These are soft and sweet Pumpkin Bars, complete with a brown butter cinnamon icing that you pour over the top of the warm cake once it comes out of the oven! The ultimate fall dessert.
Never before have I met a pumpkin bar I didn’t like, but if push comes to shove THESE Pumpkin Bars are my ultimate be-all-end-all-forevermore favorite. I love pumpkin chocolate chip bread and pumpkin cobbler as much as the next person, but these pumpkin bars might just take the cake.
Pumpkin Bars, how I love thee
There is so much to love about this pumpkin bar recipe! I love the soft texture of the cake. I love how quick it bakes. I love that you only need one bowl to make this. I love the warmth of the cinnamon and the nutmeg.
But the best part is the browned butter glaze situation that you make on the stove and pour overtop of the hot cake. That is what makes this taste so darn good and helps keep the cake so so moist and soft. Like the hotter, more popular cousin of a Texas Sheet Cake. That is what this is.
How to make Pumpkin Bars
Here’s a quick run down on how to make this pumpkin bar recipe. It’s easier to make than you think! Scroll to the bottom for more detailed directions and increments.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a light colored half sheet pan with parchment paper OR spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, measure every single ingredient EXCEPT THE FLOUR and whisk until smooth. Oil, two kind of sugar, eggs, vanilla, greek yogurt (or sour cream), pumpkin puree and spices.
- Measure and stir in the flour until *just* combined.
- Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake 15 minutes or until cooked completely.
- Brown butter in a medium sized pot or high sided skillet.
- Once butter has browned, remove from heat and whisk in milk, powdered sugar, vanilla and spices.
- Pour hot glaze over warm cake and spread to cover completely.
- Cool before cutting into bars and serving.
Good Substitutions to use
Don’t have all the listed ingredients? No problem!
- This recipe calls for canola oil. If you don’t have any canola oil, any other light tasting oil will work! Vegetable oil, light olive oil or avocado oil are great options.
- Substitute sour cream for greek yogurt or vice versa. I bake frequently with plain greek yogurt, but if you don’t have any, simply use sour cream. Both can be easily interchanged without changing or compromising the finished product.
- Don’t have cinnamon or nutmeg? Use pumpkin pie spice. Both will give that delicious warmth pumpkin baked goods are known for.
- If brown butter glaze isn’t your thing, try finishing these pumpkin bars with a little cream cheese frosting. Just be sure to cool the cake completely before frosting.
Storing Pumpkin Bars
I find the easiest way to keep these fresh is cooling completely with glaze over top and covering well with plastic wrap on the counter. Cut into bars when you are ready to serve. As long as the bars are covered, they should last 3 days on the counter. No need to refrigerate.
If you frosted with this cream cheese frosting recipe, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Love these pumpkin bars? Try these other pumpkin recipes:
- Homemade Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- Soft Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler
- Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Caramel Pecan Filling
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins
- Pumpkin Pull-Apart Monkey Bread Recipe
Whether you are making pumpkin bars for a crowd or just want a sweet treat this Fall, this recipe will hit the spot.
Be sure to pin and print and bookmark this recipe so you don’t lose it because if you try this and then lose the recipe, you won’t find life is worth living anymore. Kidding!! (mostly…)
Have a great day, friends!
Even More Recipes to Try!
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a lightly colored half sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin, yogurt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla until mostly smooth. A few small lumps of brown sugar is fine.
- Pour in flour and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared baking sheet and smooth the top as best as you can. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean after being inserted.
- After cake has come out of the oven, make the glaze/icing: melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. As it continues to cook, it should start to foam, smell nutty and you should see little brown specks appear. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in milk, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts if desired. Pour hot icing over warm cake and spread to smooth the top.
- Let cake come to room temperature or cool at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving. I mean, you can totally eat this hot, but I prefer it lukewarm or at room temp.