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Grandma’s Frosted Pumpkin Bars

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Soft and simple pumpkin cake topped with cream cheese frosting, you may know them as pumpkin bars or pumpkin squares.  Either way, these are the things fall dreams are made of! A perennial family favorite. 

piece of pumpkin bars/cake with cream cheese frosting sitting on glass plate.

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!

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

A bunch of us got together for dinner to celebrate her big day.  We met at a local restaurant where my uncle runs an open mic night.     

So, grandma read a poem and then drummed while my uncle piped.  He also played guitar and harmonica while singing a few songs.     

We all had the best time.  I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate grandma’s birthday (other than maybe all going up and partying lake front!)

Collage of pictures from grandma's birthday party

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!

half sheet pan of pumpkin bars with corner piece missing.

More recipes that make me think of 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

glass mug of grandma's peach punch

Grandma’s Peach Punch

Yield: 24 Servings

Grandma's Frosted Pumpkin Bars

piece of pumpkin bars/cake with cream cheese frosting sitting on glass plate.

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!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

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
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup nuts (optional)

Frosting

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

Instructions

  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!

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 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!

Share with your friends!

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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!!

Mollie

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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!

Carlee

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!

Unknown

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.

Carlee

Friday 10th of July 2015

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

Unknown

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!

Carlee

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!

NewMrsAdventures

Tuesday 7th of July 2015

Looks delicious! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! This post has been pinned on the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! I love having you and can't wait to see you next week!

Carlee

Tuesday 7th of July 2015

Thank you!

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