These delicious Pumpkin Bars are my favorite Thanksgiving dessert. If you think you love pumpkin pie, just wait until you try my grandma’s recipe for the most incredible pumpkin dessert. There are three layers of scrumptious that start with a buttery yellow cake crust, second is a filling of sweet pumpkin-pie-ish deliciousness, top it off with a yellow cake crumble. That topping is just the best and don’t forget the spoonful of whipped cream!
I’m one of those people that enjoys pumpkin things all year round, not just in the fall. Once the leaves start turning, I literally can’t stop dreaming about all things pumpkin! And these pumpkin bars are at the top of that list! They satisfy every pumpkin-loving bone in my body, and also every butter and cake craving I’ve ever had in my life. It takes Thanksgiving nostalgia to new heights. Not only are these my favorite Thanksgiving treat, they’re pretty much my favorite dessert ever! And they’re so easy too!
In my opinion, these pumpkin bars are so much more flavorful than your traditional pumpkin pie. They’ve got the perfect blend of sweetness and spice, and that yellow cake mix crust and streusel on top is just so irresistible! These also happen to be super easy to make!
How Do You Make Pumpkin Bars?
Start this pumpkin dessert recipe by grabbing all of the ingredients. You may have them all in your pantry and fridge right now! You’ll need a yellow cake mix, unsalted butter, eggs, pumpkin pie mix (not pumpkin purée), milk, sugar, and cinnamon.
The first step to put these pumpkin squares together is to preheat the oven, grease a 9×13 baking dish, and mix together the base ingredients. You’ll then press this yellow cake butter mixture into the bottom of the dish.
Next, prepare the pumpkin layer. You’ll be using a large can of pumpkin pie mix. I use Libby’s 1lb. 14oz. can (affiliate link). Make sure you are actually using the pumpkin pie mix and not just plain pumpkin purée. Combine the canned pumpkin pie mix with 2 eggs and milk. You can use regular milk or almond milk.
Now, pour the pumpkin pie mixture over the yellow cake crust layer. You should be VERY excited… this is going to be so good!
Last, you will combine the topping using the reserved yellow cake mix, cinnamon, sugar, and softened butter until it’s crumbly. Sprinkle it over the pumpkin layer. Bake the layered pumpkin dessert for 45-50 minutes.
Once the squares have cooled for about 20 minutes, you’ll want to refrigerate them. I like to serve them chilled with a topping of Rheddi-wip or Cool Whip.
What I love most about this dessert is that it’s super easy to make, yet looks and tastes totally impressive. This treat is sure to earn you rave reviews from family and friends.
Tips For Making Pumpkin Bars
- Be sure to use canned pumpkin pie mix, NOT pumpkin purée. For this recipe, we want all that extra cinnamon and sugar that pie filling contains.
- This recipe calls for yellow cake mix, but spice cake mix is also a great option.
- This dessert would be yummy with toasted chopped pecans sprinkled over the top. You could even sprinkle on flaked coconut for a different flavor variation.
- These bars can be served warm, cold or at room temperature. To get neat slices, you’ll want to chill it before cutting. Otherwise just use a big serving spoon and scoop it onto plates. You can reheat cold slices of cake for 20 seconds in the microwave if you like to eat it warm. I personally prefer this dessert cold.
- Don’t forget the Rheddi-wip or Cool Whip! The whipped topping takes these bars to the next level. A scoop of vanilla ice cream would also be a delicious option.
Pumpkin Dessert To Feed A Crowd
Baking up pumpkin pie bars is the easiest way to serve pumpkin pie to a crowd, as it fills a 9 x 13 pan! A scrumptious yellow cake layer as the crust, topped with a rich layer of pumpkin pie, and finally a yummy sprinkling of more yellow cake streusel for the perfect fall dessert! Trust me when you make this, it will be gobbled up so quickly! Everyone loves these pumpkin bars!
Other Pumpkin Recipes To Try:
If you try this pumpkin pie dessert recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
FOR THE CRUST
- 1 box yellow cake mix, (1 cup reserved)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING
- 3 cups (1 lb. 14 ozs.) Libby's pumpkin pie mix*
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cups milk, (any milk works)
FOR THE TOPPING
- 1 cup reserved cake mix
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- Rheddi-wip, Cool Whip or vanilla ice cream, optional for serving
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. and spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
- Combine the ingredients for the crust; in a medium mixing bowl. Use a large spoon to spread the crust into the bottom of the baking pan or press it evenly with your fingers.
- Combine the ingredients for the filling; in a medium mixing bowl. Pour filling over crust and spread out evenly.
- Combine the ingredients for the topping; in a small mixing bowl and sprinkle evenly over filling.
- Bake dessert at 350ºF for 45 to 50 mins.
- Allow dessert to cool for about 20 minutes and then store in the fridge (at least 3-4 hours) before serving.
- Bars will be tasty at room temperature, but are best served COLD with some type of whipped topping.
FOR GLUTEN FREE, choose a gluten free boxed cake mix.
FOR DAIRY FREE, use a vegan butter, such as Earth Balance. Also, use a non dairy milk, such as almond milk.
*This is not the same as canned pumpkin purée. Be sure to read the label and make sure your can is listed as "pumpkin pie mix". Photos by Sasha at Eat Love Eats.