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Pumpkin Gooey Butter Bars

It is pumpkin spice season, and I am LOVING it!

Oh pumpkin, the most basic fall staple of them all. It feels weird to still be talking about it at the end of October, since companies start marketing all of their pumpkin spice everything starting the 1st week of August. I used to be so excited for that. I would go and get my Pumpkin Spice Latte on the first day it was available - first in line. Lately, I've preferred to wait. Now I give apple ALL of the time it deserves, so pumpkin must wait its turn until October.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about this AMAZING dessert.

This is like pumpkin pie meets shortbread cake meets perfection.

It is gooey on top, and soft and cakey on the bottom. Packed with pumpkin flavor and definitely a crowd pleaser.

The first time I made this was last year when I threw a pumpkin party the day before halloween. I'm not a fan of halloween - don't like it? sue me - so I decided to throw a pumpkin party where we celebrated all things pumpkin. I'm talking pumpkin mac & cheese, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin cocktails, pumpkin cider, pumpkin everything. But the real hit of this party was this dessert. It didn't come out exactly how I wanted (in general it isn't the prettiest thing to serve), and I was worried it wouldn't be as delicious as expected. But, to my surprise, it was a hit! One of my friends had 4 pieces. I kid you not!

Anyway, all of that to say - make this recipe, serve it to your friends and family, switch up your thanksgiving table with this yummy goodness instead of pumpkin pie. Do whatever you want, just DON'T SLEEP ON THIS RECIPE.


🏷 Time: 2 hours



Cake Base

  • 1.5c AP Flour

  • 1tsp Baking Powder

  • 1/4tsp Salt

  • 1/2c Sugar

  • 1/2c Salted Butter, room temperature

  • 2tsp Vanilla Extract

  • 1 Egg

Pumpkin Topping

  • 1/4c Cake Base Mixture

  • 8oz Cream Cheese, room temperature

  • 1/2c Salted Butter, room temperature

  • 2c Powdered Sugar

  • 2tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

  • 1 Egg

  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract

  • 15oz Can Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)


Cake Base

  • Preheat oven to 350F

  • Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick baking spray

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy

  • Add egg and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla

  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside

  • Reduce speed to low and add in the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. The dough should be soft

  • Leave 1/4c of the cake base in the bowl of the stand mixer, and press the remaining about into the prepared baking dish

Pumpkin Topping

  • With the same stand mixer bowl used to make the cake base fitted with the same attachment, beat together the reserved 1/4c of cake base, butter, and cream cheese until smooth

  • Gradually mix in the powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice

  • Add in the egg and vanilla and mix for about 30 seconds more, until incorporated

  • Add in the pumpkin puree last, and mix until incorporated - about another 30 seconds


  • Pour pumpkin topping over cake base

  • Bake for 50 minutes, or until the edges begin to crack and the middle has a slight jiggle. NOTE: I will start checking it at 45 minutes, and I am specifically looking for a slight crack in the top, and that is when I will take it out. Sometimes this is around 50 minutes, sometimes it is around 60 minutes. You can't really over bake this - the longer you leave it in, the more the cake base turns into a shortbread vs a layer cake texture

  • Cool completely before cutting into squares, rectangle bars, or circles if you want them to be a bit more fancy

  • Dust with powdered sugar



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