Orange-Walnut Pumpkin Bar Recipe

Canned pumpkin and a flurry of fall flavors—like orange zest, ginger, and allspice—come together in this irresistible dessert from The Pumpkin Cookbook.

When I bring these to a potluck, people always ask who made them and want the recipe. Crunchy on the top and bottom with a creamy spicy pumpkin filling perfumed with orange, this makes for a delightful morsel. I cut them small when serving as cookies, and large when serving on a plate for dessert.

Makes 35 small bars or 20 large bars.

Photo of Orange-Walnut Pumpkin Bars.
Photo © Clare Barboza.



  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 1 ½ cups canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  1. Heat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC).
  2. To make the crust, beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in the flours, oats, and salt. When thoroughly combined and crumbly, remove about ¾ cup and set aside for the topping. Scrape the crumbs into a 10- by 14-inch jelly-roll pan, press flat with the palms of your hands, and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a wire rack.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine the pumpkin, milk, granulated sugar, eggs, orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, salt, allspice, and nutmeg in the same large bowl used for the crust. Spread the filling on the cooled crust. Mix the reserved crumbs with the walnuts and coconut, if desired, and sprinkle on top.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into squares, large or small, depending on the use.

Excerpted and adapted from The Pumpkin Cookbook, 2nd Edition © DeeDee Stovel.

DeeDee Stovel

DeeDee Stovel

About the Author

DeeDee Stovel is the author of numerous cookbooks, including the bestseller Picnic. A caterer, longtime teacher of cooking and nutrition, and passionate advocate of fresh, homemade food, she lives in northern California.

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