Pumpkin Bars with Browned Butter Frosting Recipe
Pumpkin Bars with Browned Butter Frosting Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Pumpkin Bars with Browned Butter Frosting Recipe

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I based this recipe on one my grandmother used to make—so sweet memories are baked into every bar. When making the frosting, carefully watch the butter and remove it from the heat as soon as it starts to brown. Do not use margarine.—Mary Wilhelm, Sparta, Wisconsin
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons 2% milk

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 0 calories, 0g fat (0g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate (0g sugars, 0g fiber), 0g protein


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. In a large bowl, beat the first six ingredients until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, pie spice, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture.
  2. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  3. In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Heat 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Transfer to a large bowl. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Spread over bars; let stand until set. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Pumpkin Bars with Browned Butter Frosting in Country Woman October/November 2013, p38

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Reviewed Sep. 29, 2015

"This is a good recipe however, I can never leave well enough alone...

so instead of all white sugar, I used 1/2 c, then slightly less than 1/2 c. brown and a little honey for taste. I thought it was too much sugar.
I added some fresh grated nutmeg...
Also I put the craisins in the micro w a little rum to soften them...more flavor...
In the oven now so I really can't give a fair review but I do think they will be wonderful!"

Reviewed Sep. 9, 2015

"Very good and moist. Made it for company and got lots of raves. I used a cream cheese icing with orange juice instead of the browned butter one in recipe. Will definitely make it again."

Reviewed Nov. 13, 2014

"These were the best pumpkin bars I've ever made. Loved the hint of orange in the bars and the browned butter frosting is amazing. I let my husand lick the beaters and he suggested i use the frosting instead of cream cheese filling in my pumpkin cake rolls."

Reviewed Oct. 8, 2014

"Moist and delish! Made these for a bake sale and they were a hit - sold out. Real salted butter gave the frosting a salted caramel flavor. I sprinkled the top with nutmeg before serving."

Reviewed Oct. 8, 2014

"I didn't have the correct size pan so I made in a 13 x 9 which made it more like cake. Awesome tasting and very moist! I used some leftover homemade cream cheese frosting which only added to the taste instead of being too sweet like one reviewer stated. Family wanted to eat the whole pan, but I like to get two times from a dessert, so I had to restrain them."

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