These ooey gooey butter bars are going to melt in your mouth! A soft buttery bar surrounds the smoothest homemade pumpkin caramel. We can’t get enough! For another delicious dessert that will not disappoint, try my Kentucky Butter Crunch Cake.
Caramel Pumpkin Butter Bars
It’s Pumpkin Season, ‘don’t ya know’ (said in my midwestern accent). This time of year, it’s all about pumpkin and pumpkin spice. I am all about getting on that bandwagon, so my Caramel Pumpkin Bars are a welcome addition to my list of pumpkin recipes, which includes a Pumpkin Crisp and Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.
Caramel Pumpkin Butter Bars Ingredients
With a name like Caramel Pumpkin Butter Bars, there are a couple of other important parts to the recipe besides the pumpkin–the caramel and the butter.
Pure Pumpkin: Look for pure pumpkin (also known as pumpkin puree), not pumpkin pie filling. Pure pumpkin is cooked pumpkin that is blended or mashed into a smooth texture. There should be no seasoning, spice, flavoring, or sugar added.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: For the most flavor, make homemade pumpkin pie spice.
Butter: I opted for Challenge Butter to make sure that my bars would be the best-tasting bars you will ever try! Challenge Butter is made the old-fashioned way, from the freshest milk and cream from happy cows at family-owned dairies. In fact, Challenge is the only major U.S. dairy product company that controls the whole process when it comes to making its butter, from milking the cows to transporting milk to making the butter to packaging and distributing. Talk about quality control! I also used Challenge Butter in my Kentucky Butter Crunch Cake which turned out to be the best pound cake I have ever made or tasted!
Caramel Pumpkin Sauce Ingredients
- Caramel Pumpkin Sauce: You may definitely use a caramel sauce bought from the store, but I encourage you to make your own. I posted how to make your own Pumpkin Caramel Sauce below.
- Pumpkin puree: Make sure you are using pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: Make your own so you always have it on hand, especially during Pumpkin Spice Season, as I like to call it!
How to Make Pumpkin Caramel From Scratch
If you are like me and try to make as many ingredients from scratch as possible, I have a Pumpkin Caramel that is perfect for the Caramel Pumpkin Butter Bars. In fact, I made these bars first with store-bought caramel and then my homemade caramel. I bet you can guess which recipe I preferred😉. I even have a Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice that you can use in this homemade caramel recipe! If you do choose to buy a caramel sauce from the store, there is no judgment. Simply mix the caramel with the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.
PUMPKIN CARAMEL SAUCE RECIPE
1 cup (2 sticks or 227g) Challenge butter
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup whole milk, or heavy cream
1 cup pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Add brown sugar, butter, and milk to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan (I used a 4 qt saucepan) and heat to medium-high. Stir gently and once the ingredients come to a low rolling boil, cook for about 2-3 minutes. (It should not feel grainy when you move a rubber spatula through the saucepan.)
Remove from heat and add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk ingredients and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes, preferably for 1 hour.
How to Store Caramel Pumpkin Butter Bars
Store the bars in an airtight container. They will last 1-2 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Caramel Pumpkin Butter Bars
Pumpkin Caramel Sauce
- 2 cups (4 sticks / 452 g) Challenge® unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups (188 g) confectioners' sugar
- 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
Pumpkin Caramel Sauce
- Pour caramel into a bowl. Add in the pure pumpkin and pumpkin spice and stir well. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars, about 3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour, one cup at a time. The dough will be crumbly.
- Press half of the dough evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until light golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Pour the pumpkin caramel sauce over the baked crust.
- Sprinkle the remaining dough evenly over the top of the pumpkin caramel.
- Bake for an additional 25 minutes.
- Let the bars cool completely before cutting.
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