Brown Butter Pumpkin Bars

Well it’s the official first day of fall y’all, and to celebrate I bring you Brown Butter Pumpkin Bars. And just as you may suspect…they’re pumpkin bars…with brown butter. It’s not only in the batter, but it’s also in the cream cheese frosting. If you’ve never made brown butter before, YOU MUST! Check out my easy How to Make Brown Butter post and make up a batch for these bars!

It’s just butter, but cooked until brown and nutty. It gives it this slightly sweet, aromatic, nutty flavor that is SO good for baking and adding to savory dishes as well.

THE pumpkin bars

This recipe is the original Festal pumpkin brand recipe. You can see in the above photo the recipe card I have from my mother is literally cut out from something, and taped onto a recipe card, I love passed down recipes! She’s made them for years. Classic, fail proof, and delicious! I don’t even think you can get Festal brand in a lot of stores anymore…but I did see it on Amazon!

The recipe makes a ton! A whole jelly roll pan full that’s about 12×18-inches. They do freeze very well, so if you’re not making them for a large group, just freeze half for another time, they are honestly just as good after thawed!

Instead of only using oil in the batter I cut the oil in half, and substituted half for brown butter. In the frosting I used the brown butter in place of regular butter. The addition of the brown butter just elevates the aromatic flavors of ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

I’m honestly not a huge pumpkin pie fan, but I love these brown butter pumpkin bars, the texture is perfect. So fluffy and moist! Festive for fall entertaining, and holidays to come! Enjoy!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Bars

Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Author Adapted from Festal


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown butter, softened or melted see "how to" link in post
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

For the frosting

  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup brown butter, softened but NOT melted
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large jelly roll pan (12x18x1-inch) with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, brown butter, sugar, and pumpkin and stir until combined. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until combined. Pour into prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes and toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting

  1. Beat cream cheese, brown butter, vanilla, and milk together until smooth. Add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Spread evenly over cooled bars. Slice and serve!

Recipe Notes

These bars freeze very well, just store in an air tight container.

See the blog post for the “How to Make Brown Butter” link. You can make it in advance so that it becomes a solid butter again. You don’t want to use melted butter in the frosting or the frosting consistency will be too runny. 

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