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Small Batch Pumpkin Bars

This is a wonderful small batch pumpkin bars recipe. Tender pumpkin bars topped with a rich and creamy cream cheese frosting. No need to make a big batch, this small batch recipe gives you the perfect amount to satisfy a sweet craving.

a pumpkin bar on a yellow plate.

Pumpkin bars are a dessert I make every fall. As soon as cans of pumpkin begin to arrive on the store shelves, I grab a few so that I can start my fall baking. These pumpkin bars have an incredible spiced pumpkin flavor, they're soft and tender and are topped with an easy to make cream cheese frosting.

These pumpkin bars are perfect to enjoy for breakfast or for an afternoon snack. They're the ultimate fall treat and the perfect amount if you're cooking for one or two people.

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Why This Recipe Works

  • This recipe is adapted from the pumpkin bars recipe that I've used for years. When my five children were living at home, a large baking tray of these bars were the perfect amount for our large family. Now that my children are grown, I certainly don't want to make a large batch and this small batch pumpkin bar recipe is absolutely perfect.
  • These bars have big pumpkin flavor and are generously spiced with the flavors of fall.
  • They're super moist.

RELATED: 15 Easy Dessert Recipes For One

four pumpkin bars with a white cream frosting on a baking sheet.

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for full ingredient list, ingredient amounts, and full recipe instructions.

  • Pumpkin: Use canned pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Vegetable oil: This adds moisture to the cake bars. You can use canola oil or another light tasting oil instead.
  • Flour: Use all-purpose or plain flour.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: These are leavening agents that cause the batter to rise when baked.
  • Vanilla extract: We use vanilla extract in the cream cheese frosting. You might like to use maple syrup instead.
  • Cream cheese: Use either full or low fat.

How To Make This Recipe

Note: I use a 5-inch baking dish, for best results use a baking dish of similar size. Mini loaf pans will work well too. If you use mini loaf pans, fill them two-thirds to three-quarters full.

  1. For a small batch of pumpkin bars, first lightly grease a small baking dish.
  2. Begin by combining one egg, sugar, oil, and pumpkin puree in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into a lightly greased small baking dish and bake for 25-28 minutes.
a small square pumpkin cake in a white baking dish.

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How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Combine two ounces of softened cream cheese with two tablespoons of softened butter, powdered sugar, and a touch of vanilla.
  2. Mix until smooth and spread over the cooled pumpkin cake.

Expert Tips

  • Use pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling. They are not the same.
  • Top your bars with sprinkles to make them more festive.
  • To make pumpkin bars a little more decadent, add a handful of chocolate chips to the batter.
one small pumpkin cake with white frosting and sprinkles.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store pumpkin bars?

Keep the frosted bars in the refrigerator, covered for up to 5 days.

What are some ways to use leftover canned pumpkin?

If you have any pumpkin left over from this pumpkin bars recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes: Pumpkin Coffee Cake, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Spice Granola, Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

What should I do with any other leftover ingredients?

You might like use them in these recipes:
Cream cheese: Lemon Cheesecake, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Red Velvet Donuts
Powdered sugar: Peanut Butter Pie, Mini King Cake, Frosted Sugar Cookies

What size baking dish should I use?

I use a 5-inch baking dish, for best results use a baking dish of similar size. Mini loaf pans will work well too. If you use mini loaf pans, fill them two-thirds to three-quarters full.

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Small Batch Pumpkin Bars | One Dish Kitchen

Small Batch Pumpkin Bars Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cool: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: pumpkin
Servings: 4 squares
Calories: 416kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

For The Pumpkin Bars

  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 ounces 100% pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

For The Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
  • Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the egg, sugar, oil, and pumpkin in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until well combined.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 5-inch baking dish (or use a dish of similar size).
  • Bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a baking rack to cool completely.

To Make The Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Combine the cream cheese and butter in a small mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add the sugar and the vanilla and mix until combined and smooth. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Use pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling. They are not the same.
  • Top your bars with sprinkles to make them more festive.
  • To make pumpkin bars a little more decadent, add a handful of chocolate chips to the batter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 329mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 3740IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1.4mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

10 thoughts on “Small Batch Pumpkin Bars”

  1. These bars are excellent!! Also swapped maple extract for the vanilla in the frosting and it was good too Just thought you would like to know.

    1. Oooh! I love the idea of using maple syrup. Thank you for sharing that tip. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe.
      Have a wonderful weekend.
      Joanie

  2. 5 stars
    Made these gluten free using an all,purpose GF flour! Came out great.
    Love the small size as there are only two,in our household.
    Used a 6-in. round baking dish and it was fine. 🍁

  3. 5 stars
    The frosting is also AWESOME made with the Philadelphia-brand tub cream cheese that is cinnamon infused! I can never have too much cinnamon, and of course, it works perfectly with pumpkin 🙂

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