Pumpkin Gooey Bars

These Pumpkin Gooey Bars start with a cake mix crust and topped with a pumpkin cream cheese filling. It's baked into a delicious gooey bar that's perfect for Fall and Thanksgiving! These bars are also known as Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cake,

A stack of Pumpkin Gooey Bars on a white plate with whipped cream piped on top


 

These gooey bars are good any time of the year but people seem to go a little extra crazy for them in the fall. You know, with pumpkin being super popular and all.

I've been really feeling bar recipes lately. If you haven't noticed, I just posted these Pumpkin Pie Bars with the creamy pumpkin custard on top of a graham cracker crust and these Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars are a classic! It took me so many tries to get it right, but they're perfection now.

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Ingredients

These fall gooey bars don't require a lot of ingredients which is amazing! There's nothing better than a quick bar recipe with minimum ingredients.

brownie mix cookies
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The ingredients for Pumpkin Gooey Bars are shown on a marble counter.

See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for all ingredients and quantities.

  • cake mix - I used a 15.25 ounce box of yellow cake mix. The boxes are now smaller, so you'll need to buy two and make up the 2 ounces.
  • butter - I like to use salted butter, but unsalted is totally fine too.
  • eggs - use large eggs for my recipes unless a different size is specified.
  • cream cheese - make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature so it blends nicely.
  • pumpkin pie spice - store-bought pumpkin pie spice or homemade works. I have a fantastic homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe that you should check out.
  • vanilla extract - store-bought or homemade vanilla extract will work.
  • pumpkin puree - the Walmart great value brand of canned pumpkin puree is thick and perfect for recipes that don't require additional liquid.
  • powdered sugar - the powdered sugar helps thicken the filling as well as sweeten it.

How to Make Pumpkin Gooey Bars

I'll be showing you step-by-step how to make these pumpkin gooey bars.

A glass bowl of cake mix dough with a wooden spoon in it

Step 1: Mix the cake mix, melted butter, and egg together until a dough forms.

A pan with yellow cake mix dough pressed into the bottom of it

Step 2: Press the dough into the bottom of a parchment-lined 9x13-inch baking dish.

A bowl filled with ingredients for a pumpkin peanut butter cookie.

Step 3: Mix the cream cheese, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract until smooth. Scrape down the bowl.

A bowl of pumpkin cream cheese batter on a marble surface

Step 4: Mix in the pumpkin puree, melted butter, and eggs until combined. Scrape down the bowl.

A glass bowl of pumpkin pie filling on a marble surface

Step 5: Slowly add in the powdered sugar while the hand mixer is on low speed until all of the powdered sugar is worked into the filling.

A square of orange icing in a baking dish, also known as Pumpkin Gooey Bars.

Step 6: Pour the pumpkin cream cheese filling on top of the cake mix crust and spread out evenly using an angled spatula.

baked pumpkin gooey bars in a baking dish with parchment paper on a marble counter

Step 7: Place in the preheated oven and bake until the center slightly jiggles and the edges are firm. Let cool before cutting and serving.

TIP: Use binder clips to hold the parchment paper in place and prevent the paper from falling into the gooey bars.

Substitutions

I have some substitutions that I'm certain will work and thought I would share them.

  • Cake Mix - instead of yellow cake mix, you can use other flavors like butter pecan, chocolate, spice, etc. Just make sure you use 15.25 ounces and not 13.25 ounces.
  • Pumpkin Puree - Pumpkin puree can be substituted with sweet potatoes that have been roasted in the oven in their peel. This will ensure that the sweet potatoes don't have additional liquid in them.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice - You can use whatever spices that you like whether it's just ground cinnamon or your own special combination. Just make sure you use the same amount as what's in the recipe card.
A stack of Pumpkin Gooey Bars on a white plate.

Equipment

This recipe is pretty easy so it doesn't require many pieces of equipment to whip up the bars.

  • large glass bowl - I linked to my favorite ones.
  • hand mixer - I'm a huge fan of the basic Kitchenaid hand mixer.
  • 9x13 baking dish - I really like the 3-inch baking dish but the 2-inch deep one works just as well.
  • parchment paper - You don't have to use parchment paper, but I like being able to pull my bars out of the pan to cut them, especially for photographing.
  • binder clips - these are just in case you do want to hold your parchment paper in place.

How to Store/Freeze

To store these pumpkin gooey bars, cover them with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also place them in an airtight container or a zippered storage bag.

To freeze the pumpkin gooey bars, place the bars in a freezer-safe container before cutting them. You can also place the whole bar or even slices in the freezer until firm, wrap it/them in two layers of plastic wrap, a single layer of heavy-duty tin foil (optional but I always do), and then place in a freezer bag. They will last up to 2 months in the freezer.

To defrost them, place them in the fridge overnight. If you've wrapped them in plastic wrap, I would remove the plastic wrap and place them in a single layer in an airtight container so they don't stick to anything when they're thawed.

Top tip

Don't overbake these otherwise the pumpkin top may crack! Just bake until the center slightly jiggles and the edges are set.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Gooey Pumpkin Bars need to be refrigerated?

Yes, I would recommend it! You can keep them out for a few hours, but since they have pumpkin and cream cheese in the filling it's important to store them in the fridge.
If you expect them to be gone within a day or two, you may store them at room temperature. Keep a close eye on them though because they will get moldy a lot quicker.

Can I use winter squash instead of pumpkin puree?

Yes! I love buttercup squash and think that would be perfect as a substitution. You can also use sweet potatoes.

Can I use homemade pumpkin puree?

Yes! I would recommend either simmering the puree until most of the water is out of it or placing it in a paper towel or cheesecloth-lined fine mesh strainer overnight.

ooey gooey pumpkin cake on a white plate stacked with a fork in front of the stack with a piece on the fork

Looking for other pumpkin recipes? Try these:

If you try this recipe, be sure to leave a rating below and also share it on Instagram, and tag me! You can also find me on Facebook and stay up to date on recipe releases by joining the Newsletter!

A stack of Pumpkin Gooey Bars on a white plate with whipped cream piped on top

Pumpkin Gooey Bars

These Pumpkin Gooey Bars start with a cake mix crust and topped with a pumpkin cream cheese filling
4.25 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15 bars
Calories 106 kcal

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • 15.25 ounce box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 1 large eggs

Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper. To secure the sides of the parchment paper, you can use metal binder clips.
  • In a large bowl, add the cake mix, melted butter, and egg. Mix using a spatula until a thick dough forms.
  • Firmly and evenly press the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Set aside.

Pumpkin Filling

  • In a separate large bowl, add the cream cheese, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Beat using a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add the pumpkin puree and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add the melted butter and eggs. Beat until the eggs are combined.
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined.
  • Pour the pumpkin filling over the crust dough in your pan. Evenly spread out.
  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes. To test, give the bars a wiggle. The center of the bars should slightly jiggle when they’re done baking.
  • Allow the bars to cool completely.
  • Place in the fridge to chill1 hour before serving.
  • Cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes

PUMPKIN PUREE: Winter squash or sweet potatoes can be used instead of the pumpkin puree. Be sure to remove any excess liquid so it has the consistency of the canned pumpkin puree. 
STORAGE: Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
FREEZING: Place the bars whole in the freezer until firm. Wrap tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap, a layer of heavy-duty tin foil, and in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. 

Nutrition

Calories: 106kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gTrans Fat: 0.1gSodium: 210mgPotassium: 14mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 12gCalcium: 61mgIron: 1mg

(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)

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