Pumpkin Bars

I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for almost five years and have yet to feature a recipe for Pumpkin Bars. Well, as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve finally created one that I’m excited to share. I actually made these last week, but thought I’d wait until September to blog about them. After all, September is the start of Pumpkin-Flavored-Everything-Season.

Pumpkin Bars | Inspired by Charm

As you can imagine, there are a million pumpkin bar recipes out there. After looking at several of the “best” recipes, I came up with my own. It’s based in part on one of the classic recipes from Better Homes and Gardens.

Pumpkin Bars | Inspired by Charm

After owning a B&B for five years and cooking up lots of pumpkin-related items for breakfast, I’ve learned something about baking with pumpkin. Here’s the secret – it’s all about the spices. No matter how much pumpkin puree you include in your recipe, that really fabulous pumpkin flavor comes from the spices.

Pumpkin Bars | Inspired by Charm

Whenever, I’m baking something with pumpkin, I always include cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin pie spice. I’ve found that this combination gives the best flavor. If you want to ensure a really good fall flavor, makes sure to add in all those spices. Okay?

Pumpkin Bars | Inspired by Charm

These particular pumpkin bars have pecans on top of the frosting. Feel free to leave them off or use walnuts, candy corn, or whatever makes you happy. I know some folks are picky about nuts in / on things, so that part is up to you. Even a dusting of cinnamon on top would be nice for a little added garnish.

I’m so pleased with the way these turned out. A friend of mine gave them a 10 out of 10. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

Pumpkin Bars | Inspired by Charm

I’m pretty sure this is the best way to kick off Pumpkin-Flavored-Everything-Season!

Pumpkin Bars

Here's what you will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped for garnish (optional)

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Then grease and flour a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

In a stand mixer (or large bowl with hand mixer), beat the butter for about one minute. Then beat in the sugar until light and fluffy (about two more minutes). Add eggs, pumpkin, sour cream, milk and vanilla; beat until combined. (It's OK if your batter looks curdled or separated.) Add in your flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Spread the mixture evenly into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

For the frosting, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Continue beating until the frosting is smooth.


Inspired By Charm

Click below for more pumpkin-inspired recipes:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Frosted Pumpkin Cookies
Pumpkin Brownies
Pumpkin Blossom Cookies

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that inspiredbycharm.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

Posted By at 11:37 AM
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  • EA at

    Moist , yummy bars! First time making them. Easy recipe to follow with great results. I will definitely make these again and I passed along the recipe to others. The only change I made was the amount of sugar in bars and frosting. I am feeding many kids so I used 1 cup of sugar in bars and 2 cups of confectioner sugar for frosting. For me, it is sweet enough so I would use those measurements again. Thanks for the recipe. A great way to begin Pumpkin season.

  • Kayle Rivers at

    Mine are about to come out of the oven now! I’m so excited!!

    I had never really cooked or baked until my wife’s injury a couple of months ago, and now I’m taken on challenges in the kitchen everyday.

    Your recipes have allowed me to surprise her, as she always has known me as the guy who “can’t cook”

    Thank you for all of your inspiring content!

  • Keaton at

    What temp do these bars bake at? Thank you

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      350 degrees F. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Victoria L at

    I brought these into work and they were a HUGE hit with my co-workers (especially my manager)! We took multiple cake breaks throughout the day and everyone kept raving about these bars. The only alterations I made was using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and I added cinnamon and pumpkin spices to the icing to infuse it with more fall flavours. These bars are perfection. My entire apartment smelled like the epitome of autumn while I was making these and it put me in the most wonderful mood. This recipe is one of the most successful and well-received ones that I’ve tried! It’s definitely going into my fall baking arsenal. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    • Sariah Long at

      I did the same with the Greek yogurt…mostly because thats what I had.

  • Margaret at

    A BIG hit with my friends!!!! Even my son loved it. I will be making this recipe again and again.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Fantastic! So happy to hear that. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • David Gobeli at

    Hey Michael! Long time no chat. Hope you’re well. I don’t see a temperature for baking. I’m assuming 350? I was scrolling the internets for a good pumpkin bar and saw yours and instantly knew it will be great. Making them tonight!

  • Jodie at

    Just tried this recipe this morning. They are delicious. I used to make them using a recipe that called for 1 cup of oil. This one tastes so much better. Thank you for sharing.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks so much for letting me know Jodie! I’m glad you like the recipe. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Angela at

    10 out of 10! I made these today, seriously amazing!

  • Meg at

    Ooh, these look delightful! As someone who is absolutely in her element during Pumpkin-Flavored-Everything Season, I’m quite eager to try them. 🙂 Yay, fall!

  • Sharon at

    I’ve been going thru my pumpkin recipes looking for something different and I think I just found it. Can’t wait to try these. I’ve never put sour cream in my pumpkin recipes but I will sure try it. Thanks for the idea!

    BTW your last weeks chocolate peanut butter cake was delicious. Good thing I have a neighbor I can share these goodies with.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Sharon – so glad you are loving the recipes. Fall is the best time for baking. Enjoy!

      xo Michael

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      You got it! Thank you!!

      xo Michael

  • http://greenspowder.svbtle.com/ at

    Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?

    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thanks

  • cristin at

    These looks GREAT! Can’t wait to try! Thanks for posting!

  • Pam at

    I don’t even like pumpkin, but those look amazing! Then you have to go and mention candy corn and now that’s all I’m thinking of. I’m going to have to remember to have lunch before I read these food posts of yours.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Hahaha! Love it! You’ll have to give these a try. Maybe they would change your mind about pumpkin??

      xo Michael

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