It’s the time of year when grocery stores signal the arrival of fall by packing produce shelves with one of the season’s most versatile foods – pumpkin puree. As you organize your recipes for this year’s big feast, make sure to count this pumpkin bar recipe among your arsenal of crowd-pleasing desserts.
This recipe originally appeared in a 1976 issue of Better Homes and Gardens under the title of “Paul’s Pumpkin Bars.” But year-after-year as trays of the bars were served up at my family functions, we adapted the dessert to be our own by spicing it up with cloves and ginger.
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 12 to 15 servings
- For the bars:
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 4 eggs
- 1 16-oz. can of pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- For the frosting:
- 1 (8-oz.) package of cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil.
- Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix well.
- Stir in half of the chopped pecans.
- Spread the mix into an ungreased 15"x10"x1" cookie sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove the bars and let cool completely while you prepare the frosting.
- Make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
- Gradually add the sifted powder sugar to the cream cheese mixture.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled bars and sprinkle with the remaining chopped pecans.