These Pumpkin Dream Bars are a fall version of a seven layer (magic cookie) cookie bar. Pumpkin puree, coconut, graham crackers, pecans, white chocolate chips, toffee bits, and sweetened condensed milk make these yummy pumpkin bars.
If you’re a regular on my blog, then you know that I’ve been dying to ring in the fall season! In preparation for the hallowed event, I’ve been baking my Apple Pie Crumb Bars, Mint Chocolate Oreo Bark, and Cheesecake Stuffed Carrot Cake Bread. Decorations are out (mostly), my favorite fall candles are lit (any chance I get), and I’ve been craving pumpkin pie like it’s the night before Thanksgiving.
However, even though I am most definitely ready for fall, and even though half the US is ringing in the fall with sweater weather, good ‘ol California is going through a Gigantic heat wave. It’s so gigantic, the g had to be capitalized. It was 105 here today.
Just let that sink in.
Fall is more of a state of mind over in my neck of the woods.
So, I sat inside, aimed the fan on myself (so it would marginally feel like a blustery wind gust), drank my butter nut coffee, and ate these fabulous pumpkin dream bars.
And then I went swimming. It was just so hot.
So, what makes a pumpkin pie dream bar?
Well, essentially, a pumpkin pie dream bar is a type of seven layer bar. I prefer the title “magic” or “dream” because it just sounds more heavenly than “seven layer bar,” doesn’t it? Am I right, or am I right?!
This dream bar begins with a lovely crust of graham crackers. You could definitely use gingersnaps. Or Taffy Cookies. Probably even vanilla wafers. I opted to stick with a classic. Plus, I adore graham cracker crusts. More than most people. But, then again, I love food more than most people.
Eh, what-cha gonna do?
More Reasons to Make These Dessert Bars:
- They’re super easy! It’s hard to beat a dessert that is simple to whip up and tasty to boot.
- Versatile: Seven layer bars get their names because there are usually seven layers or seven add-ins. You can use as many or as few as you’d like. Plus, you can use whatever ingredients you like.
- Kid-Friendly: I love dream bars (aka magic bars, aka seven layer bars) because they’re a lot of fun to make. It’s a great baking project you can do with easily with your kids.
- graham crackers: I used regular honey graham crackers, but you could use cinnamon.
- unsalted butter: I always use unsalted butter so that I can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- white chocolate chips
- toffee bits
- pecans, roughly chopped
- pumpkin puree: Make sure you use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. They’re often next to each other in the baking aisle. Pumpkin pie filling comes with a lot of extra ingredients that we don’t want or need in this recipe.
- ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves
- sweetened condensed milk
How to Make:
- Tools: Line your 8×8 pan with non-stick foil, parchment paper, or spray with baking spray.
- Crust: Mix unsalted butter and graham cracker crumbs to form a crust. Press the crust into the bottom of your pan.
- Filling: Add white chocolate chips, toffee bits, pecans, and coconut on the crust. Then, mix sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin puree, and ground spices. Pour into the pan.
- Bake: Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.
- Cool: Let these bars cool completely before serving. Can be served room at room temperature or cold.
Other Recipes to Try Next with Your Leftover Pumpkin!
- Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Cake Topping
- Pumpkin Pie Poke Cake
- Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donut Holes
- Pumpkin Buttermilk Donuts
- Store these in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.
- I personally prefer these cold, because I prefer my pumpkin desserts cold.
- I’ve never frozen these bars before so I have no tips to offer with freezing magic cookie bars. I don’t think these would freeze well, however.
Baking Tips and Tricks for Pumpkin Pie Dream Bars
- You don’t need a full can of pumpkin puree. You only use 1/4 cup.
- You don’t use a full can of sweetened condensed milk. You use only 1/2 cup.
- You can use whatever mix-ins you prefer, like chocolate chips instead of white chocolate chips, walnuts instead of pecans, etc.
- These need to cool completely before serving, otherwise they will fall apart. I like to chill them before serving too.
I’ll take all of these, thank you very much.
Pumpkin Pie Dream Bars: These homemade pumpkin bars with sweetened condensed milk are practically magic! These are a bit of a fall take on a seven layer bar, making these Pumpkin Pie Dream Bars rich, sweet, and practically perfect!
- 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup toffee bits
- 1/4 cup coconut
- 1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- A dash of nutmeg, all spice, and ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8 square baking pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper, or coat with baking spray.
Mix melted butter and graham crackers together. Press the crust into the bottom of the baking pan.
Sprinkle white chocolate chips, toffee bits, pecans, and coconut over the top of the crust.
Next, mix pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, and ground spices together.
Pour mixture over the top of the crust, spreading into an even layer.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges have begun to brown.
Cool completely before cutting. Or, chill in the fridge before serving.
Baby June says
Oooh those look awesome! I love pie bars, this variation sounds great 🙂
Thanks! I’m the same way–I love all types of dessert bars! 🙂
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
Loving the idea of a pumpkin pie bar. Here in Australia it’s impossible to find pumpkin puree… but I still want to recreate the recipe, so I will have to make the pumpkin puree from scratch!
You’ll have to let me know how making it from scratch goes! I’ve never tried my hand at that and have been curious if there’s a taste difference between the two 🙂
maresa | the lovely says
Oh MY these look delicious! Bookmarked for a weekend when I’m looking to do some Fall baking (aka every weekend!!!!)
Thanks, Maresa! I hope you love them as much as I do! 🙂
Have been waiting a couple of weeks to make these as I was out of coconut and also busy with Christmas. Making them now, but…. why foil on bottom of pan? Seems like that would be a nightmare once the bars are baked.
Also, 1/4 cup of pumpkin? That doesn’t seem like enough pumpkin to do anything! Well, we will see!
Hi, Tammy! The foil actually makes it easier for you to remove the bars from the pan. With the foil overhang, once the bars have cooled, you can pull the foil and bars out if the pan, cut them, and serve. Because of the butter in the graham cracker crust, the foil should not stick to the bars. However, if you are worried about it sticking, feel free to use non-stick foil or spray the foil with cooking spray. Also, the pumpkin (according to my taste-testers) was the right amount! Enough to give it that delicious pumpkin pie flavor but too much to overpower everything else. 🙂 Enjoy!
Made these for a test run for Thanksgiving. I loved these bars. I doubled the recipe, and added some pecans to sub the coconut.