Pumpkin Spice Bars with Brown Sugar Frosting

Winter brings a rich & glorious warmth into the air & with it come the brilliant attractive jewelled hues of the tans, mustards & oranges as well as the beautiful burnt n burnished gold, amber & rust.

Also the almost painted, breath-taking foliage all around, the cosy fireplaces and of course the endless cups of spiced tea, coffee & hot chocolate!! Winter spells everything warm, snuggly, comforting & traditional. Always reminds me of the heartwarming scene & song ‘Raindrops on Roses’ sung by the one & only Julie Andrews from ‘The Sound of Music’!

Pumpkin bars are these mega moist, thick & nourishing, flavourful spiced bars, (not too cakey), very easy to make & the perfect teatime treat. Made with very mildly sweet n vitamin enriched fresh pumpkin puree and popular winter time spices, cinnamon and nutmeg – then topped with a sugar frosting, they pair perfectly with Spiced latte, with that amazing shot of espresso.

I tried out all kinds of recipes from across different cookbooks with some asking for upto four eggs and turning out more light and cake-like, but this being a recipe for bars I finally decided on this one by Tessa Arias, to be just right for me.

Hmm…..pumpkin spice & everything mellow, wintery n nice!!

Recipe for Pumpkin Spice Bars with Brown Sugar Frosting

Ingredients (Serves 6 -10 persons)

For the bars:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 100 gms unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar (refer notes)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk, (or maybe more if needed)


To make the bars:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan & then line with butter paper, leaving a slight extra bit to hang over.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients namely, the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another medium bowl whisk together the butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin puree. Add the butter mixture, stirring until just combined, avoid over mixing. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

To make the frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and smooth.
  2. Add in the cinnamon and salt.
  3. On low speed gradually add in the powered sugar until incorporated.
  4. Add in the vanilla and milk and increase the speed to medium-high. Beat until very light and fluffy.
  5. If too runny, add more powered sugar, If too thick, add more milk.
  6. Spread evenly all over the pumpkin bars.

Cut into squares before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.


  • Light Brown sugar is available in India, both online and in stores, under brand names Parry’s Amrit and Mawana.

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