As soon as September 1st hits, I’m ready to devour all things pumpkin. It’s still a bit early for me to put up the fall decorations, but a little fall baking never hurt anybody. It’s overcast and rainy today, so it’s the perfect setting to blog these delicious maple frosted pumpkin spice bars! We usually don’t get Fall foliage until mid-October, but the trees have been changing earlier this year, and the rainy weather is making them look a bit more golden. Plus, when football games are back, it’s technically Fall. I can’t wait to experience my first cozy season as a mom. I have a few pumpkin bar recipes on my blog, but these are the BEST ones. I have recipes that are dairy-free, gluten-free, and low-calorie. This recipe isn’t as light, but you can make some swaps to fit your dietary needs. It’s one of those forgiving recipes that can be just as good with substitutes.
I’ve never been a big fan of cream cheese frosting, but I love all of the desserts that go with cream cheese frosting, like cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bars, carrot cake, and gingerbread bars. I usually make them with a buttery frosting. These pumpkin spice bars are so moist, and the maple frosting pairs perfectly.
I have to say it. These bars are moist! It’s like biting into a super moist (omg, I said it twice) cake with a melt-in-your-mouth frosting. You’re going to want to make these over and over again. They are not overly sweet, and they pack all the spice! I love when you can taste the bold pumpkin spice flavors in a dessert. Add these to your menu if you have any fall parties coming up!
I love that these bars are made with super simple ingredients you probably already have hiding in the pantry.
Pumpkin Spice Bars Ingredients
These pumpkin spice bars are made with simple ingredients, and you will probably already have them all in your house! You can make a few swaps to fit your dietary needs, and I’ll include those below!
- 2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature – vegan butter works
- 2 cups of sugar (you can use baking monk fruit)
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour – you may swap for all-purpose gluten-free flour or whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin spice
Maple Frosting Ingredients
- 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter – vegan butter works
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons of milk – you can use almond milk or any milk alternatives
- 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
I’ve never been a fan of cream cheese frosting, so I stick with more of a buttercream icing!
I have the best little baking buddy! He tried pumpkin for the first time this week, and he loved it! He’s my child 😉
How to Make Frosted Pumpkin Spice Bars
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice in a bowl and set aside.
With an electric mixer, combine room temperature butter and sugar for about 5-minutes at high speed until the texture is light and fluffy.
Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin purée. Combine for 1-minute at a medium-low speed. Mix in the dry ingredients and combine for about 30-seconds.
Transfer batter to a greased baking dish (I used a ceramic 6 x 10 pan) and bake for about 38-45 minutes.
Let the bars cool for about 40-minutes on the countertop or 25-minutes in the refrigerator.
How to Make Maple Frosting
Combine powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, milk, and pumpkin spice until smooth.
Mix in the maple syrup. While the bars are still slightly warm, evenly spread the frosting over the top.
Let the bars cool for about 20-40 minutes in the refrigerator. Slice into 15 even bars or more, depending on your pan size!
I love finding cute baking dishes when I visit Homegoods. You can use any baking dish for this recipe, but your baking time may change! Just pay attention to the edges and use the toothpick method to determine whether it’s done or not. You can always pull the bars out when they are slightly undercooked because they’ll continue to cook in the hot pan. If you prefer muffins, a loaf, or cake, you can also use this recipe to make those!
Waiting for these to cool is the hardest part. I made them in the afternoon and was so excited to have a slice with a cup of coffee. Kyle first said when he got home, “wow, what smells so good?” Your entire home will smell like Fall has arrived!
The bars are so flavorful by themselves; you can even make them without the icing, which would be amazing in morning coffee!
When the bars are slightly cooled but still a bit warm, spread the frosting over the top. This maple frosting is thicker than icing but thinner than regular frosting. It’s pretty much the perfect consistency! I like spreading it on when it’s slightly warmer because it sinks into the top layer of the cake and forms a crackle texture on the top.
The pan I used makes fifteen bars, but if you want more servings and a thinner cake, use a wider and shorter pan.
Maple Frosted Pumpkin Spice Bars
PUMPKIN SPICE BARS
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter room temp / 1 stick
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 2 Cups Pumpkin Purée
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Pumpkin Spice
- 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/3 Cup Melted Unsalted Butter
- 2-3 Tbsps Milk
- 1/2 Tsp Pumpkin Spice
- 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
- 2-3 Tbsps Maple Syrup
PUMPKIN SPICE BARS
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice in a bowl and set aside.
- With an electric mixer, combine room temperature butter and sugar for about 5-minutes at high speed until the texture is light and fluffy.
- Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin purée. Combine for 1-minute at a medium-low speed.
- Mix in the dry ingredients. Combine for about 30-seconds.
- Transfer batter to a greased baking dish (I used a ceramic 6 x 10 pan) and bake for about 38-45 minutes. Baking time will depend on the size and material of your pan. Pay attention to the bars while they are cooking, and use the toothpick method to determine whether they're done. The edges will be golden brown, and the toothpick should come out clean after poking the center.
- Let the bars cool for about 40-minutes on the countertop or 25-minutes in the refrigerator. You'll want them slightly warm while applying the frosting.
- Combine powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, milk, and pumpkin spice until smooth.
- Mix in the maple syrup. While the bars are still slightly warm, evenly spread the frosting over the top.
- Let the bars cool for about 20-40 minutes in the refrigerator. Slice into 15 even bars or more, depending on your pan size!
These pumpkin spice bars are perfect for morning, daytime, or late-night dessert. Pair them with a pumpkin spice latte or pumpkin beer!
I dare you to stop at just one!
You can watch the video I’ve included to see how easy these are to make! Happy Fall baking, everyone!
I’m so so so excited to have you all try these! Make sure to tag me in your recipe pictures and come back here to rate and review the recipe!
Questions for you!
- Do you prefer a buttercream frosting or a cream cheese frosting?
- What is your favorite fall recipe?
- Have you had a pumpkin coffee yet?