Pumpkin Bars + Our Fall Bucket List

You guys know I’m not a big cook (or baker for that matter), but there are some dishes that I make every single year. These pumpkin bars are one of them. Every fall, I kick off the season by making this delicious seasonal dessert. They taste like autumn (if the season had its own taste), and every time I eat them I’m instantly in the fall spirit!

Pecan pumpkin bars

The recipe is not an original one. In fact, my mom got it from Williams Sonoma years ago and she is the one who turned me onto these pumpkin bars in the first place. But, Williams Sonoma no longer shares this recipe online or on the label of their pumpkin butter, so I felt like I had to share it here on the blog.

Selfishly, I’ll now always have a reference point when I want to whip up this dessert each fall. Recipe for pecan pumpkin bars

Baking has always scared me because it’s so incredibly precise. But this recipe is pretty foolproof! It doesn’t take many ingredients, and you can whip it up really quickly! As I always say, if I can do it…then anyone can!

How to Make Pecan Pumpkin Bars

how to make pumpkin bars for a fall dessert

The star of this dish is this pecan pumpkin butter from Williams Sonoma. I’ve never tried to recreate this dish with another pumpkin butter, but that might work too. If you’re making these for the first time, then definitely use a jar of the one from Williams Sonoma! I believe they sell a few kinda of pumpkin butters, so make sure you pick up the pecan one!

muirhead pecan pumpkin butter

I went into the store to pick this one up and the employee told me they sell out pretty quickly! So if you want to make these for a fall party or even Thanksgiving, I’d stock up now.

Pecan Pumpkin Bars

These sweet, gooey pumpkin bars are the perfect way to ring in the autumn season.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings


  • 1 package of yellow cake mix; set aside 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 jar pecan pumpkin butter
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 t. cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grab a 9×13 greased baking dish. You’ll want to think of these bars as 3 layers.
  • To make the first layer, divide the yellow cake mix and place all but one cup in a mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter and one egg into the cake mix.
  • This will create a creamy yellow consistency. Take this and spread it evenly into the baking dish. I used my hands to push it in there to get it nice and even.
  • Next, mix the jar of pumpkin butter with two eggs and milk. Pour this over the first layer.
  • Finally, make the top layer. Stir the reserved cup of cake mix with the flour, sugar, softened butter, and cinnamon. Make sure the butter is soft so it all combines well. Keep on mixing until it becomes crumbly.
  • Sprinkle this over the pumpkin layer right on top. Pop it into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown.Let the pumpkin bars cool and cut into 2″ squares.
Keyword pecan pumpkin bars

I know everyone hates the word “moist”, but it truly is the perfect adjective to describe this dessert. They’re incredibly soft, gooey, and have the right amount of sweetness. Not to mention the cinnamon, pecan, and pumpkin combine to make them smell and taste just like fall! eating an apple in the apple orchard

And speaking of my favorite season, Finn and I have slowly been working our way through our fall bucket list. We made a shared google doc in early September and both contributed activities we wanted to do together this fall.

I feel like weekends can get monotonous, and having a list to spur our creativity and push us outside of our comfort zone has been amazing!

apple picking in the fall in wisconsin

I shared a quick shot of our google document on Insta Story and so many of you asked me to share our fall bucket list. So here you go…

The Finn’s Fall Bucket List

  • Go apple picking
  • Make a pumpkin dish (this pumpkin bar recipe certainly counts!)
  • Make apple cider
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Bake pumpkin seeds
  • Make a stovetop potpourri that smells like fall (similar to our springtime one!)
  • Have a picnic in the park
  • Go mini golfing
  • Go to a Notre Dame  game
  • Attend an outdoor concert
  • Watch a scary movie (FYI…Finn & I both hate scary movies, so I’m not sure how this made our list!)
  • Take a long morning walk to a new neighborhood to get coffee & donuts
  • Make kettle corn at home
  • Visit a corn maze and don’t get lost (Fun fact: Finn and I once got stuck in a corn maze for a long ass time one year. Now we’re terrified to do it again. Hahaha!)
  • Do a weekend getaway to Wisconsin or Michigan
  • Go antiquing
  • Make leaf cookies
  • Do a cooking class
  • Visit a brewery or winery
  • Work on our record album collection
  • Decorate our patio for fall
  • Visit the farmer’s market and make a dinner using only what we buy

Finn juggling apples in the orchard

We’ve already made a good dent in our fall bucket list in September. Can’t wait to see what we accomplish this month. 

Fall dessert of pumpkin bars

Hope you guys enjoyed my favorite pumpkin bars. Make some this weekend to really get into the fall spirit!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.