Best Pumpkin Bar Recipe Ideas for the Fall

There is no doubt pumpkins are the star vegetable of the season. This is true about cooking with them as well as carving spook-tacular Halloween Jack-o-Lanterns. The humble pumpkin also features in plenty of autumnal dishes, such as pumpkin pie, cookies and some savory dishes to boot.

Pumpkin bar recipes are a great option if you are in the mood to bake. The great thing about bars is they tend to be super-easy, literally just a question of stirring the ingredients together and cooking the mixture in a baking tin! So, seasoned baker or not, anyone can rustle up the best pumpkin bar recipe the family ever tasted!

Handy Tips and Tricks

It’s important to know the difference between pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin puree. The pie filling is typically sweetened and spiced while the puree is just 100% pumpkin. Most recipes will tell you which to choose, although if you are crazy about pumpkin spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and so on) feel free to throw more into the mix!

Always let pumpkin bars cool completely before you try to cut them. Yes, your kitchen is going to smell incredible while your bars cook, but resist the temptation to nibble for a while longer! If you let them cool first, they will be much easier to cut cleanly into bars. Press them down while cutting instead of sawing them and use a sharp knife.

As long as you use good quality ingredients and put a lot of love into your homemade bars, they are sure to come out great!

Fresh Pumpkin vs. Canned Pumpkin

You might also be wondering what kind of pumpkin to use in bars. Since the pumpkin is going to be combined with a number of other ingredients, the canned version is quicker and easier.

If you do want to make your own pumpkin puree though, chop the flesh and roast it at 400 degrees F for 50 minutes or until tender. You can then use a food processor to puree it. Bear in mind, Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins are great for carving but contain watery, stringy flesh. The best pumpkins for cooking are the smaller ones, such as sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins.

How to Store Homemade Pumpkin Bars

Homemade pumpkin bars should be fine in an airtight container on the countertop overnight. For longer storage, refrigerate them and they should last up to a week. Another option is to freeze the bars. If you want to do that, cut them into servings first so you only have to thaw as many as you want.

Easy Pumpkin Bar Recipe: Cake Mix Version

Using a boxed cake mix is one of the simplest ways to make easy pumpkin bars. You can use a yellow or white cake mix for this recipe. Use either whole milk or a non-dairy kind such as oat or almond milk, if preferred.

The finished bars will taste just like pumpkin pie and the streusel topping adds a special touch. This recipe makes 24 regular bars (or 12 jumbo ones!)


  • 1 (18¼-ounce) boxed yellow cake mix
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup cold butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Put 1 cup of the cake mix in a bowl.
  3. Stir the remaining cake mix with 1 egg and the melted butter.
  4. Press this mixture into the baking pan.
  5. Next combine the pumpkin pie filling with the remaining eggs and milk.
  6. Pour this over the crust in the baking pan.
  7. Now mix the cinnamon and sugar into the reserved cake mix.
  8. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter or knife until you get a coarse crumb.
  9. Sprinkle this streusel mixture over the pumpkin filling.
  10. Bake the pumpkin bars for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  11. Let the mixture completely cool before cutting into individual bars.

Crunchy Pumpkin Granola Bars

Combine the crunchy appeal of granola with the soft sweetness of pumpkin and you have the makings of a dream breakfast, brunch, snack, or dessert. These bars are so versatile – grab one anytime!

Choose from quick oats for a soft texture or rolled or steel-oats for a chewier texture. You can have fun with this pumpkin crunch bar recipe, subbing any kind of dried fruit for the suggestions below or chopped pecans or walnuts for the pumpkin seeds. If you use sweetened coconut you might need to reduce the amount of honey.

This recipe makes 16 pumpkin granola bars.


  • 2½ cups oats
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup honey (or ¼ cup each honey and molasses)
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit (eg: dates, apricots, raisins)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch each of nutmeg and cloves
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup semisweet or white chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. First preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and use parchment paper to line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Mix the oats, flour, coconut, spices, salt, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, and chocolate chips in a bowl.
  3. Mix the honey, butter and vanilla with the pumpkin puree in another bowl (this is easier with an electric mixer).
  4. Now stir both mixtures together and press it into the prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top of the bars is golden and no longer moist.
  6. Let the pumpkin breakfast bar mixture cool, then cut into squares.

Pumpkin Gooey Bars

Pumpkin granola bars are all well and good (not to mention healthy!) but sometimes you just want something soft, sweet and decadent.

These pumpkin gooey bars make a great dessert. They are also sure to be popular with trick-or-treaters. In fact, you might want to make a double batch! Don’t worry if they don’t seem to set in the middle – they are meant to be gooey inside, hence the name!


For the Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 melted stick of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

For the Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1 melted stick of butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Grease a 13×9-inch glass baking dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  3. Mix in the butter and egg with an electric mixture.
  4. Press this mixture into the pan and about 1-inch up the sides.
  5. Beat the pumpkin puree with the cream cheese.
  6. Mix in the eggs, butter and vanilla.
  7. Now add the sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  8. Spread this filling mixture over the crust and bake for exactly 1 hour.
  9. Let the pumpkin gooey bars cool completely, then refrigerate for an hour before cutting into 16 squares.

A Final Word

So, which of the above pumpkin bar recipes are you going to make first, or are you spoilt for choice? One thing is sure, and that is your pumpkin bars will disappear fast!

Happy Halloween and happy eating!

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