Bready or Not: Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars
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Bready or Not: Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars

This perfectly autumn recipe pairs pumpkin and chocolate with the richness of cream cheese to create thick, moist bars.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: bars, chocolate, cream cheese, pumpkin
Author: Beth Cato



Pumpkin base layer

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 eggs
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Chocolate swirl

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Prepare the base layer

  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (15x10x1) with aluminum foil, making sure the edges are covered. Add nonstick spray or grease.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cloves. Add the four eggs, the pumpkin, and oil. Pour into the prepared pan.

Start the chocolate swirl

  • Microwave 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, zapping in short increments and stirring well between each pass, until it is melted. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sugar; it's okay if it's still a little lumpy. Follow up with the one egg, milk, and melted chocolate. Dollop the chocolate mixture atop the pumpkin batter. Use a narrow spatula or butter knife to swirl layers together in a marbled effect. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until it looks puffed and the middle passes the toothpick test. Cool on a rack for at least an hour, then chill in fridge before cutting. This will make it easier to cut.
  • Use foil to lift onto a cutting board. Slice into bars then store chilled in a sealed container with waxed paper between stacked layers.