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+ servings
Pumpkin bar on plate with fork.

Prize-Winning Pumpkin Bars

The best homemade pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting.  A fall favorite that feeds a crowd!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cream cheese frosting, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cake bars
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 bars
Calories 284kcal
Author Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can pumpkin 15 oz
  • 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)


  • Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease and flour a 12 x 18 jelly roll pan (baking sheet with a rim).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Chill or freeze before cutting into bars of desired size.  Keep refrigerated.


  • Top with pecans, whole or chopped, or toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.
  • Adapted from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, August, 1996.  Lori Beach's Prize-winning Pumpkin Bars.


Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 163mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg