Traditional butter bars get a little upgrade with these Pumpkin Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Bars! Pulling flavors from the delicious combination of two fantastic desserts, gooey butter cake and pumpkin pie — it’s the perfect fall or anytime dessert idea!
So what is a gooey butter cake?
Hailing from St. Louis, this “cake” is a Midwest classic. It’s made using yellow cake mix, butter, eggs, and cream cheese, resulting in a layered dessert with a buttery, soft crust, an ooey, gooey cheesecake-like middle, and a delicate, flaky top.
It’s all about the texture for me!
I love the versatility of the original recipe. With a few minor tweaks to this classic, you have a completely new dessert. For this version, I added pumpkin puree, vanilla, and spices. This pumpkin ooey gooey butter bars recipe screams fall!
Ingredients you’ll need:
- A boxed yellow cake mix is the base of the cake bars. Using a boxed cake mix makes this recipe even easier to pull together. You’ll need a whole box of mix.
- You’ll use eggs in the cake batter base and the pumpkin filling. The eggs will help the bars to set.
- You can’t have pumpkin butter bars without butter! And you’ll need plenty of it. You will thank me later. 🙂
- The pumpkin filling is made using cream cheese, pumpkin puree, and powdered sugar.
- And to bring all the fall flavors, you’ll need vanilla, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
A Few Tips
- The consistency of the pumpkin filling will be “loose” and very easy to pour. This consistency is expected and is why we can call this dessert ooey gooey!
- When you remove the bars from the oven, you want to ensure the center is not wet but jiggles slightly. You are not looking for a stiff cake. After 30 minutes of cooling time, they will set up perfectly.
- Before serving, finish your bars with powdered sugar or whipped topping — but not too much in advance. The sugar may dissolve, and the whipped topping may melt if the bars are too warm.
Can I use fresh pumpkin to ooey gooey pumpkin bars?
Absolutely! You can swap 1 can (15 oz) of pumpkin puree with 1 3/4 cup of fresh pumpkin. Use baking (sugar or pie) pumpkins when making pumpkin puree. Slice the pumpkin in half, place them side down on a baking sheet , and roast for 50 to 60 minutes. Once roasted, place the pumpkin flesh into a food processor and blend for 3 to 5 minutes until smooth.
Do pumpkin gooey butter cake bars need to be refrigerated?
You can refrigerate only if you plan to enjoy the bars after 3 days. Before then, the bars can be stored in an airtight container, wrapped in aluminum foil, and kept at room temperature. After 3 days, the bars can be placed in the refrigerator for up to a week or stored in the freezer (in a freezer-safe container) for 2 months.Print