Pumpkin Bars

It’s October and, if you look on the shelves and in Starbucks, you will see that pumpkin and pumpkin spice season is upon us. I’m not as excited as some about pumpkin, but I do love me a good pumpkin bar.  I have a recipe that Mrs. Mabel Forsyth contributed to the Floyd County Cowbelle’s Cook Book (1978) that my mom always made and I am now making every fall.

Warning: this is addictive. A batch lasts about a day and a half in my house. And they are super, super simple. So easy you could make some everyday. (I don’t recommend that, however, unless you are running half marathons everyday…)

It is so good that my oldest son begs to have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and dessert. I made this pan yesterday as a snack for Mark’s curling team and E wheedled a bar for himself before Mark left. And when he found out there were leftovers this morning he begged to have one for breakfast. I totally caved.

They are amazingly delicious. If I am home alone with them I end up eating them a line at a time from the pan. I started out by trying to have one bar at a time, but I would always end up eating 4, so I started cutting a thin line out of the pan to save time.  It also helps keep someone (read: E) from seeing that I ate some bars while he was at school.

Here you go. Try them and let’s see how long they last at your house!

img_0439Frosted Pumpkin Bars

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 15 ounce can of plain pumpkin (or 2 cups if you are using fresh pumpkin)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cream together the oil, eggs, and sugar. Then blend in the pumpkin and vanilla until very well mixed.

Add the cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour to the pumpkin mixture. Mix on medium until completely blended together. This will be a runny batter, just a bit runnier than cake batter.

img_0434Pour this into a large jelly roll pan (about 11×17 inch pan) OR you can use 2 9×13 pans. Tap the pan on the countertop to release some air bubbles. I use a stone jelly roll pan from Pampered Chef and it is wonderful.

Bake it in the preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Now you make the frosting. It is super easy so don’t cheat and use canned frosting.


  • 3 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 Tblspn butter, soft
  • 3/4 pound of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Dump all of it into a mixing bowl and whip it together; starting on low so that you don’t end up in a sugar blizzard. After it just starts to come together (it will look clumpy, but don’t panic) turn the mixer up to high and whip it until it is smooth and fluffy.

After the pumpkin bars are totally cool dot the top with the frosting and gently spread it over the top with a butter knife or off-set spatula if you are super fancy.

And then enjoy! These are THE BEST. And I bet you can’t eat just one. 🙂



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