Paula Deen pumpkin bars are decadent and sooo incredibly soft and tender. Frosted with the most perfectly fluffy cream cheese frosting, they take you straight to all those feel good fall moments in just one bite.
We love this recipe from Paula Deen, which you can find here. We've expanded the directions and added some variations and ideas to play with it, which you can find below.
Whether it's not fall but you wish it were or you want a delicious pumpkin dessert, these bars have you covered for all things fall.
This was inspired by our Maple Blondies which are also soft and tender. They would be perfect if paired with Pumpkin Donut Muffins, our Banana Pumpkin Muffins and our Pumpkin Snickerdoodles for for any fall entertaining.
Try our other Paula Deen finds like Paula Deen Pumpkin Cheesecake, Paula Deen's Sweet Potato Casserole or Paul Deen Deviled Eggs.
Why I Love This Recipe
These Pumpkin Bars are a hit at every party! They are so fluffy!!! Some pumpkin bars can be a little dense, but not these. They are fluffy and wonderful. I love how quick and easy they are to make. They are just a simple straightforward recipe that turns out great every time.
- eggs - large
- sugar - regular granulated sugar
- oil - this recipe calls for vegetable or canola oil, but you can also use avocado
- pumpkin - plain canned pumpkin puree, not t be confused with canned pumpkin pie flling!
- flour - regular all-purpose flour, bleached or unbleached
- baking powder
- cinnamon - my favorite is the Kirkland organic from Costco
- salt - regular table salt
- baking soda
- cream cheese - we HIGHLY recommend using PHILADELPHIA cream cheese for the best and smoothest results
- butter - regular butter, can be substituted for plant based butter, if desired
- powdered sugar
- vanilla - we always recommend pure vanilla for best results, but you can use imitation in a pinch
See recipe card for quantities.
1. Start by preheating the oven to 350*F. Grease a 9x13 baking pan. Using a bowl and hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin on medium speed about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat another 30 seconds.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda) together in a medium sized bowl and whisk together until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until well combined. The batter should be smooth.
3. Pour batter into your greased 9x13 pan and spread evenly. Bake for 28-30 minutes until the top is matte. Insert a toothpick into the center to test for doneness. The toothpick should come out clean. Let cool completely (at least 90 minutes) before frosting.
4. Beat butter on high for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Spread across cooled pumpkin bars and enjoy!
- gluten free- substitute gluten free flour for regular flour for gluten free.
- dairy free - The bars themselves are naturally dairy free. Make the frosting dairy free by using plant based butter and vegan cream cheese.
- Pumpkin Spice Bars - for a more intense fall flavor and that pumpkin spice we love, omit the cinnamon and use 1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice.
- Chai- keep the cinnamon and add 1 ½ teaspoons cardamom and ½ teaspoon nutmeg.
- Pecan - add 1 ½ cups chopped pecans for that wonderful pecan texture and taste added.
- Caramel- try topping them with our delicious homemade caramel topping.
Pumpkin bars need to be refrigerated if they have cream cheese frosting on top. You can refrigerate just the cream cheese frosting, and store the pumpkin bars at room temperature to be frosted later, if desired.
Yes! Pumpkin bars freeze very well. We recommend you don't thaw them all the way to room temperature or they will begin to weep. They are best enjoyed partially frozen.
First make a soft and fluffy pumpkin bar base. Using oil instead of butter will help give them a good rise and more fluff. Make a fluffy cream cheese frosting for the top. Bake the pumpkin bars and allow to cool completely. Top with cream cheese frosting and enjoy!
Yes! Canned pumpkin and pumpkin puree are the same thing! Be careful while you are selecting your pumpkin puree to not accidentally grab "pumpkin pie filling" which is not the same, but comes in a similar looking can.
These store great in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
These can be frozen! They taste delicious partially thawed/ slightly frozen. Cut into desired size pieces prior to freezing. Thaw for 10 minutes or so before eating. Don't let these thaw to room temperature or they will start to weep and become quite messy.
The butter for the frosting should only be slightly softened. If it's too soft and warm it'll collapse later into a soggy mess. Get the butter out around a half hour before you're ready to use it. It should still feel cold, but leave an imprint when you press on it with your finger.
Paula Deen Pumpkin Bars
For the pumpkin bar:
- 4 eggs
- 1 ⅔ cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 15 oz can pumpkin
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the Frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ½ cup butter softened/slightly cold (see note)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Pumpkin Bars:
- Preheat oven to 350*F
- Grease a 9x13 baking pan.
- Using a large mixing bowl and hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix an additional 30 seconds.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the flour, baking, powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda with a whisk.
- Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until well combined. The batter should be smooth.
- Spread in the 9x13 pan and bake for 28-30 minutes, until the top is matte. Insert a toothpick into the middle to test for doneness. It should come out clean.
For the frosting:
- Beat the butter on high for 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until light and smooth.
- Spread frosting on cooled pumpkin bars.
- Enjoy and let us know how you liked them!
These were delicious! Very soft and fluffy. Best cream cheese frosting I ever had. We decided to try the chai pumpkin bar variation and it was sooooo yummy. Highly recommend.
Super easy, moist and delicious! Thank you for another winner! 🙂
I love how easy these bars are. I love the cream cheese frosting too. Thanks for the tips!
Delicious! These pumpkin bars truly are decadent. They are moist and fluffy and the cream cheese frosting is what dreams are made of. Thank you Paula Deen and Simply Scrumptious.
I always keep pumpkin in my pantry because I never know when the craving will strike! These pumpkin bars are a new fav and were perfect for my spring pumpkin craving. Can't wait to make them again this fall!
These pumpkin bars were soooo moist and fluffy and delicious and decadent and the cream cheese frosting was perfection. Thank Youuuuuu Paula Dean!
Very good! I wish I would have put them in a larger pan because it’s more like a cake in the 9x13.
I made this and it was very delicious. They are very moist and the frosting compliments the pumpkin nicely. You could probably add more spices to the batter if you want to (e.g. pumpkin spice mix). I reduced the sugar level of the cake mixture by 20%. I didn't want to lose any moisture, so I added around 1/3 - 1/2 cup of a blended mixture of banana and milk.
Yay, we're so glad you liked it! We'll have to try it with your edits, yum!