Sourdough Pumpkin Bars

Published: October 1, 2023 • Last Updated: October 1, 2023
Author: Laura
Share This Post:

Sourdough pumpkin bars are a delightful autumn treat that combines the flavors of pumpkin, warm spices, and a sweet, moist cake-like texture. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, this recipe will walk you through the step-by-step process of making mouthwatering sourdough pumpkin bars. From selecting the perfect pumpkin to adding the finishing touches, I’ve got you covered.

Why use sourdough starter in pumpkin bars?

Using sourdough starter in pumpkin bars can bring a unique flavor and texture to this popular fall dessert. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider incorporating sourdough starter into your pumpkin bar recipe:

  • Flavor– sourdough starter has a distinct, tangy flavor that can complement the sweetness of the pumpkin and spices in the bars (although you may not even know it’s there!).
  • Texture– sourdough starter can help to creates the most tender, moist texture which is so appealing in bars!
  • Health benefits– sourdough starter is made from wild yeast and bacteria, which helps break down the gluten in the bar. The gluten gets predigest and that makes it so much more digestible by the body.

Looking for more sourdough recipes? Check out more of my recipes HERE!

What type of pumpkin to use

There are two options here: homemade pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin puree. The right kind to use? Whichever you prefer!

If you want to make pumpkin puree from scratch, it’s essential to start with the right pumpkin. Look for small to medium-sized sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins, as they have a sweeter and more flavorful flesh compared to larger carving pumpkins. These varieties are specifically bred for baking and have a smoother texture.

Two ways to make pumpkin puree

While canned pumpkin puree is readily available in most grocery stores, making your own homemade version can elevate the flavor of your pumpkin bars. Here’s are two simple methods to prepare fresh pumpkin puree:

  • Instant Pot Pumpkin Puree

1. Pick a pumpkin that fits directly into the Instant Pot (or cut one on half, if too big). Set it on a trivet.
2. Add one cup of water to the pot.
3. Close the lid and set the vent to sealing.
4. Select the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” function and set the timer for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin.
5. Once done, allow for a natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then carefully turn the vent knob to “Venting” to release any remaining pressure.
6. Open the lid when it’s safe to do so. Test if the pumpkin is cooked by sliding a knife through the skin. It should go in easily, with no resistance.

7. Allow the roasted pumpkin halves to cool before scooping out the flesh.
8. Puree the flesh in a food processor, with an immersion blender or blender until smooth.

  • Roasted Pumpkin Puree

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
2. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp.
3. Place the halves cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Bake for about 45-60 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a fork.
5. Allow the roasted pumpkin halves to cool before scooping out the flesh.
6. Puree the flesh in a food processor, with an immersion blender or blender until smooth.

Watch me make Sourdough Pumpkin Bars here:

Shop my products HERE!

sourdough pumpkin bars
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Sourdough Pumpkin Bars


  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree (1 can)
  • 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (active or discard)
  • 1/2 cup sugar*
  • 1/3 cup softened butter, coconut oil (liquid) or avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups all purpose flour


  • Mix pumpkin puree, milk and sourdough starter together in a bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat the butter (or oil) and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract and eggs and mix until well combined.
  • Add the pumpkin puree mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until all incorporated.
  • Add the baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and mix well. Slowly add in the flour and mix until just combined, without overtaxing. For a long ferment, cover well and refrigerate for 1-3 days.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Pour batter onto an oiled or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.
    *This is a very lightly sweetened bar. For a sweeter pumpkin bar, add 1 cup of sugar.


Cream Cheese Frosting
6 tablespoons softened butter
16 ounces softened cream cheese
8 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
In a mixer, whisk together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and scrape down the bowl, if necessary. Beat until light and fluffy. Spread over cooled pumpkin bars. 

Share This Post:

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating

  1. I’m so excited for my sourdough starter to arrive so I can make these delicious pumpkin bars for a delightful fall dessert!

    1. Post
    1. Post

      Yay! I’m glad they were a hit! I keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and them warm them slightly when we’re ready to eat them.

    1. Post