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These Pumpkin Bars have a gingersnap crust with creamy pumpkin filling topped with a crunchy crumble topping. This is truly the perfect fall recipe!
These flavorful pumpkin bars will hit the spot when you’re craving pumpkin. They’re the perfect marriage of pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake. You could almost call them pumpkin cheesecake bars.
They also have the most glorious crumble topping that adds texture. Although the bars would fine without the topping, I highly recommend it.
All the pumpkin bar recipes I’ve seen are basically squares of cake with cream cheese frosting. Why not just call it pumpkin cake?!
I wanted my recipe to stand out from the rest and went with what I consider to be a true pumpkin bar. If you’re looking for something a bit different, try my dulce de leche pumpkin bars or s’mores pumpkin bars.
Why this recipe works
- The gingersnap crust is thick and sturdy enough to support the filling.
- The filling is made with cream cheese to help thicken it while keeping it creamy.
- The topping is optional but totally worth it! It adds a nice texture contrast.
The ingredients you need
To make the best pumpkin bars, you will need the following ingredients:
- Gingersnap crumbs: This makes up the base of the bars. You can use graham cracker or vanilla wafer crumbs instead.
- Butter: Unsalted butter works best and I prefer to use sweet cream butter for baking.
- Sugar: Brown sugar and white sugar are used in the different components of the recipe.
- Cream cheese: Look for full-fat brick-style cream cheese.
- Eggs: Large eggs at room temperature.
- Pumpkin: Look for canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. You can also make your own puree from fresh pumpkin.
- Spices: Vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg give the bars classic fall flavor.
- Flour & oats: You only need these for the topping, if you choose to use it.
How to make pumpkin bars
Make the crust: Mix gingersnap crumbs, sugar, and butter together until well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9×9 pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes.
Make the topping: Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter together until dry ingredients are well coated in butter. Set aside while you make the filling.
Make the filling: Beat cream cheese and brown sugar together until smooth. Beat in eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and spices. Pour the filling over the baked crust.
Bake: Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling and bake for 40-45 minutes. Allow the bars to cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Cut into bars and serve!
Tips For Success
- Use room temperature ingredients. Ingredients emulsify easier if they are all the same temperature. Set the cold ingredients out for about one hour before beginning.
- Don’t overmix the filling once you add the eggs. Incorporating too much air into the eggs will cause the bars to crack during baking.
- These bars are great without the topping. Serve them with sweetened whipped cream instead.
Freezing & Storing
Storing: Baked and cooled bars will keep for up to 4 days covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator.
To freeze: Baked and cooled bars will keep for up to 1 month wrapped tightly in several layers of plastic wrap and stored in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Watch how to make it
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This recipe has been updated to make the bars easier to cut and hold shape. This was achieved by removing the Greek yogurt and pecans. You can make the original recipe by adding ½ cup (100 grams) Greek yogurt to the filling and substituting the oats for ⅓ cup (33 grams) pecans, chopped.
I made these for my work team this week & they were a hit! Very yummy & gobbled up! Thanks for the great recipe. It set the tone for FALL!
I made these last year for the first time and the recipe looks different this year. Wasn’t there Greek yogurt in the filling and pecans in the topping?
This recipe has been updated to make the bars easier to cut and hold shape. This was achieved by removing the Greek yogurt and pecans. You can make the original recipe by adding 1/2 cup (100 grams) Greek yogurt to the filling and substituting the oats for 1/3 cup (33 grams) pecans, chopped.
Thank you so much! Everyone loved them last year and I wanted to make sure it was the same one!
Can these be made ahead and frozen?
Yes. They’ll keep for up to 3 months stored in an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
I made these for Thanksgiving this year and they were sooooo delicious! Everyone wanted the recipes and it was the most popular dish at Thanksgiving? Loved it!!
I just finished putting this in the oven and noticed midway through that you didn’t specify how much vanilla to use in the filling. Also, the crumble topping was really powdery, not at all like the picture. Seemed like it needed a lot more butter to hold everything together, but since it’s pretty late at night and my pregnancy cravings right now include all things pumpkin, I decided to roll with it. So long story short, how much vanilla are you supposed to use, and 1/4 of a teaspoon of butter really all that you used in the topping? Every other streusel recipe I’ve seen calls for at least 1/4 of a cup…. Thanks!
I do apologize for that. We are in the process of converting recipes to a new format and things must have gotten jumbled in the process. I’ve updated the recipe to reflect the correct ingredients and measurements. Thank you for your patience!
These are AWESOME!!! I made them last night to take to a friend’s party tonight! They turned out perfectly and the gingersnap crust is such a nice touch! I will definitely make them again for Thanksgiving! Thanks for the recipe 🙂
Thank you so much, Claire! I’m happy the bars were a hit at the party!!
I’d been making the same pumpkin recipes for almost a decade and needed a change. I made this one, and it’s so good! It’s going in my recipe book. Thank you.
That’s wonderful to hear!