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+ servings

Pumpkin Chess Bars

Small pumpkin cake topped with cream cheese mixture.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Chess Bars, Chess Squares, Pumpkin, Self-Rising Flour
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Chilling and Cooling 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 6 pieces
Cost 5


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened plus 1 T for pan or dish (114 grams) plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons beaten egg (25 grams)
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup self-rising flour (White Lily) (125 grams)**
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened (58 grams)
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (120 grams)
  • 1 large beaten egg, room temperature (25-28 grams)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Put 1 tablespoon of butter in an 8 inch square dish and put the dish in the oven as it is preheating to melt the butter. Set the timer so you won't forget about it. Remove from oven when butter is melted.
  • Beat the 114 grams of softened butter and 100 grams of sugar until creamy. If you butter is very soft, you can do this with just a spoon or scraper. Add the 2 tablespoons of beaten egg and beat until smooth, then stir in the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and the self rising flour.
  • Scrape pumpkin mixture into greased dish.
  • Wipe out the mixing bowl and add the softened cream cheese. Beat until smooth, then beat in the sugar and vanilla.
  • Drizzle in the beaten egg, stirring until mixed.
  • Scrape cream cheese mixture over the pumpkin mixture.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes or until top appears set and center rises a bit (it will fall back down). Let cool completely, then chill before serving.


For best results, weigh your flour.  If you don't have a scale, spoon it lightly into the measuring cup.
  • To substitute all-purpose flour for self-rising, use all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt plus a pinch (or a "generous" 1/4 teaspoon.