients, dry ingredients, then add one to the other. What could be easier?
  • If you’re looking for a fall baking recipe that will please the whole family, this is it!
  • the ingredients are pretty basic. I always like to keep a can of pumpkin on hand. If you don’t have one, grab that and the cream cheese. Everything else is pantry staples.

INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS

Ingredients for Pumpkin Bar Recipe in small bowls with text overlay on each ingredient.
  • Eggs – use large eggs at room temperature. Take the eggs out of the refrigerator about an hour before you being making the recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Pure Pumpkin – double check the label when you buy the pumpkin. It should say ‘pure pumpkin’ and not ‘pumpkin pie filling’. The texture and flavors are completely different!
  • All Purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Cream Cheese – I like to use the regular cream cheese, however I’ve also used the light cream cheese for the frosting.
  • Butter – for the icing should be softened at room temperature. Take it out of the refrigerator one hour before you start the recipe.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract – I always recommend using pure vanilla extract. Artificial vanilla extract will also work just fine in a pinch.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Pumpkin, oil, eggs and sugar in mixing bowl of stand mixer with spatula.

I used my stand mixer for these pumpkin bars. You can also use a hand-held electric mixer, or even mix it by hand. (a bit of a workout).

Combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin and beat it until light and fluffy. I beat it for about a minute and half.

Dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

In a separate mixing bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

dry ingredients are added to wet ingredients in stand mixer bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture all at once. Mix on low speed until combined.

Pumpkin bar batter is spread into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Spread the batter into prepared 9×13 inch baking pan.

Bake in 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

Test with cake tester or toothpick to ensure that the bars are fully cooked in the middle of the baking dish. They may need an extra 5 minutes of baking time.

Let cool completely before frosting. If you don’t cool completely and frost the bars while they’re still too warm, the icing will be runny and not set properly.

Cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar in bowl from stand mixer with whisk attachment.

While bars are cooling make the cream cheese icing.

For the icing: I like to use the whisk attachment on my stand mixer or you can use the regular beaters on an electric hand mixer. You can also do it by hand if you don’t have a mixer.

Beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until it’s smooth.

Gradually add in the powdered sugar and mix at low speed until combined.

Add vanilla and give it a final mix on medium speed until it’s nice and creamy and the right spreadable consistency.

Next, you have two options. You can either spread the icing on the bars, then cut into bars or pipe the icing using a 1M (or any large star piping tip) onto the tops of the bars.

If you like, give them a little dusting of cinnamon to make them even prettier!

Close up image of Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars with a rosette of cream cheese frosting.
Can you freeze pumpkin bars?

Yes, pumpkin bars can be frozen for up to two months. Freeze cooled bars, without icing in an airtight freezer-safe container.

Are pumpkin bars supposed to be refrigerated?

If the pumpkin bars are frosted with cream cheese icing, they should be refrigerated for up to four days.

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY THESE RECIPES

If you love Paula Deen’s recipes as much as we do, check out these:

Paula Deen’s Green Bean Casserole

Paula Deen’s Corn Casserole

Paula Deen’s Sweet Potato Casserole

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Close up image of pumpkin bars on a white plate.

Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Bars


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4.8 from 16 reviews

Description

Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Bars are the best ever! Moist and lightly spiced, this recipe is a must for your fall baking list! Top these easy pumpkin bars with a delicious cream cheese icing and enjoy with a tall glass of milk or cup of tea!


Ingredients

4 eggs, room temperature

1 2/3 cup sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

15 oz. can pumpkin

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

8 oz. package cream cheese

1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer, or using electric mixer with mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until smooth and creamy.
  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Mix at low speed until combined. 
  6. Spread batter into prepared baking dish.
  7. Bake in 350°F oven for 30 minutes.  Test the centre using a toothpick to ensure the bars are completely cooked in the middle. They might need an extra 5 minutes of baking.
  8. Cool bars completely before frosting.
  9. To make the cream cheese icing: beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  10. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and beat over medium speed until combined.
  11. Add in the vanilla and mix on high for a minute until it’s nice and creamy and spreadable.
  12. Spread on pumpkin bars, then cut into bars. 
  13. Alternatively you can pipe rosettes as shown in the feature image using a 1M Wilton piping tip and decorating bag for icing.
  14. Makes 20 small or 10 large bars.

Notes

  1. The original recipe indicated that a 9×13-inch pan would make 10 bars.  I found them to be large and cut 20 bars from a 9×13-inch pan and it was the perfect size for dessert.
  2. Storage instructions: Store cooled bars covered in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  3. Freezing instructions: Store cooled bars in an airtight container for up to two months.  Freeze without the cream cheese frosting.  Thaw pumpkin bars in refrigerator and frost with cream cheese frosting before serving. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: one bar
  • Calories: 327
  • Sugar: 29 g
  • Sodium: 209.6 mg
  • Fat: 18.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.2 g
  • Fiber: 0.9 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 53.7 mg

37 Comments

    1. I am definitely not a pumpkin fan, but I went out of my normal baking treats and tried this recipe. All I can say is OMG, this was so good! You have got to try it. It’s moist and not too sweet. I did cut 1/2 of powdered sugar from the icing recipe and added a tsp. of lemon juice. Sooo good!






  1. These are the best I have found. I was wondering if you could use the same recipe but use applesauce if so how much applesauce would you substitute for the pumpkin??

    1. Aren’t they so tasty!! I haven’t tried applesauce as a substitute but I would love to hear the outcome if you try it! Thanks so much for commenting and stopping by! 🙂 Sandra

    1. Yes, you could certainly experiment with adding pumpkin pie spice to the batter. I would start with 1 teaspoon or maybe 2 teaspoons and go from there. Thanks! Sandra

      1. Would it be possible to make this recipe and bake it in a cupcake pan? That’s easier to share with friends, otherwise I will eat it all ;p

  2. Ok these are seriously not only the best pumpkin dessert recipe we have ever tried but one for the best bar recipes ever. Just delicious, thanks Paula and Sandra!!






  3. These are absolutely delicious! And so easy to make, too. I only made one small change to the recipe. Instead of adding 2 teaspoons of cinnamon I added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. YUM! Everyone raved about them and they certainly didn’t last long! I didn’t even have to get my big stand mixer out, I just used a hand mixer. I’ll definitely be making these again.






  4. Loved the recipe! I made a few changes. Instead of 1 cup of oil, I used 1/2 cup + 1 /2 cup melted browned butter. I also sprinkled chocolate chips and chopped pecans on the top before baking. It was a hit!






  5. Really liked the way these turned out. Liked that cinnamon was used, not pumpkin seasoning with cloves or nutmeg. Great texture as well.






  6. I will definitely be making this again ! The cake had fabulous flavor and so moist. My icing was too runny but I used tub butter instead of stick I’m sure that was the problem. I want to be able to pipe my icing out of a bag like you did. Thanks !






  7. Making these for Thanksgiving. Can you bake and ice the day before and refrigerate?
    Cut and serve on Thanksgiving?






  8. I absolutely love this snack cake and I’ve already made it several times 😳
    The only change I made was not making the frosting, I don’t think it needs it but sometimes I do put a nice squirt of whipped cream on top 🥰






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