I had a bit of a panic moment last week when I thought I lost my husband’s grandmother’s pumpkin bar recipe. Every fall I make a batch of pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting to start off my holiday baking season. They’re so good I usually make them again around Thanksgiving. Truth be told I’d probably eat about anything with this homemade cream cheese frosting on it, but these pumpkin bars just happen to be a pretty tasty carrier.
Back to the missing recipe – when we repainted our kitchen cabinets last year, we had to move almost everything during the process. I distinctly remember making Todd’s grandma’s pumpkin bars last year but I could not for the life of me find the recipe when I went to look for it last week. I was a bit heartbroken after searching our house high and low. Not only is it the best pumpkin bar recipe that I’ve ever tasted, but I was fearful I lost a piece of my husband’s family’s history. A quick call to my mother-in-law saved the day. Not only did she have the recipe, but she had the hand-written version. As much as I love all things technology, there’s just something about seeing someone’s handwriting that can bring back so many memories. She also used the word “oleo” for margarine, which my grandmother did too.
Full recipe at the bottom of post.
These are SO good. I’ve already polished off a whole row myself. Thank goodness these are going into the office tomorrow.
These pumpkin bars are a little more cake-like than truly bar-like, which I prefer. If you prefer a bar-like consistency, you can remove an egg and cut the baking soda and powder in half. Most cans of pumpkin are about 1.5 cups. They’re better if you use the 2 cups of pumpkin, but I’ve made them several times with just one can and they turn out fine, just not quite as moist.
- 1 cup oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups pumpkin
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups flour
- 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup margarine
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- vanilla to taste (1/2-1 tsp)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Beat together oil, sugar, eggs until creamy.
- Add pumpkin, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour to mixture. Beat together on medium until thoroughly combined.
- Spread batter into greased 10×15 pan (or 9×13 for a more cake-like bar. Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until toothpick comes out clean. Cool before topping with cream cheese frosting.
- Cream cheese frosting: beat together cream cheese, margarine, powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread evenly over bars. Cut and serve. Refrigerate bars if not serving right away.