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pumpkin bars

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe makes for moist, dense bars topped with a rich, sweet frosting.



Butter or cooking spray for greasing

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

½ cup butter, soft

2 cups light brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cup flour

1/2 cup quick oats

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 stick (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

½ stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 pound confectioners’ sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch pan.

2. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin puree for the frosting.

3. In a large bowl, mix remaining pumpkin puree, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

4. Gradually mix in remaining bar ingredients.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. Remove bars from the oven, and let cool completed, at least 25 minutes.

7. To make the frosting, in a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and sugar. 

8. Once the bars have cooled, frost them.

9. To create the swirled design, drop small dollops of the reserved 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree in a checkerboard across frosted bars. Draw a knife through the frosting in four lines horizontally, then vertically.

10. Cut into 16 servings.

Yields 16 bars.