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Pumpkin Spice Bars (Doctored Cake Mix)

If you love a delicious pumpkin pie but don’t have the time to bake one, have I got a great alternative for you! These simple Pumpkin Spice Bars are quick and easy, and start with a box of cake mix!

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

My Journey with Pumpkin

If you have been following this blog any length of time you probably know what I’m about to say. I’m allergic to pumpkin.

The last time I took even a nibble I had to immediately take Benadryl. That won’t be happening again!

So, when I decided to create a pumpkin spice bar, I knew that someone else would have to taste-test it for me. I knew just who to ask, my friend Brittany.

Pumpkin Spice Flavor for the Win!

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Brittany stopped by and ate one of the bars, then took the rest home for her family. She loved them! Our conversation went something like this:

“If you warmed it up a little and put some whipped cream on it, it would taste like Thanksgiving!!” 

  • ME: Is it okay? 
  • HER: Okay? 
  • ME: Yeah, is it tolerable? 
  • HER: It’s more than tolerable! It tastes like pumpkin pie!”
  • ME: Okay, then. Guess it’s good. 
  • HER: (taking another piece) Mm-hmm! If you put some whipped cream on this, it would taste like Thanksgiving!
  • ME: (reaching for the whipped cream) Alrighty then!
Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

So, even though I haven’t personally tasted this recipe, Brittany says it’s good. And Brittany has very discriminating tastes!

Pumpkin Spice Bar Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick look at what you’ll need to make these bars. These are simple ingredients you might already have on hand. If not, they’re readily available at local grocery stores.

  • spice cake mix
  • large eggs
  • room temperature butter
  • pumpkin puree
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • chopped pecans (optional)

You don’t have to wait until pumpkin season to have this luscious bar! Thanks to canned pumpkin, you can eat it year ’round!

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Bars

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

These came together so easily! (And I didn’t even have to touch the pumpkin puree to pull it off!)

Pre heat oven to 350 F

Prepare dish by spraying with nonstick spray. Add a piece of parchment paper for easy lifting.

Place spice cake mix, 1 egg, and melted butter into large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. (An electric mixer will do just fine if you don’t have a stand mixer!)

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Mix at low speed until it comes together. 

Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. 

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. 

Make your Pumpkin Mixture 

Place pumpkin pie filling, sweetened condensed milk, egg, and spice into your mixing bowl. 

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Beat until light and creamy at medium speed (or mix by hand).

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Stir in nuts (optional).

Pour batter into hot partially baked crust.

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Smooth out pumpkin filling as best you can. 

Place back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. 

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Cool on wire rack for an hour and then refrigerate for another hour.

Place on workspace and cut into 24 pieces.

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Serve and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. These back can be frozen up to two months.

Variations on this Classic Pumpkin Bars Recipe

Sweet Potatoes: I might actually make these bars with sweet potato puree next time because I’m not allergic to that. I think it would be delicious with the same exact spices.

Cream cheese frosting: Add a layer of cream cheese frosting on top of the bars after they cool. Delicious!

Light brown sugar: Add half a cup to the pumpkin mixture for a greater depth of flavor.

Serve with a pumpkin spice latte! (Fun, right?)

Shortbread crust: For more of a shortbread-like crust, skip the egg in the cake mix and just use butter. Spread about 2/3 of the crumb mixture on bottom and sprinkle the remaining third on top of the pumpkin mixture.

Pie crust: You can always use a thickened pie crust on bottom. I think it would be a lovely, flaky alternative to the cake option.

Vanilla extract: You can add a teaspoon to the pumpkin mixture if you like, for added depth of flavor.

Other Pumpkin Offerings from Out of the Box Baking

I might be allergic but that hasn’t kept me from baking with pumpkin. Most people love pumpkin desserts, after all. I just have to be super careful not to touch any of the pumpkin, so I’m very careful. Here are a few fan favorites your whole family can enjoy:

Homemade Pumpkin Bread:

Enjoy this delicious recipe for homemade pumpkin bread! Talk about an easy recipe!

Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake

Enjoy this recipe for Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake. (It starts with a box of cake mix, too!) This is one of those pumpkin recipes you’re going to enjoy during the holidays.

Follow this link for a comprehensive post listing more of my fall cookies and bars, perfect for autumn!


Learn more about doctored cake mixes, the theme of this blog. 

For the master list of all doctored cake mix recipes on this site, visit Doctored Cake Mix Recipes, Master List. 


That’s it for this post, friends! I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe. 

See this recipe at

Full Plate Thursday 

Weekend Potluck

The Lazy Gastronome

Busy Monday


About the Author

Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.

Pumpkin Spice Bars

Pumpkin Spice Bars

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

If you love a delicious pumpkin pie but don't have the time to bake one, have I got a great alternative for you! These simple Pumpkin Spice Bars are quick and easy, and start with a box of cake mix!

Ingredients

  • 1 box spice cake
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare dish.
  3. Place spice cake mix, 1 egg, and melted butter into large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  4. Mix until it comes together.
  5. Press into the bottom of the dish.
  6. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Make your pumpkin mix: Place pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, egg, and spice into your mixing bowl.
  8. Beat until light and creamy.
  9. Stir in nuts
  10. Pour into hot partially baked crust
  11. Smooth out as best you can.
  12. Place back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  13. Cool at room temperature for an hour then place in the refrigerator for another hour.
  14. Transfer to workspace and cut into 24 squares.
  15. Serve and enjoy!
  16. Store tightly wrapped in refrigerator up to 4 - 5 days. These bars can be frozen up to two months.

Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake (Doctored Cake Mix) - Out of the Box Baking

Monday 12th of February 2024

[…] Pumpkin spice bars: These are simple and delicious! […]

Loli

Saturday 18th of November 2023

It really looks delicious. I want to make this ASAP but how much pumpkin pie spice should I add?

booksbyjanice

Wednesday 22nd of November 2023

I'm so very sorry! I just saw your note. I would add a teaspoon.

Helen at the Lazy Gastronome

Saturday 18th of November 2023

Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party! Have a great weekend.

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