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Golden Cinnamon-Pumpkin Bars

by on March 14, 2009 · 37 comments

Today’s cookie is a really dense pumpkin bar. It’s probably more suited for Fall, but I like pumpkin year round and was in the mood for this type of thing yesterday. What’s great about these bars is that they are dense and moist rather than cakey. They’re like brownies, but pumpkin flavor. I used cinnamon chips, but chocolate chips would be great as well. This is adapted from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book.

whole wheat pumpkin bars

Golden Cinnamon-Pumpkin Bars

6 oz unsalted butter (168 grams)
1 1/3 cups packed light or dark brown sugar (280 grams)
1 teaspoon vanilla (5 ml)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder (3 ml)
1/2 teaspoon salt (2 ml)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (3 ml)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (see substitution)
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin (9.5 oz)
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour (170 grams) — (or weigh out 170 grams white whole wheat)
1 cup cinnamon chips (170 gram)
3/4 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13×9 inch metal pan with cooking spray or line with foil and spray foil.

Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in the sugar. Return the bowl to microwave and heat for another 30 seconds or just until it starts to bubble. Let cool until it’s comfortable to touch, then stir in the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and egg. When well mixed, stir in pumpkin. Add the flour, cinnamon chips and nuts or raisins and stir until mixed.

Pour into pan and bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

This makes 2 dozen 2 inch bars

This is a good sub for pumpkin pie spice, you can adjust the spices if you like = ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon cloves, ¼ allspice

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Published on March 14, 2009

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Louise March 14, 2009 at 9:31 am

You make me laugh. One day you are using Cool Whip and pudding mix, which I think of as “Better Living through Chemistry”, and the next day it’s whole wheat flour. No more baking!! Go pack your bags. ;-)

Anna March 14, 2009 at 9:33 am

Hey, I like chemistry.

Louise March 14, 2009 at 9:41 am

We all need some preservatives.

claire March 14, 2009 at 9:50 am

those look fabulous! i’m a big fan of “year-round pumpkin,” too. avoiding the best-tasting baking flavor (IMHO) is like the old “don’t wear white after labor day” rule- obsolete!

claire March 14, 2009 at 9:51 am

ps that’s the first time i’ve used “IMHO,” and i feel a bit dirty. :/

Louise March 14, 2009 at 9:58 am

I was just looking around your site, and it doesn’t appear that you’ve ever made sticky toffee pudding. You have the F&W recipe up, but there are many recipes now. You can make them in giant muffin tins too. They freeze well. This one’s pretty good, but use brown sugar instead of white.

eva March 14, 2009 at 10:16 am

These look yummy Anna! I’ll definitely try baking these, but I think a 1/2 batch for me. And perhaps cranberries and walnuts instead of the chocolate and pecans. I wish they could somehow get that “shiny brownie top”. Oh well, can’t ask for everything. :)

Elyse March 14, 2009 at 10:23 am

Mmm, those bars look divine. I love pumpkin all year round, too!!

Dani March 14, 2009 at 11:31 am

looks like a very filling snack

Janet March 14, 2009 at 11:38 am

Wow, those look sooo good! It’s raining and dreary here…a perfect day for baking. Thanks!

VeggieGirl March 14, 2009 at 11:44 am


Karen March 14, 2009 at 11:45 am

I’ve been in a pumpkin mood, too! In fact, I made the pumpkin harvest loaf you posted a few months back(with the chocolate layer in the middle) last night and just had some for breakfast. I think I have enough pumpkin left to try this one.

Janet March 14, 2009 at 1:37 pm

I just cut a small corner to taste….these bars are wonderful!!! I added 1/2 cup golden raisins in addition to the pecans. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Pearl March 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm

loooove pumpkin :)

snooky doodle March 14, 2009 at 3:35 pm

these look really interesting! I bet they are selicious :)

snooky doodle March 14, 2009 at 3:35 pm

ups meant delicious. wish to try these :)

Lisa Ernst March 14, 2009 at 4:37 pm

You read my mind — sort of. I was considering canned pumpkin to replace the banana in your banana chocolate chip bar recipe. Then I discovered the canned pumpkin I thought was in my pantry was gone. Back to the banana….but my husband ate the only one in the house as a snack. So no bars yet…..These look wonderful and I like that they are like brownies only in pumpkin form.

Louise March 14, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Hi Anna,
What a GREAT recipe. I too have been in a pumpkin mood these day and I LOVE the idea of the whole wheat flour. The cinnamon chips sound like the perfect “spark”.

Thanks so much for sharing…

Katrina March 15, 2009 at 12:00 am

Winter, spring, summer, or fall….all you have to do is bake with pumpkin. Yummy!

Natalie March 15, 2009 at 1:22 am

Oh yum these look sooo good. I am totally trying them. I love the cinnamon chips idea – maybe I’m crazy but I get tired of chocolate chips!

deeba March 15, 2009 at 1:29 am

Oh boy…you tempt me so bad! I just made pumpkin panna cotta from freshly made puree. Now I want to go & get some more pumpkins & make this…great great post!

Dana March 15, 2009 at 7:42 am

These look amazing! I may have to try them later today. Don’t have any cinnamon chips lying around, so I may try white chocolate chips. But first I promised DH I would make a batch of homemade samoas bars for him to take to work tomorrow…

shannon abdollmohammadi March 15, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Anna, your pic is awesome. I too love pumpkin all year round…it is one of those comfort foods that I associate with the happiness of the holidays.

pumpkinpie March 15, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Perfect timing! I just bought three 29 oz cans of pumpkin. I love to make pumpkin carrot cake for Easter, but I will have to try these bars too.

Sarah March 16, 2009 at 4:18 am

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


FFichiban March 16, 2009 at 6:30 am

OOohh pumpkin and cinnamon sounds like a great warming combination mmm

krista March 16, 2009 at 8:47 am

yummy! these look so good! for sure gonna try them. you know what would be a great addition? cranberries! maybe i’ll try that…

Rosie March 16, 2009 at 11:52 am

Those bars look divine! Its diffiuclt to get tinned pumpkin here in the u.k. but I’m happy to make my own for these bars :0)

giz March 16, 2009 at 7:06 pm

I’m a year round pumpkin-a-holic too. I would make this and then I would eat the whole thing.

Eric April 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm

This also tastes great if you mixed the cake and butter with the other ingredients (which I did by accident the first time I made it). It tastes like a great pumpkin cake and less like pumpkin pie with a topping.

Karen June 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I finally made these today, using chocolate chips and walnuts. The batter seemed a little thin and the bars are not that high but they are delicious, mine baked for only 35 minutes. I’m a huge pumpkin chocolate fan and am happy to add this recipe to my repetoire!

Jenni July 11, 2010 at 10:28 pm

These are awesome!! I used white flour, as I did not have whole wheat on hand. I also could not find the cinnamon chips, and used butterscotch ones instead. And, instead of nuts, I used 1/2 cup of golden flax seeds. Yum!!!

Lila November 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm

These are great! I made them just like the recipe, with cinnamon chips an pecans. Raisins would be good, too.

K November 19, 2012 at 10:41 am

Hi, if I only have cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, do you think that would be an acceptable substitute for pumpkin pie spice?

Anna November 19, 2012 at 11:32 am


Donna April 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm

When making the golden cinnamon pumpkin bars, do you use both kinds of flour?

Anna April 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Hi Donna,
You only need 170 grams of flour. You can use either whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour. The reason I specified to weigh out the white whole wheat flour is because the volumes might differ slightly, whereas 170 grams is 170 grams. So if you’re going to use white whole wheat, it’s best to weigh out the flour if you have a scale.

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