Easy Pumpkin Pie Bars
Easy pumpkin pie bars are made with a classic pumpkin pie filling and a 2 ingredient cake mix crust. Made in a 9×13 inch pan, these pumpkin pie bars with cake mix are quick to make with only 8 ingredients!
My taste testers (hey ladies!!) loved this recipe. But I’m starting to think they just like anything I bring – which is great, haha, or maybe they are just hungry! My one friend in particular, Hannah, is my favorite person to try recipes out on because her reactions are the best.
When Ryan tries something I’ve made, his response is “it’s good.” So I usually have to ask him like 10 different questions to pull more information out of him.
When Hannah tries something, her response is usually “Oh my gosh, this is AMAZING!” And she’ll mention it several times. Love you Hannah!
Moral of the story, the verdict is in, and whether you’re more of a “it’s good” person or a “this is amazing” person, this recipe is a favorite!
This recipe is a cross between pumpkin pie bars and pumpkin cake. The crust is made from a box of yellow cake mix with melted butter to form more of a cookie/cake bottom. The filling is just like pumpkin pie filling.
And when you bake it in a 9×13 inch pan, you get delicious pumpkin pie bars with that classic pumpkin pie filling and hints of yellow cake mix in the crust.
To keep these bars looking just like pumpkin pie, I topped each slice with a dollop of cool whip.
What You’ll Need
- 1 box of yellow cake mix – this plus melted butter makes the crust!
- melted butter
- 1 can pumpkin puree – be sure to use 100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix
- 2 eggs – large
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk – it’s like magic in a can
- cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice – the quintessential pumpkin spices!
How to make pumpkin pie bars
Crust. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, combine the yellow cake mix and melted butter until a thick ball of dough forms. Press the dough evenly into the 9×13 inch pan.
Filling. In another mixing bowl, combine the can of pumpkin, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until the mixture is combined and smooth. Pour the filling on top of the crust.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the bars to cool before cutting.
- 10 minutes to prep the batter
- 35-45 minutes to bake
- allow the bars to cool before cutting
Gluten free pumpkin bars
Use a box of gluten free yellow cake mix to make this recipe gluten free!
Do pumpkin bars need to be refrigerated?
Yes. Similar to pumpkin pie, the bars can sit out after baking to cool. If you’re serving the bars the same day you baked them, they can sit out until serving. Store leftovers in the fridge.
If you’re making the bars in advance, be sure to refrigerate them until serving. If you prefer them room temperature before serving, remove them at least 30 minutes in advance.
Cut them into big or small bars
I love that you can cut these bars into whatever size you want, making them more bite sized or cutting them into ginormous slices like I did.
Now I know there are some people who are very loyal to their traditions, and having pumpkin pie on thanksgiving is a big tradition, but if you’re brave enough to mix it up, or even to serve these easy pumpkin pie bars along side of a classic pumpkin pie – I bet you most people will want to try BOTH!
Can I use pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin puree?
No. Canned pumpkin pie filling contains added sugar and spices. This recipe has only been tested with 100% canned pumpkin puree.
How to freeze pumpkin pie bars
If you’re planning on freezing the entire pan of bars, I recommend putting parchment paper in the bottom of the 9×13 inch pan so you can easily lift the bars out of the baking pan. Allow the bars to cool completely.
Wrap well in 2 layers of plastic wrap. Label and date. Place in the freezer on a flat surface.
To thaw: place the bars, still wrapped in plastic, in the fridge until thawed, about 6-12 hours.
More Pumpkin Desserts
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Easy Pumpkin Swirl Cake
- Pumpkin Graham Crackers
- Easy Pumpkin Cake from Box Mix
- Mini Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispies
Easy Pumpkin Pie Bars
- 1 box yellow cake mix, 15.25 oz
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, 1/2 cup
- 1 can pure pumpkin, 15 oz (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14oz
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the yellow cake mix and melted butter until a thick ball of dough forms. Press the dough evenly into the 9×13 inch pan.
- In another mixing bowl, combine the can of pumpkin, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until the mixture is combined and smooth. Pour the filling on top of the crust.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the bars to cool before cutting.
These pie bars slice so beautifully! They look incredible and super delicious :)
I’m trying these today. What did you sprinkle over the top, nutmeg?
I just took these out of the oven. What did you sprinkle on top?
Hi Renee – I used pumpkin pie spice for the photos!
Do you follow the instructions for the yellow cake mix or just add butter?
Do not follow the instructions to make the cake, you only need the cake mix and melted butter.
Unfortunately , I made this recipe twice in two different pans and the bottom burns while the top is undercooked. Any suggestions are appreciated in what others did to prevent this from happening.
Hi Kristina! What kind of pan did you use? And do you live in a high altitude location?
It may not matter for this recipe, but did your cake mix have pudding in the mix or not?
I don’t think it did!
Do you think a spice cake could be used in place of the yellow cake??
Can I omit the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt and the pure puimkin for easy pumpkin pie mix??
Hi Jessica, I’m not sure, I don’t have experience in using a can of pumpkin pie mix.
Did you use salted or unsalted butter?
I’m making these the day before, would they need to be refrigerated after cooled?
I would refrigerate them overnight!
Do you poor in the pumpkin mix on top of uncooked cake mix
Yes! Then bake them together.
Could you double this recipe and put it in a jelly roll pan?
I would think so!
I wish the crust would have had a from scratch option, not everyone uses box mixes.
Any replacement for the condensed milk?
Can I make this 4 days ahead and keep it in the refrigerator??
Hi Gilma! I personally feel like 4 days in advance is too much, I would do 1 day max.
I only have evaporated milk, would that work or could I go vegan and use Almond milk and vegan butter instead?
Evaporated milk is NOT the same, but you can Google how to make your own sweetened condensed milk. I don’t think it matters on the butter.
Thank you for the clarification!
I tried these because it looked so easy. WELL, AWFULL. The crust was hard as a rock and they were
thin squares. Definitely did not look like the picture. NO, I did not over bake them. So much for an internet
Hi Cynthia, I’m sorry this recipe didn’t turn out for you. Every oven is different. These are thinner pie bars, they are not going to be as tall as a brownie for example.
Obviously you need some adjustments as these were great, looks just like the picture? Maybe you didn’t mix the crust well enough. Your oven could be different? I’m a baker and this is a great internet recipe: try again perhaps
Can these be frozen?
Hi Sheila! I don’t have any experience myself with freezing these bars.
These turned out beautiful! The color was just so pretty and the crust was perfect, I mean restaurant-style perfect. I made a batch and brought it to my office, everyone loved it. I am baking more tomorrow! Thanks
Aw, thank you so much for your kind comment, Pam! Love to hear that!
Made these for a fun evening with the girls and everyone couldn’t stop talking about how amazing they were!!
Will definitely make again!! Easy and definitely a keeper!!
For the butter, is it salted or unsalted butter?
I use unsalted butter!
Do you refrigerate these or keep them room temp? I made them today to serve tomorrow. Thanks!!
Hi Michelle! I would refrigerate overnight!
These did not turn out for me. I had to bake them longer than directed. The bottom was hard and they were very sweet.
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
Looking forward to trying this one!
PLEASE, tell me what your utensil is called. Spoon spatula? I must have one!…or three… Thank you. Loving your recipes.
Hey Shelley! It’s a Tovolo Multipurpose Scoop and Spread but it’s getting harder and harder to find! Not sold individually on amazon anymore, boo! But it’s available at Crate and Barrel.
These are a hit every time .. I actually prefer these over pumpkin pie. This is sweet just like I love. I added more butter and 1tbl of sugar to the crust:
Cooks perfectly. Mixing is the key. You can’t half mix something expecting great results. And use room temperature eggs. The correct pan and know your oven. You can’t go wrong on an simple recipe. Enjoy 😊
What a wonderful go-to recipe for fall and holiday meals. Great for just snacking too. They came out perfectly. After cooling, I cut, served, topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice. Delicious! Thank you!!
Just made yesterday for the weekly family dinner and it was an absolute hit!! Perfect ratio of pumpkin pie filling to crust. For those that don’t care for traditional pumpkin pie (🙋♀️), these Easy Pumpkin Pie Bars are a great substitution (or addition)!
I saw some complaints and decided to lower the temp to 325. Also, I did not get a ball when I mixed butter and cake mix. I got a crumble. So I added 4 Tablespoons more melted butter to get the desired dough ball. I tested with a toothpick and it came out clean after 45 minutes. The crust is exactly as pictured, deep brown but not burnt. Just the right thickness on the pumpkin layer. However, my 13 x 9 pan has slanted edges and the bottom is closer to 12 x 8. I can’t wait for it to cool so I can taste it!