14 Pumpkin Bars: {Fall Goodness}

This week’s Recipe Hit List is a lovely assortment of pumpkin bars and squares to make that I’ve handpicked from around the ‘net (these are a traditional favorite on the holiday table). Most are simple & easy to make and use canned pumpkin…each looks delicious (I’ve also found a healthified version or two in the mix). Lots to choose from, enjoy!

*Note: Descriptions below are quotes from the sources

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Squares By verybestbaking.com
Pumpkin Pecan Pie Squares By verybestbaking.com
  1. Pumpkin Pecan Pie Squares: Makes a great dessert for holiday parties. From Very Best Baking.
  2. Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars: Chocolate. Pumpkin. Cheesecake. You really can’t ask for more. Creamy cheesecake flavored with pumpkin and marbled with chocolate with a chocolate cookie crust. This is heaven in your mouth. It’s the perfect thing for those holiday pot lucks and parties that are coming up, so if you’re not already pulling out the baking pan, then file this one away to pull out later. Recipe from Our Family Eats.
  3. Pecan Pumpkin Bars: Just plain easy, delicious, and gluten free! I promise these bars will even please your gluten-eating family members!! The bars have a “cookie/granola” like crust made from a few simple ingredients, then a basic pumpkin pie filling, and topped with pecans and sugar. Recipe from Ginger Lemon Girl.
  4. Pumpkin Pie Bars: Tastes like a cross between an oatmeal cookie and a slice of really great pumpkin pie. Found at Framed.
  5. Pumpkin Bars with Cranberry Crumb Topping: The crumbly crust is a nice contrast against the smooth pumpkin filling. Like many of the desserts I post here, this is not overly sweet. In fact, it’s very subtle. My last-minute addition of dried cranberries to the crumb topping added just the right sweet touch to these mellow bars. Recipe from Lemons and Anchovies.
  6. Frosted Pumpkin Bars: This recipe was quick to make and very easy. You make a spiced pumpkin cake batter and spread it into a jelly roll pan and bake for twenty minutes. After cooling, you frost the pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing and slice into bars. Found at Sugar Plum.
  7. Pumpkin Bars with Caramel & Maple Frosting: The frosting is amazing but I do warm: it is really really really sweet. The pumpkin bar offsets it some and makes for a great overall flavor. Found at Mom Taught Us.
  8. Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars: The bars come with a glaze but I made most of mine without it and like them both ways. I really loved the gingerbread base, it was really buttery, but considering the fact that the recipe came from Land O’ Lakes butter, I guess I should not be surprised. When I make these again I will probably toss in a little candied ginger into the base for a little kick. Found at Culinary Concoctions By Peabody.
  9. Pumpkin Bars: Recipe from Paula Deen at Food Network.
  10. Pumpkin Pie Streusel Bars: Layered with a shortbread like bottom and a warm velvety pumpkin cheesecake center, the bars are finished with a crisp praline topping made of toasted pecans, oats, butterscotch and brown sugar. Recipe from Bakers Royale.
  11. Sour Cream Pumpkin Bars: Recipe from Better Homes And Gardens.
  12. Spiced Pumpkin Bars: These bars are moist, with bold pumpkin and spice flavors. Recipe from Taste of Home.
  13. Blueberry & Cranberry Pumpkin Bars: This delicious Blueberry and Cranberry Pumpkin Bars Recipe is a fabulous low calorie dessert idea that delivers all the flavors of fall, but with just a 3 Point Total per bar. The cranberries and blueberries add a delicious zing to the moist and delicious pumpkin bar. From LaaLoosh.
  14. Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Bars: The original recipe was from the Moosewood Book of Desserts, made with walnuts…and while I do make a raisin and walnut variation, my favorite way to eat these is with dark chocolate chunks. I happen to think that pumpkin and chocolate is an oft-overlooked but unbelievably delicious combination. Don’t you agree? Recipe from Eggs on Sunday.

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    • Caps Fan

    Why canned pumpkin? For the past 25 years, to save money, I cook down a Halloween pumpkin every year and freeze it in one-cup portions. It tastes a whole lot better than canned pumpkin.

    I carve and cook down my pumpkin on the same day. I wouldn’t wait a whole lot of time between the two. I want it fresh. I carve right before trick-or-treaters go out, and as soon as the time is over, I cut it in two, put it in the oven at 150, skin side up, and bake until soft. A big pumpkin can take a long time. I’ll leave mine overnight. (Another plus for me is, I have an electric plan where it’s cheaper overnight.) After baking, peel off the inside layer, the skin, as well as the edges. Process in a blender, or whatever you use, to break it down so it’s smooth. You can strain it -I don’t because I like the extra moisture when I bake with it- then package it. You can use instead of squash, if you like that kind of thing, since a pumpkin is just a big squash.

    I’m sure you could can it, too.

    I also process the seeds. If you like them salty, soak them in salt water, (at least enough water to cover, and add however much salt makes you happy) then strain and bake them after cooking the pumpkin, or the next day, at 150 F. until crunchy. I place the bowl in my refrigerator until I use them. I will remove the largest strands, but wait until after baking to remove the raining strands. It’s easier.

    I also bake the seeds, without salt, to use as treats for my bunnies. They love them! Vet likened seeds for bunnies as being like doughnuts for us.

    I don’t buy sugar pumpkins. I use ones I’ve purchased at the store, as well as ones I’ve purchases at farmers’ markets. I haven’t seen a difference, except some kinds can be very watery. ALWAYS USE A BAKING SHEET WITH SIDES!!!!!

    You probably should wash off your pumpkin before baking.

    • Caps Fan

    That should have said “remaining strands,” not “raining strands.” Good old iPhone. If you don’t hit the M straight on, it backs up the typing, then self-corrects to what it thinks one meant to use.

    • Rachel @ Trailblazing My Life

    I made the #4 the pumpkin pie bars last night and they were a big hit. This recipe is definitely going in my keeper pile! Thanks.

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