Pumpkin Magic Bars Recipe

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Pumpkin Magic Bars Recipe – easy baked cookies with butterscotch, pumpkin, and pecans for an unforgettable flavor you’re going to be obsessed with!

picture of pumpkin pie bars with pecans and a cookie base stacked together on a table
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picture of pumpkin pie bars with pecans and a cookie base stacked together on a table

Easy Pumpkin Magic Bars

There is nothing better than pulling out a warm pan of these Easy Pumpkin Magic Bars – they smell great, are completely addictive, and so delicious!

This is the perfect season to bring these bars to work, or to your kids school – the perfect easy treat!

Your family and friends will love them – if you decide to share them at all (I won’t tell)!

This recipe can be changed to suit your needs and tastes, but the base is perfect for fall.

  • These Pumpkin Magic Bars are part of the family of baked goods with a cookie-like crust that you prebake and then add topping to bake further.
  • The cookie-like crust has the warmness from the pumpkin pie spice, so it takes on a little bit of bite, almost like a graham cracker crust. It’s absolutely perfect.
  • They have great structure and are easy to take anywhere.
  • Because Pumpkin Magic Bars are both easy to pack and easy to change, if you want a school-safe option, try substituting the pecans with Cheerios or crushed up pretzels!
  • The crusty bottom makes these almost a magic cookie bar with a delicious pumpkin topping.
  • Try this recipe with chocolate chips in place of butterscotch for a different flavor palate. 
picture of pumpkin pie bars with pecans and a cookie base stacked together on a table

How To Make Pumpkin Magic Bars

These tips will help you make pumpkin bars that are super easy and delicious, every time you make them!

For the crust:

  • Butter – butter gives us a rich, salty flavor and perfect fat composition to make a cookie base that makes pumpkin bars taste like shortbread.
  • Brown sugar – using brown sugar instead of granulated sugar in this recipe helps to pull out a deeper caramel flavor that is more complex and molasses-like than overly sweet.
  • All-purpose flour – using all purpose flour or gluten free all-purpose flour will work well to make our cookie base. We’re not looking for flour with lift, so do not use self-rising flour.
  • Pumpkin pie spice – pumpkin pie spice is a blend of spices that are traditionally used in pumpkin pie, including nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cloves.
  • Sea salt – a bit of salt balances out sugar in cookies and also helps to enhance the cookies sweetness.

For the toppings:

  • Canned pumpkin pie filling – while you can use home-mashed pumpkin, using pumpkin pie filling is super simple and a major timesaver.
  • Butterscotch chips – butterscotch chips are often used in “magic” recipes because of their transformative properties when mixed with milk and heated- they don’t require stirring or work, and turn into a perfect glaze!
  • Toffee bits – adding toffee bits adds a bit of extra crunch and flavor to take these bars over the top! You can usually find these in the baking section.
  • Chopped pecans – chopped pecans help to add a hearty crunch and extra bite to these bars, with the nostalgic baked pecan flavor everyone loves.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – condensed milk helps to bind our bars together and create a glaze with the butterscotch chips, as well as sweeten our recipe without adding corn syrup or additional sugar, so it’s sweet without being too sweet.
  • Prep. Line an 11×7 pan with foil and spray with cooking or baking spray. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Make cookie base. Cream butter and brown sugar (I like to use my stand mixer) until light and fluffy in a large bowl. I like the way this adds a fluffiness to the crust rather than the melted butter method. Add dry ingredients, flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt – mix until there are no dry spots. Press the mixture into the bottom of the baking pan (it’s so satisfying). Bake your cookie crust for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until it no longer looks raw, but is just lightly toasted. 
  • Add pumpkin magic! Spread pumpkin pie filling on top of the crust (I like to use silicone spatulas, they work for everything!) Layer butterscotch chips, toffee bits (for that perfect crunch) and pecans over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top.Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until browned on top.
  • Serve. Try not to pick at it until it’s cooled completely (good luck with that… the hardest part!) Cut into bars.
picture of pumpkin pie bar with pecans and a cookie base in a hand

Magic Pumpkin Bars Tips and FAQs

The real secret to pumpkin magic bars is how easy they are – but these tips and tricks will help you have a perfect dessert, every time!

Refrigerate after baking. Due to the pumpkin in this recipe, these bars should be refrigerated.

Make them school safe. It’s hard when your kids go to school to find ways to make homemade delicious treats “nut-free” to tuck into their lunchboxes. Many schools don’t allow any foods with peanuts or tree nuts, including walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, or pistachios. Rules like these exist to protect children with allergies. Try substituting the pecans with cheerios or crushed pretzels to make these bars school-safe. Your kids will open their lunchboxes with glee.

How to serve. I love this cute pumpkin platter to arrange the bars on. When people take them one at a time, it reveals such a beautiful message. If you have any leftover (unlikely), these Magic Pumpkin Bars are great with a cup of coffee in the morning.

Dust with sugar. Also, consider dusting the top with powdered sugar to give them that beautiful finish and visual depth on top! 

  • Always store these bars in the refrigerator because of the pumpkin.
  • Try substituting the butterscotch chips for chocolate chips – pumpkin and chocolate are a great combo!
  • If you want to delight your kids, try making these Magic Pumpkin Bars “school safe.”

FAQs

Can I use pumpkin puree instead of pumpkin pie filling?

Pumpkin puree is just pure pumpkin without any of the traditional pumpkin pie spices.
So if you want to use the puree instead I would suggest spicing it up a little (if you want) to add more of that great pie flavor!

How should I store pumpkin magic bars?

Pumpkin bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Other Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love

If you love these pumpkin magic bars, be sure to check out our other pumpkin recipes!

You can find our pumpkin recipe archives here.

picture of sliced pumpkin magic bars in a tray

Pumpkin Magic Bars Recipe

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picture of pumpkin cookie bars with pecans and glaze stackes on top of each other on a table

Pumpkin Magic Bars Recipe

Yield: 15 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Pumpkin Magic Bars Recipe - delicious cookie bars loaded with pumpkin pie flavor that are so easy to make, it's magic!

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • For the toppings:
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin pie filling
  • 11 ounces butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11x7 baking dish with foil and spray it with cooking spray, set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.
  3. Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, mix it in until combined with no dry patches.
  4. Press the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish and bake for 15 minutes until it no longer looks raw and is lightly browned.
  5. Spread the pumpkin pie filling on top.
  6. Layer the butterscotch chips, then the toffee bits, then the pecans.
  7. Pour the sweetened condensed milk on top and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes until browned on top.
  8. Let the bars cool in the pan completely.
  9. Once they are completely cool, cut them into bars.
  10. Store in the fridge until serving.

Notes

Due to the pumpkin in this recipe, the bars should be stored in the fridge. 

Everything in these bars just works. If you don’t like butterscotch you can substitute regular chocolate chips, chocolate and pumpkin work wonderfully together. 

There is a slight crunch from the toffee and the pecans, these are the perfect fall treat!

Nutrition Information
Yield 15 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 535Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 45mgSodium 134mgCarbohydrates 61gFiber 3gSugar 48gProtein 6g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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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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