I’ve moved around a lot in my adult life. Often I realize that at some point, a certain possession I once had has been lost in the shuffle… and I can’t pin point exactly when. But this is not true for the church cookbooks that I grew up with. I have kept a close on eye on these over the years.
You know the kind I’m talking about… all the ladies of the congregation would submit their recipes to be included in the church cookbook. They were printed in the most basic format possible… no pictures, just black and white text and bound with a plastic binding comb. And amidst all the various versions of ambrosia salad, you can find the BEST recipes… which is exactly where this recipe for pumpkin bars came from.
Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you… these bars are moist and decadent.
Just a handful of ingredients mixed well make a thick, but pourable batter.
The batter goes into a large cookie or jelly roll pan.
Vanilla cream cheese frosting adds a perfect tangy kick to these cake-like bars.
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 C oil
- 2 C sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 C canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 C flour
- 5 oz. cream cheese
- 3 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 lb powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a large cookie or jelly roll pan.
- Mix together all ingredients for the pumpkin bars until smooth and pour batter into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While bars cook, make frosting.
- With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar on low speed. Beat in just one tablespoon of milk to start, then add the remaining (if needed) until the frosting is smooth and spreadable. Finally, beat the frosting on high for a few minutes to make it lighter and more fluffy.
- Once bars are cool, spread the frosting on top and serve.