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These pumpkin chocolate chip bars are soft, cake-like, and studded with chocolate chips. They’re packed with pumpkin flavor and cozy spices that taste just like fall!
Pumpkin Cookie Bars
Does anyone else wait the whole year for fall to roll around so you can start baking all the pumpkin recipes? No? Yeah, me neither… *innocent whistling*
But seriously. Not only are pumpkin desserts so good, but they can apply to multiple holidays so you can keep baking them for months. (win!) Baking for a Halloween party? Pumpkin bread truffles! Bringing dessert for your Thanksgiving get-together? Pumpkin pie! You might even be able to pull off a pumpkin recipe for Christmas. There’s no rule against that, right?
🧾 What You’ll Need
These pumpkin bars are made up mostly of ingredients you probably already have in your fridge or pantry! Here are a couple of things to keep in mind if you do need to make a trip to the store. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Vanilla Extract: use pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla, for the best flavor.
- Pumpkin Puree: make sure you use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. If you’re not sure, check the ingredients list. Pumpkin pie filling has added ingredients while pumpkin puree is just pumpkin.
- Chocolate Chips: I’ve used semi-sweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, or a chopped chocolate bar. You could also use white chocolate chips, butterscotch, or even cinnamon chips would work.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: I’ve included an option for making your own pumpkin pie spice, but if you have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can use 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of that in place of the other seasonings.
This pumpkin cookie bars recipe is a simple one that utilizes only your basic baking equipment! (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Baking Pan: a 9×13″ baking pan is the perfect size for bars with just the right thickness. If you use another size baking pan, the baking time will be affected.
- Mixer: you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer! Either will work.
These cookie bars are a simple fall dessert that comes together with just 20 minutes of prep. See below for the printable instructions and ingredient measurements!
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Place the room temperature butter and sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer, and beat them together on medium speed with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the egg and vanilla.
- To the bowl, add in the pumpkin puree and mix well.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients until combined, then stir in chocolate chips.
- Transfer the batter to a greased 9×13″ baking dish and bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
I love these pumpkin bars as they are, but if you want to switch things up, here are some suggestions!
- Use different baking chips. You can use semi-sweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, chopped chocolate, or go a different route with butterscotch chips, cinnamon chips, or white chocolate chips!
- Add nuts. You can add a thin layer of chopped nuts on top of the bars or mix them into the batter before you bake them. Try pecans, walnuts, or chopped macadamia nuts.
- Add a topping. You can either frost the cookie bars with your favorite frosting (I love my pumpkin butterscotch frosting) or make a homemade glaze with powdered sugar and milk. To make a glaze, start with a cup of powdered sugar, then whisk in a splash of milk at a time until it has reached a glaze-like texture.
- Check the pumpkin. Make sure that you’re using pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar and spices while puree should just be pumpkin.
- Use pumpkin pie spice. I’ve listed the spices you will need to make your own pumpkin pie spice, but if you already have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can swap out the other spices for 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of that.
- Use room temperature butter. This results in a more moist texture.
- Grease the baking dish. This makes it so much easier to remove the bars without them sticking to the bottom.
- To check if the pumpkin bars are done baking, insert a toothpick into the very center. If it comes out clean, they’re good to go!
Leftover pumpkin cookie bars will last in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To do so, wrap in cling wrap and foil, then place in a ziplock bag. You can thaw in the fridge from frozen or microwave to warm!
❤️ More Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love
- Pumpkin Fudge
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
- 2-Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies
- Pumpkin Spice Mousse Cups
- Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Marshmallows
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
- 8.5 oz all-purpose flour, (2 cups)
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 8 oz unsalted butter, (1 cup), at room temperature
- 8.75 oz granulated sugar, (1.25 cups)
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz pumpkin puree, (1 cup)
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment or foil, and spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Place the butter and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix them together on medium speed with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add the egg and vanilla and mix until well-incorporated.
- Add the pumpkin puree, and mix well. At this point the mixture might look a little bit curdled, which is completely normal and nothing to worry about!
- With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients until they’re combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth it into an even layer. Bake the pumpkin bars at 350 degrees for around 40 minutes minutes, just until the edges pull away and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the bars cool to room temperature, then use the foil or parchment to lift them cleanly out of the pan. Cut the bars into squares and serve.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
About Elizabeth LaBau
I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me SugarHero! I’m a former pastry chef turned blogger, cookbook author, and baking instructor, and I consider myself sugar’s #1 fan. Learn more from my About page, or connect with me on social media: