This tender and incredibly moist Pumpkin Bar recipe is gently spiced with the best fall flavors: pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and dried cherries. Finished with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting, these dessert bars are the perfect fall dessert.
While you can use fresh pumpkin, I general opt for canned pumpkin puree. This one has been my go-to brand for years.
- 2 cups all purpose FLOUR
- 2 cups granulated SUGAR
- 1 tablespoon GROUND CINNAMON
- 1 teaspoon SALT
- 2 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
- 1 teaspoon BAKING SODA
- ½ teaspoon GROUND NUTMEG
- ½ teaspoon GROUND CLOVES
- 15 ounce can PUMPKIN PUREE
- 4 large EGGS
- ¾ cup VEGETABLE OIL
- 1 cup dried CHERRIES
- 1 teaspoon VANILLA EXTRACT
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces CREAM CHEESE
- 1 cup POWDERED SUGAR
- ½ cup BUTTER, unsalted, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon LEMON ZEST
How To Make Pumpkin Bars
While at first glance this recipe seems to have quite a few ingredients, it's pretty much everything we all have in our pantries and fridges. And it's super straightforward to make. You'll have it ready in the oven in less than 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 15x10x1 baking sheet.
- Take 1 tablespoon of flour and dust the dried cherries. Shake off any excess flour.
Making The Frosting
- Combine softened butter, softened cream cheese, lemon zest, and powdered sugar in a large bowl.
- Use an electric mixer and and beat the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and butter on medium speed. Increase speed and continue to beat on high speed until the frosting is thick and creamy. Set aside
Let's talk cream cheese frosting! Whenever I make this recipe I halve the amount of frosting, because some people in our family like the pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting and others just prefer it without frosting.
I'm in the ladder group. While I love a good cream cheese frosting, for this recipe I think the flavors unfold even more if you skip it, but you can't go wrong. Either way it's delicious.
But if you can find any or don't have them in your pantry try making this dessert with raisins or cranberries! You can even toss a few pecan or walnuts in for an extra bit of crunch.
If you've been following the blog for a while you know I love cherries in desserts. It might be my German upbringing, but we had so many desserts with cherries such as the German Cherry Crumble or the Cherry Pound Cake. Although for these recipes I used fresh cherries.
But in for this pumpkin dessert I used dried cherries. I think the sweet and tart flavors of the cherries goes exceedingly well with the other flavors in this recipe. B
Are you ready for Halloween. Try adding some of these sprinkles on top of the cream cheese frosting.
Craving More Easy Desserts?
- 1 cup dried cherries
- Preheat the oven to 350°Fahrenheit. Grease a 15x10x1 inch baking sheet with baking spay. Set aside
- Take 1 tablespoon of flour. Sprinkle flour over the dried cherries and shake off any excess. (This will prevent the cherries from clustering on the bottom.) Set aside.
Pumpkin Bar Batter
- Combine dry ingredients, spices, and wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until well blended.
- Fold in the flour-dusted dried cherries.
- Pour the batter into the pre-greased baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Use a wooden toothpick to check for doneness. Cool in pan.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add softened cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer and blend on first on medium then on high speed until well creamy.
- Once the cake has cooled completely spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting. Slice into 24 rectangles (or 48 if you like to have bite-sized pumpkin bars). Serve and enjoy