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!

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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!