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close up of pumpkin chocolate chip bars
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5 from 4 votes

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.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin, pumpkin bars, pumpkin chocolate chip bars, pumpkin desserts
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.