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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars have the perfect blend of pumpkin, spices, cinnamon, and full of dark chocolate chips. They’re soft, moist, cake-like, and will delight pumpkin and chocolate lovers.

image of pumpkin chocolate chip bars with a text overlay

I love pumpkin…and chocolate. The two together just satisfy my craving for something sweet. This pumpkin chocolate chip bread is such a favorite treat to make and my family loves it. That being said, I cannot tell you how much these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars make me smile and have been requested TWICE since I made them last month! Of course, I made them and even frozen a batch for next time.

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Fall Flavors Week

This year’s Fall Flavors event is ending but you can find all the recipes here on the blog anytime you want! Fellow food bloggers and I are thrilled to have shared all foods that make you think of the fall season. Pumpkin, apple, cranberry, fall squashes, spices, and more. From appetizers to desserts, we’re bringing our best recipes this week. It’s our 4th year sharing recipes with you to save and share.

The last recipe I’m sharing this week is a delicious combination of pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, and chocolate. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars are so easy to make that you’ll be whipping a batch or two in no time. Warm fall spices just ooze throughout these moist cake-like bars. I used dark chocolate chips because I feel they just enhance the pumpkin flavor even more.

This is your go-to recipe for a dessert bar or treat this Fall or really anytime if you choose.

If you’ve missed any of the recipes this week, you can find the loaded cauliflower recipe here, and the Instant Pot Apple Cheesecake here.

different kinds of pumpkins all set together

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

I have to admit that the first time I made these pumpkin bars, I used a mixture of oil and butter and they turned out rather greasy. I tried all butter and even all oil with the same result. Then, I remembered that sometimes I make brownies with applesauce in place of the oil called for on the box. Updating my recipe using butter and unsweetened applesauce was perfect! The result is a moist, fluffy, and cake-like bar. Just what I was going for!

It almost tastes like pumpkin bread but in bar form, and the dark chocolate chips add such a delicious amount of sweetness. The spice mixture is just perfect in this. If you don’t have a jar of pumpkin pie spice, no worries, check the recipe notes for a homemade version.

This recipe calls for an entire can of pumpkin, unlike most recipes that use only part of it. For the most part, I freeze the leftover pumpkin and unless I remember it’s in the freezer it will usually get tossed in the back and forgotten. Not a problem with this pumpkin recipe!

delicious pumpkin chocolate bars on cutting board
Looking for the best pumpkin bars recipe? Look no further!

What Equipment do I Need to Make these Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars?

No fancy equipment is needed to make these yummy bars. You will need a 13×9-inch baking pan, parchment paper (or aluminum foil), and non-stick spray. A medium mixing bowl for the dry ingredients, a larger mixing bowl for the batter, and a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer. You can even mix the batter with a good wooden spoon.

How do I Store the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Mine never last the week!

stacked pumpkin bars with chocolate chips
Gotta love pumpkin recipes!

Ingredients

  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see notes in recipe card for a homemade version)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (4-ounce container) unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin (yes, the WHOLE can)
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
close up of pumpkin chocolate chip bars
These pumpkin bars make a wonderful dessert or after-school snack.

How to Make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper leaving a bit of an overhang on the long sides so the bars can be easily pulled out of the pan to cut and serve. If you don’t have either, just spray the pan with cooking spray. I like to spray the foil with nonstick spray just to be sure the bars will not stick.

Step 2

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Step 3

Grab a large mixing bowl and cream the butter, applesauce, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed of a handheld electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Add the whole can of pumpkin puree and mix until combined. The mixture may look a bit separated or curdled. This is normal and will bake just fine.

small container of applesauce
A single serving-size container of applesauce is the perfect amount for this recipe.

Step 4

Add in the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips using a wooden spoon.

Step 5

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. While baking, the edges will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan (like they do when you bake brownies) and will be golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out with just a little bit of moist or dry crumbs. Do not overbake!

pumpkin chocolate chip batter in baking pan
The easy recipe takes only 15 minutes to mix up!

Step 6

Let the bars cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before lifting them out and cutting into squares.

pumpkin chocolate chip bars cooling on wire rack before cutting

Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

  • Be sure you are using pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling
  • Substitute the dark chocolate chips for semi-sweet chocolate, mini chocolate chips, or your favorite flavor of chocolate chips.
  • Add ½ cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter.
  • It doesn’t matter if you use unsweetened or sweetened applesauce. Use what you have.
  • Allow the bars to cool before cutting so they will cut easier.
  • If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, try this homemade version: 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ½ teaspoon each ground allspice and ground cloves.
  • Make ahead tip: The bars do taste better the next day (if you can make them last), as the flavors seem to deepen and blend.

20 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes

cut squares of pumpkin chocolate bars on cutting board
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip squares
chocolate chip pumpkin bars stacked with pumpkins in the background
It’s that time of the year – Pumpkin Season!

When that craving for a pumpkin dessert hits, make these easy chocolate chip pumpkin bars!

Printable Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars Recipe

close up of pumpkin chocolate chip bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars have the perfect blend of pumpkin, spices, cinnamon, and full of dark chocolate chips. They’re soft, moist, cake-like, and will delight pumpkin and chocolate lovers.

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Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: pumpkin, pumpkin bars, pumpkin chocolate chip bars, pumpkin desserts

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 ⅓ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see notes for homemade version)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ cup granulated white sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper leaving a bit of an overhang on the long sides so the bars can be easily pulled out of the pan to cut and serve. If you don’t have either, just spray the pan with cooking spray. I like to spray the foil with nonstick spray just to be sure the bars will not stick.

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  • Grab a large mixing bowl and cream the butter, applesauce, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed of a handheld electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Add the whole can of pumpkin puree and mix until combined. The mixture may look a bit separated or curdled. This is normal and will bake just fine.

  • Add in the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips using a wooden spoon.

  • Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. While baking, the edges will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan (like they do when you bake brownies) and will be golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out with just a little bit of moist or dry crumbs. Do not overbake!

  • Let the bars cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before lifting them out and cutting into squares.

Notes

Tips!

  • Be sure you are using pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling
    Substitute the dark chocolate chips for semi-sweet chocolate, or your favorite chocolate chips.
  • Add ½ cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter.
  • It doesn’t matter if you use unsweetened or sweetened applesauce. Use what you have.
  • Allow the bars to cool before cutting so they will cut easier.
  • If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, try this homemade version: 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ½ teaspoon each ground allspice and ground cloves.
  • Make ahead tip: The bars do taste better the next day (if you can make them last), as the flavors seem to deepen and blend.
delicious pumpkin chocolate bars on cutting board
My idea of a perfect fall dessert.

Other Pumpkin Recipes You May Enjoy

fall sign with leaves and pumpkins. Sign reads Happy Fall Ya'll.

More Fall Flavors Recipes

Appetizers and Beverages

Breads

Sauces

Mains Dishes

Desserts

Follow the Favorite Fall Recipes Facebook group and follow the Favorite Fall Flavors Pinterest board for more fall inspiration!

close up of pumpkin chocolate chip bars

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Enjoy!



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