Pumpkin Bars \ Cake

Thank you for all of the baby name suggestions! I read every single suggestion and my husband and I had fun seeing what names we liked. Several of the names were mentioned over and over, which either means in a couple of years school classrooms are going to be flooded with girls with those names or it’s the universe reaching out to me telling me that I should name my baby girl one of those names. We are still deciding but thank you for getting the process going.

These pumpkin bars are soft, moist, and delightful. The name is deceptive though because they definitely fall more into the “cake” category than a bar. I’ve tried a lot of pumpkin bar recipes over the years and I loved the flavor of this one. I added some pumpkin spice to pump up the pumpkin flavor a bit. My bars were super thick but you could definitely bake them in a larger pan for a thinner and more bar-like dessert. And look at that frosting…it’s definitely just good by the spoonful.

Pumpkin Bars Cake

Ingredients

    Bars:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Frosting:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.
  3. For a thick cake-like bar: Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick to check for doneness. For a thinner bar: Spread batter into a greased jelly roll pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick.
  4. Let cool completely before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. You may need to add a little milk to make it spreadable if your butter wasn't soft enough. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars and cut into squares or cut bars first and frost individually.

Notes

Source: adapted slightly from Becoming Betty ; original recipe by Paula Deen

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Comments

  1. Love the texture here, looks delish.

  2. Mm, those look super good! I love pumpkin bars, and with some cream cheese frosting I bet those are awesome!

  3. I made pumpkin cake/bars a few weeks ago for my friend’s birthday. They were so good! Seeing your photo has me craving them all over again!

  4. Those look amazing! And the cream cheese frosting sounds like a perfect compliment. I will definitely be trying these out.

  5. I am pregnant with a girl as well. So far my husband and I are choosing between Makaila, Paige, Kelsey, Kira (Kiera). My sister’s names are Kali and Ambria and my name is Natali. We all love our names.

  6. Cream cheese frosting is my favorite. And I love it with pumpkin too! Yummy cake-bars.

  7. Good luck with the name decision! I love pumpkin bars. This recipe looks delicious!

  8. Yummy. I might just make these and bring them to our trunk or treat this weekend. I love all things pumpkin!

  9. These look soooo good. Maybe ya just want to name the baby Punkin? :o)

  10. The Paula Deen version is my absolute favorite dessert recipe of all time! It’s one the things I look forward to most about fall. Glad you enjoyed :)

  11. This sounds perfectly delicious! Yum!

  12. I really love everything pumpkin and this is no exception!

  13. These look great. I just had my fourth child, a girl, and we named her Mary Frances. My other girl names are Manning and Evie (Evelyn).

  14. This looks so yummy! And I love the almost bar almost cake category.

    p.s. belated congrats to you and the hubbie!

  15. Hi there! I recently found your blog and I am LOVING it!!! I made your grilled brushcetta chicken a few nights ago and it was delicious. Also, I am obsessed with pumpkin and will have try this recipe very soon!!

  16. I forgot to post my girl name suggestions! My girls are Brynn Elise and Britton Reese. I think you should go with one of those. :)

  17. this is exactly the recipe my family loves! i make it with home grown pumpkin. Delish!

  18. I love pumpkin bars (who doesn’t?), especially with cream cheese frosting!

  19. We just had a baby girl and named her Kira. When naming children, we’ve always used the social security website as a reference for popular baby names. http://ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/

    You can rank the top names on your list and see if they are gaining or losing popularity. My husband and I also used it to check the spelling variations. We wanted names that people could pronounce and common spellings but not any name in the top 10. Or top 50.

    I didn’t think Kira would be mis-pronounced so much, but it is. We say it K-ear-a and many people look at the spelling and say K-eye-ra.

    Best wishes!

  20. So obviously the one in the picture was frosted AFTER cutting. More labor intensive but prettier and you get more frosting per bar! Right?

  21. @Foodie McBody,
    Just personal preference whether you want to frost them before or after cutting the bars. But yes, prettier if you do it after cutting.

  22. Thanks for the recipe! These were delicious. I ended up using 4 tsp of cinnamon instead of 2. They tasted a little too squash-y without the extra cinnamon.

  23. Just made these and man are they incredible! They are unbelievably moist. Absolutely perfect!!!

  24. These look just great – love the combo of pumpkin and cream cheese!

  25. Made these today for my family dinner. Ohhh they were so delish. All the family loved them & I’m just happy we have some left over for FHE tomorrow night! Thanks for this one.

  26. Just made these as cupcakes for a dinner party, and I loved them. And, they make a great breakfast =)

  27. I just wanted to say that this is such a wonderful recipe. I made the thicker version and loved the pretty color, taste and texture of the bars. I also made them in a mini cupcake form and they were perfect! This is a flawless, quick easy recipe for anyone. Thanks!

  28. unsalted butter??? for the frosting???

  29. @MomtoTot,
    Hope it’s not too late…yes, always unsalted butter for frosting. I’ll change it in the recipe…

  30. I made this as a cake for Christmas eve the other night. It was delish! I didn’t use the recipe for the icing I made my own but I am sure they are quite similar. I didn’t use pumpkin pie spice, just extra cinnamon. Yummy! Making it again today into cupcakes for a family gathering tomorrow!

  31. Just baked this recipe in tiny jars. Darling and delicious! Thank you for sharing such a tasty recipe.
    http://sarahnielsen.com/2012/09/recipe-pumpkin-cake-in-a-jar/

  32. I made this cake last night and not only was it easy, it made the entire house smell like FALL! My husband came home from work, and it had unexpectedly began raining with thunder and lightning… a perfect night to indulge in something like this! From the frosting, to the texture it’s perfect! Even my 2 and 1/2 year old kept saying “nummy nummy!” every bite.

    My friend who lives across the street said her husband was sick and I asked if he liked pumpkin desserts, and sent one over. She called to tell me that she’s not a pumpkin lover, but this cake changed her mind! I will be making this for any Fall themed get together!

  33. Made this over the weekend and it was a HUGE hit. Can’t wait to try some of the other recipes.

  34. I don’t know if thats a picture that you took or not but I found this recipe with the exact same image… http://www.aworkerathome.com/2013/09/pumpkin-cake-you-know-you-want-some.html

  35. What about using a cup of coconut oil instead of veg oil? Sounds good, but not too good of a cook or baker to know…… thanks.

  36. Hi can anyone help I have tried baking pumpkin cake twice now and it’s not coming out moist and risen it rises a little I’m not sure where I’m going wrong I’m not too sure what a cup measurement is I managed to buy pumpkin in Waitrose in UK I really would like to make this properly have you any tips?

    Irene

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Irene,
      Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are not expired. A cup is equal to 240 grams. Hope that helps.