Freezer-Friendly Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Bars

Guest post from Brigette Shevy

For as long as I can remember, this recipe has been a family favorite during the fall months. In fact, we like them so much that these delicately flavored sweet-but-not-too-rich bars have been a welcome addition to our Thanksgiving (and Christmas) dessert table on more than one occasion! They capture some of my favorite tastes and smells of the season. The recipe came from a church cookbook from many years ago.

Since these pumpkin bars are easy to make and the recipe makes a huge pan, they are perfect for serving to company or bringing to a harvest party. They also freeze beautifully (and thaw extremely quickly!), staying incredibly moist without getting soggy. I have made these several times in the past month, and have gotten rave reviews and recipe requests everywhere I’ve taken them!

Pumpkin Bars

Brigette is a full-time wife and mother who is blessed with three amazing bundles of energy (ages 6, 4, and 2). She enjoys music, experimenting in the kitchen, homeschooling her children, finding great deals, long-distance running, and anything chocolate.

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  1. Char says

    I made pumpkin bars this morning and my recipe is pretty much the same one! Only mine calls for chocolate chips. We love this recipe and I’m sure it would be just as delicious without the chocolate chips too, but we love the chocolate in it!

  2. Tina W. says

    Do you store the bars in the refrigerator given the cream cheese frosting? I’m thinking about trying this for the church bake sale this weekend, but I’m concerned about the frosting because they won’t be refrigerated.

    • Brigette says

      I don’t know how long your bake sale is, but I personally have never left them out for more than a few hours unrefrigerated. There have been times when I was taking them somewhere and knew they were going to be sitting for an hour or two before people ate them – and I cut them up, put them on a platter, sealed it well and stuck it in the freezer. I transported them frozen, but since they thaw quickly, they were perfect when it was time to eat. Figured this bought me some extra time out of the fridge. :) I did just google this, and found all sorts of answers (from “no more than 2 hours” to “days – the powdered sugar will prevent any bacteria from developing.”) :)

      • WilliamB says

        The cream cheese is the key to the answer. Since it’s a dairy product that should be fridged, the Official Answer is two hours. FYI, the Official Answer has changed over time: when I attended cooking school it was four hours.

        Let me also point out that the Official Answer is to prevent illness in everyone, including the very young, the very old, and the severely immunocompromised. The overwhelming majority of persons would be fine if the frosted bars were left out longer.

        One thing you could do is frost in stages. Say, frost half for the first part of the sale, with the rest of the frosting cooled (fridge, cooler, etc.), When the first half is almost gone, frost the rest and put that out.

        And gotta say – what the heck!!! re “the powdered sugar will prevent any bacteria from developing.” That is the biggest load of baseless nonsense I have seen in a long time. One, sugar does not prevent bacteria from developing and two, bacteria isn’t the only concern.

  3. Becky says

    MMMM Brigette!!! Another delicious recipe. I think I will make these for our Thanksgiving potluck at church. Thank you!!

  4. Amanda says

    I made your recipe for brownies last night (made them black bottom brownies and added my own cheesecake topping). They were the best brownies I have ever made! Thank you! Will be trying these bars this weekend!

  5. Kim says

    Do these turn out cake like? If so, does anyone have a chewy pumpkin bar recipe too? I want to make both!! I’ve been craving pumpkin!! :)

    • Brigette says

      I’ve done it like that and it works great. I’ve also frozen the entire jelly pan (sealed well), and taken it out, cut a few bars off, wrapped it and stuck the pan back in, etc. Even when frozen “solid,” it’s not hard to cut at all.

  6. Kristina says

    Has anyone tried this without the eggs? Suggestions for all natural substitutes? We don’t use the egg replacers. Egg allergic children over here!

    • Brigette says

      I haven’t – sorry! I do know that I was baking muffins the other day and realized I didn’t have eggs, and ended up using applesauce instead – and they turned out great! That might work in this recipe.

  7. Jennifer says

    For anyone who needs to eat gluten free – I make this same recipe and substitute a gluten free flour mix for the flour and add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. They are really good. I serve them to people who don’t have to eat gluten free all the time and they never know the difference and ask for more!

    • Brigette says

      They will end up significantly thicker – definitely like cake (and the frosting will be thicker as well). You’d probably have to cook them longer too. The flavor would still be the same. :) It might work to do a 9×13 plus a smaller pan (loaf size or 8×8?). Sorry I can’t be of more help here!