Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with Apple Cider Cream Cheese Icing

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with Apple Cider Cream Cheese Icing
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I am so happy to live in a place where we experience the magic of fall. We all know that fall not only means crisp air, changing trees, and hay rides, but also pumpkins. In my opinion there may not be a better baking combination than pumpkin and chocolate. To celebrate that winning flavor combination I created these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars complete with sweet Apple Cider Cream Cheese Icing.

I promise you this baked good is a fool proof one. It is a recipe that is impossible to mess up. Just to make sure, tested it on two sets of people. My very supportive coworkers who love just about any baked good. And my “twenty something” group of girl friends (the inspiration for this blog that you can read more about here). Both groups raved about how yummy these rich chocolate stuffed pumpkin chocolate chip bars are.

Like just about every recipe I share, these pumpkin chocolate chip bars are really simple to make. First you need two bowls, one for the dry ingredients (flour, spices, salt, and baking soda) and one for the wet ingredients (butter, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and egg).

sliced pumpkin chocolate chip bars

Have you ever wondered why dry and wet ingredients are mixed separately?

Well I have the answer for you, and it just happens to be this week’s “pro” tip.  When baking you always want to mix your wet and dry ingredients separately before combining them to create one batter. The reason for this is relatively simple: It has to do with not wanting to over mix your batter.

Once flour in a batter becomes wet it activates the gluten, and over mixing the batter will strengthen the gluten, making the batter tough. No one loves a hard or tough baked good. So to keep your breads, cakes, and other baked goods light and fluffy, it’s important not to skip this step.

Another reason why it is important to mix dry ingredients before hand, is that it allows a more even mixture of the spices, seasonings, and rising agents like baking soda or powder throughout the batter. Otherwise you risk lumps of baking soda or salt…which is not an appetizing bite.

Once you have your two mixtures prepaid fold (fancy baking word for gently mixing a batter together using a rubber spatula and scraping the sides of the bowl) the two mixtures together. Now it’s time to add the chocolate chips and your ready to bake!

I lined my baking pan with wax paper because it is easier to remove the bars once they are done baking. It also makes it easier to clean the pan which is a win in my book.  Once the bars have baked completely and cooled slightly, it is time to remove them from the pan. Slide a butter knife around the edge of the pan between the wax paper and the pan. Then grip opposite edges of the paper and slowly lift the bars from the pan.  At this point I like to set them on a cutting board and then cut them into equal sized pieces.

You can eat the bars plain or top them with the Apple Cider sweetened Cream Cheese Icing.  This icing can be a tad runny, but I think that makes it the perfect consistency to create a attractive drizzle across the bars.

These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars turn out lovely and oh so delicious.

I loved gobbling them up warm, when the chocolate chips were still melted. Since they are pretty high in moisture you should store them in the fridge. I think they would have kept for about a week (but every time I made them my husband, coworkers, and friends ate them too fast for me to test this).

Happy Baking Season, now go find some friends to share these with!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars pin


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with Apple Cider Cream Cheese Icing

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate chip, cream cheese icing, dessert, dessert bar, easy desserts, fall recipes, pumpkin
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 bars


  • 1 can (15oz) pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or extract
  • 1 bag (12oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp apple cider


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

  2. Mix pumpkin, softened butter, vanilla, egg and sugar in a large mixing bowl. 

  3. Mix flour and baking soda in a small bowl. Slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture.

  4. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. Add the bag of chocolate chips. 

  5. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment or wax paper. Fill the pan. Bake for 40 minutes. 

  6. While the bars bake mix ingredients for the icing.  If the icing seems too runny add more powdered sugar. Let icing chill in fridge. 

  7. Once bars have baked and cooled. Spread icing over the bars and then slice. 

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