Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Bars.

Are they not the quintessential fall dessert? I mean, come on, we think fall and those delicious spiced bars topped with cream cheese frosting pop into our head. Am I right?

Yes. Of course I’m right! 😉

It seems like everyone and their mother uses the same recipe! I googled and tried to figure out where it originated but came up empty! Sorry, no dorky history lesson today…

Guys… Ready or not: Fall is here!

The weather doesn’t indicate anything of the sorts here in south Florida, however, the blog posts, fashion trends, and Pinterest boards (hello pumpkin recipes & DIY wreaths) all tell me one thing:  FALL is here (and there is no stopping it).

And it’s October. Ummm seriously, what happened to June, July, August, and September?!?!

Someone help me!

I feel old.

So kick off your fall festivities with these Pumpkin Bars – they are a crowd favorite! Bring them to work and your co-workers will love you forever!

Oh, and get your fat pants ready, folks! Fall is the land of casseroles, down-home, hearty, comforting, feel-good, food.

It’s ON!

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Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Total Time: 35-45 minutes

Pumpkin bars are the quintessential fall dessert... this recipe is the one my family has been using for years!


For the Bars:
1 cup canola oil (I typically substitute extra light olive oil)
2 cups sugar
1 16 ounce can of pumpkin
4 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese (3/4 of a block), softened
1 1/2 sticks salted butter (may use unsalted)
2 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar


For the Bars:
Preheat oven to 350º. Cream together the oil, sugar, and pumpkin in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating them into the wet mixture. In a second medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Turn the mixer on low and slowly spoon the dry mixture into it, adding a little bit at a time until it's fully incorporated. Spread evenly into a 13 x 18 jelly roll pan. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes (or until lightly golden and when an inserted toothpick comes out clean). Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
Cream together the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Add the milk and vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Last, beat in the powdered sugar, a little at a time until you have nice creamy frosting (if it's a little wet, add a spoon or two more of powdered sugar... if it's a little dry add a teaspoon or 2 more of milk). Spread frosting on cooled pumpkin bars, slice into squares and serve. May garnish with pumpkin candy corn or Pecan halves for a little pizazz!

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19 Responses to “Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. 1

    Anita at Hungry Couple — October 2, 2012 @ 9:10 am

    I love each season (well, maybe not winter) and look forward to the quintessential treats that come along. These bars are definitely on the list! 🙂

  2. 2

    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — October 2, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    I need a slice!! And I totally need to break into my pumpkin stash now…

  3. 3

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — October 2, 2012 @ 10:43 am

    Mmm delicious!

  4. 4

    Sara — October 2, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    One of my favorite fall desserts! Love!

  5. 5

    Linda — October 2, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    I was about to make brownies and somehow this looks more appetizing. *scratching off brownies from my list*

  6. 6

    natalie@thesweetslife — October 2, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

    these are a staple in our house every fall!

  7. 7

    amanda @ fake ginger — October 2, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    I may be the only person in the world who has made these! They look delicious!

  8. 8

    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — October 2, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

    Yum! I love anything with cream cheese frosting. My mom never made these bars though, she would make loaves of pumpkin bread instead!

  9. 9

    Nancy — October 2, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    YUMMMMYYY!!! Amazing Tina, LOVE THEM. Thank you for sharing them with us. I’ll be trying to duplicate them (maybe) or maybe I’ll wait for your next batch!!! LMAO -:) XO

  10. 10

    Mom — October 2, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    BEST pumpkin bars ever! Shout out to Auntie Karen Palmer for introducing these to our family 🙂

  11. 11

    Chels R. — October 2, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

    Looks yummy!

  12. 12

    Amy @ The Nifty Foodie — October 2, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

    WOW! Those look and sound delicious!

  13. 13

    Brandi — October 3, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    Those look so good! I love fall. And what is that decoration in the background with the leaves? Could it be another DIY project? I loved the pine cone wreath tutorial!

  14. 14

    Michelle — October 3, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    <—-lucky co-worker! Thank you Tina for becoming part-time, therefore having Monday off to prepare yummy pumpkin treats for us! We don't mind being testers! All.things.pumpkin…just sayin!

  15. 15

    Leslie — October 3, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

    fall is not complete without Pumpkin Bars!

  16. 16

    Megan {Country Cleaver} — October 3, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

    PUMPKIN ALL THE THINGS!! Like, totally.

  17. 17

    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — October 6, 2012 @ 12:28 am

    I think I would eat the entire pan of these!!

  18. 18

    Nikol Tennant — October 8, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    I have made this twice in last week – and got amazing compliments from everyone. I use 2 cups powdered sugar for the frosting as 4 yields a great deal of leftover.

  19. 19

    Louise @ Basil Development — September 27, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

    Looks very similar to my pumpkin bars recipe! So good!


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