Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bars

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If a chocolate chip cookie and a pumpkin bar had a baby it would be these chocolate chunk pumpkin bars.

In one bite you get the sweet warmth of pumpkin spice and the decedent richness of chocolate chunks. This recipe is simple, not too sweet, and has tons of pumpkin spice – you have found your new favorite fall cookie bar!

picture of baked pumpkin bars with chocolate chunks stacked on top of each other on a table
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picture of baked pumpkin bars with chocolate chunks stacked on top of each other on a table

Easy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookie Bars

As the weather cools there is nothing better than snuggling up with a hot cup of coffee and a sweet and spicy chocolate chip pumpkin bar. As a bonus, this is an easy recipe your kids can help with and is a tasty way to introduce them to new seasonal flavors. 

These scrumptious fall flavor packed bars also make great gifts for friends and family and are a great addition to any potluck or family get together. 

picture of baked pumpkin bars with chocolate chunks stacked on top of each other on a table

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour – flour is important as the base of any baking recipe because of the gluten and protein content. All purpose flour is high in protein so it gives the bars a sound structure.
  • Pumpkin pie spice – pumpkin pie spice is just a combination of equal parts nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, it gives these chocolate chip pumpkin bars that spicy bite. If you don’t have any premixed pumpkin pie spice just make your own. 
  • Baking soda –  this “leavener” will help make our bars lighter by giving the dough a nice rise. 
  • Kosher salt – kosher salt is actually made from the salt in the ocean and helps draw the flavor of the other ingredients out. Use a fine grain sea salt so you don’t have pockets of saltiness in the bars. 
  • Granulated sugar – granulated white sugar adds sweetness and keeps the consistency light. If you want to substitute something use a granulated sugar alternative, not honey or maple syrup since they would throw off the wet-dry ratio. 
  • Brown sugar – brown sugar has some molasses in it which is what makes it brown in color. The molasses flavor compliments the pumpkin puree and gives these bars a darker richer color. 
  • Egg – eggs are high in protein so they add both structure and a rich flavor to these chocolate chip pumpkin bars. Use high quality eggs with dark yolks if possible. 
  • Vegetable oil – oil is the fat in this recipe that helps bind the other ingredients together as they melt in the oven. You can use canola oil or grapeseed oil but avoid olive oil or any oils that have a strong flavor.
  • Pumpkin puree – pumpkin puree adds a rich sweet earthy flavor and moisture to these bars. I use canned pumpkin puree for this recipe but you can use fresh, see tip #1 below for more info. 
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in alcohol. It’s an essential ingredient in many sweet recipes since it gives the batter such a nice flavor.
  • Chocolate chips – chocolate chips are great for adding bursts of chocolate without making bars that are overwhelmingly chocolatey. I use semi-sweet chocolate chips for this recipe but you can use any kind. 

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:

  • Mix- In a medium bowl, sift the flour pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt together. Sifting helps combine them completely. In a large mixing bowl use an electric mixer to combine the eggs, pumpkin puree, oil, sugars, and vanilla. Once combined add the flour mixture a cup at a time until everything is combined. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. 
  • Bake – Heavily spray a 9×13” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray then pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If you toothpick hits a chocolate chip it may not come out clean so check in a few places.
  • Cool – Let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes then turn it out and cut into bars.
  • Enjoy! – Enjoy these solo or with a dollop of cream. 
picture of baked pumpkin bars with chocolate chunks stacked on top of each other on a table

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Pumpkin Bars:

Making these chocolate chip pumpkin bars is cake, here are some tips and tricks to help you master it. 

Fresh vs. Canned Pumpkin. Fresh pumpkin has a different flavor (more like butternut squash) than canned pumpkin. If you want to use fresh puree you can cut a pumpkin in half, clean out the seeds, then place it on a roasting pan with the flesh down and bake it at 375 degrees until a knife inserted into the outer skin inserts easily (about an hour). Then scoop out the inside and mash it to make a puree. 

Make your own pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have blended pumpkin pie spice on hand you can easily make your own by combining cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. You can combine the spices at any ratio you want but typically I add twice as much cinnamon and ginger as the other ingredients. 

FAQ’s:

What’s the best way to keep leftovers?

Leftover bars should be covered and can be left at room temperature for 3 days, extra can also be frozen, see below. 

Can I freeze these bars?

Yes, these bars will freeze well and keep in the freezer for 3-6 months. Make sure you let them completely cool before wrapping them, labeling them, and putting them in the freezer. 

What to Serve With Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin bars are delicious at breakfast, with a Pumpkin Spice Latte or Israeli Cardamom Coffee, or a cup of Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate.

For more of our favorite easy pumpkin recipes find our recents here:

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bars Recipe

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Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bars

Delicious, moist, pumpkin bars loaded with chocolate chunks and perfect baked fall flavor!
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Keyword baking, chocolate chip bars, chocolate chips, cookie, cookie bar, dessert, fall baked goods, fall bars, fall desserts, pumpkin
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 562kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
  • In another large bowl, mix the egg, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, sugars, and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Spray or butter a 9×13? baking dish. Then pour into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in pan and then remove from pan. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 562kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 292mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 56g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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