September 7, 2022

Pumpkin Cake Bars

I have a confession to make…pumpkin is not my favorite fall flavor (I know gasp!). However, I do enjoy the combination of pumpkin and cream cheese. These are two opposite ingredients that work very well together. These moist pumpkin cake bars are soft and spiced with a little tang from the cheesecake topping.

Recipe Source: Original recipe

Pumpkin Cake Bars

Flavorful pumpkin cake bars with a cheesecake topping. A dessert that is sweet, tangy, and spiced. Perfect for fall with a hint of cozy!


Anne Voss



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted (226g)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed (145g)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (250g)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake Topping

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (67g)
  • 1 tablespoon flour (8g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 block of cream cheese (226g)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare a 9 x 13-inch pan by lining entirely with parchment paper. The parchment paper should be slightly higher than the edge of the pan. Set aside.
  3. Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt) in a medium bowl. Set aside
  4. In a separate bowl add melted butter and sugars. Whisk together until combined.
  5. Mix in pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  6. Add all the dry ingredients at once to the pumpkin mixture. Mix until just combined and streaks of flour are no longer visible. Do not overmix.
  7. Pour cake batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Set the baking pan aside while you make the top layer.

Cheesecake Topping

  1. In a small bowl mix together sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
  2. Using a mixer, mix the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add the sugar mixture to the cream cheese. Mix until well combined.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and add the egg. Beat until just combined.
  5. Gradually mix in milk until combined. Don’t overmix.
  6. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cake batter in the baking pan. Spread mixture to entirely cover the cake batter.
  7. Using a knife, spoon, or spatula randomly swirl some of the cheesecake layer and cake batter together. You do not want to mix the layers together completely.
  8. Bake cake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Makes 25 small cake squares.

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Recipe Notes

Below you will find tips and tricks to help achieve the best results possible!


Pumpkin – use canned pumpkin puree for this recipe. This is pure canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.

top view of spreading cheesecake topping over cake batter

Supplies Needed

Baking pan – use a 9 x 13 inch pan that is greased or lined with parchment paper.

Mixing bowl

Stand mixer or hand mixer

Mixing spoon or whisk

Measuring cups and spoons or kitchen scale

Tips and Tricks

Parchment paper is helpful to lift the cake out of the cake pan when cooled. You can also prepare your pan with nonstick baking spray, such as Baker’s Joy.

Make sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature before making the cheesecake topping. This ensures that it will be easy to mix. I like to mix the cheesecake topping in my stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

cross section view of pumpkin cake bar with layers visible


The cheesecake topping can be omitted, if you prefer, however you may have to adjust the baking time.

This cake recipe can also be made as just a pumpkin sheet cake and topped with cream cheese frosting, instead of baked cheesecake topping.

If you like your cake heavily spiced, you can increase the amount of spice used in both the pumpkin cake layer and cheesecake topping.

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September 22, 2022
I made these bars today for my daughter who loves everything pumpkin. She absolutely loved them. They were so moist and tasty. This will be made often in my house!!!