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Grandma’s Frosted Pumpkin Bars – Sheet Pan Sized Recipe

Thanks for sharing!

Soft and simple pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting, you may also know them as pumpkin squares.  No matter what you call them, they are good and a must make for fall. This sheet pan sized recipe is perfect for parties, family gatherings and more.  

Stack of pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are a must make during fall. It just wouldn’t feel right to go through the month of October without making a batch.

I originally shared this recipe from my grandma back in 2015 on her 80th birthday. Here we are 6 years later and I was craving pumpkin bars, so I thought I would spiff up the post a bit for you guys and remind you how good this recipe is!

First I love the size of the recipe. We aren’t making a little 9×13″ pan, no we are going for the full 13×18″ half sheet pan full of goodness so there is plenty to share.

That is good when you come from a large family of dessert lovers. It also makes them perfect for potlucks, parties and more.

Frosted pumpkin bar on plate in front of pan of remaining bars.

Even better, the recipe is super simple to make. All you need is a couple of bowls and whisk.

You can whip up the batter in just a few minutes.  The cream cheese frosting makes them creamy and irresistible. Pumpkin bars are the perfect autumnal treat!

Original post from 2016

My grandma turned 80 a couple of days ago!   It is hard to believe she is 80.

She is still so vibrant!  After raising six kids, it is amazing she has any energy left.    

She drums in an Irish band and always has something fun going on.  She grew up on Lake Michigan and goes home for a class reunion almost every year.  

old picture of grandma on the pier on lake michigan

So, I thought it would be fun to make one of her recipes.  With all of the rain lately, I have been in a baking mood.  

I looked through the stack of recipes I have from her and ended up on her pumpkin squares.  I know it is an strange time of year to post pumpkin baked goods, but I had all of the ingredients on hand.     

Plus I was already planning on making another recipe that used the rest of the can of pumpkin, so it worked really nicely.  Besides, I could eat pumpkin treats and cream cheese frosting any time!!

little dude stirring up ingredients for pumpkin squares

 I had a very good helper for this recipe.  He loves to dump things in the bowl and help stir.  I love having him help, even if it does mean a bit of extra mess!

Pumpkin squares on plate in front of pan.

More recipes from my grandma:

piece of chocolate texas sheet cake being lifted out of pan.

Grandma’s Texas Sheet Cake

creamed chipped beef on toast with peas, grandma's sos.

Grandma’s SOS

glass mug of grandma's peach punch.

Grandma’s Peach Punch

Frequently asked questions

What if I don’t have a half sheet pan?

Don’t worry, you can still make delicious pumpkin bars. Just grease two 9×13″ pans and put half of the batter in each. Check them for doneness a couple of minutes early. They are done when the tops spring back after being lightly touched with your finger.

Can I half this recipe?

You sure can! Cut all of the ingredient measurements in half and then put them in a greased 9×13″ pan. Check the bars for doneness after about 20 minutes.

Can I add nuts to this recipe?

Sure! Toss in some chopped walnuts or even some chocolate chips if you want. My family prefers them plain, but that doesn’t mean you can’t jazz them up.

Can I add more spice?

Of course. A little bit of ground cloves, ginger or nutmeg would be delicious in these bars if you like pumpkin spice. But we tend to stick to just cinnamon like my grandma makes them.

Lifting a pumpkin square with cream cheese frosting getting lifted out of sheet pan.

If you like pumpkin bars, there is a good chance you are going to love applesauce bars as well. They are similar in a lot of ways, but filled with apple goodness instead of pumpkin.

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Stack of pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.

Grandma's Frosted Pumpkin Bars

Yield: 24 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Soft pumpkin cake topped with cream cheese frosting. These bars are a fall must make. They are a perfect dessert for a crowd. You can whip up the batter in just a few minutes. The cream cheese frosting makes them creamy and irresistible. Pumpkin bars are the perfect autumnal treat!


Pumpkin Bars

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (or other neutral cooking oil)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup nuts (optional)


  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk (or more, as needed)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a half sheet pan (about 13x18x1).
  2. Mix together eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Cool completely, then make frosting.
  7. To make frosting, combine all ingredients. You can add more milk a few drops at a time if you’d like to thin it out. You want a nice spreadable consistency.
  8. Spread over cooled bars and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 284mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 4g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

Soft and simple pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting, you may also know them as pumpkin squares.  No matter what you call them, they are good and a must make for fall. This sheet pan sized recipe is perfect for parties, family gatherings and more.  

Thanks for sharing!


Thursday 2nd of December 2021

Do not follow this cream cheese frosting recipe!! It is way too sweet! Like diabetes in your Kitchen Aid mixer.


Friday 3rd of December 2021

You could certainly increase the cream cheese a bit to tone it down if you like. But we like it just the way it is on the pumpkin bars.

Frugal Hausfrau

Sunday 4th of September 2016

I love Grandma recipes - well you can tell because I make a couple of these! I'm keeping that punch in mind, too, for a future summer party! This cake sounds divine!!


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Saturday 27th of August 2016

These look absolutely divine Carlee. I am loving some pumpkin spice and cream cheese! I will have to try this very soon! I am sharing and saving this recipe. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I hope to be getting around like your Grandma at 80! Such a blessing. Thank you for sharing and may God bless you and yours in all your endeavors!


Sunday 28th of August 2016

We are very lucky that all 4 of my grandparents are octogenarians and still getting around and doing most everything they love on their own. They might play fewer rounds of golf than they used to or accept help mowing the lawn, but they really haven't slowed down much! Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you love the pumpkin squares!


Friday 10th of July 2015

This looks so delish! Thanks for linking up and sharing with us at Funtastic Friday. Please join us again this week.


Friday 10th of July 2015

Thank you! They are a family favorite, that is for sure!


Tuesday 7th of July 2015

Happy birthday to your sweet Grandma! She looks amazing, and this recipe does too! It's almost fall and time for all things pumpkin - I'll definitely be giving these a try!


Tuesday 7th of July 2015

Thank you! She really is the best. Always up to something. Between the coffee girls, book club, the band and drum circles she keeps pretty busy. These really are amazing, I will certainly be making more in the fall!

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