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By: Chef Laura Bonicelli

Pumpkin Cake Bars are one of my favorite fall treats. They are moist and spicy; their aroma is so comforting while they bake.

Pumpkin Cake Bars

about Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

My mother made a wonderful spice cake when I was growing up. This isn’t that recipe, but similar. Sometimes she used apple sauce, but more often used pumpkin puree. In those days, the pumpkin puree of choice came from a can. She preferred the Festal brand. That was before I realized you could buy an actual pumpkin and make your own.

I always pull this recipe out in the fall. It’s a good one to decorate with children for Halloween if you keep an assortment of food coloring on hand. There is plenty of frosting for decorating. You can plan on having at least a cup and a half of extra frosting for your pastry bags.

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Pumpkin Cake Bars
Pumpkin Cake Bars
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Step by Step Instructions

Pumpkin Cake Bars

Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

© Chef Laura Bonicelli
Pumpkin Cake Bars are moist and spicy. This recipe reminds me of a spice cake that my mother used to make for a very special after-school treat
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Dessert, Snacks and Treats
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 298 kcal


  • 1 9x9-inch baking pan


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt


  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 8 ounces cream cheese right out of the fridge and cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x9-inch pan with shortening or butter.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin, and vanilla.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Beat to combine. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (200ºF - 210ºF) Cool completely before frostin.
  • Cream cheese and butter together at medium-high speed until totally combined. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time scraping down the sides as necessary. Add in vanilla and lemon juice and mix until combined.
  • Frost the cooled cake. Store in the refrigerator.


Calories: 298kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 188mgPotassium: 70mgFiber: 1gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 2670IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg
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