James Carrier
Makes 24 bars

These spiced pumpkin-cream cheese bar cookies with a creamy, tangy swirl are perfect for Halloween or any autumn get-together.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs, pumpkin, and 1/3 cup water until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. In another bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg; stir or beat into butter mixture until well blended. Spread batter evenly in a buttered and floured 10- by 15-inch baking pan.

Step 2

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, remaining egg, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth.

Step 3

Drop cream cheese mixture in 24 evenly spaced 1-tablespoon portions over batter. Pull a knife tip through filling to swirl slightly into batter.

Step 4

Bake in a 350° oven until center of pumpkin batter (not cream cheese mixture) springs back when touched, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, then cut into 24 bars.

Step 5

Note: Nutritional analysis is per bar.

Chef's Notes

You can chill them airtight for up to 3 days.

Ratings & Reviews


December 08, 2015
I used a 9x13 pan because I didn't have the 10x15 the recipe calls for, so it was more cake than bar, but absolutely delicious regardless.

FarmerD's Review

November 25, 2012
Easy, quick, pretty- they present well, and people always seem to like them.

Cheryl242's Review

January 22, 2012
These are really good as bars, but also make a wonderful cake, if you double the recipe and put it in a 9"x13" pan. It is very moist and just delicious. I topped it with coarse sugar sprinkled on, and that gave it a nice contrasting crunchiness. A wonderful recipe.

sensorydeb's Review

December 08, 2010
I guess I would rate this just OK. Nothing special but not objectionable either. It does make a lot and it works as a breakfast item.

bothenjs's Review

November 03, 2010
Everyone at work loved these. I like them because they are easy and quick to make- and still taste great. Not excessive calories either- I lightened it up using Truvia instead of sugar and lowe fat cream cheese.

NancyB's Review

October 18, 2010
Great bars. We all loved them. And very easy to prepare except for having to wash the kitchen aid bowl between the pumpkin layer and the cream cheese layer.

LSellyei's Review

December 23, 2009
Made these bars today and thought that they were outstanding .... they reminded me of gingerbread or a spice cake ... definitely a cake texture. Susbstituted neufchatel and it worked just fine. Will make again.

VIRGYK34's Review

December 07, 2009
This was really easy and good but it's a cake recipe not a bar! I wasn't in the mood for cake thats all. I won't be making it again.

Tricotine's Review

December 07, 2009
I followed the recipe to the letter and it looks good (nicely raised but compact), it smells amazing and it tastes de.li.cious! ☺ This is definitely a treat I will do again! Thank you! ☺

momshome's Review

December 07, 2009
I agree with lynn Webster. Reviews should NOT be allowed for recipes that don't turn out well because instructions weren't followed. These are great & will make again. (Also, don't review any receipe you haven't tried just because it doesn't sound good or you just might try. Any of those reviews should be tossed. So many good things here, not fair to change unless it can become even better.