Pumpkin Molasses Bars

Are you ready for the holidays? They're coming faster than you can say Pumpkin Molasses Bars!

My GOODNESS are these tasty. I've been experimenting with some pumpkin desserts lately and I'm proud to say that this is a GREAT one that'll surely impress your friends and family.

The pumpkin layer on top tastes exactly like pumpkin pie: it's smooth, not too sweet and is filled with yummy spices like cinnamon and nutmeg- so it has that REAL holiday taste. The molasses layer on the bottom is slightly more dense but is packed full of slightly sweet and spiced flavor. Together they make a harvest-y, delicious bar that is not too sweet and too darn addicting. They're perfect for the holidays. 


This recipe makes a ton of bars. Posted below, I give you an option to make these in an 11X13 baking dish for thicker bars OR in a 9X13 baking dish AND an 8X8 baking dish. That is what I did and I think they're perfect. Just make sure you adjust the baking time accordingly. (Read the note at the bottom for exact baking time adjustments)



For the pumpkin layer:

1 Cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

1 Cup white sugar

1/2 Cup salted butter, room temperature

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 Cups canned pumpkin


For the molasses layer:

2 1/4 Cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ginger 

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves 

3/4 Cup salted butter, room temperature

1/2 Cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 Cup white sugar 

1  large egg, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 Cup molasses 



For the molasses layer:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 11X13 baking dish with foil. Set aside.  (if you do not have an 11X13 baking dish or if you want thinner bars, you can use a 9X11 AND an 8X8) 

2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Slowly add the vanilla, egg and molasses-scraping down the sides as needed. Then add rest of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients little-by-little and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Flatten the dough into the pan(s) evenly. 


For the pumpkin layer: 

1. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Set aside.

2. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Slowly add the eggs one at a time and the pumpkin – mix until combined. Once the batter is smooth, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Careful not to overmix! Then pour the pumpkin batter on top of the molasses dough and spread evenly.

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the bars cool completely before cutting- they will become more firm! IMPORTANT: read note below!!


NOTE** If you are using an 11X13 baking dish, add 5-8 minutes to your baking time. If you were using a 9X13 and 8X8, stick with 35-40 minutes.