Pumpkin Spice Bars with Cream Cheese Icing

As I’ve shared many times before I’m a picky eater. I definitely come from a family of picky eaters and just for the record they’re all on my dad’s side. Go figure.   About this time last year, my parents were hosting my dad’s family for a fun weekend and my mom asked if I would bring these pumpkin spice bars. Now normally I wouldn’t hesitate to bring these to any event. Not even for a second. This recipe has been well received throughout the years but no one has ever made anything like this for my dad’s family. We don’t even have pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. I know. It’s all but scandalous.

Ultimately, I brought them to the family dinner and to my surprise I came home with an empty tray. Every single pumpkin spice bar had been eaten. One of my aunts even asked me for the recipe which felt like a huge compliment. These bars are really moist and can be easily transported for fall picnics, Sunday suppers or in school lunches. Just so we’re clear, you’ll want more than one. Here’s another easy to make vintage Betty Crocker adapted recipe that’s picky eater approved…

 

Step 1: Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan with cooking spray.

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Step 2: In a large bowl, combine 4 eggs, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, and 1 can (15 oz) of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix). Beat with whisk until smooth or use a whisk attachment on your stand mixer and beat on low.

Step 3: In separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt.

Step 4: Combine eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, pumpkin, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Beat with whisk until smooth. I usually add ½ cup dry ingredients mix at a time on low speed until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated with the wet ingredients.

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Step 5: Next add 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves. Combine with ingredients listed in Step 4.

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Step 6: Spread in prepared pan.

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Step 7: Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and pumpkin spice bars spring back when touched lightly in center. The oven and pumpkin spice bars will be hot, use oven safety awareness when checking for readiness. After removing pumpkin spice bars from the oven, allow to cool completely approximately 2 hours.

Step 8: Gather ingredients to make cream cheese frosting. You will need 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese softened, ¼ cup butter or margarine, 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 3 cups of powdered sugar (the recipe says 4 cups but 4 cups of powered sugar is too sweet for my family so we only use 3 cups). Combine cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer until smooth.

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Step 9: Gradually beat in powdered sugar ½ cup to 1 cup at a time on low speed until smooth and spreadable.

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Step 10: Spread cream cheese frosting over pumpkin bars once the bars are completely cooled.

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Step 11: Sprinkle with walnuts. Store covered in the refrigerator. This recipe will yield approximately 49 bars.

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I hope you guys enjoy this taste of fall. I look forward to this recipe every year and I know you will too.

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See you guys over the weekend on Facebook, on Instagram and on Pinterest and back here on Monday for the Something to Talk About Link Party!

Many blessings for a happy weekend,

CoCo

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