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Grab a steaming cup of coffee and treat yourself to Libby’s Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting! This delicious fall recipe is made with warm spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, and topped with rich cream cheese frosting.

With Thanksgiving time fast approaching, it’s time to restock on seasonal ingredients, like canned pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other warm spices, to make this perfect fall dessert!

Libby’s easy pumpkin bar recipe has a cake-like consistency and is the perfect way to kick off the cozy autumn season!

These tasty bars are perfect for family gatherings, holiday parties, potlucks, or even as a sweet treat for yourself. In fact, I don’t mind if I snack on a bar or two myself!

Why you’ll love this awesome dessert recipe!

  • Easy to Make. After mixing, pour the batter into the dish and bake for a few minutes. As the bars cool to room temperature, throw together the simple frosting recipe and spread it on the cooled bars — that’s it! It’s an excellent recipe to have your kids help in the kitchen. 
  • Warm Fall Flavor. The rich, nostalgic flavor of real pumpkin, complemented by warm spices, creates a comforting taste of fall.
  • Crowd-Pleaser. This treat is guaranteed to be a huge hit, with your guests begging for more — you may want to make a double batch! 
a can of Libby's pumpkin on a counter.

Ingredient Notes

  • Flour | The structure of the pumpkin bars is made of all-purpose flour.
  • Baking soda | Use baking soda to help the bars rise as they bake, producing a chewy texture.
  • Salt | Just a sprinkle of salt is all you need to highlight and contrast the sweet and warm notes of the bar recipe.
  • Spices | Elevate the pumpkin flavor with fall spices, like ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • Butter | Add creamy unsalted butter, melted, to moisten the batter and add richness to the taste.
  • Sugar | Granulated sugar brings a classic sweetness to the recipe, while brown sugar brings a richer molasses taste.
  • Egg | Mix in an egg to further promote a fluffy texture.
  • Vanilla | A few drops of vanilla extract deepen the creamier notes of the pumpkin bars.
  • Pumpkin | And, of course, you need Libby’s canned pumpkin puree for the cozy pumpkin flavor! Be careful not to confuse a can of pure pumpkin puree with a can of pumpkin pie mix — they’re often right next to one another at the store.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Butter | Moisten the frosting ingredients and add a lovely creaminess with softened unsalted butter.
  • Cream cheese | Use softened cream cheese for the signature ‘cream cheese’ element of the frosting. Remember that full-fat cream cheese makes for a richer taste than reduced fat.
  • Powdered sugar | Soft powdered sugar is perfect for combining with the frosting ingredients, sweetening the creamy spread.
  • Vanilla | Enhance the creamy frosting taste with classic vanilla extract.

How to make Easy Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you! This easy recipe is absolutely delish!

STEP 1 | Preheat and prep

Let’s get into the recipe by first preheating the oven to 350 degrees and lightly coating a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

STEP 2 | Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately

whisking together ingredients for Libby's pumpkin bars in a glass bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

Then, combine the wet ingredients by stirring the melted butter and sugars in another large mixing bowl

STEP 3 | Mix in egg and pumpkin

combining wet and dry ingredients for pumpkin bars in a glass bowl.

Next, add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin puree to the butter and sugar and thoroughly blend with a whisk.

Complete the bar batter by combining the wet and dry ingredients. Pour the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir until the two are fully incorporated.

tips

  • If you don’t have cooking spray, use oil or butter to grease the dish.
  • Don’t overmix the batter for best results.

STEP 4 | Add to pan, bake, and cool

batter spread into a 9x13 baking pan for pumpkin bars.

Now, spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

After removing the recipe from the oven, cool it to room temperature on a wire rack.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

beating cream cheese and other ingredients for icing for pumpkin bars.

As the bars cool, cream the softened cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Then, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated. Increase the speed and beat until the frosting is smooth and has an ideal spreading consistency. 

Gently spread the homemade cream cheese frosting onto the cooled pumpkin bars. Then, slice and serve your delicious pumpkin bars!

tips

  • Ensure the bars are completely cooled before topping them with the cream cheese frosting.
  • If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can still make this frosting recipe with a little more effort and time!
  • Make the frosting just before you are ready to frost the cake. You want the mixture to be at room temperature to spread easily over the bars.

Variations and substitutions

  • Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars. Exchange the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free alternative, like almond flour, and ensure all other ingredients are certified gluten-free to make this recipe safe and enjoyable to those allergic to gluten.
  • Add nuts. Sprinkle your favorite nuts, like walnuts, into the batter for a bit of texture in the pumpkin spice bars.
  • Chocolate chips. If desired, mix white chocolate chips or classic semi-sweet ones into the batter to bring a chocolatey twist to the recipe.
  • Low-fat option. If preferred, use low-fat cream cheese instead of full-fat to reduce the fat content of the frosting.
  • Spice flavor. Switch out the various fall spices and still get that signature pumpkin spice flavor with a pumpkin pie spice blend that includes most of the spices the recipe calls for.

Storage and reheating tips

  • Store leftover dessert bars in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days.
  • If you want to freeze the bars for more extended storage, wait to make the frosting until just before serving because cream cheese frosting does not freeze well.
Libby's pumpkin bars cut into squares and stacked on a plate.

Frequently asked questions

Is ‘Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin’ the same as pumpkin puree?

Yes! For the Libby’s brand, their pumpkin puree product is labeled as ‘100% Pure Pumpkin.’ For some, it can be misleading when shopping for a recipe that calls for pumpkin puree. However, pure pumpkin and pumpkin puree are the same, as they are mashed pumpkin with no added sugar or spices.

Why is my cream cheese frosting lumpy?

You may have lumpy frosting if not using room temperature and softened ingredients. When the butter and cream cheese are softened, they are much easier to mix for a smooth and creamy frosting.

Why are my pumpkin bars dry?

The main culprit of dry pumpkin bars is over-baking. Classic pumpkin bars should be moist, so follow the recipe instructions closely and check the bars with a toothpick. When the toothpick comes out clean, the treats are ready to be removed from the oven, cooled, and frosted. 

Serving suggestions

What’s better than a pumpkin dessert spread to go with your fall holiday parties?

Add more flair and flavor to frosted pumpkin bars by drizzling chocolate sauce or caramel on top of the cream cheese frosting in a lovely striped pattern.

Then, stock the dessert table with my Pumpkin Dip Recipe, perfect for dipping ginger snap cookies and served in an adorable carved-out mini pumpkin bowl!

Top it off with two more sweet fall treats, like homemade Pumpkin Donuts and Maple-Glazed Bacon Muffins that pair beautifully with the other pumpkin desserts.

a pumpkin bar on a plate with a fork on a table.

Craving more pumpkin spice?

More recipes worthy of trying this season are some of my favorite pumpkin recipes, like Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, classic Pumpkin Bread, Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars, and my Pumpkin Delight Dessert with layers of cookie crust, pumpkin pie pudding, sweetened cream cheese, and Cool Whip!

Behind the recipe: Libby’s Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkins are one of the most prominent symbols of fall. They are stacked at doorways, carved into, sold as plastic or ceramic decorations, on clothing and dishes, and so much more!

Pumpkins are harvested in late summer and early fall, just before the temperatures dramatically drop. While some are sent to stores and sold whole, others are made into delicious seasonal treats, one of the most popular being classic pumpkin pie!

There’s a long history of pumpkin treats in America and worldwide. It’s incredible to see how far it has come — from pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin cookies to pumpkin cheesecakes, and even pumpkin ice cream!

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows, and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or Pinterest!

Like this recipe?

Don’t forget to comment below the recipe and please give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating!

a Libby's pumpkin bar with cream cheese icing on a plate sprinkled with cnnamon.

Libby’s Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

These EASY Libby's Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are moist and delicious with just the right amount of seasonal pumpkin spices.
4.25 from 57 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Cookies & Bars
Cuisine American
Servings 24 bars
Calories 229 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla exract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • Stir together the melted butter and sugars in another large bowl. Add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin puree and blend with a whisk.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and stir until the flour is fully incorporated.
  • Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream the softened cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated. Increase the speed and continue beating until the frosting is smooth and spreading consistency. Spread on the cooled pumpkin bars.

Notes

  • If you don’t have cooking spray, use oil or butter to grease the dish.
  • Don’t overmix the batter for best results.
  • Ensure the bars are completely cooled before topping them with the cream cheese frosting.
  • If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can still make this frosting recipe with a little more effort and time!
  • Make the frosting just before you are ready to frost the cake. You want the mixture to be at room temperature to spread easily over the bars.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 229kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 2gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 137mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword cream cheese, frosting, pumpkin dessert, pumpkin puree
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was moist and delicious, and that cream cheese frosting was to die for!! I need to practice self-control with these things! They are TOO GOOD!!

  2. 5 stars
    I took a pan of these pumpkin bars to work and was so glad I left a couple pieces at home because once the dust cleared there wasn’t a one left. I got rave reviews and will be making another batch for company next week.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve had pumpkin bars every year for my birthday for as long as I can remember!!! Definitely gonna take a crack at this recipe and see how it compares to my mom’s!

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