Pumpkin Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting


A fall classic perfected. Cakey spiced pumpkin bars topped with a generous layer of tangy cream cheese frosting.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Spray an 9x13” baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Place the softened butter, canola oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract into a large bowl. Use a hand mixer to cream together the ingredients on medium speed for 1 minute, or until well combined. Add the eggs and pumpkin puree, and continue to beat on medium speed for 30 seconds to one minute, until smooth.
  4. Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Beat the mixture on medium speed for about 1 minute, until all ingredients are combined into a smooth, medium-thick batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, as needed.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking pan.
  6. Transfer the baking pan to the middle rack of the preheated oven.
  7. Bake the bars for 34-38 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove the baking pan from the oven. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then transfer them to the refrigerator to cool completely before frosting, about two hours.
  9. While the bars cool, make the frosting. Using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to distribute the powdered sugar, then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for another 1-2 minutes, until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  10. Remove the cooled bars from the refrigerator. Spread or pipe the frosting in an even layer over the surface.
  11. Slice the bars as desired, and serve.
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