Thursday, August 25, 2022

Three Ingredient Pumpkin Bars With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

 Three Ingredient Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting 

(gluten free with dairy free option)

      These pumpkin bars have been a staple in our house since the nineties. I think it was originally a weight watchers recipe that was going around and was topped with cool whip. I made it not weight watchers friendly by adding homemade cinnamon cream cheese frosting which in my opinion makes these bars amazing! The bars are so simple to make. You only need a cake mix (you can use gluten free), a can of pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice. Most recipes call for a spice cake mix but I have yet to find that in a gluten free version so I use a gluten free yellow or vanilla cake mix and add in lots of pumpkin spice for a warming flavor. I have tried these once with a simple mills cake mix to make them paleo and they will turn out but only make an 8x8 pan and aren't quite as sweet. I have also made the frosting with dairy free "butter" and "cream cheese" and they turn out great but the ingredients are a lot more expensive so I stick to the full dairy frosting unless I'm making them for someone who needs to be dairy free. I have a note at the end of the recipe for brands I suggest if you want to make your frosting dairy free. 

Three Ingredient Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
(gluten and dairy free options) 


Pumpkin bars
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 gluten free yellow or vanilla cake mix ( make sure your cake mix is at least 15 oz.)
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz cream cheese room temp.
4 oz butter room temp.
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
2 cups powdered sugar


1) Pre-heat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan with butter or coconut oil.

2) In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix the cake mix, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice for 1 minute until fully incorporated. The batter will be very thick.

3) Using an offset spatula spread the batter into the greased 9x13 pan evenly. The batter is thick and will not level out much during baking so make sure you even it out as much as possible when spreading.

4) Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

5) Make the cream cheese frosting. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or you can also use a hand held mixer) combine the cream cheese and butter for 1 minute until smooth. 

6) Add the vanilla, cinnamon, and powdered sugar. Slowly increase the speed to high and mix for 1 minute until the frosting is combined and fluffy. 

7) Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting with an offset spatula. 


These bars will keep for 5 days covered in the refrigerator. 

Gluten Free Cake Mix Substitutes:
Kroger Brand Simple Truth Organic Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix is usually what I use for this recipe. It is available at Kroger ( or Baker's or Ralph's ) grocery stores. For an organic cake mix it's a great price under $5 usually. 

Aldi and Natural Grocers also have gluten free vanilla and yellow cake mixes. 

Pillsbury Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix is the most cost effective. 

Simple Mills makes a great paleo option for a cake mix but it will only make an 8x8 cake so it does not turn out as well. 

Dairy Free Substitutes:

Daiya brand cream cheese is the best tasting brand for "cream cheese" frosting. I've used it a lot to make cream cheese frosting and usually those who aren't dairy free don't even realize it's not real cream cheese in the frosting. It gives you that cream cheese zing but isn't salty. I would not use Miyokos brand as it it too salty. 

Miyokos dairy free butter or Earth Balance taste the best in frosting and have the most buttery taste. 

No comments:

Post a Comment