Paula Deen Pumpkin Bars with (Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe You Should Try)

Paula Deen Pumpkin Bars are out of this world! This moist and lightly spiced recipe is a must-have for your fall baking list! Serve these easy pumpkin bars with delicious cream cheese icing and a tall glass of milk or tea!

On a white plate, Paula Deen’s pumpkin bars, are cut into squares and frosted with a cream cheese icing rosette.

Are you a fan of pumpkins? If not, this recipe might just change your mind!

I’ve tried a lot of pumpkin bar recipes, and this one is THE BEST! This wonderful recipe came from Paula Deen. The original Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Bars recipe calls for spreading the frosting over the entire cake. We enjoy cutting them up and piping the icing on individually with a 1M piping tip. So simple!

With this delectable cream cheese icing, you can do whatever you want. It can be spread on top of the cooled cake or piped into lovely rosettes.

Large eggs at room temperature are recommended. Remove the eggs from the refrigerator about an hour before beginning the recipe.

Ingredient Needed for Paula Deen Pumpkin Bars

  • Sugar, Granulated
  • Oil from vegetables
  • When purchasing pumpkins, make sure to read the label carefully. It should read ‘pure pumpkin’ rather than ‘pumpkin pie filling.’ The texture and flavors are diametrically opposed!
  • Flour for All Purposes
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder
  • Cream Cheese – I prefer regular cream cheese, but I’ve also used light cream cheese for the frosting.
  • Butter should be softened at room temperature for the icing. Remove it from the refrigerator one hour before beginning the recipe.
  • Vanilla extract – I always use pure vanilla extract. In a pinch, artificial vanilla extract will suffice.

Equipment Needed In the Kitchen

  • Electric Blender: A hand mixer works well as long as you have a large mixing bowl. The batter can splatter a little, so if you have a stand mixer that will be ideal. When making this recipe, we used both types of mixers.
  • Baking Pan: A 913 baking pan is required for this recipe.
  • Strainer with Fine Mesh: Flour and confectioners’ sugar are both used (and sifted) in this recipe, so fine mesh strainers are ideal for sifting them.
  • Bowls for mixing: To mix the cake and frosting ingredients, you’ll need a medium mixing bowl and a large mixing bowl.


  • Bars with Pumpkin Spice – Omit the cinnamon and use 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin spice for a more intense fall flavor and that pumpkin spice we love.
  • Chai- Add 1 12 teaspoon cardamom and 12 teaspoons nutmeg to the cinnamon.
  • Pecan – 1 12 cup chopped pecans for that wonderful pecan texture and flavor

Try topping them with our delectable homemade caramel topping.


To make the Pumpkin Bars:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Grease a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  • For 2 minutes, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 30 seconds more.
  • With a whisk, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients on low speed until thoroughly combined. The batter should be creamy.
  • Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until the top is matte, in a 9×13 pan. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center. It should be completely clear.

For the icing:

  • 2 minutes on high, beat the butter Beat in the cream cheese until well combined. Beat in the vanilla and powdered sugar until light and smooth.
  • Frost the cooled pumpkin bars with frosting.

Enjoy and let us know what you think!


Using slightly cold butter instead of softened butter will improve the texture of your frosting significantly. It will keep its shape better and will not slide around. We recommend removing the butter about 30 minutes before using it. It should still feel cold, but you should be able to make an imprint with your finger when you push on it.

Cream cheese frosting should be kept in the refrigerator. Refrigerate any leftover pumpkin bars in an airtight container, or keep the unfrosted bars at room temperature and the frosting in the refrigerator.

These are deliciously frozen! Freeze for up to 2 months in an airtight container. Thaw to a partially frozen state. They will weep and make a mess if thawed to room temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to refrigerate Pumpkin Bars?

If the pumpkin bars have cream cheese frosting on top, they must be refrigerated. If desired, you can refrigerate only the cream cheese frosting and leave the pumpkin bars at room temperature to be frosted later.

Can pumpkin bars be frozen?

Yes! Pumpkin bars keep well in the freezer. We recommend not thawing them all the way to room temperature because they will start to cry. They taste best when partially frozen.

Why Will You Enjoy This Recipe?

  • Cake-like: These pumpkin bars have a cake-like texture, so if you enjoy pumpkin cake, you’ll enjoy Paula Deen’s pumpkin bars. We’re not sure why she calls them “bars,” other than you can cut them into bar shapes. Whatever you call them, these pumpkin cake squares are out of this world.
  • Autumn Flavors: The pumpkin cake and cream cheese frosting complement each other perfectly! They combine to make a perfect slice of southern scrumptiousness that will keep you coming back for more.
  • Decadent: These may contain pumpkins, but they are not a portion of healthy food. These pumpkin bars are a decadent dessert that goes well with coffee after dinner. They’re not overly decadent, though, and one slice will leave you wanting more.
  • Sharable: This yields a large batch that can be shared with a large group. The simple recipe is ideal for holiday gatherings of family and friends, church potlucks, and other fall festivities where a dessert is required.


These keep well for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

These are freezable! They taste great partially thawed or slightly frozen. Prior to freezing, cut into desired size pieces. Thaw for about 10 minutes before eating. Allowing these to thaw to room temperature will cause them to weep and become quite messy.


Only slightly soften the butter for the frosting. It will collapse later into a soggy mess if it is too soft and warm. Remove the butter from the refrigerator about a half hour before you intend to use it. When you press your finger on it, it should still feel cold but leave an imprint.

In Conclusion:

These moist pumpkin bars with a decadent cream cheese frosting are full of fall flavor. I have yet to meet anyone who does not adore them!

If you’re looking for the perfect fall treat, these pumpkin bars are it. A moist spiced pumpkin cake is perfectly complemented by a decadent cream cheese frosting. What more could a crowd-pleasing autumnal dessert ask for?

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