Prize-Winning Pumpkin Bars

The best Pumpkin Bars, moist and delicious with a cream cheese frosting.  A blue ribbon winner at the Minnesota State Fair, years ago.

Course Dessert Bars
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 Bars
Calories 330 kcal
Author Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (original recipe calls for 4 cups, too much for me)


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease and flour a 12 x 18 jelly roll pan (baking sheet with a rim).
  2. In a mixer, combine sugar and oil and mix well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well.  Next, beat in the pumpkin.
  3. Combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices and flour in a bowl with a whisk.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixer, blending well after each addition, until all is mixed well and and batter is smooth.
  4. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.  Drop pan on the counter a few times to release air bubbles.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until evenly golden, but not dry.  Let cool for at least 1½ hours.
  5. Make frosting by beating together cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla until smooth.  Gradually beat in the powdered sugar.  Spread the frosting over the completely cooled bars.
  6. Chill or freeze before cutting into bars of desired size.  Keep refrigerated.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, August, 1996.  Lori Beach's Prize-winning Pumpkin Bars.