Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars

I admit, I love pumpkin flavor – for me it’s a Dutchie thing.  I used to get so excited when fall rolled around and the stores started putting holiday baking supplies out on display — it was “that time of the year”!.  Then, “Pumpkin Overload” struck — foods of all kinds were being labeled “Pumpkin (something)” and seemed to be coming out of the woodwork and attacking unwary shoppers as we trudged down the aisles. 

Not to be taken in by this alien invasion, I turned to my trusted Pa. Dutch and Coal Region recipe arsenal and concentrated on my favorite pumpkin recipes — the rest can just go away as far as the Pumpkin Everything craze is concerned!

In my young adulthood in the Coal Region, I had a wonderful neighbor who planted a garden and always gifted me with a long neck pumpkin which I would dutifully peel, cook, drain and mash in order to whip up some pumpkin baked goods magic, but I confess, today thanks to some physical limitations and, sadly, my generous neighbor passing away many years ago, my go-to now is a good old can of Libby’s pumpkin.

Make sure to use the 100% pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling which will alter this recipe and not turn out like you had hoped.  And, honestly, how could something not be a favorite of mine when cream cheese is swirled on top? Budget friendly and travel friendly, these bars are great if you are called upon to bring a dessert to a family gathering or pot-luck.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: DessertsCuisine: Coal RegionDifficulty: Easy
Cooking time




  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • Cream Cheese Swirl
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1 egg

  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 2 Tablespoon all purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  • Heat oven to 350 F.
  • Grease and flour an 11″ x 7 ” baking pan.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 eggs until light and creamy. Beat in pumpkin puree.
  • In another bowl, combine thoroughly the 1 cup of flour with baking powder, soda, salt, and spices. Slowly beat into the first mixture until well blended.
  • Spread in prepared baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1 egg, confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons flour. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Drop by spoonfuls on to the pumpkin batter. Using a small narrow spatula or butter knife, swirl the cream cheese batter into the pumpkin batter.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool and cut into squares to serve.


  • Make sure to use 100% pumpkin and NOT canned pumpkin pie filling in this recipe.