Published Date: November 2, 2022 | Last Updated: November 17, 2022
I have been highly craving pumpkin bars. Something about fall makes me need to have them as soon as possible. Anyone agree? 
Pumpkin cake with browned butter cream cheese frosting

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Pumpkin cake


Every fall, I find myself really craving a good pumpkin bar with cream cheese frosting. These are so good and totally hit the spot!

This recipe can be made into BARS or CAKE. Bake it in a 13×18 inch pan for bars, or a 9×13 inch pan for cake. It’s delicious either way! 

Pumpkin cake with cream cheese browned butter frosting

If making pumpkin cake

Making this recipe in cake form is so good because it turns out really moist and buttery. To make it in cake form:

  • All ingredients and measurements are the same.
  • Bake it in a 9×13 inch baking dish (instead of a jelly roll pan).
  • Bake for about 35 minutes (instead of 25-30 in a sheet pan) or until the internal temperature reaches between 200 and 210 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Use the same amount of frosting on the top, just spread a little thicker.
  • You can get 12 to 24 servings out of it depending on how thick you cut it.
  • The cake turns out a little more moist when made in cake form.



If making pumpkin bars

Pumpkin bars are an amazing way to enjoy this recipe as well. The final product is more flat like a sheet pan. To make this in pumpkin bar form:

  • Use the same amount of ingredients and measurements.
  • Bake in a 13×18 inch jelly roll pan instead of in a 9×13 inch pan.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (instead of 35+ minutes in a 9×13 inch pan).
  • Use the same amount of frosting on top, just spread a little thinner.
  • You can get about 24 servings out of it.

Either way, this pumpkin cake/bar recipe is so good. It’s moist and delicious. It perfectly hits the spot for fall. It is perfectly complimented with the browned butter cream cheese frosting! 

Pumpkin cake with browned butter cream cheese frosting

Browned butter frosting

I’ve recently become a little bit obsessed with browned butter. It takes the flavor up by 10 levels. It’s so fragrant and delicious. I love to make a browned butter frosting whenever possible, so if you have the time for an extra step, then I definitely recommend doing so. But, If you don’t brown the butter for the frosting, it will still be delicious. 

How to brown butter

Making browned butter frosting is actually pretty easy! You just add the butter to the saucepan, bring it to medium/medium high heat, and let it melt, then let it cook, stirring occasionally. The butter will start to foam. Once it foams, keep going, until you notice the liquid under the foam start turning brown. Once you see that happen, turn off the heat and let it cool until it’s time to use it. 

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A post shared by Amber (@amberskitchen)

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A post shared by Amber (@amberskitchen)

Pumpkin cake with browned butter cream cheese frosting

Pumpkin Bars

Prep: 20 min Cook: 25-30 min Total Time: 50-55 min
Servings: about 24 servings

This moist pumpkin base with the cream cheese frosting really hits the spot. Easy to make and simply fantastic.

Print Recipe


  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of cooked pumpkin, or 1, 15 oz. can of pumpkin purée
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened or browned for extra flavor
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk to reach desired consistency


  1. Combine the butter, eggs, sugar, and pumpkin.

  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt,  cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Mix together.

  3. Add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined.

  4. In a greased jelly roll pan, pour in the batter and spread it out.

  5. Bake at 350° F for bars bake for 25-30 minutes, for cake bake for about 35 minutes or until cake is set and there is no jiggle. Let cool and set aside.

  6. *Optional* for browned butter frosting, cook butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat until it foams and forms little brown flecks under the bubbles. Let cool. Use this browned butter in place of softened butter. 

  7. Combine frosting ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Use as much milk as is needed to reach the desired frosting thickness.

  8. Spread frosting over pumpkin bars/ pumpkin cake. top with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. 


Did you make this recipe?

Tag @amberskitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #amberskitchen.

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  1. Made this for a women’s conference, and everyone raved about it. I graded a little orange zest and sprinkled on the frosting. It really made the pumpkin flavor pop.


Hi! I'm Amber

I'm obsessed with all things food and a mom to five. Baking bread and using my instant pot are my favorite things to do in the kitchen, and I can't wait to bring all that I have learned to you! Connect with me on Instagram because there's where I basically live these days.