Bready or Not: Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars

Posted by on Oct 9, 2019 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, pumpkin | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars

Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars. Because I will never feature enough iterations of this perfect pairing.

Bready or Not: Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars

Yeah, every year I do a new take (or a couple) on this lovely Voltron-saving-the-galaxy team-up between pumpkin and chocolate. You know why? Because it’s AWESOME. Like Voltron. With a lot less death and destruction.

Bready or Not: Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars

This recipe gets extra oomph from cream cheese, but by no means do these taste like cheesecake bars. Here, the cream cheese adds umami richness rather than straight-out cream cheese flavor.

Bready or Not: Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars

I was amazed by how thick these bars ended up. Really, these are more akin to cake than standard blondies or brownies.

Bready or Not: Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars

Bake these up and brighten someone’s day. You don’t need to summon up Voltron to save a person’s world. Sometimes, baked goods can do the trick.

Bready or Not: Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars

Need more pumpkin X chocolate OTP? Check out past posts on Bready or Not!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins
Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Shortbread
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (2 loaves)

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


  • 15x10-x1 jelly roll pan


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.