Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

It’s no secret I love pumpkin recipes of any kind.

But when pumpkin and chocolate get together, watch out. My kryptonite.

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars - Super soft and are like biting into a piece of rich pumpkin fudge! Loaded with chocolate and crazy good!!

If you’re looking for the best ever pumpkin chocolate chip cake, I’ve got you covered, but the bars aren’t cake.

They’re super soft, moist, and full of robust pumpkin flavor. They’re dense like a blondie rather than cakey.

They’re like biting into a piece of rich pumpkin fudge and are the pumpkin equivalent of a personal favorite, Gingerbread Molasses Chocolate Chip Bars.

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars - Super soft and are like biting into a piece of rich pumpkin fudge! Loaded with chocolate and crazy good!!

When I want an easy, fuss-free recipe that I know everyone will love, I call upon my trusty blondie base. With 25+ versions and counting, it never lets me down.

It’s an easy no-mixer, one-bowl recipe that takes just minutes to whisk together. Melted butter, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, plenty of pumpkin pie spice, and chocolate chips are the key ingredients.

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars - Super soft and are like biting into a piece of rich pumpkin fudge! Loaded with chocolate and crazy good!!

I always make sure to spice pumpkin and sweet potato recipes with a fairly heavy hand so they don’t taste bland. A pumpkin recipe that doesn’t give you a nice pop of prominent pumpkin flavor is such a disappointment, but you have nothing to worry about here.

There’s an abundance of chocolate in every bite and pumpkin and chocolate is such a winning combo.

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars - Super soft and are like biting into a piece of rich pumpkin fudge! Loaded with chocolate and crazy good!!

The recipe only makes an 8-inch pan and if you have pumpkin fiends in your house, the bars will probably be gone in a day.

However, if you can resist, they taste better on the second day after the flavors have married. As a bonus, the bars get softer and moister on the second and third day, but I doubt they’ll last that long.

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars - Super soft and are like biting into a piece of rich pumpkin fudge! Loaded with chocolate and crazy good!!

If you haven’t already pre-ordered it, Cooking With Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie is my second cookbook and the official release date is October 6.

There’s over 50 pumpkin recipes including sweets, savory, drinks, and a photo for nearly every recipe. I’d be super grateful if you headed over to Amazon.

Cooking With Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie by Averie Sunshine

Print Recipe

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

The bars are super soft, moist, and full of robust pumpkin flavor. They're dense like a blondie rather than cakey. They're like biting into a piece of rich pumpkin fudge. It’s an easy no-mixer, one-bowl recipe that takes just minutes to whisk together. There's plenty of pumpkin pie spice to give the bars of prominent pop of pumpkin flavor along with chocolate in every bite. If you can resist, the bars taste better on the second day after the flavors have married and they continue to get softer and moister.

Yield: one 8x8 pan, 9 to 12 generous squares

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: about 32 to 33 minutes

Total Time: about 70 minutes, for cooling

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips + 2 tablespoons, for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour and stir until just combined, don't overmix.
  5. Stir in 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  7. Evenly sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, smoothly the top lightly with a spatula.
  8. Bake for about 32 to 33 minutes, or until done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. The moisture content in pumpkin varies, as do climates and ovens; bake until yours are done. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. I find the bars taste better on the second and third day after the flavors have married. Bars continue to get softer and moister for about 3 days after baking. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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101 comments

  1. I made these twice, and both times they did not come out delectably fudgy; instead, they were rather bouncy, like bread pudding. Do you think I overcooked the bars? Was my oven too hot possibly?

    • Yes if they came out bouncy, like too firm, and I do know the texture you’re describing, then yes I would say they were overcooked. Ovens, climates, how much moisture is in the pumpkin puree can all effect baking times so I would definitely shorten it. And even when cooked perfectly, they are a very dense, fudge-like bar. It’s the nature of the texture and I love it, but if you want it ‘lighter’, then you should add a bit of baking powder or baking soda.

  2. These came out exactly as described and my family loved them so much I wanted to give the recipe a shout-out. My son says I should make them all the time, not just at holidays. And his son, only three, calls them “Terrific!” while gobbling them.

  3. Ten o’clock at night, my husband is in the basement with a rented roto-rooter trying to sort out a plumbing issue that may very well become a plumbing crisis, and I just got these in the oven. So so hoping they will turn out well and be a pick me up for my fella…he deserves it! Of course, I didn’t have pumpkin pie spice, cooking spray, or enough brown sugar…so if they don’t turn out there’s no one to blame but me. Cross your fingers that they are at least a little bit good. :) thanks for a great recipe!

  4. Can I double this recipe or is it most advised to simply make multiple batches?

    • I personally have never tried to double it so can’t speak to if it’s better to make multiple batches or doubling is fine. There maybe is someone who’s written to say they’ve doubled it if you re-read through the comments.

  5. May I substitute the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour? 
    Thank you for your fabulous blog posts :)

  6. Me and my daughter made these monday and they turned out wonderfully. Thanks bunches!

  7. Can I use TJ’s Gluten Free Flour as a replacement for the flour? 

  8. If I use a 9×9 pan, what should I adjust the bake time and temperature to? Thank you!

  9. Do you think subbing applesauce for some of the butter would work for these?

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