Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pan Bars
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Chocolate Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pan Bars

Guess what?  Pumpkin in March is just as good as Pumpkin in October. 


Chocolate Pumpkin Bars

The Recipe Redux theme this month is Spring Clean the Kitchen. The goal? Cook with at least 3 ingredients that are actually in your refrigerator or pantry right now. Try not to go to the store to buy anything new. Give tips on how to make a healthy dish out of whatever you have on-hand.

Believe it or not, I had every. single. ingredient. on hand. That NEVER happens. Well, nearly never. Here’s why I happened to have everything on hand for this recipe.  

I’ve been living with my in-laws since mid-January thanks in part to a long-er lasting remodeling job (aren’t they always?) than originally anticipated. Luckily, my MIL stocks her pantry with tons of great items that can be thrown together at a moments notice. Let’s be honest though-who doesn’t have an extra can of pumpkin in the pantry? The hold over can from the fall? Pumpkin is good all year round-not just when the PSL ads & posts start running ad nauseam. Use it. Own it. Enjoy it. 

Inspired by this Martha Stewart recipe,  I did make several changes to make it more my speed. Typically, it’s not recommended to mess around much with baking recipes, but this happens to be a much kinder, gentler recipe. Because-Martha Stewart.

What did I do?

  • swapped 1 cup of AP flour for 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • cut the sugar to 1 cup v. 1 1/4 c
  • removed the salt from the recipe since I used salted butter
  • cut the pumpkin pie spice to 2 t as I’m not a huge fan of allspice, an ingredient found in commercial pumpkin pie spice
  • added a scootch more vanilla because vanilla is my favorite
  • threw in  2 generous handfuls of chocolate chips instead of 12 full ounces.

See what I mean about making it more my speed?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pan Bars


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature (if you used unsalted butter, add 3/4 t salt)

1  cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray for baking and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda.  (I used a fork to whisk it together) Set aside.

2.  In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy. (I used a hand mixer) Add in egg and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add pumpkin puree and mix well. Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Reduce mixer speed to low and add in dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter.  Gently stir in chocolate chips with a spoon.

4. Spread batter evenly in the greased pan. Bake bars for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick or the tines of a fork come out clean or almost clean when inserted into the center of the pan.

5. Cool completely and serve.

The results are a moist, cake-like consistency that was a huge hit with everyone.

  • abbey sharp
    Posted at 10:59h, 23 March

    Yes yes yes! Pumpkin all year round! These look amazing!!

  • Elissa Lueckemeyer
    Posted at 13:55h, 23 March

    I want to try these! They look delicious!

  • Jenny Shea Rawn
    Posted at 15:04h, 23 March

    Yes. Always extra vanilla! Always. Love this recipe, as I have many cans of pumpkin to use up. Somehow each year my “stockpile” grows. Can’t wait to try these. Hope your reno is complete soon!

  • Brittany
    Posted at 15:07h, 23 March

    Team pumpkin all year here! I love the changes you made to this recipe – and I actually think I have everything on hand, too! Looks like I’ll be having pumpkin in march this weekend!

  • Charlene Pors
    Posted at 22:24h, 23 March

    Oh I love pumpkin all year! It’s my favorite part about the fall season. But hey- I’m not ready for fall, so I will just try these amazing looking treats instead! They look great.

  • Christy Brissette
    Posted at 10:30h, 24 March

    Robin, these look amazing! I’m making these this weekend 🙂

  • Lauren O'connor
    Posted at 11:01h, 24 March

    These look incredible – love pumpkin any time of year!

  • Lauren Harris-Pincus
    Posted at 21:39h, 25 March

    I think there is no such thing as pumpkin fatigue. Any time of year is fine with me and these look delish!

  • Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen
    Posted at 09:59h, 26 March

    I don’t think I could ever get bored of pumpkin! Pumpkin all year round!!

  • Jodi @ Create Kids Club
    Posted at 08:35h, 27 March

    What a great sheet pan recipe! There is never too much pumpkin in my house, my kids would love this!

  • Rebecca
    Posted at 21:45h, 27 March

    These look delicious! I think I’ve made the Martha Stewart recipe before too, it’s good! but the ww flour would make them just nutty enough to send them over the edge! great swaps

  • Diane Boyd
    Posted at 07:00h, 28 March

    These pumpkin chocolate chip bars look so moist and delicious. A must try. Pinning !

  • Ann Dunaway Teh
    Posted at 14:39h, 30 March

    Pumpkin is a year round ingredient for me!!