Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars


I can’t believe it’s already Fall time! Although it’s almost been a year since I’ve posted a recipe, I’ve continued to bake and cook as much as possible, some of which I’ve posted on my Instagram (rellam2190). So here I am again and my goal is to post recipes more consistently and frequently!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars. When I received this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction in my email inbox, I could not just save it to my Evernote and plan to make it “soon.” No, this recipe was one that I could not ignore for more than a day.


The perfect fall treat. Pumpkin and cream cheese make a heavenly match for each other. I don’t know why I didn’t realize this sooner! The pumpkin layer is soft and pillowy, while the cream cheese layer is smooth and luscious. They are neither too rich or too light tasting.

I brought them into work and several people asked for the recipe and wanted more! They are great for sharing too as they make a big 9 by 13 inch pan. They also keep fresh in the fridge for several days and freeze well too.

There are definitely a few steps to this recipe and it takes some patience and time, but after the batter is put together, they quickly bake in the oven, and then are ready to enjoy! They actually taste even better a few hours after they come out of the oven or the day after they are made.

Thank you Sally!


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars

  • Yield: 9 by 13 inch pan, about 24 or more bars
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (228g) pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cream Cheese Swirl
  • 8 ounces (224g) brick-style full fat or low-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg and vanilla on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. On medium speed, beat in the pumpkin until combined. The mixture will look curdled; that’s ok.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. Do not overmix. The mixture will be thick. Spread 2/3 of the batter evenly into the prepared pan; it will be a relatively thin layer. Transfer the rest into the flour bowl if using a stand-up mixer. The rest will be added in step 5.
  4. In the stand-up mixer bowl (or another bowl if using a hand held mixer (no need to wash the mixers before using in cream cheese batter)), beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat on high speed until completely combined. Drop random spoonfuls on top of the pumpkin batter. For me, there seemed to be too much cream cheese batter for just drops, so instead it looked like a full layer on top of the pumpkin layer.
  5. Drop the remaining pumpkin batter on top of the spoonfuls of cream cheese. With a rubber spatula or knife, begin gently swirling the two together. Both mixtures are thick, so go slowly. Jiggle the pan back and forth to get the layers to settle into the pan. Don’t worry if it looks messy; everything will come together in nice swirls as the bars bake.
  6. Bake the bars for 25-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Allow the bars to cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator for about 2 hours before cutting into squares. Leftover bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They’re SO good on day 2!
  7. Make ahead tip: These bars can be made 3 days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Bars freeze well, up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Adapted a little from Sally’s Baking Addiction


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