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Pumpkin chocolate chip bars are the best Fall dessert and treat! Like a pumpkin muffin but more dense, cake-like, super soft, and loaded with milk chocolate chips. These are my kids' most requested Fall pumpkin treat. They are heavenly snack cake bars that are even better the next day.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Pumpkin chocolate chip bars are super soft-baked, cake-like, moist and loaded with milk chocolate chips. This recipe uses an entire can of pumpkin so there will no wondering what to do with the leftovers.
Course Dessert
Keyword chocolate, pumpkin bars, pumpkin recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 20 pumpkin bars
Author Jessica - Together as Family

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips (reserve some for top of bars)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch nonstick pan with foil or parchment paper leaving an overhang on each long side so the bars can be easily pulled out of the pan to cut. Or just spray the pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter, applesauce, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled - that's completely fine!

  4. Mix in the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Top with reserved chocolate chips, if wanted, and bake for 35-40 minutes. The edges will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and will be golden brown and the center will look "puffy" and done. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out with moist/dry crumbs. 

  6. Let cool completely in the pan before lifting the bars out of the pan. Cut into squares and serve.

Recipe Notes

You do not have to use unsweetened applesauce for these bars. I have used both sweetened and unsweetened applesauce for this recipe, and it's great with either. They will slightly (not by a noticeable difference) more sweet is using sweetened applesauce. 

 

Be sure and use the can of pure pumpkin. DO NOT use the canned pumpkin pie mix.