Pumpkin and ginger make the best flavor combination for the festive season, and these pumpkin gingerbread bars are simply irresistible with a fudgy texture and crunchy oat base.
They're perfectly spiced with just the right amount of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg and will definitely get you into the holiday spirit!
🌟 Why this recipe works
Pumpkin season is upon us, and there are hundreds of delicious recipes to make this fall with them. From this perfectly spiced pumpkin bars recipe to pumpkin soup and pumpkin roll cake, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
If you want an easy recipe to impress your guests, these bars are it. Not only do they look festive, but they're also deliciously moist and gooey in the center. The best part is that they can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for ages – so you can make them ahead of the holiday rush!
These pumpkin gingerbread bars have the perfect hearty gingerbread crust that is made with rolled oats and a cinnamon ginger flour mixture.
The filling is a creamy pumpkin puree that is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. And the icing is a simple powdered sugar glaze flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
These bars are the perfect holiday treat and are sure to please everyone at your holiday party! And they're also great for gifts! Just wrap them up in a pretty box or tin and give them to your friends and family. They'll love them!
🍽 Key Ingredients
For these amazing pumpkin bars, you will need a host of pantry ingredients and some basic cooking utensils.
For the bars
Flour mixture - The flour mixture consists of all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. This will be the base of your gingerbread crust.
Butter - The butter needs to be softened so that it can easily be mixed into the flour mixture.
Molasses - The molasses gives the gingerbread bars their characteristic flavor.
Brown sugar - The brown sugar helps to sweeten the gingerbread bars and also gives them a lovely caramel flavor.
Oats - The rolled oats give the gingerbread bars a nice texture and also help to bind the ingredients together.
For the filling
Cream cheese - The cream cheese needs to be softened so that it can easily be mixed into the other filling ingredients.
Condensed milk - The sweetened condensed milk helps to sweeten the filling and also gives it a lovely creamy texture.
Pumpkin puree - This is the main ingredient in the filling and gives the bars their characteristic pumpkin flavor. I use the same to make my easy pumpkin pie recipe.
Maple syrup - Maple syrup helps to sweeten the filling and also gives it a lovely flavor.
Sugar - The white granulated sugar helps to sweeten the filling.
Vanilla extract - You only need a bit of vanilla for the filling so that it doesn't overpower the warm spices
Spices - Ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves are used to provide a warm spiced flavor.
Eggs - The eggs are used to bind the ingredients together and also help to create a fudgy texture.
For the icing
Powdered sugar - You'll want to use powdered sugar for the icing as it is easy to work with and gives a lovely smooth texture.
Cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger - These spices are used to flavor the icing and give it a lovely warm spiced flavor.
Butter - Melted butter gives the icing a glossy sheen and also helps to bind the ingredients together.
Vanilla extract - A bit of vanilla is used for flavoring.
Milk - You'll need a bit of milk to thin out the icing so that it is the perfect consistency for drizzling.
If you don't have molasses, you can use honey or dark corn syrup.
You can use a pumpkin pie spice mix instead of using cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove, as pumpkin pie spice traditionally has those ingredients. Although, I recommend using ground ginger for the base as you'll need more of that than the cinnamon and nutmeg.
Use 4 times the amount of baking powder as an equal substitute for baking soda.
🔪 How to make
Although the pumpkin gingerbread bars have many ingredients, the process of making these delicious bars is rather simple for any home cook to do without any fuss.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9" x 13" baking dish.
For the bars:
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a medium bowl until well blended.
Using a larger bowl, beat the butter with the molasses and sugar until it is creamy, then add the flour mixture. Mix until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Reserve about 1 cup of this mixture for the topping and combine it with the oats.
Press the remaining crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, flattening out as evenly as possible.
For the topping:
Beat the cream cheese together with the condensed milk until it is smooth. Add the pumpkin and maple syrup, and blend to combine.
Mix in the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Pour the pumpkin mixture over the crust and sprinkle the reserved crust and oat mixture on top. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 - 35 minutes until just set, and the topping is light golden brown.
Remove the gingerbread pumpkin bar from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack while making the icing drizzle.
Whisk the sugar, spices, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl, then slowly add milk in tiny increments until the mixture reaches a consistency where it can easily be drizzled from a spoon over the cooled bars.
Drizzle the icing over the gingerbread pumpkin bar, cut it into square bars, and serve.
💭 Cooking tips
Wait until the pumpkin gingerbread bar is cool completely before cutting
To avoid a crumbly mess, wait until the pumpkin bars are cool completely before slicing and serving. Refrigerating them for an hour is a good way to ensure your bars will be perfectly square.
Don't buy pumpkin filling.
Pumpkin pie filling may look similar to pumpkin purée from the packaging, but it is completely different and will not give you the same texture to make these bars.
There are a few gingerbread pumpkin bar recipe variations you could try at home to make it nutty, chocolatey, or with caramel.
Gingerbread pumpkin bars with caramel topping
Give your pumpkin bars an extra indulgent twist by drizzling them with a caramel sauce. Make your own caramel or buy a store-bought caramel sauce to drizzle over the top instead of making the icing.
Nutty gingerbread pumpkin bars
If you love nuts, add half a cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the filling for a nutty twist on these gingerbread bars.
Chocolate gingerbread pumpkin bars
Add a chocolate layer to your gingerbread bars by melting 1 cup of chocolate chips and spreading it over the cooled crust before adding the filling.
🥗 What to serve with
These pumpkin gingerbread bars are not necessarily served with anything, as they are made to be eaten on their own, but if you are having a party and need a variety of homemade bars to go with them, we have you covered!
Triple good bars
These baked bars are full of goodness and so easy to make. They're packed with oats, raisins, and nuts and have a chewy texture from the condensed milk and butter. The addition of lemon juice and zest makes these triple good bars a winning combination.
Lemon blueberry cheesecake bars
These bars are slightly less festive than pumpkin and ginger but certainly won't get left behind on the table.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
Can I use fresh pumpkin purée instead of canned?
Yes, you can use fresh pumpkin purée in this recipe. If you do, you may need to add a bit more flour to the filling to help it set up properly.
Can I make these bars without oats?
Yes, if you don't have any oats, you can use chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or even crushed graham crackers.
Can I make these bars gluten-free?
Yes, you can make these bars gluten-free by substituting a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend for regular flour.
These pumpkin gingerbread bars are easy to store, last for many days, and are great for making in advance.
Fridge - Gingerbread pumpkin bars will last for up to four days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Freezer - If you want to make them ahead of time, they can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
🍳 Related recipes
👪 Serving size
This recipe for pumpkin gingerbread bars will make 16 bars, which equates to 8 servings with 2 bars per person. You could easily make more and freeze them for months to enjoy for other special occasions.
These gingerbread pumpkin bars are the perfect holiday treat! They're easy to make and can be easily customized to your taste. Whether you like them with icing, a caramel topping, nuts, or chocolate, these bars are sure to please everyone.
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Try one of my comfort dessert recipes for your next meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars
for the bars:
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 cup butter - softenend
- ¼ cup molasses
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup rolled oats - quick
for the filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg - freshly grated
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves - ground
- 3 large eggs
for the icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- a pinch cinnamon
- a pinch nutmeg
- a pinch ginger
- 1 tablespoon butter - melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoon milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9" x 13" baking dish.
For the bars:
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a medium bowl until well blended.
- Using a larger bowl, beat the butter with the molasses and sugar until it is creamy, then add the flour mixture. Mix until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Reserve about 1 cup of this mixture for the topping and combine it with the oats.
- Press the remaining crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, flattening out as evenly as possible.
For the topping:
- Beat the cream cheese together with the condensed milk until it is smooth. Add the pumpkin and maple syrup, and blend to combine.
- Mix in the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture over the crust and sprinkle the reserved crust and oat mixture on top. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 - 35 minutes until just set, and the topping is light golden brown.
- Remove the gingerbread pumpkin bar from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack while making the icing drizzle.
- Whisk the sugar, spices, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl, then slowly add milk in tiny increments until the mixture reaches a consistency where it can easily be drizzled from a spoon over the cooled bars.
- Drizzle the icing over the gingerbread pumpkin bar, cut it into square bars, and serve.