Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

When I was a child my Mother didn't stray too far into the cooking realm. Angel food cake for birthdays and banana cake and banana bread. Once in a great while she'd attempt chocolate chip cookies but you had to get them asap out of the oven or they would be rock hard within the hour. Once she made oatmeal raisin cookies but she cooked with lard instead of shortening... so you can see where that is going, right?  Christmas Cookies? Yes. We got Christmas Cookies. But that was pretty much it.

It was during coffee and cookie time following elementary school concerts when I got my first taste of real baked goods. All the families would bring bars or cookies to share and they would be lined up on tables at the back of the gym along with red kool-aid for everyone to enjoy when the concert got over. I still, to this day, remember my first taste of a pumpkin bar with cream cheese frosting. It was so delicious and I had no idea what it was. I also had a spice bar that now know was made with carrots but at the time, I only knew the orange colored bars with white icing were heaven, and I was glad most of the kids grabbed cookies and chocolate 'stuff' because that meant I could find the bars.

Now, I'm happy to say my kids have grown up eating pumpkin bars, spice cake, carrot cake and everything inbetween. And pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are still a favorite of mine.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 t salt
4 eggs
1 (15oz.) can pumpkin
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c canola oil

For the frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat the pumpkin, oil, sugar and eggs until smooth. Add the dry ingredients. Mix well and pour into a prepared jelly roll pan with 1 inch sides. (You can use a 9X13 pan but you'll end up with a pumpkin cake rather than bars... which is still good!). Bake at 350 for 25 minutes until done in the center. Cool completely. Mix the frosting ingredients and spread over all.Print Friendly and PDF