These easy pumpkin bars are super moist, perfectly spiced, and slathered in tangy cream cheese frosting. What more could you want in a fall treat?
If you’re looking for a fun, festive, and sweet-but-not-too-sweet treat to make for Halloween, this easy pumpkin bars recipe is just the thing for you! It’s based on the pumpkin bread recipe that I make every fall. Like the bread, these bars are moist, tender, and filled with pumpkin spice flavor. UNlike the bread, they’re topped in a rich, tangy cream cheese frosting, which really highlights the warm spices inside them. On cool fall afternoons, they’re the perfect treat to pair with a coffee or tea. But heads up: these pumpkin bars are seriously addictive. Eat one, and you’ll have finished a second (or third) before you know it!
Easy Pumpkin Bars Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy pumpkin bars recipe:
- Ground flaxseed and water act as an egg replacer in this recipe – they thicken the batter and help it rise.
- All-purpose flour and almond flour make these pumpkin bars super moist and tender. I love using this combo in baking – find it in my blueberry muffins and banana bread, too!
- Pumpkin pie spice fills these bars with warm autumn flavor. I like to use this homemade pumpkin spice blend, but if you prefer, you could substitute 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon cardamom.
- Baking powder and baking soda help them rise.
- Coconut oil adds moisture and richness.
- Maple syrup sweetens them up.
- Vanilla extract deepens the flavor.
- Pumpkin puree adds essential pumpkin flavor and moisture. Find it in a can, or make your own with this recipe! If you have leftover puree, use it to make pumpkin pancakes or French toast.
- And a dash of salt highlights the sweet, spiced flavor. Yum!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Combine the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another. Then, pour the wet pumpkin mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Spread the batter into a baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Now for the hard part: letting the bars cool! It’s tempting to slice them or frost them right away, but they must cool to room temperature first. If they’re still warm, the bars will crumble, and the frosting will melt!
Pumpkin Bars Recipe Variations
When it comes to topping these bars, you have a few options. They’re fantastic with the luscious frosting on its own, but you can also sprinkle a little something else on top. I love chocolate with any pumpkin dessert, so I add mini chocolate chips. Chopped pecans would be great here too. Have fun customizing the topping to suit your tastes!
Leftover frosting? Slather it on my carrot cake (see here for a vegan version).
Because I use part almond flour in this pumpkin bars recipe, it’s a natural candidate for a gluten-free variation. To make this recipe gluten-free, replace the all-purpose flour with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour.
Happy baking! 🙂
More Favorite Fall Desserts
If you love these pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, try one of these delicious fall desserts next:
- Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
- Apple Oatmeal Cookies
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cinnamon Apple Crumble
- Apple Crumble Pie
- Best Pumpkin Pie
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- vegan chocolate chips, optional for sprinkling
- Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed and the water and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
- In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and the flaxseed mixture.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Spread into the baking dish (the batter will be thick) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before frosting or slicing.
- While the cake cools, make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, and mix until smooth.
With what can I subsitute the Almond flour (allergies)?
Hi Corinne, we haven’t tried a sub for the almond flour here, so I can’t guarantee that something else would work. If you’re looking for a nut-free pumpkin recipe, I recommend these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. These pumpkin oat cookies are great too.
I’m planning on baking these ahead of time. Should they be stored in the fridge or is the counter okay? Thanks.
Without the frosting, they’re fine at room temp, but if you frost them, I’d stick them in the fridge. Hope you enjoy!
Could I make this with egg and without almond flour. Trying to use what I have on hand instead of buying stuff I don’t normally use. If so how many eggs would make up for the flaxseed?
Typically one tablespoon of flax seed soaked in water is about one egg. Since there are four tablespoons in a quarter cup, that should be equivalent to 4 eggs. I walked through my thinking in case anyone thinks about it differently!
This is my go to recipe to take to parties and for our Thanksgiving week to take to our family’s home. It bakes perfect each time I make it. Thank you so much for this recipe. My whole family loves it and we have small children.
Unfortunately, it came out extremely gooey.
Well gosh. These didn’t come out so super great for me. I baked 10 minutes longer and the cake was still doughy and underdone in texture. I frosted them anyway. They look just like the picture but… Can’t think why. I followed directions to a tee. They are okay. I like that the cake isn’t sweet. Just a funny texture.
Thank you for these vegan bars! Gave these a shot this morning before settling into all the Zoom mtgs today. Delicious flavor, but didn’t get these to rise much, so were a little underbaked. What’s your recommendation to boost them a bit?
Hi Katie, these don’t rise much – it sounds like you could have baked them a little longer if they were underbaked.
These are delicious! Light, moist and perfect for anytime of the day ~ I eat them without the glaze or cream cheese. Yum!
I love this recipe but hate only using part of the can of pumpkin. It always seems to go to waste besides my best intentions. Any suggestions on how I can change/scale this recipe?
Hi Linnie, you could double the recipe and use a 9×13 pan – you might have to bake it a little longer since the batter will be thicker in that size pan. Or you could make our pumpkin muffins, pumpkin waffles, or pumpkin french toast with the leftover.
Hope that helps!
Try stirring leftover pumpkin into oatmeal or other hot cereal with pumpkin pie spice, dried cranberries, and walnuts.
can i make this into bread by just baking in a loaf pan? i like the idea of using almond flour and this has less sugar than your pumpkin bread. Thank,
Hi Jacquie, not really, it’d be pretty flat which is why these work well as bars. The pumpkin bread recipe was developed to puff up more in a loaf pan so that it cooks all the way through.
Should say 😍
3.In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, Pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Very tasty with out frosting , simple pumpkin bars.
I just made these and used butter instead of coconut oil and it worked perfect! I was almost gonna do a regular egg cause I was worried it would taste odd with flax but ended up going with the flax eggs and I loved the taste and texture with them! So moist!
For the frosting I added a little pumpkin and spices and it was a little runny but the flavor was amazing!
Thanks for the recipe! Just what I needed 🙂