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+ servings
pumpkin spice bars

Gooey Pumpkin Spice Bars

Brown butter pumpkin spice bars made with pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree, topped with cream cheese buttercream.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 16


  • square metal pan 8" or 9"


Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Bars

  • 1 cup butter 183g
  • 1 cup brown sugar 210g
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 large egg plus 1 yolk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree 125g
  • 1 ⅔ cups all purpose flour 222g
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • ½ cup butter softened
  • ½ brick cream cheese softened (4 oz)
  • 1 ⅓ cups powdered sugar organic
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Caramel sauce to swirl in the top (if you want to make it yourself, search my site for ‘caramel’)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line and grease a square metal 8 or 9” pan with parchment paper.
  • Brown the butter: In a saucepan, melt the butter then turn the heat to medium high and cook the butter as it spits and sputters, foams and then ‘browns’: you’ll see brown bits at the bottom of the pan, the butter will go mostly quiet and you’ll smell a nuttiness.
  • Immediately pour the butter into a heatproof bowl, making sure to scrape the little brown bits into the bowl (that’s where the flavor is!!). Add the sugar, salt, vanilla and pumpkin spice and whisk for a few minutes, until it’s glossy.
  • Add the egg and yolk and whisk aggressively for a few minutes until smooth.
  • Whisk in the pumpkin puree, sour cream and flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely.
  • For the buttercream: the cream cheese should be very soft. Use the back of a rubber spatula to press it into a bowl and smooth out any lumps. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Spread over cooled bars. Add a couple of dollops of caramel and swirl it into the buttercream.