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Pumpkin Cake Bars

Pumpkin Cake Bars are an easy, delicious, one-bowl fall treat! Studded with white chocolate chips and pecans; perfect on their own or warm with vanilla ice cream. 

A stack of Pumpkin Cake Bars studded with white chocolate chips and chopped pecans. These bars are simple to make, super moist, and can be eaten like a bar cookie or with a fork!

I made us a snack cake! A snack cake that tastes like fall. 

It is still 1 bajillion degrees here but I am getting a little bit desperate to at least PRETEND we have seasons. So I made these Pumpkin Cake Bars and I added chopped pecans AND white chocolate chips.

Can I tell you that I really don’t even like white chocolate anything? In this recipe though, the white chocolate chips melt and sort of seep into the cake, so you get these little pockets of gooey white chocolate. The pecans give it the perfect amount of fall flavor and crunch. In short, it’s pretty much delicious. 

The Best Things about this Easy Pumpkin Snack Cake are…

  • You can make it in one bowl. ONE BOWL! Less dishes, more cake. 
  • The ingredient list is suuuuuuuper basic. Just a bunch of pantry staples + 1 cup of canned pumpkin.
  • It bakes up perfectly in my favorite 9 X 9 pan. I also used this pan for Homemade Brownie Sundaes.
  • There’s Pumpkin Spice. Pumpkin Spice haters I can help you find the door. 

Overhead view of easy pumpkin cake sliced like blondie bars and ready to be plated

What’s in Pumpkin Spice? 

Pumpkin Spice (or Pumpkin Pie Spice) is an American (‘murican?) spice blend that is meant for pumpkin pie and Starbucks lattes and sweater weather. It’s loaded with the good stuff! 

  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • cloves
  • nutmeg

I did not use pre-made pie spice in this Pumpkin Cake Bars Recipe, but that’s because I pretty much always have the 4 things that you need for pumpkin pie spice in my cabinet. If you have actual Pumpkin Pie Spice handy you can use two teaspoons of that in place of the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in this recipe. 

a close up of Pumpkin Cake Bars shows moist cake with a tender crumb, flecks of chopped pecans, melted white chocolate chips, and the deep burnt orange hue lent by canned pumpkin

Cream Cheese Frosting for Pumpkin Cake Bars

I opted not to frost my cake bars. My preference here is like a grab-n-go cake that goes well with coffee, but! If you want to frost this dessert, I highly recommend the same cream cheese frosting I use for my Easy Pumpkin Layer Cake. It’s really simple and is the perfect consistency. 

My preference for this easy pumpkin cake recipe is to serve it warm with ice cream. Straight from the oven or 30 seconds in the microwave with a scoop of melty vanilla bean ice cream on top and a few chopped and toasted pecans is basically perfect. 

This fabulous fall dessert is made with warm Pumpkin Cake Bars and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, sprinkled with toasted chopped pecans

Should You Refrigerate Pumpkin Bars? 

You only need to refrigerate these Pumpkin Cake Bars if they are frosted, and that’s because of the cream cheese. 

If you leave your bars UN-frosted they are good at room temperature for 5-7 days. I store them in an airtight container or plastic bag. Just remember that you need to let them cool COMPLETELY before storing. Otherwise you’ll have a sticky cake mess. 

Can I Freeze Pumpkin Bars?

You can! The consistency of these bars is basically just like cake, so we are going to freeze in a similar way. If you’ve already cut the pumpkin cake into squares, you can wrap each square in plastic wrap, then in foil, and then place the wrapped squares in an airtight freezer bag.

Alternatively, you can freeze the whole pan briefly—just long enough to harden the cake bars. Then remove the cake  in one piece, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil. Place the cake into a large airtight freezer bag and freeze. 

Freezing the whole pan of cake is easiest if you prepare your pan first by lining it with parchment paper. 

A bite of warm Pumpkin Cake Bar on a fork with melty vanilla bean ice cream

More Pumpkin Recipes

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake with Bourbon GlazePumpkin Donut Hole Muffin Recipe

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla Bourbon Glaze is a fall must-have! I love a good loaf cake recipe, and the vanilla bourbon glaze really sets this one apart.

Pumpkin Donut Mini Muffins are covered in cinnamon sugar. These are like little baked donut holes that you can easily make in a mini muffin pan!

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares Recipe

Easy Pumpkin Pull Apart Muffins

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars! I made these with a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Crust. They require just 15 minutes of actual work which is pretty much my favorite. 

Easy Pumpkin Pull Apart Muffins are made with layers of refrigerated biscuits, cinnamon sugar, butter, and of course, pumpkin. 

Pumpkin Cake Bars

Pumpkin Cake Bars

Yield: 16 Bars
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Pumpkin Cake Bars come together so easily in one bowl! This delicious fall snack cake is as simple to make as a quick bread, and is loaded with flavor. Add white chocolate chips and chopped pecans for the best pumpkin cake!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9 X 9 pan or line with parchment paper (I also like to butter the parchment).
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Mix in the eggs one at a time and then add the pumpkin and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in the white chocolate chips and pecans.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 or 40 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the bars cool completely before slicing. If you used parchment paper you can lift the whole pan out and then slice.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 41mg Sodium: 246mg Carbohydrates: 34g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 18g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g
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Peggy campbell

Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

Yummy!