Small Batch Pumpkin Bars

These are the BEST pumpkin bars, small batch or not. These Small Batch Pumpkin Bars are soft and moist, spiced to perfection, and have incredible pumpkin flavor. They come together in 15 minutes and pair perfectly with a cream cheese frosting.

5 pumpkin bars on 5 pieces of parchment paper

These small batch pumpkin bars originally started as pumpkin pie bars with a graham cracker crust that quickly got the thumbs down once I realized what a pain in the butt they are to make. They exuded problems with leftover ingredients that would probably go unused in your refrigerator and painstaking steps to keep the crust crunchy and the pie from cracking. I realized I don’t have the time or patience for it, and you probably don’t either.

pumpkin bars on parchment paper with a fork on the side

These pumpkin bars come together quickly, use store-bought pumpkin puree, and will make you feel like a rockstar when you serve them. They are cakey but not too cakey, generously spiced, and the cream cheese frosting makes it look like you are a Suzy homemaker (even if you are not). They stay moist for days, and get better with time. These bars are easy to scale up to fit any size holiday party, and are perfect for people who aren’t “bakers” but are tasked with making a dessert. This year, skip the store-bought pie and make these bars. That’s an order.

ingredients for the small batch pumpkin bars in a different size bowls with a napkin on the side

How to Make Small Batch Pumpkin Bars

  1. Whisk together the pumpkin puree and egg, then whisk in coconut oil, and finally whisk in the brown and white sugars.

    large bowl filled with the pumpkin bars wet ingredients with a whisk

  2. Add the flour to the wet ingredients.

    large bowl filled with the pumpkin bar batter and flour with a wooden spoon

  3. Gently fold the flour into the batter.

    smooth pumpkin bar batter in a large bowl with a wooden spoon

  4. Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and spread the batter evenly.

    batter spread on a prepared baking sheet with a napkin on the side

  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

    baked pumpkin bars in a sheet pan with a napkin on the side

  6. Let the pumpkin bars cool completely and top with cream cheese frosting.

    small batch pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting and cut into 6 squares

Small Batch Pumpkin Bars: Frequently Asked Questions

What size baking dish should I use?

I used an eighth sheet pan. Alternatively, a 9×5″ loaf pan also works well, though your bars will be slightly thicker and fluffier.

What brand of canned pumpkin puree is best?

You want a canned pumpkin puree that is smooth, not too thick, and has a full-bodied flavor. I use Farmer’s Market Organic pumpkin puree. I recommend this guide for finding the best pumpkin puree in your local store.

Can I use homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned?

Sure can! If using homemade pumpkin puree, I recommend weighing your pumpkin puree due to variations in consistencies.

How long can you keep pumpkin bars in the refrigerator?

Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Do I need to refrigerate the pumpkin bars?

Unfrosted pumpkin bars can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container. Once the bars are frosted, they need to be refrigerated due to the cream cheese in the frosting.

3 pumpkin bars on 3 pieces of parchment paper with a fork on the side

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Small Batch Pumpkin Bars

These are the BEST pumpkin bars, small batch or not. These Small Batch Pumpkin Bars are soft and moist, spiced to perfection, and have incredible pumpkin flavor. They come together in 15 minutes and pair perfectly with a cream cheese frosting.

  • Author: Kim
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American



For the pumpkin bars:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (83g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5/8 cup (142g) pumpkin puree, 1/3 of a 15oz can of pumpkin puree*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup (62g) melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) brown sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons white granulated sugar

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 tablespoons full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (90g) powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven. Adjust the oven to the middle rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and line a eighth 10.1″ x 7″ sheet pan with a sheet of parchment paper. The parchment paper makes it easy for you to remove the bars later.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. Add the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and pumpkin puree until fully combined. Then, add the coconut oil and whisk again until fully incorporated. Make sure there is no oil separated from the batter. Please note: the order you combine the wet ingredients is VERY important to ensure a smooth batter. 
  4. Add the sugars. Whisk in the brown and white sugars until combined. At this point, the batter should be very smooth. If the batter is very thick and lumpy, add a tablespoon of milk or water to loosen the batter and whisk the batter until smooth.
  5. Add the dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the batter and fold the flour mixture into the batter until just blended.
  6. Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Place the pan on a baking rack and let cool completely before frosting.
  7. Make the cream cheese frosting. In a large bowl with a hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and salt together on medium speed until smooth, creamy, and no lumps remain, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  8. Serve. Dollop the frosting over the cooled bars and spread the frosting evenly over the entire surface. Slice the bars and serve. For cleaner cuts, refrigerate the bars for at least 1 hour before cutting and serving.


FLOUR. If you opt to measure by volume instead of weight, whisk the flour first to aerate it, then spoon into a measuring cup, and then level it off with the back of a knife. 

PUMPKIN PUREE. Make sure to use plain canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling).

DOUBLING IT? Use a quarter sheet pan, 9.5″ x  13″

TRIPLING IT? Use a 10″ x 15″ sheet pan


  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 244 calories
  • Sugar: 16.5g
  • Sodium: 241mg
  • Fat: 15.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.5g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Protein: 2.6g
  • Cholesterol: 40mg

Keywords: the best pumpkin bars

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