These soft pumpkin bars are spiced with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg topped with a light whipped brown sugar cream cheese frosting.
Everyone loves a good pumpkin bar – cookbooks both old and new are filled with pumpkin recipes and pumpkin bars are one of the most popular fall recipes!
There was a time when pumpkin recipes were promoted as “healthy” recipes, simply because they contained pumpkin as an ingredient. If you look through vintage cookbooks from the 1970’s and 80’s, recipe names with pumpkin often contained the word “healthy.” While some pumpkin recipes were healthy, the truth was many of these recipes contained a large amount of sugar and/or fats, making them the complete opposite of healthy. Luckily these days, we know moderation is key in enjoying some of these pumpkin recipes!
Scroll below to read all about making these over the top pumpkin bars!
How to Make this Recipe
These soft pumpkin bars have a traditional base spiced with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. What takes these pumpkin bars over the top is the light whipped brown sugar cream cheese frosting. I also top mine with my candied pecans to take these pumpkin bars even more over the top!
Ingredients for the Pumpkin Bars
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Baking soda
- Ground cloves
- Ground nutmeg
- Cooking oil (canola or vegetable)
Ingredients for the Whipped Brown Sugar Frosting
- Cream cheese
- Light brown sugar
- Heavy whipping cream
- Sea salt
- Vanilla extract
- Candied pecans
The pumpkin bars are simple to make – even for beginner bakers! The flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg and salt are combined in the bowl of a stand mixer. Then, the eggs, pumpkin and cooking oil are added. The batter is poured into a 15x10x1 baking pan (jelly roll pan) and then baked at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once the bars have cooled completely, they can be frosted and garnished with the candied pecans.
The whipped brown sugar frosting does require several mixing bowls to make, but the taste is well worth the effort! First, the heavy whipping cream is whipped in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Then, in a separate large mixing bowl, the softened cream cheese is mixed with the brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy; then the vanilla extract is added. The whipped cream is then folded into the brown sugar and cream cheese mixture until all combined. The frosting can then be spread on the cooled pumpkin bars.
Tips for Pumpkin Bars with Whipped Brown Sugar Frosting
- Candied pecans can be made several weeks in advance; I like to keep a batch in my freezer (they will keep up to 3 months frozen)
- Store pumpkin bars in the refrigerator up to 72 hours
Want more pumpkin recipes?
Pumpkin Bars with Whipped Brown Sugar Frosting
- mixing bowls of various sizes
- stand mixer or hand mixer
- 15x10x1 inch baking pan (jelly roll pan)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 eggs beaten
- 1 15oz can pumpkin
- 1 cup cooking oil (canola or vegetable oil)
Whipped Brown Sugar Frosting
- 3 oz. cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
- pinch of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- candied pecans for garnish optional
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg.
- Stir in the 4 eggs, 1 15oz can pumpkin and 1 cup cooking oil
- Cool completely before frosting and garnishing with candied pecans.
Whipped Brown Sugar Frosting
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl that has been chilled, whip 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, cream softened 3 oz. cream cheese, 1/3 cup light brown sugar and pinch of sea salt until light and fluffy.
- Mix in ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Fold in whipped cream.
- Use to frost bars. Sprinkle with candied pecans for garnish
- Store pumpkin bars refrigerated for up to 72 hours
- Candied pecans can be made several weeks in advance